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rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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DD may be a multi-year level 10 and obviously has plenty of talent making it so far but have pretty low expectations of next year. Whereas this year her goal was nationals and we thought there was a good chance she would qualify (she did!), next year we’re prepared for her to be further down the field. And that’s fine!
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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DD may be a multi-year level 10 and obviously has plenty of talent making it so far but have pretty low expectations of next year. Whereas this year her goal was nationals and we thought there was a good chance she would qualify (she did!), next year we’re prepared for her to be further down the field. And that’s fine!
this is key - her and the coach's expectations. You never know, she may be able maintain her high level performance but would be best to temper the expectations. If the coaches are willing to work with the new schedule, she deserves a shot at trying it. I am not sure how the 6.5 hrs came into the conversation but the 12 hrs you were talking about seems doable with outside conditioning and targeted training when she is in the gym.

Can't wait to hear how it all goes! When does she start competing in climbing?
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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Can't wait to hear how it all goes! When does she start competing in climbing?
First competition in November I think. Similar time to gymnastics. I can’t get my head around the different levels - one sport is enough for me! We’re not sure if she’ll do level 1 or 2, once she ups her climbing hours we’ll see how she does and make a decision. There are only 4 levels, much bigger gap between levels.
We’re headed to nationals this weekend and she’s joining their team in 3 weeks. Looking forward:)
 

Tigtimes

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May 12, 2015
243
DD may be a multi-year level 10 and obviously has plenty of talent making it so far but have pretty low expectations of next year. Whereas this year her goal was nationals and we thought there was a good chance she would qualify (she did!), next year we’re prepared for her to be further down the field. And that’s fine!
My earlier comment was in reply to the 6.5 hours. Climbing is awesome, I come from a family of climbers. Think it will help her conditioning as they use their legs differently and gymnasts. Good luck and hope she has fun !
 
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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
114
I am a parent of a multi year Level 10. She is a Junior in high school and this is her 6th year as a Level 10. My daughter currently would not be able to maintain at 6.5 hours per week. This is easy for me to say as I have coached her for her entire life.

She has worked out anywhere from 30 hours per week (during her Hopes times) to zero hours per week to let her body heal. Any time we get down to the lower side of the hours we start to slide and our skills no longer cut like a knife. This puts us at a high risk for injury and we have to come up with a plan to get back up to speed. We have to have a plan to move the skills from soft surfaces and trampolines back to live surfaces. For my daughter... this always takes time.

This is the perspective of a parent who's daughter is trying to maintain the skills for 10.0 to 10.1 start value routines on all events.
This is probably totally crazy of me, but am I the only one bothered when a parent or coach (or in this situation both) refers to everything as "we"? Like this middle paragraph, you aren't the one risking injury, she is. Anytime I see this a little red flag goes up and I wonder if the parent/coach is finding their identity in the athletes ability.
 

JBS

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This is probably totally crazy of me, but am I the only one bothered when a parent or coach (or in this situation both) refers to everything as "we"? Like this middle paragraph, you aren't the one risking injury, she is. Anytime I see this a little red flag goes up and I wonder if the parent/coach is finding their identity in the athletes ability.

You're right... I don't like the way I typed the paragraph either. That is actually a rule with our team... "you" as a coach don't get the skill for the athlete... "she" gets / learns it. Here you go...

She has worked out anywhere from 30 hours per week (during her Hopes times) to zero hours per week to let her body heal. Any time she got down to the lower side of the hours she started to slide and her skills no longer cut like a knife. This puts her at a high risk for injury and we had to come up with a plan to get back up to speed. We had to have a plan to move the skills from soft surfaces and trampolines back to live surfaces. For my daughter... this always takes time.

I would like to argue with the "risking injury" statement that you made though. I have actually been injured spotting her. And this was during a time of lower hours when she was trying to build back up. She was not injured... I was. I should have held her back more... however... I did not. I allowed her to move forward as long as it was with my spot.

Risk of coach injury is very real on the job.
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
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This is probably totally crazy of me, but am I the only one bothered when a parent or coach (or in this situation both) refers to everything as "we"? Like this middle paragraph, you aren't the one risking injury, she is. Anytime I see this a little red flag goes up and I wonder if the parent/coach is finding their identity in the athletes ability.
I’m a little less concerned when a coach uses it verses a parent, and I think here he seems to be speaking from a coach’s perspective rather than a parent. The coach is putting in the hours and is putting in work same as the athlete, it’s just a different type of work. And “we” is appropriate in the context of forming a plan for training.
 

Happyfeet

Proud Parent
Mar 2, 2021
11
Wow... a little late to the party but what an interesting read.

OP- I'm glad it seems like your daughter and coaches have a plan in place for next year. Also, found your thoughts about wishing to have made a slower plan so she didn't get to level 10 and get bored so fast interesting.

This 6.5 hrs thing seems to be a hot topic and has me interested. I think it all depends on what counts as gymnastics training. I do wonder if an experienced hard working level 10 was in the gym by themselves (no waiting around) could maintain skills. I do wonder if you did 30mins on each apparatus (run through routine, do 3-5 reps of sloppy or missed skills and then another run through of routine). You might also be able to steal some extra time from vault if you were just maintaining one vault. You could do this three times a week for a total of 6hrs. You would have to add half an hour each day for warm ups, stretching which would put you at 7.5hrs.

I think the bigger challenge than actually maintaining the skills is developing a fitness program to be able to do the skills and not losing any muscle mass. I had some friends that used to do gym and switched to cheer. One day at the gym they decided to practice their old routines: floor no problem, vault no problem, beam a little wobbly but not a big deal. Bars - a grand mess! No one had the upper body strength left to do hardly any of a routine. Flexibility would be the same you'd have to work this in as well in order not to lose it. This could be done outside of gym time either in combination with another sport, crossfit or independently with advice from coach or personal trainer.

This is all hypothetical I'm not sure I'd head out and try it but if I had a kid interested in something in addition to gym I might try it and see. I also wonder if a smaller training schedule could be used to maintain through school year or for a couple of months during another sport season with increased hours in summer and school holidays
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
260
39
Wow... a little late to the party but what an interesting read.

OP- I'm glad it seems like your daughter and coaches have a plan in place for next year. Also, found your thoughts about wishing to have made a slower plan so she didn't get to level 10 and get bored so fast interesting.

This 6.5 hrs thing seems to be a hot topic and has me interested. I think it all depends on what counts as gymnastics training. I do wonder if an experienced hard working level 10 was in the gym by themselves (no waiting around) could maintain skills. I do wonder if you did 30mins on each apparatus (run through routine, do 3-5 reps of sloppy or missed skills and then another run through of routine). You might also be able to steal some extra time from vault if you were just maintaining one vault. You could do this three times a week for a total of 6hrs. You would have to add half an hour each day for warm ups, stretching which would put you at 7.5hrs.

I think the bigger challenge than actually maintaining the skills is developing a fitness program to be able to do the skills and not losing any muscle mass. I had some friends that used to do gym and switched to cheer. One day at the gym they decided to practice their old routines: floor no problem, vault no problem, beam a little wobbly but not a big deal. Bars - a grand mess! No one had the upper body strength left to do hardly any of a routine. Flexibility would be the same you'd have to work this in as well in order not to lose it. This could be done outside of gym time either in combination with another sport, crossfit or independently with advice from coach or personal trainer.

This is all hypothetical I'm not sure I'd head out and try it but if I had a kid interested in something in addition to gym I might try it and see. I also wonder if a smaller training schedule could be used to maintain through school year or for a couple of months during another sport season with increased hours in summer and school holidays
Interesting about maintaining strength… I’ve heard others say bars is the quickest they lose when they quit and it makes sense!
DD will be doing conditioning with her climbing team. Upper body is of most importance to them so shouldn’t be our problem.
Flexibility is not lost quickly. Most gymnasts say their body hardens a little bit but they remain pretty flexible their whole life. I did gymnastics as a kid and quit at 15 and I can still do my splits!
 
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JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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I'm just going to throw a link in here as it does relate to this thread in a roundabout sort of way.


Gyms may or may not have Level 10's at higher hours to charge more tuition. In some cases (using some pricing models)... it would make more sense financially to have a lower hour Level 10 team.
 
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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
114
Interesting about maintaining strength… I’ve heard others say bars is the quickest they lose when they quit and it makes sense!
DD will be doing conditioning with her climbing team. Upper body is of most importance to them so shouldn’t be our problem.
Flexibility is not lost quickly. Most gymnasts say their body hardens a little bit but they remain pretty flexible their whole life. I did gymnastics as a kid and quit at 15 and I can still do my splits!
rlm, I just wanted to agree with Happyfeet, I appreciate you being open and honest about your feelings on getting to level 10 so early.

I know that every gymnast has a different path but hearing your story did feel like some balance brought to that (possibly mostly internal) push to move up levels quickly!
 

JBS

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I think the bigger challenge than actually maintaining the skills is developing a fitness program to be able to do the skills and not losing any muscle mass.

Above is the biggest key in my opinion.

Also... the link I shared above is another little key. There are definitely clubs that are not making money on Level 10's. For example... a small square footage club with hundreds of kids on the waiting list for recreational gymnastics could potentially drop the Level 10's and make much more money by filling the space with recreational gymnastics. If it would be more beneficial financially for some clubs to do lower hours at Level 10... then what is actually holding them back from doing lower hours?
 

Muddlethru

Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2011
3,531
Knowing and seeing kids getting it done doesn’t qualify?

Exactly what experience would qualify?
I have to agree with JBS. Watching from the parent’s viewing section and even hearing from gymnast and parents is a world of difference between truth and fact. Some kids and parents underestimate or exaggerate training info. In addition, you indicated your gym doesn’t have Level 9s or 10s. It is a huge jump from even Level 9 to Level 10. I may agree 6.5 practice hours may be ok to maintain Level 8 and below skills but not enough to maintain Level 10 skills with 10 Start values and the coveted E skills. Being actively involved in the training (i.e., a coach) and training the Level is definitely more reliable and qualified.

To OP, my daughter was also a 6 year level 10. Unfortunately, she had so many injuries and surgeries throughout her gymnastics career. So I’m privy to long breaks, limited practice hours and getting skills back. She is a junior in an Ivy team right now. The Ivy teams are not the strongest in the Div 1 teams because the pool of gymnasts that can apply is smaller because of SAT and GPA requirements but also once in the team, the coaches give academics a priority. Pressure from coaches to do well, attend all practices, work through pain is almost non-existent. Ivies, at least the team my daughter is in also strictly adheres to the NCAA 20 hour practice rule which includes not only actual practice but any time the team gets together even if it is for a fun activity. So, they probably average about 15 hours of actual practice. I will say while this is enough to “maintain” their skills, the execution suffers. They have team members who have done very well in JO but skills and execution has suffered because of the less hours.

I think it is so wonderful that you are supporting your daughter. Rock climbing is a great sport. My son did not do competitive rock climbing but is (or was, two falls from a mountain, one his equipment saved him, the other he was airlifted by two helicopters changed that-but so grateful he is fine) a rock climber. But as far as your daughter’s gymnastics is concerned, college gymnasts have been doing the same skills for 4-8+ years. So muscle memory kicks in and they get the skills back pretty quickly. Two years? The skills may or may not still be in the vulnerable stage. But I am guessing your daughter is pretty talented and she’ll be fine taking a year of less practice hours. Let me also say however that college scholarships are even more competitive than ever and she’ll be vying for spots against gymnasts who have not taken a break. All these may or may not be an issue, but worth considering. Good luck to your daughter. She has a good support system in you.
 
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rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
260
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rlm, I just wanted to agree with Happyfeet, I appreciate you being open and honest about your feelings on getting to level 10 so early.

I know that every gymnast has a different path but hearing your story did feel like some balance brought to that (possibly mostly internal) push to move up levels quickly!
I don’t know what I could have done differently… DD is a talented kid and needed to be pushed when she was. I couldn’t have slowed her down. Possibly I could have put her into another sport alongside gymnastics. She is an extremely energetic kid. No regrets
 
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rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
260
39
Let me also say however that college scholarships are even more competitive than ever and she’ll be vying for spots against gymnasts who have not taken a break. All these may or may not be an issue, but worth considering
One of my worries! But she’ll be back fully for her sophomore year which is one of the main recruiting years so hope it won’t be a problem. Recruiting window begins soon for my older one!