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Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
So, I just got told by my friend I am crazy . . . actually there were a bunch of explicit words added in there . . .

Thought I'd do a sanity check with those who know

Jess is 7, going to be 8 in October. 3rd grade.

This month she will be going to the gym 5x a week for 3 hours = 15 hours a week

My thought process is - she loves it, she wants to go, right now with her homework load she CAN do it . . . . if she was home she'd be bouncing off the walls in the living room. She's not doing any other activities. 2 of the days are Fri & Sat - and do not affect school at all. Sat's are morning leaving the rest of the day free. She's having fun - no complaints except for an occasional "play date" request. She does not miss birthday parties for gymnastics . . .

How is this different from a kid that does girl scouts, soccer, dance, etc?

She sleeps well and isn't tired or cranky, no aches or pains . . .

Am I crazy? I don't want her to burn out? any calming thoughts?:eek:


If it works for you and her, who cares what anyone else thinks? I got told I was crazy for having my girls in gymnastics 3 days a week at that age! Many people here will also think you're nuts, but if she loves it and you're watching for burnout--go for it!

Btw, what level is she that she's going that much?


I remember when my dd started going 5 days a week. She was about that age. Every parent i knew thought I was insane to "let" her do that. I'd love to see what they would have done differently with a child intensely interested in the sport. She'd be jumping on the sofa if kept at home anyway. Even now she gets antsy on week long vacations. It's just their make up. If she tires of it you quit but she wont' know unless she tries it. We always said if the grades go gym goes. It was never a discussion of gym taking over. Grades always come first. Don't worry what other people think as long as she is happy doing the sport and continues to enjoy it ,there is nothing to defend and no you are not crazy!


Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
Thanks - I feel better.

The more I think about it - she knows she can't go to the gym until she's done with homework & has had dinner . . . so she comes home and after bouncing around - gets to work. If anything I have her captive 30 minutes in the car to and from the gym to study . . .

She had a week off and made me miserable - she had so much energy she put it all towards driving her older sister crazy.

So we go to the gym - less TV, more focused for homework, gets a good nights sleep - I feel less crazy every minute.

Thanks so much


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Only you know your child. If she is eager to go, does not show signs of burnout it is probably ok. All kids are different. My DD is 9 and in 4th grade. She goes 3 days a week for 3 hours. She does occasionally complain that she doesn't get to play as much as some of her friends. She is also asking about hip hop class and horseback riding. If we talk about stopping she says but I won't get to see so & so.

I think as long as you watch her for fatigue, over use injuries, burnout you should be ok. I feel that would be too much for my DD, but my DD is not your DD and yours may be perfectly fine.


Lily goes 16 hours a week plus an hour of dance and she is also turning 8 in October. She is competing L5/6 this year too. I think she will be doing L6 because she has all the skills, but am not entirely sure yet. Anyway, we go four days a week for four hours. We have yet to start homework, but I am sure we will figure out a way to get it done and I'm with you, if she weren't a gym she'd just be running around outside or jumping all over the house. It's definitely more than a normal 8 yo does, but I have found that if Lily is not in gym she drives us all completely nuts.

Curious when Jess' birthday is? Lily's is the 12th. Our cutoff is end of September, though, so she is only in 2nd grade.



Count me in the "crazy club" My DD did 20 hours a week at that age and missed every Friday afternoon of school for gymnastics. She is a straight A student and an overachiever in every sense of the word. She loves every minute of it! You are the expert on your Daughter Keep the lines of communication open and flip out!
Feb 26, 2007
Yes, you're crazy, just like the rest of the parents in the world. What you do with your child is nobody's business but yours . She is healthy, happy and well loved, what more can anyone give?

Some people need to get a life for themselves instead of offering unasked for opinions.


Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
Meg, Jess is Oct 1. Our cut off is in December.

GymMomntc2e6, Thanks, I agree everyone is different and the coach talked to me and said they wouldn't let all gymies at that age, or older, come that often - but she hasn't shown any stress, fatigue etc and is all smiles beginning to end. They usually have to kick her out

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! I can't even tell you . . . I love my friend and she means well but she all out gave it to me , raised voice, cursing and all . . . . and shhh don't tell her - I only admitted to her going 4 days LOL!
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Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
My DD is 8 and in 3rd grade and is competing L4 this year. She trains 14 hrs a week. A lot for L4, but as I have said before our coach is hard-core!:p

She did the 14 hours for half of second grade too, and while there are many days when I think I am going to go insane driving her back and forth...she would not have it any other way. She loves every minute of it and on the 3 days she does not have gym she is bouncing off furniture...literally. She was just placed in the gifted program and so far is making all A's. So, she is handling it all well.

If it's working for you and your kid, don't mess with it. We are just "lucky" to be the moms of crazy gymnasts!!!!:p

Hope she has a great year at L5/6.


Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
This is where this site comes in soooo handy! Gymnastics is such a different sport, people not involved just cannot comprehend it. I think your DD's situation sounds "healthy". My DD did 11hrs/wk as a L6, but I realize some gyms do more hours. 15hrs does not sound overly excessive as long as #1-your DD ENJOYS it, #2 she is physically healthy & not tired or stressed, #3 her school work is her priority & school is going well, #4 she doesn't feel "tied down" to gymnastics...she should be able to maintain outside friendships & at least some other social activity(Girl scouts, church, etc). JMHO. Now the more hours, the more difficult this all gets. Balance & time management are key, but it can be done! My DD is a L8(15hrs/wk at our gym) & just started public highschool. There are younger girls on her level doing this schedule & all seem to be thriving. My DD also ran track team for school last spring & hardly broke a sweat doing it! So I do think she could have handled the schedule if she were younger too. It really isn't that much...TO HER. My take away point here is....all kids are different. What works for my DD or your DD may not work for your "friend" & her DD. Sounds like you & your DD have it under control & your "friend" just doesn't get it....but we do:D!
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Feb 28, 2009
My DD is 8 Level 6 working towards 7 she trains 18 hours a week and misses one afternoon of school per week. Alot of other parents who don't participate in the sport think I am crazy. However she is happy, healthy and her self esteem, school grades and confidence are great! It has done wonders for her. As long as this continues I will keep her in gym, if anything changes I will re look at it at that time. So far so good!!

You have to do what is right for you child, for mine this is it right now so I will continue to go along for the ride and support her in any way I can as a mom, thats all we can do right? so I say who cares what others say, keep up the good work sounds like you have a happy, healthy and loved DD!


No you are not crazy. If our gymmie had the chance she'd be there every day! Don't listen to what other parents - especially non-gymnast parents - say. You know your DD, she is healthy, happy and she knows that school comes first and that is all that matters!


Count me in the crazy group too, then, LOL!

My dd was doing 20 hrs a week at 8 yrs old, missing one afternoon of school a week. Then, when she hit Grade 4, she started doing 2 afternoons a week - much to her teacher's dismay, LOL - she is now in Grade 6, just started late French Immersion and is still doing 20 hrs a week and missing two afternoons of school :D
Jan 22, 2008
It seems about average to me. My 6 year old is doing 12 hours a week right now and would be doing 16 a week if it wasn't for being unemployed. Many don't understand and wont look at their own schedules to add up how much time their children are in other sports. DS logs about 6 hours of ice time a week for ice hockey which is pretty intense for a 8 year old considering they are running drills most of that time with little rest.

I would let it go in one ear and out the other. My "best friend" have agreed to dissagree on this topic since she doesn't agree with DD's training schedule. She is supportive of her achievments but she cringes about the time she loggs. Chin up you know your child best and what they can handle.

Midget's Dad

Crazy? If you are crazy then I think most of the rest of us are too.

And the thing is, it is not just this sport. I was talking to Midget's coach a few months ago and we got to talking about my sports history. I used to be at the rink for practice (hockey) at 4:30 AM because the figure skaters got the later ice times before school. Hour and half in the morning 5 days a week. Then back to the rink after school for conditioning and weights, then evening practice 3 days a week. I spent 20+ hours there and never really noticed how much it was until I added it up.

Plus, I think about other parents, the ones that look at us like that and think about what their kids do. Cheerleading, soccer, basketball, swimming, dance, music. They spread it out but do just as much.
Jan 9, 2008
Like the other posters have said I think if you are not personally involved in the sport it seems extreme. Before my daughter was on the team I thought the hours seemed excessive but after seeing how other teams perform at USAG meets it seems like the amount of hours they train is necessary to stay competitive in the sport. I also get comments from co-workers and friends but they do not see how much my daughter loves it. So until my daughter says she does not want to go any more I will just ignore them.


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Jan 4, 2008
Don't listen to those parents. They probably don't really understand gymnastics. 5 days a week for 3 hours can sound horrific for a 7 year old if you are used to having a child in sport once a week for an hour, but in the gymnastics world its not unusual.

Like you say, she is happy, she isn't showing any signs of fatigue and most importantly of all she WANTS to go to gymnastics. That is the key, if she is asking you "when can we go?" if she is bouncing at the gate desperate to get in the gym when you arrive, if she is hard to drag out of the gym at night then she is not over doing it. It's when they start complaining and asking for a day off that you know you have reached overload point.


You, crazy? HA! I think that the people who assume they know our gymnasts better than us are crazy. :) As my Mom says, you only have to be around my dd (and, I'm sure, yours, by your description) for a day to know how completely dd loves the sport and is doing it for herself. (I'll ask dd once in a while, "Who are you doing gymnastics for?" to which she'll respond, "Me and God!" :) --God since He gave her the talent in our view, and, no matter what the talents may be, we should try to use them for good in some way) Besides, how many of us would have broken furniture and injured dds galore if the gymmies didn't have a gym to go to? How many would have a dd begging for something more to do, even if she was already doing other activities throughout the week? As it is, it sounds like your gymmie is completely happy with the situation. She knows herself best, and so do you. Your friend does not know your dd as well, obviously.
Maybe your friend's concern is just for the whole balance of your dd. Yes, we have to watch that our dds are balanced physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. However, through my own observations in my own life and in teaching, I've found that the children who are able to follow their interests and passions at the pace a child desires are the most balanced and well-adjusted.
I'm reminded of my sister, who I don't even see that much, who is also critical of the time my dd spends on gymnastics. Unlike your friend, though, she communicates her displeasure nonverbally (rolling eyes, etc.) and with a complete refusal to talk about dd's gymnastics or even look at her when she's flipping all around (which dd does all of the time). My sister told me once, "I know what you're trying to do with your children," as in, "You're trying to make your children super-children." I wonder if that could be an element in your friend's concern, as well. It was a complete and total unfounded claim against me, just as it obviously is in your case. BTW, notice I said "children." One dd is constantly in plays and musicals and is often a lead role, and my ds is a natural golfer who loves the sport. My sister doesn't talk about these things, either. I wonder if your friend would have a problem if your daughter followed her own passion if that passion were not gymnastics. There are definitely parents who take this gymnastics thing--or that soccer or dance or performing arts or academic thing-- too far, until it becomes an extension of the parent and a wish of the parent, and not all about the child. That is truly sad. But, as long as this is truly your dds wish, for herself and no one else, rest assured: you're definitely not crazy.
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