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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
6,788
The 'Wood, Ohio
@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.
I didn't see that this was a Level 10 thread.
The 6.5 hours a week came from an article I read while I was in college. I forget which journal it was in. I was actually looking for a totally unrelated article, but got distracted when I saw the gymnastics article. It was not talking about upper-level gymnasts. It was talking about gymnasts up to about Level 7/8.
And since I have been involved with our gymnastics team, the 6.5 hours a week to maintain skills for our Optionals seems to be pretty standard. Our girls who get at least 6.5 hours of practice are able to maintain their skills. Those who practice less than that have noticeable trouble maintaining their harder skills.
With the lower levels, they can still get new skills in that time. We also have some Optionals that can get new skills in that time, but that is usually when they are in a small group or are their own group.
I currently work with a group of 1 (sometimes 2). Due to other commitments, my main gymnast is only at the gym 2 days a week for about 1.5 hours a day. Since she is the only one and comes straight from track, warming up doesn't take as long. We can get on the equipment sooner. She does what she needs to do. If she finishes her required numbers of specific skills with extra time, we work on upgrades. She has added a couple new skills since February, and one of them was competition ready for Regionals.
She actually missed a whole week of practice due to track commitments. She went back to gym Thursday. She focused on bars and beam. She has started working a couple of new upgrades on beam. On bars, it was a maintenance day (to protect her hands ... and because she wanted to have plenty of time for beam and conditioning).
 
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Jenny

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Sep 17, 2012
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Do you include conditioning in that time or are those hours just time on pieces and skills. If you did a conditioning programme outside of the 6.5 hours it makes a big difference.
 

Aussie_coach

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I have some kids in Level 9/10 who not only maintain skills, but have learned an enormous number of new skills in a short time and they train around 6.5 hours a week.

These Kids are obviously unusually talented, it hence the inability to put a specific number of hours on it.

And it depends a lot on what you do in those 6.5 hours and possibly even more important is what you don’t do.

I often see programs filled with far too many repetitions. At a certain point any more repetitions becomes pointless, and few more and it actually becomes detrimental.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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6 ish hours is roughly 2 practices a week.

We are not talking about extended time off or uptraining. Or iffy skills.

2 practice a week is enough time for most gymnasts, maintain solid skills. At whatever level they are currently at.

And a L10 gymnast is an athlete who would be conditioning as well.

To add this thread is about a multi year 10. Wanting to do other things requiring strength. And those skills should be solid.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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Her coaches might think otherwise,
Most coaches think otherwise. My experience with coaches in general is their sport is the sport you can’t miss any practices and must be committed year round.

And for many coaches there is a financial component also.

And if Covid has taught us nothing ….. is of course you can miss gym (or insert sport of your choice). And come back/continue on.
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.
Glad you don’t appear to be most coaches
 

Aussie_coach

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Financially gymnastics is different to many other sports. The need for gyms to keep the money flowing in, is different.

Most sports can hire a sporting field or some courts or an empty hall. They need only pay for it when it’s being used. They need minimal equipment too.

Gymnastics clubs need a lot of expensive and specialist equipment. For the most part a very large venue is needed, which is exclusively used by the gym. They need to pay for the venue fully all the time. Not just rent it when they use it.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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Financially gymnastics is different to many other sports. The need for gyms to keep the money flowing in, is different.
need to pay for the venue fully all the time. Not just rent it when they use it.
And that needs to be considered when they are telling you your kid cant reduce their hours.

They have financial stake in keeping the hours up.,
 

JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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6 ish hours is roughly 2 practices a week.

We are not talking about extended time off or uptraining. Or iffy skills.

2 practice a week is enough time for most gymnasts, maintain solid skills. At whatever level they are currently at.

@ldw4mlo There are just far too many variables to state something like this. What is your experience to be stating this?

@rlm's mom So she is an 8th grader? Here's my experience... many athlete's go through things like this at this age. We have a very high level athlete of the same age going through this right now.

You are basically 50/50 on whether she will continue or move on to other things. Knowing and understanding that she will be in a different phase of gymnastics for the next 4 years is one thing that she must understand and want to do... it's different from this point on... more like work... but fun work. The lowest I would drop her is 3 days per week. I would be more in favor of short workouts more days... like 2.5 hours 4x per week.

During these years many girls try other sports and other things. Very quickly their skills that were "solid" can start to degrade. There is always one thing that they forget... the other sport makes them tired too. The rock climbing might not lead to increased upper body strength for the sport of gymnastics. It might lead to more sluggish handstands on bars... just because her arms are tired. The degrading skills then lead to a higher level of demotivation than the hours they were doing before.

Just as people recommend to upgrade hours gradually... I would recommend downgrading somewhat gradually so you can see the results. Many times a small downgrade (like one day per week) can make a huge difference in attitude and motivation.

Really... you never know... just gotta roll the dice and see how it goes.
 

JBS

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Let me add this. One of my daughters is a Level 9... freshman... she is doing track now. Her gymnastics is doing just fine... but never once was hours brought up. She is learning to become more assignment based. She is doing less hours as she is missing due to track... but there was no schedule change... no tuition reduction (of course we coach her so there is no tuition)... our gym does not reduce tuition for other activities.

How many hours does she do... really not sure... don't care... she is getting her assignments done and doing them well.
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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@JBS thanks!! Always appreciated when experience coaches step in.
Yes she is an 8th grader and beginning high school next year so we expect her interests to change a little. I really don’t think she is done or almost done with the sport! She herself seems very intent on maintaining her current skills so she can come back to where she left off when she finishes her climbing season.
DH and I actually met with her coaches recently and discussed it didn’t come to a conclusive answer but this is the compromised they made so far… She needs to attend 4/5 weekly practices or drop to XD. Coaches will prepare her a personalised conditioning plan so she can skip most team conditioning. 2 of those 4 weekly practices will be in the morning - she currently misses one morning of school and will now miss a second morning to train in a smaller group of Hopes/Elite training gymnasts - a much more time-efficient session. 13 hours a week in total. That leaves plenty of time to schedule her climbing sessions in the evening.
Coaches also suggested she doesn’t do a full competitive season next year, only in-house, state etc.
This is total experimentation on our part bc I have no idea how she’ll have the energy for both!!!
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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@JBS thanks!! Always appreciated when experience coaches step in.
Yes she is an 8th grader and beginning high school next year so we expect her interests to change a little. I really don’t think she is done or almost done with the sport! She herself seems very intent on maintaining her current skills so she can come back to where she left off when she finishes her climbing season.
DH and I actually met with her coaches recently and discussed it didn’t come to a conclusive answer but this is the compromised they made so far… She needs to attend 4/5 weekly practices or drop to XD. Coaches will prepare her a personalised conditioning plan so she can skip most team conditioning. 2 of those 4 weekly practices will be in the morning - she currently misses one morning of school and will now miss a second morning to train in a smaller group of Hopes/Elite training gymnasts - a much more time-efficient session. 13 hours a week in total. That leaves plenty of time to schedule her climbing sessions in the evening.
Coaches also suggested she doesn’t do a full competitive season next year, only in-house, state etc.
This is total experimentation on our part bc I have no idea how she’ll have the energy for both!!!
sounds like a good plan. Obviously keep an eye on fatigue and potential injury but I think it's great that your gym has the ability and willingness to modify her training.
 
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ashc925

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Feb 26, 2021
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If you're in Region 3, 6, 7 or 8, they're piloting the new Xcel Sapphire program designed for Level 10s who want to take time off this season. That's obviously up to your coaches and if you're in one of the regions doing it, but just putting it out there!
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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If you're in Region 3, 6, 7 or 8, they're piloting the new Xcel Sapphire program designed for Level 10s who want to take time off this season. That's obviously up to your coaches and if you're in one of the regions doing it, but just putting it out there!
We are in region 8. I’ve never heard of that and assuming our coaches haven’t either! It sounds like something we may want to look into. Where did you hear about this from?
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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We are in region 8. I’ve never heard of that and assuming our coaches haven’t either! It sounds like something we may want to look into. Where did you hear about this from?

Nvm I just googled it. It was released by Usag about 10 days ago and looks promising to me. Not much info about requirements yet but will link her coach and see what they can do. Thanks @ashc925
 

Em09

Gymnast
Fan
Oct 13, 2020
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Australia
It says that the requirements will be out in the summer. I wonder what it'll be like? Sounds like a good opportunity.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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Let me add this. One of my daughters is a Level 9... freshman... she is doing track now. Her gymnastics is doing just fine... but never once was hours brought up. She is learning to become more assignment based. She is doing less hours as she is missing due to track...
so less hours no loss of skills. There you have it
 

mom2newgymnast

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Jul 8, 2014
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@JBS thanks!! Always appreciated when experience coaches step in.
Yes she is an 8th grader and beginning high school next year so we expect her interests to change a little. I really don’t think she is done or almost done with the sport! She herself seems very intent on maintaining her current skills so she can come back to where she left off when she finishes her climbing season.
DH and I actually met with her coaches recently and discussed it didn’t come to a conclusive answer but this is the compromised they made so far… She needs to attend 4/5 weekly practices or drop to XD. Coaches will prepare her a personalised conditioning plan so she can skip most team conditioning. 2 of those 4 weekly practices will be in the morning - she currently misses one morning of school and will now miss a second morning to train in a smaller group of Hopes/Elite training gymnasts - a much more time-efficient session. 13 hours a week in total. That leaves plenty of time to schedule her climbing sessions in the evening.
Coaches also suggested she doesn’t do a full competitive season next year, only in-house, state etc.
This is total experimentation on our part bc I have no idea how she’ll have the energy for both!!!
That's great that your daughter's gym is willing to work with you and try to make this work. I"m really impressed! I really hope it works out!
 
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Em09

Gymnast
Fan
Oct 13, 2020
153
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Australia
I just read something about Sapphire?? I don't know if it's accurate or not, but it seems some requirements are there? Probably not anything serious if USAG hasn't said anything. The site acknowledges that USAG hasn't said anything.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,788
The 'Wood, Ohio
I just read something about Sapphire?? I don't know if it's accurate or not, but it seems some requirements are there? Probably not anything serious if USAG hasn't said anything. The site acknowledges that USAG hasn't said anything.
From USAG:
USA Gymnastics is pleased to announce the launch of an Xcel Sapphire Division - Pilot Program for the 2022-23 season. The Sapphire Division will provide a division above Diamond for those upper-level gymnasts who want to continue in the sport.

"The National Xcel Committee is very excited to provide an opportunity for athletes to experience a more challenging division that will allow them to grow and progress within the philosophy of the Xcel Program. This will be a pilot year and we look forward to receiving feedback from the membership to help the program grow," said National Xcel Committee Chairman Claudia Kretschmer.

Regions 3, 6, 7, and 8 have volunteered to pilot the Sapphire Division next season. Formal Sapphire rules are in development and will be released this summer separate from the Code of Points. USA Gymnastics also plans to provide further information on the pilot program at upcoming Regional and National Congress events this summer.

Here is what USAG has so far as regarding the rules for Sapphire:
Rules Overview of the Xcel Sapphire Division - Pilot Program
 
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