For Parents DD desparate to do more and compete

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Deedee

Banned
Proud Parent
Jan 4, 2018
104
Make sure when looking at her splits if her hips are square or if she is overcompensating with her hips. So if she is in left or right leg splits if it looks like her hips are in middle split with just her torso facing one way then she is not doing it correctly
 

Deedee

Banned
Proud Parent
Jan 4, 2018
104
They may also test shoulder flexibility if she can do a bridge an her legs are straight and shoulders pushed. Aswell as ankle levers so how long she can go up and down on her ankles one leg and both legs. As well as leg lifts when holding onto a bar how many times she can lift her legs up to the bar with straight legs
 

Deedee

Banned
Proud Parent
Jan 4, 2018
104
Few examples of what I mean
 

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mumof3

Proud Parent
Aug 13, 2017
12
36
Hi there,

Just wanted to add my experience- I'm also in the UK, and have found the whole UK system really confusing- what with all the different kinds of grades, and levels, and the age requirements etc. I couldn't work out in amongst that where the place was for a child like mine- aged 7, enjoying gymnastics, wanting to do it more seriously, but starting what felt like 'late', and not having the skills/ability asked for in regional/national/compulsory grades which was the info I could find readily online from British Gymnastics.

I got some great advice on here, and moved her from a leisure centre class to an actual club that offered competitive gymnastics and more hours of gymnastics a week. I didn't actually ask about squads, etc, when we joined- just popped her in once a week. Shortly after they moved her up a group, and then another, and now she's in a competitive group, but at a beginner level, and goes four hours a week- which is more than enough of a time commitment for me at this stage! She's enjoying herself, learning new things, and far from being too old to take part, is actually among the youngest in her group, where there are children aged between 7-12. I imagine most of them will never take any of those complicated, technical grades, but there is a place for a child like mine to enjoy the sport, and to grow as a gymnast/person at a level where she's pushing herself, and achieving, and having fun.

I'd second those who have said- just ask at your club what the process is, and what the path might be toward your daughter doing more of what she loves.

I hope it works out!
 
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Theunpreparedmum

Proud Parent
Sep 18, 2017
16
Thanks for the photos Deedee, I was going to say your post sounded another language to me.
Not sure if her splits are quite like they should be but they are not like the top image either. Re the bridge I assume the first photo is not the correct form and the second is. She can do the second but doesnt always do it as I dont think they were made to do it perfect everytime at the dance school class and at the current class on the times I have watched I've not seen them to bridges, I'll have to ask dad if he's seen them do them. She can kick out of a bridge and do handstand bridge kickout if thats any good?
Mumof3 thank you so much for confirming that we may still have time to work on perfecting things. Could you tell me what I search for to find the skills required for compulsory, national etc.
How long from starting to moving groups to then another and another was it for your daughter and did you see any particularr skills/strength etc achieved before moving up groups?
My DD would probably be similiar to yours and be more than happy with 4 hours a week knowing she will get to compete sometime in the near future and learning new things.
I will let her practise some of the things a bit more than ask about routes available for her in a few months.
Thank you all again
 

mumof3

Proud Parent
Aug 13, 2017
12
36
Hiya- this resource might help- found it on the British Gymnastics website. It is quite technical, and only shows Club, Regional and National Grades (not compulsory) but will give an idea of what girls doing those pathways would be expected to achieve.

Here it is: https://memberportal.british-gymnas...tDocuments/9045_NDP Grades Book 2018-2021.pdf

My daughter isn't doing any of these kinds of grades though (just local competitions, and in fact hasn't even done the first one yet- the first two are in June), so they don't have to be the be all and end all for your daughter (though of course one of those pathways might be perfect for her!) It seemed to me at first like this was all that was offered, and the age requirements (in age and out of age categories) were also confusing- so I thought there was nothing more serious than rec for girls who were not progressing at that rate/hadn't started in time to reach that level in a competition at those ages. But there is!

Regarding speed of moving up, she moved into a more advanced rec class within a couple of weeks, but it took longer to move to the competition group. For her, I think the reason it took longer was because she wasn't confident doing a backbend without a spot for some time- so mental attitude/confidence definitely played into it as well. In fact, I think not having that confidence with backwards skills is why she wasn't moved to a development pathway in the club at the beginning. There was talk of that to begin with, but it didn't pan out after assessment. So what they look for for squad kids might not necessarily always be skill/ability related. I don't mind either way- she's happy where she is now, and enjoys what she does. I think the only way to know what they're looking for at your club specifically would be to ask- I imagine it's different at every club, and for every discipline.
 

Taxidriver

Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2016
217
Hi Taxidriver,

The majority look to be regional.
If majority are regional I would guess they are not an elite club so less likely to be super picky (I could be wrong)
I wouldn’t worry about looking into what skills are needed for National/regional/compulsory grades as different clubs have different philosophies about how well they need to be able to do the moves for grades eg my dd club strives for perfection and will only enter a girl for grades if they will pass with ease and a very good chance of distinction other clubs are happy with their girls just passing a grade. Also the moves my dd competes the rest of the year are much harder than grades.
Remember every gym has a different process for girls moving from rec to squad and different levels of commitment depending on what level they compete at, 7 yr olds at my dd gym who are on the compulsory route train I think 12hrs a week where as my friends 7 yr old at another gym competing at county level trains 4-6 hrs a week I think.
Your best bet is to talk to the gym you are at.
 

Annikins

Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2017
190
47
I would take her for a trial sooner rather than later. It's never too late, but the later you start, the more your options are limited. I'd say at 7, she probably won't be able to do the compulsory grades, as you can only do those at certain ages, and unless she is unbelievably talented and has a very ambitious coach, it's unlikely she'll get the skills in time for those. But very few girls do. At the lowest compulsory grade last year in our region (6 counties), only 5 girls made it!
So, onto the other grades. The National and Regional grades both start with Club grade 6 and then 5, and then her coach will choose whether to do National or Regional 4 depending on how she's getting on by then. This is a good route for anyone who is fairly committed - the hours are still quite high, and the standard quite good by the time they get to grade 1. Most clubs call these training groups 'elite'.
The other grades are the county grades. These are limited to those people training I think it's 6 hours per week. Anyone training more than that is not allowed to enter them, so it gives the girls who want to enjoy competitive gymnastics but not devote their lives to it, a fun place to compete. The standard expected is not as high as the others, as you would expect because they don't train the same hours, but it's good fun and they still learn somersaults and things. These groups are generally called 'elite rec'.
I would look for a club that offers as many of these options as possible, because then the coaches will guide her the right direction, depending on her talent and the commitment you want to put in. If you go to a club that only offers eg regional or county grades, she won't have the opportunity to do national grades, even if she's good enough.
Hope that helps!
 

Annikins

Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2017
190
47
Sorry, forgot to say about team gym. Around here hardly anyone does it, but if you can find a place, it does look like fun! I think they do vault, don't they? Certainly the do trampette, which would be sort of similar. Good luck!
 
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Theunpreparedmum

Proud Parent
Sep 18, 2017
16
Thank you all for the further replies.
Mumof3 thanks for the link, far too much for me to fully understand and shows how much more there is for DD to learn. I saw a video of someone in an higher group than DD learning a backbend kickover which DD can do so really don't know the process to move up.
Taxidriver don't think DD would want 12 hours well not just yet but really wants to learn more.
Annikins I've told her how much info all you lovely people have given me and she really likes the idea of teamgym so off to search for one but says she would be happy to learn more on beam and bars aswell. She says wants to learn and will show them how much she wants it and asked her dad if she can spend her Christmas pennies on bars for in the garden.
Thank you all once again.
 
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OzZee

Proud Parent
Apr 19, 2012
2,757
There are also floor and vault squads which might suit your daughter. Less hours and think you said she likes vault and floor.
 

wandrewsjr

Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 4, 2009
2,471
Thank you all for the further replies.
Mumof3 thanks for the link, far too much for me to fully understand and shows how much more there is for DD to learn. I saw a video of someone in an higher group than DD learning a backbend kickover which DD can do so really don't know the process to move up.
Taxidriver don't think DD would want 12 hours well not just yet but really wants to learn more.
Annikins I've told her how much info all you lovely people have given me and she really likes the idea of teamgym so off to search for one but says she would be happy to learn more on beam and bars aswell. She says wants to learn and will show them how much she wants it and asked her dad if she can spend her Christmas pennies on bars for in the garden.
Thank you all once again.
I don't have anything useful to add, but, oh my goodness, "asked her dad if she can spend her Christmas pennies on bars for in the garden" is the sweetest gymnastics sentence I've ever read!:)
 

Theunpreparedmum

Proud Parent
Sep 18, 2017
16
Just to say thank you all for your help.
Maybe it's a moment or whatever it is but DD says she is giving up gymnastics forever and doesnt want me to find out about a trial process because she is rubbish and will never get on the team!
This all happened last week after two girls were picked to moved up and DD says they can't do something of the things she does so if she is still in the "baby class" then she will never get to demo what she can do and she must be rubbish because she's not been moved up.
Her school teacher says she recognises hard work leads to success but I think from the conversation last night she is frustrated that she isn't get to show them what she can do!
Hopfully it's just a blip because she's been so passionate until now but says what is the point of practicising, practising, practising at home if she can demonstrate anything :-(
 
Jul 21, 2017
179
28
1. I would say tell her she needs to finish the term, because she made a commitment. Chances are she will get over it shortly. & resume to enjoying class

2. Explain to her in an age appropriate way that maybe the other girls have different skills such as good listening skills, good conditioning, good taking corrections, or maybe they are a different age (thus qualifying for a new group). Having it a 'know it all attitude' does not help kids progress in this sport. And maybe because your DD has all the 'skills' she thinks she is better. But better doesn't always mean who has the most skills.

3. Don't let her practice at home.

4. I say this as caring as possible: I THINK she is feeding off of you and your disappointment or desires. Back off, let her love the sport for her own reasons.
 

Annikins

Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2017
190
47
I would still say get her assessed as a trial somewhere as soon as possible, as then you know where you stand. If they say yes, that will boost her confidence and probably her enthusiasm because someone believes in her. If they say no, then maybe it's time to look at other options. Maybe cheerleading? Still get to do some tumbling, along with other stunts too, and they look for slightly different things to gymnastics?
 
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Theunpreparedmum

Proud Parent
Sep 18, 2017
16
Bit concerned why I need to back off, I haven't done anything and will support her in whatever her choice is.
She is or was passionate about this sport, more than anything else but I'm told via school she is a bright girl and therefore she is aware of things and sees people move up.
Is there a reason for no practice at home?
Thank you Annikins, I'll see what happens the next few weeks, maybe it could all be different and she wants to try again :) Cheerleading sounds a possibility if not.
 
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Taxidriver

Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2016
217
Bit concerned why I need to back off, I haven't done anything and will support her in whatever her choice is.
She is or was passionate about this sport, more than anything else but I'm told via school she is a bright girl and therefore she is aware of things and sees people move up.
Is there a reason for no practice at home?
Thank you Annikins, I'll see what happens the next few weeks, maybe it could all be different and she wants to try again :) Cheerleading sounds a possibility if not.

I think the reason you were told to back off is that those who have been around squad gymnastics for a while have seen many children quit due to the parents being more invested than the kids and putting kids under too much pressure (I’m not saying you are as it’s hard to tell one way or the other from a few posts)
I think you were told no practice at home is that bad habits are hard to correct, I know my dd gym coaches hate it when kids learn new skills at home as muscle memory is hard to correct!
Why does she refer to it as a baby class?
With gymnastics I think you have to not compare yourself to others, just on improving yourself as some skills come easier to some than others.
Also coaches look at things differently to kids eg child A has 10 skills whereas child B only has 5 skills so child A thinks they are better however coaches see child B has all those skills perfectly so are ready to progress whereas child A has more skills but none are perfect so not ready to progress.
 
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Theunpreparedmum

Proud Parent
Sep 18, 2017
16
Hi Taxi, was about to log on to say we have had a chat on the way to school after posting on here yesterday and noticed your reply so will attempt to address it based on this mornings chat.
Regarding back off, I think I mentioned earlier on, I would much prefer her to be a competive swimmer or dancer, not as expensive and not as many hours needed to be able to compete but it was/is DD who wants/wanted gymnastics.
All the things she practices at home are what she's been taught in the dance school gymnastics lessons, or rather the majority are so hopefully she will have beeen taught correctly, although again with my inexperience I wouldnt have a clue whats right and whats wrong.
I've never heard her use the word baby class until recently but based on our chat this morning I think its possibly a few reasons:
In the dance school gymnastics she's been lead to believe she was fairly good (one of three under 8's in the junior class) so isn't finding walking on the beam and forward and backwards rolls challenging.
In the first few weeks of the new class she said a couple of coaches said well done, lovely xxxx, excellent xxxx but now they don't.
She apparently asked when they will do xxx and xxxx and was told they don't do xxxx and xxxx in this class.
Finally the two girls moving up is confusing to a seven a year old. Athough after chatting this morning and explaining what I was told on here hopefully she understands. I will pass your 5 skills correctly or 10 skills poorly on.
Sadly she is a confused 7 year old and replying to you now makes me realise that although she is an hardworker, listens, practices, conditions etc that actually she maybe is quite mature enough for more at the moment.
Thank you all and maybe I will be back with an update in 6 -12 months.
 

Taxidriver

Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2016
217
Hi Taxi, was about to log on to say we have had a chat on the way to school after posting on here yesterday and noticed your reply so will attempt to address it based on this mornings chat.
Regarding back off, I think I mentioned earlier on, I would much prefer her to be a competive swimmer or dancer, not as expensive and not as many hours needed to be able to compete but it was/is DD who wants/wanted gymnastics.
All the things she practices at home are what she's been taught in the dance school gymnastics lessons, or rather the majority are so hopefully she will have beeen taught correctly, although again with my inexperience I wouldnt have a clue whats right and whats wrong.
I've never heard her use the word baby class until recently but based on our chat this morning I think its possibly a few reasons:
In the dance school gymnastics she's been lead to believe she was fairly good (one of three under 8's in the junior class) so isn't finding walking on the beam and forward and backwards rolls challenging.
In the first few weeks of the new class she said a couple of coaches said well done, lovely xxxx, excellent xxxx but now they don't.
She apparently asked when they will do xxx and xxxx and was told they don't do xxxx and xxxx in this class.
Finally the two girls moving up is confusing to a seven a year old. Athough after chatting this morning and explaining what I was told on here hopefully she understands. I will pass your 5 skills correctly or 10 skills poorly on.
Sadly she is a confused 7 year old and replying to you now makes me realise that although she is an hardworker, listens, practices, conditions etc that actually she maybe is quite mature enough for more at the moment.
Thank you all and maybe I will be back with an update in 6 -12 months.
As I said I’m not necessarily saying you need to back off just explaining why it was said.
Also regarding practicing at home it conjures up images of kids trying to learn new skills where as I get the impression from your last post it sounds like she is just practicing simple skills she has already been taught, my dd you couldn’t stop from handstands, cartwheels etc but even though she can do far harder skills now it’s only the simple stuff she is allowed to do at home as anything more isn’t safe.
Gymnastics is a tough sport and there will be times where different kids get moved ahead and others don’t, my dd has at times been the one to be moved ahead when others have but she has also had the opposite at a different time where she didn’t get moved ahead when other did. It doesn’t get much easier as they get older but is particularly tough at 7 to understand, the thing I always try to emphasise to my dd is the most important thing is that she’s having fun and not to compare herself to others.
Have you asked your gym you are at how it works getting onto squad?
 
Jul 21, 2017
179
28
Bit concerned why I need to back off, I haven't done anything and will support her in whatever her choice is.
She is or was passionate about this sport, more than anything else but I'm told via school she is a bright girl and therefore she is aware of things and sees people move up.
Is there a reason for no practice at home?
Thank you Annikins, I'll see what happens the next few weeks, maybe it could all be different and she wants to try again :) Cheerleading sounds a possibility if not.

Hi Taxi, was about to log on to say we have had a chat on the way to school after posting on here yesterday and noticed your reply so will attempt to address it based on this mornings chat.
Regarding back off, I think I mentioned earlier on, I would much prefer her to be a competive swimmer or dancer, not as expensive and not as many hours needed to be able to compete but it was/is DD who wants/wanted gymnastics.
All the things she practices at home are what she's been taught in the dance school gymnastics lessons, or rather the majority are so hopefully she will have beeen taught correctly, although again with my inexperience I wouldnt have a clue whats right and whats wrong.
I've never heard her use the word baby class until recently but based on our chat this morning I think its possibly a few reasons:
In the dance school gymnastics she's been lead to believe she was fairly good (one of three under 8's in the junior class) so isn't finding walking on the beam and forward and backwards rolls challenging.
In the first few weeks of the new class she said a couple of coaches said well done, lovely xxxx, excellent xxxx but now they don't.
She apparently asked when they will do xxx and xxxx and was told they don't do xxxx and xxxx in this class.
Finally the two girls moving up is confusing to a seven a year old. Athough after chatting this morning and explaining what I was told on here hopefully she understands. I will pass your 5 skills correctly or 10 skills poorly on.
Sadly she is a confused 7 year old and replying to you now makes me realise that although she is an hardworker, listens, practices, conditions etc that actually she maybe is quite mature enough for more at the moment.
Thank you all and maybe I will be back with an update in 6 -12 months.

I'll just address the bolded for you:

1. "was passionate" - If every gymnast quit when they said "I hate gymnastics I want to quit" there would be no athletes left in this sport. It is a very involved activity and like anything in life, there are really good days, and really bad days. If the "I want to quit" attitude persists, absolutely let her quit & find a new activity. Like someone said above Cheerleading is a great alternative, I myself competed for almost 10 years in cheerleading after gymnastics. But with that said, just because a 7 year old said she doesn't like gymnastics and wants to quit - I would use this as a teaching opportunity to say "you've made a commitment, lets finish our obligation and we can re evaluate at the end of the term". Chances are, when they start doing something 'new' or she has a good practice, she will forget all about wanting to quit. The exception to that would be if your daughter is in imminent danger or an abusive coaching situation, I of course would say to pull her from the program immediately (but that doesn't sound like the case).

2. Having a 'chat' with a 7 year old is good. You should talk and engage with your children and get their side of the story. But as the parent, you have to also understand that even though she is mature in way she can read situations (as per her teachers), she is still only 7 years old, and the way a 7 year old processes information or social cues (i.e. a coach saying good job on xxx or praising another athlete) could be misinterpreted or at least is not at the capacity of a full grown adult. So you have to take what your child said, and then request clarification or a 'second side of the story' from her coaches, & deduct your own logical conclusions based on the information provided from both the coaching party & your child. For example, I didn't make the team I wanted in cheer when i was 13 (!!! 6 years older than your DD) and I took it so personally, and I said "my coach hated me" and "he was playing favorites with other athletes"... when in actuality, he was looking for different skills to fill the position on the team. Kids & even teenagers misinterpret stuff all the time.

3. Of course she is taught the skill correctly when she is in class. But the problem is, when kids go home & practice new skills or skills they learned in class, there is not a coach there to give corrections or verbal cues like: "squeeze your legs" or "Stand up tall" and then without those reminders & coaching, children will develop bad muscle memory and this becomes very difficult to correct. Gymnastics is best left in the gym.

4. Gymnastics will ALWAYS be about the basics. For her to move up in the levels, she will always come back to just "walking on beam" or "doing rolls". Seriously. Watch upper level optional gymnasts (lv. 8/9/10), they routinely drill shapes, and "basics" like walking, kicks, hollow holds, handstands, rolls, cartwheels etc. Gymnasts cannot be bored with these basics because they are necessary, and will be required to be drilled for as long as she is involved in the sport. It only helps her, and makes her better & stronger. Again, something a 7 year old could have a hard time understanding unless explained to her.

5. Learning XXXX skill or YYYY skill might not be taught in those classes because she does not have 'perfect' basics like I said in point #4. Gymnastics is about perfection before progression. And progressions will come easier if her basics are perfect. The sport is a marathon not a sprint. Again, like I said in point #2, there could be reasons that your daughter is not privy to as to why coaches are not working certain skills with her yet. Ultimately, having a discussion with them will clarify this for you, and you can relay the message age-appropriately to your daughter.
 
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