For Parents Almost 11 year old being asked to repeat Level 3

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Jun 11, 2022
11
42
Hello!
We attend a fairly strict gym, and we love how safe they are, low injury rate etc... but my almost 11 year old daughter is being asked to repeat level 3 even though she has most of her level 4 skills. She did struggle the beginning of the season in level 3, she took a while to get her vault and it held her back from perfecting her other routines. However she ended up placing 2nd in bars at states and 4th in floor. She definitely needs confidence on beam, but her vault has vastly improved. I understand where they are coming from in one way, but worried that since she will already be 11, this will hold her back in achieving higher levels. I have heard from parents that once they hit puberty it is much harder for them to learn higher level skills if they haven't already. I will also mention that my daughter has made major progress the second half of the season which has really boosted her confidence and she would prefer to move to level 4. She has medaled in at least one if not more of each competition last season, and her goal is to better herself, she does not seem to care as much about winning 1st place. I also believe she is old enough to participate in making her own decision regarding this. I have nothing against repeating levels if it is needed, I am just concerned about her age. If later on she needs to repeat a higher level I (and she) would probably be fine with it. Any advice???
 

LadyJ

Proud Parent
Feb 18, 2022
19
You say the gym is "strict, safe and low injury". That means they know what they are doing. They're making the best decision for her long-term gymnastics career. Age alone is never a reason to move a gymnast up a level.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
447
Assuming that you're in the USA it seems pretty early to be holding people back. My daughter's head coach will make final decisions in early September.

Ignoring that, can your daughter do a consistently decent kip? If not, having "most" of the L4 skills counts for nil at most gyms.
 
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Jun 11, 2022
11
42
Assuming that you're in the USA it seems pretty early to be holding people back. My daughter's head coach will make final decisions in early September.

Ignoring that, can your daughter do a consistently decent kip? If not, having "most" of the L4 skills counts for nil at most gyms.
Yes, she has had her Kip pretty consistently for a bit now. I am hearing so many different opinions, and not knowing a ton about gymnastics it’s difficult to get a feel for it all. This is the first and only gym she has attended, so we don’t have any sort of comparisons.
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
You say the gym is "strict, safe and low injury". That means they know what they are doing. They're making the best decision for her long-term gymnastics career. Age alone is never a reason to move a gymnast up a level.
I don’t know a lot about gymnastics, and this is the only gym she has ever attended. I can see where they are coming from, I am just not sure If this decision at this time is right for her mentally. I am not for or against it either way.
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
Yes, she has had her Kip pretty consistently for a bit now. I am hearing so many different opinions, and not knowing a ton about gymnastics it’s difficult to get a feel for it all. This is the first and only gym she has attended, so we don’t have any sort of comparisons.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
447
Yes, she has had her Kip pretty consistently for a bit now. I am hearing so many different opinions, and not knowing a ton about gymnastics it’s difficult to get a feel for it all. This is the first and only gym she has attended, so we don’t have any sort of comparisons.
Seems like a weird situation. She’s already on the older side, has the “big skill” that everyone seems to care about, and they’re making the decision before July.

I’d have a very frank conversation with the head coach and start looking around for other options.
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
237
31
We assign workout groups for summer based on what level we think athletes will be, but EVERYONE is given the opportunity to train the upgrades even if we think they will end up repeating. We actually have a whole group of 9 who will probably be gold, but is training platinum upgrades, and if they get all their platinum skills, then we are willing to compete some of them as platinum. We don't make final level decisions until the end of August, so I agree that a conversation with the coach about your daughter's goals would be a good idea. Involve your daughter as much as possible. As a coach I love when the athletes come to me themselves.
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
Seems like a weird situation. She’s already on the older side, has the “big skill” that everyone seems to care about, and they’re making the decision before July.

I’d have a very frank conversation with the head coach and start looking around for other options.
Thank you for your opinion. They want her to train back with the level 3s for summer, and are pushing me to sign the contract now, but on the contract it says “final placement won’t be determined until the end of summer”. Is it normal to ask for next seasons payments and signed contract prior to end of summer if placement isn’t truly determined? Thanks!
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
We assign workout groups for summer based on what level we think athletes will be, but EVERYONE is given the opportunity to train the upgrades even if we think they will end up repeating. We actually have a whole group of 9 who will probably be gold, but is training platinum upgrades, and if they get all their platinum skills, then we are willing to compete some of them as platinum. We don't make final level decisions until the end of August, so I agree that a conversation with the coach about your daughter's goals would be a good idea. Involve your daughter as much as possible. As a coach I love when the athletes come to me themselves.
We have spoken to them several times, both my daughter and myself. She is working hard on speaking up for herself, but struggles.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
447
Thank you for your opinion. They want her to train back with the level 3s for summer, and are pushing me to sign the contract now, but on the contract it says “final placement won’t be determined until the end of summer”. Is it normal to ask for next seasons payments and signed contract prior to end of summer if placement isn’t truly determined? Thanks!
We’re on a month to month contract and at our gym all the “level x” team girls train together during the summer under the assumption that the entire “level x” team will become next season’s “level x+1” team. If it doesn’t work for a particular girl by the time they start working on routines, that girl simply doesn’t move to level x+1 with everyone else.
 

curlygirls

Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2011
373
It’s worth asking for a meeting where your daughter can share her feelings and goals with the coach. I think at that meeting you would get a good sense of whether there is actually a chance of them allowing her to compete L4 next season. If they are clear on exactly what skills she needs to show mastery in, what that means, and when she needs to accomplish it, that’s a good sign. However, a gym change might be necessary in order to give your daughter the opportunity to move up.
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
We’re on a month to month contract and at our gym all the “level x” team girls train together during the summer under the assumption that the entire “level x” team will become next season’s “level x+1” team. If it doesn’t work for a particular girl by the time they start working on routines, that girl simply doesn’t move to level x+1 with everyone else.
Right, and that’s what I assumed would be done but they are holding her back now (she is not the only one). They won’t allow the girls to train with their current level for the summer. But want the contract signed now…
It’s worth asking for a meeting where your daughter can share her feelings and goals with the coach. I think at that meeting you would get a good sense of whether there is actually a chance of them allowing her to compete L4 next season. If they are clear on exactly what skills she needs to show mastery in, what that means, and when she needs to accomplish it, that’s a good sign. However, a gym change might be necessary in order to give your daughter the opportunity to move up.
We have spoken to them several times, my daughter and myself together as well. I aim to be a super laid back parent when it comes to activities, but my daughter has a difficult time speaking up for herself (we are working on it!) so she asks that I help her and be there with her. Long story short, We have told them how hard she has worked the second half of the year and the huge improvements she has made with her focus and determination, and they acknowledged them but don’t seem to be budging. It’s heartbreaking because she finally started to become confident and happy, and was sure she would get moved up. She just loves gymnastics.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
447
As I said, I would be looking at other gyms within driving distance. Doubly so if they want you to sign some sort of long term contract. If you end up moving gyms it’s going to be infinitely better to do summer at the new place so I’d get on it ASAP.
 

curlygirls

Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2011
373
Right, and that’s what I assumed would be done but they are holding her back now (she is not the only one). They won’t allow the girls to train with their current level for the summer. But want the contract signed now…

We have spoken to them several times, my daughter and myself together as well. I aim to be a super laid back parent when it comes to activities, but my daughter has a difficult time speaking up for herself (we are working on it!) so she asks that I help her and be there with her. Long story short, We have told them how hard she has worked the second half of the year and the huge improvements she has made with her focus and determination, and they acknowledged them but don’t seem to be budging. It’s heartbreaking because she finally started to become confident and happy, and was sure she would get moved up. She just loves gymnastics.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you have your answer. I would recommend not signing the contract, and quietly trying out any other gym options in your area. This may be a wonderful gym, but it sounds like it isn’t a good fit for your daughter’s goals at this time.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
230
We are at a gym that also does very slow move ups and has girls compete at a level lower than they are training. So, if they are good at having her uptrain and competing a level lower, then it's probably a non-issue. However, I know of a few girls who repeated with the promise of uptraining which didn't happen... they ended up switching.
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,186
I might normally be on the bandwagon like others of saying to investigate other gyms. However I will offer a perspective that may or may not represent your child as two key points stick out... You said she lacks confidence on beam, and that she took awhile to work out the vault.

Without actually watching your child, it's possible that she is a more nervous kid who needs time with some of the skills that can sometimes be scary. So this might be the level of tumbling in the group going forward and vaulting over the table as well as the already mentioned beam nerves.

While the kip is often the ticket to moving up, if your daughter is a bit nervous I would also consider repeating, simply because pushing these kids up when they are not fully ready often creates more fear/stress for them than a slow approach.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
314
I might normally be on the bandwagon like others of saying to investigate other gyms. However I will offer a perspective that may or may not represent your child as two key points stick out... You said she lacks confidence on beam, and that she took awhile to work out the vault.

Without actually watching your child, it's possible that she is a more nervous kid who needs time with some of the skills that can sometimes be scary. So this might be the level of tumbling in the group going forward and vaulting over the table as well as the already mentioned beam nerves.

While the kip is often the ticket to moving up, if your daughter is a bit nervous I would also consider repeating, simply because pushing these kids up when they are not fully ready often creates more fear/stress for them than a slow approach.
I completely agree with this. If you could provide more insight into why they said that she would be repeating 3, that might help us with giving you advice.

I do find it odd that they won't let her and the other few girls train with the group that they competed with this season and then decide at the end of the summer. I don't see how they could possibly get the skills to move up if they are working with the new level 3s.

We've been at 2 gyms and from reading posts over the years, it seems that most gyms do commitments after summer when levels are decided and leos/warm ups are ordered.
 
Jun 11, 2022
11
42
I completely agree with this. If you could provide more insight into why they said that she would be repeating 3, that might help us with giving you advice.

I do find it odd that they won't let her and the other few girls train with the group that they competed with this season and then decide at the end of the summer. I don't see how they could possibly get the skills to move up if they are working with the new level 3s.

We've been at 2 gyms and from reading posts over the years, it seems that most gyms do commitments after summer when levels are decided and leos/warm ups are ordered.
Unfortunately after several times talking to them they have said they are being “cautious with move ups this year” and she is “slightly technically behind”. I explained how we understood she struggled at the start of last season and therefore wasn’t able to work as much on the technical/perfection of the routines, but that’s because she was struggling with focus and what I supppse was also a mental block or something with the vault. She has progressed tons in the last five months and went from not having barely any level three skills this time last year, to having most of not all of the level four skills. So that would give her the next five or six months to really work on technique and perfecting it all, whereas last year that wasn’t the case. I cannot get a straight answer for why the won’t allow her to train with her current level for summer other than they don’t want to let her train with them then hold her back at the end of the summer. She already knows all the level 3 routines so I feel like she will spend the summer on the sidelines while they teach all the new level girls the routines. They told her they would continue working on her level four skills, but how?
 
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