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rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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We’re winding down the season here and discussing renewing our commitment to gymnastics for another year. We have just regionals to go (and possibly nationals). DD13 has a big dilemma - she wants to do everything! She has been doing 2 hours a week of rec. climbing this year and loving it! She was invited recently to join their competitive route and would love to but it means cutting down on gymnastics hours. She is second year level 10. We discussed dropping down to diamond for the year but she won’t hear of it - wants to compete level 10. I wondering what the minimum amount of hours you think a lvl 10 could train to keep up her skills and routines, not training upgrades? Conditioning for climbing is pretty similar. She does 20 hours a week atm. She thinks of climbing as something she wants to do for a year before going back to full time gymnastics.
We haven’t discussed any of this with her gym yet so not sure what our options are… advice / personal experience necessary!
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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It’s very individual. I have had incredibly talented kids be able to learn level 10 skills in a few hours a week, but most could never do it in that time.

It’s very, very rare to see a team allow a gymnast to do level 10 on less than 20 hours a week.
 
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gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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I would suspect most gyms will say a minimum of 20 hrs per week and most would not allow other competitive sports that interfere with the gym practices. I would just talk with the coach directly since they are the only ones who will have this information specific to your gym.

It does sound like a great opportunity. Perhaps she chooses climbing for the year and goes back to full gym after that. The gym might be will ing to work with her in terms of letting her stay on team to train but not compete next season?
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
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I may be in the minority here, and as always, my disclaimer, everyone is unique, every situation is unique, You know better than any of us posting on a message board about your child and your situation. While I support the idea that its important to have a diversity of experience with different sports/outlets. I do also believe that at some point you make a choice and commitment, especially when you are at level 10. I subscribe to the general philosophy that if you try to do everything at the highest level, then you are going to be mediocre in everything. My discussions with her would be, what do you see yourself doing with each sport or activity? What is the cost/benefit? In other words, one of these things has to be primary. Sure you can participate rock climbing as an outlet and break from gym, but your commitment is to gymnastics (if that is her decision) and you need to take that seriously.

Again, there are nuances in there that you know better than any of us, just providing a different perspective. Good luck, and whatever you choose to do/say is going to be the right thing.
 
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LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Our gym does 16 hrs school year and 18 hrs summer (so under 20) for 8s 9s & 10s. We have 2 level 10s, one who will be in d3 college gymnastics next year. It honestly depends on the kid but I think under 20 is possible. Especially as climbing includes a lot of strength. I would say 15-16 hours could happen.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
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I may be in the minority here, and as always, my disclaimer, everyone is unique, every situation is unique, You know better than any of us posting on a message board about your child and your situation. While I support the idea that its important to have a diversity of experience with different sports/outlets. I do also believe that at some point you make a choice and commitment, especially when you are at level 10. I subscribe to the general philosophy that if you try to do everything at the highest level, then you are going to be mediocre in everything. My discussions with her would be, what do you see yourself doing with each sport or activity? What is the cost/benefit? In other words, one of these things has to be primary. Sure you can participate rock climbing as an outlet and break from gym, but your commitment is to gymnastics (if that is her decision) and you need to take that seriously.

Again, there are nuances in there that you know better than any of us, just providing a different perspective. Good luck, and whatever you choose to do/say is going to be the right thing.
I think you’ve summed up her dilemma perfectly! She knows her future and commitment is gymnastics. She wants to continue level 10 and hopes for a scholarship. But it’s not that logical in a teenager’s mind - Imo she can’t do both. Going to discuss with her coaches once the season is over of course.
I’m curious if she is allowed to drop back to diamond? How many hours do XD gymnasts train average? Our gym does have a large Xcel team which i think she should consider.
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,442
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We have no current L10s
But we do have L8/9s. Our gym maxes out at 12 hours during the school year.
They can do up 30 hours a week in the summer (that translates to 5 hours a day actual training)

My kid has dropped back to 9 hours a week (3hrs x 3) due to our work hours and during lacrosse season (about 8 weeks) she actually makes it gym maybe 1 full day. She has had no loss of skills. In fact got some back. And manages some up training in those 9 hours. I believe she has gotten a wolf turn on beam and has upgraded her dismount and working her BT, along with some floor upgrades.

If your daughter has solid L10 skills and is looking to maintain those skills that can certainly be done in less hours. Especially if she is driven enough to keep up conditioning out of the gym.

Cant speak to uptraining. I don’t know how quickly your daughter “gets” new skills. For mine it’s like watching grass grow at times. And I don’t know how efficient they are at your gym. Again our max out at 3 hours during the school year. But they have no long breaks, snacks etc…. Water breaks only. Even waiting for turns on equipment, they are conditioning and/or doing drills.

So can it be done? Yes. Will your gym allow it? A whole other thing.
 
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Jenny

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Sep 17, 2012
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I think your daughter is in quite a special situation. She is 13 and already a second year level 10. She has to maintain her fitness, skills and love of gymnastics for another 5/6 years at level 10 to go to college.

That is a long time.

I could see a gym being able to work with her to plan a 'maintenance' program whereby she drops hours down to 10-12 hours for a year so she can compete climbing. They could decide focus skills and routines for her to maintain and pare back her training to focus on those. She would need to bring all the info to the table with the climbing meets, training etc etc and it would take effort and committment from both sides.

I am sure it could be done and could work but whether the gym would want to is another matter. On the one hand if they insist she trains 20 hours plus for the next 5 years they might lose her through boredom and burnout. Their worry will be that she might fall in love with climbing and leave anyway. The reality is that she would likely want to continue the maintenance training and do both for longer than a year, especially if it works well. If this continued into more years her gymnastics would eventually suffer and she might not make the college team she envisiged.

The fact she is asking means if they say no she is on the slippery road to elsewhere already.
 

B&M's mom

Proud Parent
Sep 4, 2010
437
I totally understand the dilemna as it's hard when they are so young and reach L10. My oldest had a similar path. I wouldn't be too concerned with the skill maintenance with lower hours but the bigger question will be how her body changes during that time. We found that my daughter's body significantly matured when she was doing lower hours which meant she had to spend more time adapting her skills to her new body. It was totally doable but did take time in the gym.

You do need to have a talk with her coaches. Given how talented she must be, they will likely be happy to work with you to keep her in the sport.
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
326
32
For the duration of summer, when there isn’t also school hours cutting into the day, can she do more climbing?

If she hasn’t hit puberty yet, dropping down to XD or cutting her hours may make it difficult to retain her skills if she does happen to hit puberty in the upcoming year (height, body changes, etc).

If she’s also a 2nd year level 10 at 13, I’m sure you’ve got a decent rapport with the gym and they’re quite invested in her - let them know how she’s feeling and if they’d let her cut back some hours to do climbing so she doesn’t end up quitting altogether
 

KIPSOG

Gymnast
Feb 8, 2022
13
Xcel Diamond would definitely be a good option. Diamond allows you to compete lvl 10 skills, but without the stress if needing all of the lvl 10 skills. I compete diamond, our gym offers 12 hrs a week for diamonds. During the competitive season I was only practicing 6 - 9 hours a week and was able to maintain my skills. I was also wrestling, which is similar to climbing in that the conditioning translates over to gymnastics really well. I was able to be successful at both sports. I was the first female wrestler from my school to go to state. I also improved my AA score 3 points throughout the season. It won't be easy, but it's definitely possible to do both, especially if she switches to Xcel. She can switch back to lvl 10 afterwards.
 
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rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
Thanks for your encouraging input!
We have no current L10s
But we do have L8/9s. Our gym maxes out at 12 hours during the school year.
They can do up 30 hours a week in the summer (that translates to 5 hours a day actual training)

My kid has dropped back to 9 hours a week (3hrs x 3) due to our work hours and during lacrosse season (about 8 weeks) she actually makes it gym maybe 1 full day. She has had no loss of skills. In fact got some back. And manages some up training in those 9 hours. I believe she has gotten a wolf turn on beam and has upgraded her dismount and working her BT, along with some floor upgrades.

If your daughter has solid L10 skills and is looking to maintain those skills that can certainly be done in less hours. Especially if she is driven enough to keep up conditioning out of the gym.

Cant speak to uptraining. I don’t know how quickly your daughter “gets” new skills. For mine it’s like watching grass grow at times. And I don’t know how efficient they are at your gym. Again our max out at 3 hours during the school year. But they have no long breaks, snacks etc…. Water breaks only. Even waiting for turns on equipment, they are conditioning and/or doing drills.

So can it be done? Yes. Will your gym allow it? A whole other thing.
We’re looking at 12 hours ish of gymnastics, not something done by any level 10’s in our gym. Can imagine a smaller gym would be more co-operative in that way. Ours are very decent and individualistic but is a pretty large gym so not sure how far they would go.
Seems like the conditioning and flexibility for climbing is pretty similar so hoping she can just focus on maintaining her skills… no need for double conditioning.
I think she’s at a bit of a plateau - done 2 years of level 10 and been successful this year, now feels a bit bored looking at another 4 years of the same level before she can go to college. Wants to do something different for the year.
I think she’s done or almost done with puberty growth (over covid and last year) but you never know I guess… she still pretty young plenty can happen.
You’ve all given us plenty to think about!
 
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MuggleMom

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Dec 22, 2016
810
Virginia
I think that climbing can be good cross training so if you can align practices so that what she is missing is mostly conditioning and the hours she is there is more for events I think you cold work that out. Especially if you talk to coaches about at home conditioning or at climbing conditioning to supplement doing events specifically in the gym. Currently our gym does conditioning at the begining of practice so it makes doing a sport as cross training easier for the coaches to support because they are mostly missing conditioning which they get during the other activity.
 
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gymisforeveryone

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Nov 16, 2012
901
It may not be usual for high level gymnasts to take time off or cut down hours to do other sports, however, it' pretty usual that high level gymnasts get injured and require surgeries etc that take 6 to 12 months to heal, so it's actually pretty common that high level gymnasts "take a break" from gymnastics for a while. I know gymnasts who have been off for up to two years due to injuries healing, and then came back gradually and did just fine.

So I think she would be fine, even if she cut down her hours for a year.

Her coaches might think otherwise, and I as a coach would not be super willing to "let go" of a young and potential gymnast like her, but if the options are her losing her interest altogether and eventually quitting, or keeping her in the gym and making her happy, but offering lower hours, I would choose the latter option.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,788
The 'Wood, Ohio
Thanks for your encouraging input!

We’re looking at 12 hours ish of gymnastics, not something done by any level 10’s in our gym. Can imagine a smaller gym would be more co-operative in that way. Ours are very decent and individualistic but is a pretty large gym so not sure how far they would go.
Seems like the conditioning and flexibility for climbing is pretty similar so hoping she can just focus on maintaining her skills… no need for double conditioning.
I think she’s at a bit of a plateau - done 2 years of level 10 and been successful this year, now feels a bit bored looking at another 4 years of the same level before she can go to college. Wants to do something different for the year.
I think she’s done or almost done with puberty growth (over covid and last year) but you never know I guess… she still pretty young plenty can happen.
You’ve all given us plenty to think about!
If you gym would be willing to allow 12ish hours, that would be great. It takes roughly 6.5 hours a week to MAINTAIN skills. If the gym allows the reduction in hours AND will allow her to do less conditioning (knowing exactly what and how much conditioning she does in climbing), then she could maintain her skills (even if she dos go through a growth spurt and has to re-learn or adjust to the new center of gravity, etc) and could even work on little upgrades here and there. Good luck with everything.
 
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JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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@raenndrops & @ldw4mlo Alright... let's play ball then. Explain to me this theory and where you are getting this data from?

My experience is showing me that not only is each gymnast different... but each gymnast is different from there own self at different points. A gymnast that can take off for 3 weeks and seemingly come back with more skills at one point in their life... can't maintain no matter how many hours they do at another point.

Where is this 6.5 hours coming from? What's the rational behind it? I've been in gymnastics for a long time and I have never once heard this... that is why I am asking.

From what I am reading this is a Level 10 thread. We have many many kids that not only maintain... but progress in only 1 hour per week... but they are not Level 10's... they are recreational gymnasts.

Based on the variables in our club and my coaching style / system... I don't believe that I could maintain a group of Level 10's at 6.5 hours per week.
 
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