For Parents benefits to competing level 2?

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emorymom

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2008
1,155
The gyms closest to our home all compete Level 2.

My daughter loves gymnastics but is not a "power player" type and will probably be 7 by the time she would get there, so it's not like she'd be very young.

But what are the benefits? Either they've changed or I've been misinformed, but I had thought that most started competing at Level 4.
 
G

gymgramma

I think most gyms do start competing at level 4. some at level 5.
I guess an advantage to competing at the lower levels is that they get more competition experience at the younger ages.
 
M

Megley

gymgramma is right, many gyms don't start competing until Level 4 or 5. I think even Level 4 is a relatively new competitive level. I don't think it's necessary to compete at Level 2, particularly if your dd will be 7 years old. I think the lower level competitions are for those kids who are not yet 6 (so can't compete at Level 4), but still want to compete or for kids who want to compete but don't quite have the Level 4 skills yet. The down side for me, had we been offered the choice, would have been the additional expense of competition leotard, warmups and meet fees. The benefits, as gymgramma mentioned, are increased competition experience.


Meg
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
In the USAG system, the 1st level required to compete is L5. L4 is competed alot as a intro to competition. Many states don't even have any structured L2/L3 meets and in states where these levels are competed, they usually don't have a formal state meet. Yes, your dd might get a little experience regarding competition, but the routines are quite short(really more designed for a 5 yo) and the judging is more relaxed than what she'll experience at L4 and up.

JMO, I would rather have the child spend the time working and getting the core basics of the sport and at least her L4 skills and working on some of the L5 than spending the time and money on a few L2 meets.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
I agree with GLM. You may also be surprised how quickly your DD picks up skills. My DD had just turned 5 when we switched to her current gym, she was 5 years 2 months, and she didn't have any level 4 skills. Within 6 months she was moved to team (though she probably shouldn't have been) and 5 months after that she had all her level 4 skills. I never imagined she would do competitive gymnastics when she started. LOL.

Here is a montage I made of her progress from right before she turned 5 to when she turned 6 and it was quite a difference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7s3Vgrr1LM&feature=channel_page I am sure this years progress with be similar with the differences. :D
 
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FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
Our gym starts competing USAG at L4. Prior to that, however, we have the "pre-team" group that competes L1-4.

Why? because it's fun! They stay local, entries are usually $20-$25 per meet, and the girls compete against themselves rather than each other. It's just a fun way to get your feet wet getting used to competitive gymnastics with much less stress!!

Gymnasts are awarded ribbons based on THEIR score; everyone gets an "all-around" participation trophy if they do all four events. It's relaxed, low-key, and just plain enjoyable, not to mention it gives everyone a chance to compete.... even those who really aren't going to stick around for the USAG stuff. And almost everyone leaves with a smile on their face!

I don't think 7 is too old either. So much depends on your child though - IS she the kind of child who will work her butt off to "catch up" on skills? Would she push herself to get to L4/5? or is she doing this more because she wants to have fun?

I think I'd probably talk to the coaches and find out what the meets are like at that level, THEN decide. I'm sure I'd feel differently if our L1-4 meets weren't so low-key and just plain fun - this is IMO a good, enjoyable way to "test the waters" so to speak.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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In Australia competitions start at level 1. Most gyms start their kids competing at level 1. Here is is not compulsary to start competing until level 4 in order to move up the levels.

The bmost obvious benefits come in level 4 or 5. The kids who have only just started competing at level 4, just dont have the competition experience. The kids who started at level 1 are pro's by level 4. If you watched a level 4 or 5 comp around here you would often think you are watching level 7 or 8. Meannwhile those who started compteing later don't stand a chance.

It also means that kids get into competing sooner. kids can compete after training for only a very short amount of time. You look at almost any other sport and competition is availbale straight away. They dont need to train fopr years and years first. This is where gymnastics can loose athletes. because kids want to compete and win trophies and medals, as kids do, and they can't do it unless comps start at level 1.

The other big reason for comps at levels 1-3 here is that it makes an enourmous amount of money. Take a look at your own gym and see how many kids there are in levelk 4 and 5 and how many are in level 1 and 2. Imagine how much money is to be made by holding these competitions.

The negative side is that it gets out of control Its not that uncommon to find gyms that train level 1's 6 hours a week. level 2's 9-10 hours a week and level 3's 12-14 hours a week. And even level 4's training 22 hours a week. And for what? to compete the best straight jump vault, to compete a deduction free forward roll on floor.
 

CoachKat

New Member
Oct 27, 2008
40
Colby, Kansas
In our area we compete in AAU instead of USAG because they start competing in level 2. I love it because we have a small gym and the girls don't spend a ton of hours training I'm talking like 3 hr a week tops. Anywho so it is alot harder to get those level 4 skills fast when your gym time is limited. Our girls gain confidence and learn how to be a good competitor early. The girls have alot of fun and enjoy it. They get to learn to excel in the lower levels and it gives them more time to prepare for the higher levels. Because by the time they compete level 4 you don't have to constantly tell them to keep their hands up stay tight and so on. Because those little comptetition elements get drilled into them in the lower levels. I feel like this way when they get to 4 and 5 you spend the majority of the time on good form of skills and really nailing elements. Anyways just my 2 cents.
 
T

TeamDad

We didn't start competing until L4. My memories of L4 are quite painful. There were so many kids and the teams were all so big that the meets would go on hour after hour endlessly. If you like to sit in the bleachers for 4-6 hours while most of the time your dd is waiting between rotations to do her 30 second routine, and you love listening to the snappy floor routine music until thankfully your mind goes numb enough that it prevents insanity from taking over....then I enthusiastically say...GO FOR IT!!!:D
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Honestly I don't see the point of competition at levels 1-3 provided there's an in-house meet at the gym of choice. Skill progression is so rapid up until L4-5 that competition seems like it would be looooong and tedious and even distracting. In-house meets are a great outlet for performance, there's no pressure, and they're usually scheduled way better (shorter!) than an actual meet. Plus the kids get shirts, stickers, trophies and all that stuff for participation. I may be simple here, but I think those levels are all about fun and a blossoming enjoyment of the sport and new skills. Long(er) hours, workout costs, booster clubs, team leos + warmups bah who needs it until L4 at earliest I say!
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,891
We didn't start competing until L4. My memories of L4 are quite painful. There were so many kids and the teams were all so big that the meets would go on hour after hour endlessly. If you like to sit in the bleachers for 4-6 hours while most of the time your dd is waiting between rotations to do her 30 second routine, and you love listening to the snappy floor routine music until thankfully your mind goes numb enough that it prevents insanity from taking over....then I enthusiastically say...GO FOR IT!!!:D



Bwahahaha, you old cynic you.:D:rotfl:
 

SamIam

Member
Mar 10, 2008
97
I loved level 2 competitions. Not much difference in the younger daughter's (6)first year of basketball this year. Sam was 5 when she did L2. It was about 5 meets, and like most have said I agree it was a good intro to the sport.
 

emorymom

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2008
1,155
I don't think 7 is too old either. So much depends on your child though - IS she the kind of child who will work her butt off to "catch up" on skills? Would she push herself to get to L4/5? or is she doing this more because she wants to have fun?
Right now at almost 5.5 my daughter is somewhere in between. She does not learn skills very quickly compared to some girls who would be described as "naturals." There is nothing wrong with her, and she can do competitive gymnastics but would not be the kind of girl picked for it -- it's her idea. She is tall, fast growing, and has always been cautious with her body and slow to learn skills relative to a lot of kids I see in developmental programs. I wonder about the wisdom of her spending time in a year or two learning level 2 routines vs. using every minute to advance her skill set generally.
 
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