WAG Age trend in JO? Or, younger, better, faster...

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mobeans

Proud Parent
May 6, 2013
210
Just yesterday I saw two instagram accounts of 5 year old gymnasts who were doing ridiculously high level skills. With mothers doing extreme promoting and something crazy like 100,000 followers. Obviously talented kids but it feels very pageant-y. Yuck. Yes, I hope dunno is right too.
I've seen these accounts as well. And a few were actually former pageant kids, surprise surprise. I don't know, I am not comfortable w 200,000 strangers commenting on my daughters gymnastics, watching videos of her, nor do I like how easy it is to figure out who these kids are and the gym they are at. Not sure why the heavy promotion by the parents at such a young age. I would much rather let my daughters talents speak for themselves once she (if ever) was on the national scene at an older age than 5.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,856
I've seen these accounts as well. And a few were actually former pageant kids, surprise surprise. I don't know, I am not comfortable w 200,000 strangers commenting on my daughters gymnastics, watching videos of her, nor do I like how easy it is to figure out who these kids are and the gym they are at. Not sure why the heavy promotion by the parents at such a young age. I would much rather let my daughters talents speak for themselves once she (if ever) was on the national scene at an older age than 5.
Yes, 200k+ followers. It's all very focused on how "cute" they are. They probably do pageants and cheer too. And considering all I have read on here about how bridging isn't good til after age 5, those instagram girls were probably bridging and doing back handsprings at age 2.
 
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cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
3,007
It's so funny that this subject came up here because this weekend my DD showed me an insta account of a little 4YO "phenom" who does pageants and gymnastics and mom is posting all these scary videos of her learning BHS and fulls. But the pictures are total perv bait and I can't believe mom is okay with having her kid's body on display in poses that she thinks shows off her flexibility but only make me cringe with the inappropriateness of it.
 
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KayleeGymnast51402

It's so funny that this subject came up here because this weekend my DD showed me an insta account of a little 4YO "phenom" who does pageants and gymnastics and mom is posting all these scary videos of her learning BHS and fulls. But the pictures are total perv bait and I can't believe mom is okay with having her kid's body on display in poses that she thinks shows off her flexibility but only make me cringe with the inappropriateness of it.
I mean, there are also older girls, maybe 13, who practice skills with just a Leo. That's inappropriate too, and they are pretty high cut. Its not run by their parents, but it is just gross, IMO.
 

wnl256

Proud Parent
Sep 26, 2013
687
It's so funny that this subject came up here because this weekend my DD showed me an insta account of a little 4YO "phenom" who does pageants and gymnastics and mom is posting all these scary videos of her learning BHS and fulls. But the pictures are total perv bait and I can't believe mom is okay with having her kid's body on display in poses that she thinks shows off her flexibility but only make me cringe with the inappropriateness of it.

So many people don't understand how public, pervasive, and permanent the Internet is.
 

wallinbl

Proud Parent
Jan 30, 2012
1,708
I mean, there are also older girls, maybe 13, who practice skills with just a Leo. That's inappropriate too, and they are pretty high cut. Its not run by their parents, but it is just gross, IMO.
Trying to balance the transition to teen years and online presence while not being a helicopter parent or forcing your kid to be a Luddite is full of ambiguous decisions that I'm sure I'm getting wrong.
 
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KayleeGymnast51402

Trying to balance the transition to teen years and online presence while not being a helicopter parent or forcing your kid to be a Luddite is full of ambiguous decisions that I'm sure I'm getting wrong.
And its not just the teen girls. At practice, there is an 8 yr/o who wears shorts, IMO, a bit too short.

It isn't on YouTube, but still.
 

windydays

Proud Parent
May 4, 2014
156
This is the philosophy of my DDs gym. Maybe not verrrry slowly but slowly- no skipping levels. And all the gyms that surround us all follow the trend of the faster the better, I have to respect the reasons our gym does it. Firstly, it is to keep the girls in the program longer, but the way its been explained to me it's also to combat fears, limit injury,(because if you aren't doing a double back at 9 you can't get injured doing a double back at 9), and limit wear and tear on a body that has to last way past the last season of competing L10. Sounds like a better way to keep my daughter safe. And I'll never argue with that. :)

It may be a rule of thumb of many years at L10 but I've also seen it go the other way too.

We struggle with fast-trackers in our area and in our gym as well. While my daughter is young and doing very well (10 YO/L7 but could have competed L8), my husband and I had a serious conversation about allowing her to skip levels and decided we would push against that for the very reasons you listed. It is hard because our gym allows gymnasts to compete the level for which they have skills. That has created a lot of CGMs who are booking private after private, bringing their exhausted daughters in to get that next skill.

We believe that we will see many of these girls fade out of gym for various reasons - injuries, burnout, or just done.
 

kimute

Proud Parent
Dec 29, 2012
293
CA
My DD is being tracked in the 4-7 push category right now (she is 8). Planning to test out of L. 5 this Spring, do L. 7 next. While I get the marathon metaphor, I don't see a decent alternative. She wasn't a fit with the girls who will do L. 5 this Fall (she has the skills they are learning), and she is happiest while challenged.

Maybe she will burn-out in five years. Maybe she'll slow down and others will catch up. Maybe she won't pass the score out. I don't really know. She seems really happy with the accelerated path and the skills she is learning right now.
 

BachFlyer

Proud Parent
Mar 29, 2010
1,103
Maybe she will burn-out in five years. Maybe she'll slow down and others will catch up. Maybe she won't pass the score out. I don't really know. She seems really happy with the accelerated path and the skills she is learning right now.

I agree with this. I think it really depends on the kid. My dd started competing L5 at 8 and was a TOPs kid. She is now 13 and L10. Some may say that she is "fast-tracked" but that was just the way she progressed. She might have been bored and quit if she had been held back just to stick to an arbitrary rule about progression. She broke her foot at L9, true, but it wasn't an injury from some crazy skill that she was pushed to do, it was just a weird foot placement on the edge of a mat. My point is this - I've seen first year 10s who are seniors get burnt out and/or injured, too. Many, many kids get tired of all of the hours somewhere around 12-16 and it has nothing to do with how hard they have been pushed or "fast tracked" they just are done, or bored, or feel they've reached their limit in skill acquisition.

I know that there are kids who are being pushed beyond their limit, and that is sad. I feel that homeschooling for gym because your L5 won states is crazy, and it definitely happens! This is a trend not just in gymnastics, but in all youth sports, bordering on obsession in the US in my opinion. It is virtually always the parents I hear talking about what team their kid should be on, and what scores they got, and what colleges they want to get in to. Most of those kids DO break from the pressure and quit. My dd might get to college or she might not, but she has no clue what she even wants to do let alone what school she wants to go, and the fact that she happens to be pretty good at her sport doesn't mean that is the driving factor. It doesn't mean she is homeschooled or coerced or anything, she just loves it and has been successful. In most cases, I have found that if the parent lets the child take the lead with their sport, and not vice versa, they will end up with a happy child that is where they need/want to be.

However, I don't think generally speaking, it is the over the top pushing causing the kids to get better faster in gymnastics specifically. No amount of parental or coach insanity can make a child catch a tkachev or throw a double pike on floor. Training and equipment has gotten way more advanced in the last 15-20 years or so, and the number of excellent clubs/coaches has skyrocketed. So, the number of girls that have access to a quality program that helps them progress has gone up, and you see a greater number of more capable gymnasts overall. But no matter how many good gyms there are, you will still see only a tiny fraction of the L4s make it to L10 or beyond.
 

BachFlyer

Proud Parent
Mar 29, 2010
1,103
Also, putting your 4 year old on youtube and promoting them for the sake of "likes" is seems pretty creepy and strange to me, no matter what they are doing. Practicing and competing is a leo is only "pervy" if you look at it that way, whether a kid is 5 or 15. Same as wearing a bathing suit to the beach, it allows for movement. Just my 2 cents on that subject.
 

windydays

Proud Parent
May 4, 2014
156
In most cases, I have found that if the parent lets the child take the lead with their sport, and not vice versa, they will end up with a happy child that is where they need/want to be.

No amount of parental or coach insanity can make a child catch a tkachev or throw a double pike on floor.

Amen to both!
 

cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
3,007
Just to be clear, I don't find leos pervy but rather the poses some parents choose to highlight. I'm sorry but no....no to laying flat on your back, feet in your hands showing your middle splits. No to grabbing your right leg in a side scale and then turning your body to the left so your nether regions are facing the camera. Just no. Please no.
 
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KayleeGymnast51402

Just to be clear, I don't find leos pervy but rather the poses some parents choose to highlight. I'm sorry but no....no to laying flat on your back, feet in your hands showing your middle splits. No to grabbing your right leg in a side scale and then turning your body to the left so your nether regions are facing the camera. Just no. Please no.
Yeah, just some poses they highlight aren't exactly.... Appropriate.... Especially for a 5 yr old
 
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mom2newgymnast

Proud Parent
Jul 8, 2014
1,280
48
My dd is at a gym that appears to do things the slow and steady way. She just competed level 2 as a 6 year old during the fall and is now training level 3. She turned 7 last week and she is the youngest on her team. There are a few other young 7's and then quite a few 8 year olds and even a 9 and 10 year old on her team. I heard the rising level 2 team does have some younger girls on it, but still more the exception than the rule. It's not an elite gym, but does have a successful optional team, especially level 10s, and does produce NCAA division 1 scholarship athletes. I noticed in a meet this weekend that all of the level 10's were either in the 14-15 or 16+ age groups. They had none in the 11-13 age group. So I do not think they are in a huge hurry to get their girls competing upper levels quickly. I think they are still a very competitive team.. I guess it's just the area we live in. :)
 
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wallflower

Proud Parent
May 16, 2012
2,362
CA
My DD is being tracked in the 4-7 push category right now (she is 8). Planning to test out of L. 5 this Spring, do L. 7 next. While I get the marathon metaphor, I don't see a decent alternative. She wasn't a fit with the girls who will do L. 5 this Fall (she has the skills they are learning), and she is happiest while challenged.

Maybe she will burn-out in five years. Maybe she'll slow down and others will catch up. Maybe she won't pass the score out. I don't really know. She seems really happy with the accelerated path and the skills she is learning right now.

L4-7 doesn't strike me as fast track. I live in an area where it was the standard track to do old L5-7. Score out of 6. I think that's actually fairly common. The new labels of the levels make 4 to 7 seem like a big jump, but it's really just the same old 5 to 7.
 

GYM0M

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2013
1,398
Just to be clear, I don't find leos pervy but rather the poses some parents choose to highlight. I'm sorry but no....no to laying flat on your back, feet in your hands showing your middle splits. No to grabbing your right leg in a side scale and then turning your body to the left so your nether regions are facing the camera. Just no. Please no.
That's actually a pretty common skill in cheerleading. AND I agree completely!!! But! I'll have to admit....I have had a YouTube acct for DD since she was 3.....we don't really put much up anymore and never the provocative style stuff. Oh and we did do pageants too...lol...we didn't know any better!!
 

rosettasmom

Proud Parent
Apr 18, 2012
129
If the pose highlights any or all of your bits and pieces... Just say NO. Not for a year old, or 15, 25, 35... Just no.
 
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