WAG Can a gymnast compete if they are missing one skill?

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Proud Parent
Aug 28, 2018
It may be only these particular coaches, and not indicative of the gym culture as a whole, but I would watch how the gym treats blocks and fears. Some coaches with this mentality might leave a girl crying on beam while the rest of the group rotates and works out on another event. “Don’t get down until you do X skill.” It sounds crazy but it happens, and it’s not a very healthy (or effective) method.


Oct 24, 2009
The 'Wood, Ohio
We are paying roughly $5000 for the year (practice, meet fees, coaches fees, uniform, etc.). She came in 4th in the all around two weeks ago, got a 9.3 on vault, 9.25 on bars, 8.5 on floor. She has been consistently doing th roundoff backhand spring, but was inconsistent the three practices leading up to the meet. The gym policy is to not let her compete AT ALL, not just scratch one meet. No refunds. During practice, if she doesn’t throw it, they make her do push ups in front of her teammates. I’m just trying to get a sense of this is common with other gyms, or fairly unique to our gym. I don’t want to switch gyms if this is typical most places. My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but im afraid this will start to kill her spirit. I can’t pay this kind of money if she can’t even compete (something SHE has her heart set on, like most gymnasts).
All fees combined (including youth membership at the Y), we are looking at $1800. Most families have a family membership which is overall more expensive, but per person, the gymnast's "share" of the membership fee would be less.

I would look into changing gyms. It isn't normal. She needs a gym that knows how to treat blocks on skills.
I wouldn't be happy about having to pay for something someone had taken away from one of my kids.
Good luck.
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Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
It really is dependent on the gym and how their coaches handle it. Our gym requires that you have all required skills for every apparatus before you are moved up to the next level to avoid the anxiety of last minute scratching. There is a little more leniency with the higher levels, depending on what the skill is and how close a gymnast is to getting it.

It has been rare at our gym that a gymnast loses a required skill mid season. I’ve only seen it affect a meet a couple times. Both times, the gymnast was scratched from the apparatus, but competed the other three. If you can’t perform it safely the week leading up to the meet, then they don’t want you attempting it at the meet. Other than standing between the bars for safety reasons, our coaches don’t spot at meets.


Proud Parent
Apr 1, 2016
I’ll mainly echo what others have said. I believe if something like this happened in my DDs gym, the athlete would likely be scratched from floor, but not the entire meet.

I also would be really paying attention to the culture of the gym. How the handle blocks (which are very common at all levels) is an important consideration.

Also you may want to think about you talk about this to your DD. You can accidentally be adding more even more stress/pressure by asking too much about it or discussing it too much.


Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
Not typical, in my opinion. I would definitely be looking for another gym if my daughter was getting punished for not doing a skill. Our gym allows most gymnasts to compete even if they do not have a major skill. Sometimes, they will scratch a person from an event. My daughter was not allowed to compete floor in her first level 4 meet even though other girls were without the same skill...but the coach took time to explain how, based on personality, this would be a good decision in the long run. A few months later, she won state. The whole experience made me really trust our coaches decisions.


Proud Parent
Feb 9, 2020
Huge red flag there.
What exactly is it about the skill that she is afraid of? There are options such as a coach on the floor during that skill (no deductions if coach doesn’t touch her). She can also use a sting mat on the floor with zero deductions. Some gyms have a reputation to uphold and will not allow either of these. I know of a local gym that won’t allow either of those options. Your choice is to not compete (the meet, because a scratched score is a low AA score and it looks negative to their image). Your other option is to pay for privates for 1:1 coaching through it (IMO it’s a money grab because the gym gets kickbacks from privates at a rate of 20%). When my DD’s friends were all trying to compete L3, their parents were paying for privates and semi-privates particularly for the ROBHS. Like 100’s and maybe even 1000’s of dollars. When I asked them about a coach spotting and a sting mat, they said it wasn’t allowed-gym policy, even though USAG allows it. This particular gym has a strong L10 team, a handful of elites and sends kids to D1 schools, so for them it’s about image and money.
Finish out the season and maybe start looking around because something doesn’t seem right. And, those fees are pretty high For L3. We compete USAG and AAU. Dual memberships, new Leo’s every 2-3 years and we have a Leo exchange program if kids grow during that time. Our fees are $1100 on our off year and $1500 during leotard years and that includes warm ups, bags, etc. We have a mandatory team camp in the summer that is $300, so less than $2000 for the entire year. You are likely getting scammed with ‘coaches fees’ also. Meet entries in my region are $80-$125 each with about 5-7 meets per season, so about $500-$600 in meet fees and the rest to coaches. If we know ahead of time that we will be a non-compete for a certain meet due to schedule conflicts, we aren’t charged for the entry fee and balances carry over from year to year. This is all done with little to no fundraising. You really need to be more cognizant of this when choosing a gym.
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