Parents DD's 3rd Meet-and ??s (long)

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I don't post a lot here, lurk, though. I'm so new to the world of gym, that it is all still a little overwhelming ;)

DD is 6 (competes as 7) and a first year level 4. She LOVES gymnastics, LOVES her coach, and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES meets! BUT, she is consistantly scoring on the bottom end. I guess I'm way too competitive (working on that LOL!). She really doesn't care, though, about the scores!! So maybe I shouldn't ??

Floor-9.0 (but I think they were scoring high because she got 4th out of 5). Her teammate that got first got a 9.3, so there obviously wasn't a lot of difference in the floor scores???

Bars-fell off on the mill circle, and doesn't have it yet, anyway, and got-7.5

Vault-not sure what her problem was here, it's like she wanted to sit up too fast, so she never fully landed (not sure of all the technical terms, so please excuse me on those). She normally does better on this, got 8.4.

Beam-She hadn't gotten her dismount until a week ago and was soooo proud to do it at the meet, and landed it ok, but the rest of the routine, which she normally does pretty good on, was AWFUL, all wobbly, and she fell off, it was just bad, BUT she got her dismount ;) I think she was so worried about her dismount, she forgot about the rest of the routine! Got a 6.1

Her last meet was pretty good, but she froze on the floor (her best event) and ended up with a 2! If she would've gotten an 8, she would've scored 1st AA, she ended up 1st (out of 5) bars, 3rd vault and beam. BUT, she was also scored with six year olds. Meet before that she scored 9th out of 12 AA, with 7 year olds.

She loves it, so I guess that's the main thing. But I don't like to see her in the bottom all the time. She is the youngest on the team, and will always be young in her age group, unless they divide them up into half years, because her bday is in February, and cutoff is in March. Could the age be it?? She's also a goof, which I totally love about her, and spends time making her friends laugh instead of paying attention all the time.

Our gym seems to move the girls up each year, and I know DD wants to go to level 5 because she's constantly talking about it, but if she's scoring in the bottom, would moving her up be the best thing?? I'd hate to hold her back if all her friends are moving to level 5. But if holding her back helps her be more successful, than I don't think that would be a bad thing either.

I guess I just need a pep talk ;) Thanks for "listening"!
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Honestly, at 6, I don't think they "get it" about scores, placements, etc. My DD was 6 competing Level 4. She turned 6 just 1.5 months before the season started, literally she was the 2nd youngest gymnast in the entire STATE that year. She started her season at 23.6 or something ridiculous like that but she was happy as a clam just to be out there and performing. She couldn't vault b/c she didn't weigh enough to spring off the board, she couldn't do her bar routine correctly b/c she was too tiny to touch down after the first hip circle and she had trouble with her mill circle b/c her hands were too small! But never once did she cry about not getting a ribbon even though some of her older teammates did! She finished out the season at around 32+ almost a full 10 points higher than her first meet!

Second year, she moved up to L5 and struggled there, but at least she didn't have to do the mill circle anymore. She did ok, even stood on the podium at States for her beam routine! Although our gym is also one who moves girls up quickly, they made an "exception" and kept DD back this year. So she is doing a 2nd year of Level 5 as an 8 yr old. Her entire level 5 team moved up without her, and at first she was upset about it, but we (me and coaches) have been able to convince her that she is going to have an awesome season as a repeater.

Sorry I'm rambling....but my point is BTDT and even though staying back might initially make your DD feel sad, in the long run she, too, will figure out that she will have more time to learn and perfect skills.
I'd say if she is happy, then don't worry about it. Like your DD, mine thinks meets are games and is a big goof. Before much longer, they reach an age when they start to notice and usually at that time they get more serious about what they want to accomplish (or not for those who prefer to move on to things besides gymnastics).

As for "moving up" with the group... This topic can be the woes of many a gymnast and parent and it doesn't seem to go away at any level. Try to maintain good communication with the coaches and help your daughter understand why she is or isn't ready to move when the time comes.

It can be hard to resist the competative call but try to focus on having fun with it all instead. The great thing about being 6 in L4 is that you have the option of repeating a few years without it hurting you in the long run becasue they got to start so young.

Good luck! Funny thing about those mill circles isn't it? Mine hates them but she can do L5 no problem - go figure! :)
It comes down to keeping everything in perspective. She is only 6 and this sounds like her 1st season competing at all. It may seem a little unfair to put her with 7yos, but most meets break the girls out in the age group they will be in at states. I can tell you as you move up the levels, the younger age groups are the tough ones. My gymmie is a 12 yo competing L8 and at her meet this weekend, the 1st place AA score for her age group was easily 1 point higher than for the girls in the older age divisions. Frustrating at times because a few of her teammates will be placing in the 14/15 yo groups and my kid will end up with maybe 1 medal.

These routines are so specific in compulsory---no room to cover up a mistake or change a routine. She has alot of things to remember just doing each skill----tighten tummy, point toes, straight legs AND she has remember the whole routine. You said she loves gymnastics and is having a blast at meets. Thats because she is 6 and sounds a little bit like a free spirit. At this age and level, just sit back and enjoy it all with her. I think in a year or so, you'll see a whole different child out there. She'll grow physically(get stronger) and mentally(more focus)

Don't stress over move up now. If she's ready then ok, if not, she'll still be rather young as a L4. At your dd's age, my gymmie was in an advanced rec class----we knew nothing about competitive gymnastics. She started pre-team at 7, competed L5(gym didn't do L4) at 9 and has moved up a level/year. Now we're starting to get to the levels where you do stress---lots of talk about not just going to states anymore, but qualifying to regionals plus learning L9 skills.

If your dd decides to remain in this sport, you're in for a long haul and burnout happens to quite a few kids. Just be there with hugs after a meet and find a special place to put the ribbons. This is her time to be a child and do gymnastics---enjoy!!!!
My gymmie is a 12 yo competing L8 and at her meet this weekend, the 1st place AA score for her age group was easily 1 point higher than for the girls in the older age divisions. Frustrating at times because a few of her teammates will be placing in the 14/15 yo groups and my kid will end up with maybe 1 medal.

Oh yes, ditto this! In my post above, I only talked about my little DD however my oldest is in THIS boat, LOL. She will turn 12 next week and has usually been in the youngest age group. As a Level 8, sometimes she's in a 8-12 group and other times the group is 8-11, then 12's are alone or 12-13 yr. Either case, these age groups have AA in the 36-37 ranges in the top spots.
I have also noticed that not placing well in one level does not mean low placements in the next level up. My daughter did not did place high in Level 5, but she consistently placed in the top 3 in Level 6. The routines are very similar with each step up so the girls start to "get it" more when it comes to extending, pointing, not wobbling, etc. In addition, certain skills in Level 5 maybe easier for your daughter than some of the Level 4 skills. I've heard that mill circle is very difficult (we skipped Level 4)! Good luck, you daughter wil do great!
As others have said, she is so young. Please don't worry about her placements quite yet, especially if it doesn't even phase her. In due time she will be all about placements, so for the time being enjoy it.

As for moving her up or keeping her at the same level, follow her coaches' lead. See what they have to say at the end of the season and then go from there. Thankfully she does have age on her side if she were to repeat. Me personally, I'd rather my child go to 5 and repeat 5 than 4, but that is just one person's opinion. At least at 5 she is doing skills that she will use in the future, FHS on vault and kips and also getting used to the high bar.

And just for the record, my dd is also one of those gymmies in the dreaded 12 yr old level 8 group - it's a killer!
I also have a 6 year old L4 and she sounds a lot like your DD. Mine absolutely LOVES to be out there doing her thing at meets. She did 3 at the end of last season, 1 was states. She never got a single medal, except at one meet where they gave out medals all the way out for AA.

Here she competes in the 6-8 yo age group, so it is a tough group to compete against, states is in November so you can have girls that are almost 9 competing in the same group as a girl who just turned 6. In a rare occasion, they have them split 6-7. Plus our gym is not as competitive as some so it is tough to medal unless they go WAY out.

I am not competitive and am perfectly happy if she just leaves a meet happy. I would like to see her improving at each meet, even something little, but I don't care if she wins or not. My DH is much more competitive and it bothers him when she doesn't win. He expects much more from her and it drives me crazy. LOL.

As others have said, she is 6. It is huge to just be out there at that age. She has already scored a 9, which is impressive! Look at the positives. My DD had a 27 something at first meet and peaked at almost 29AA. She did 3 meets in 3 weeks last season. She was still totally happy and proud of herself, which in the end is what matters.

I have seen my DD do what you talked about on beam. Focus so hard on one or 2 elements that they forget how to do the stuff they know how to do. LOL. It is an age thing I think.

As for level 5, I would wait until the end of the season to see. My DD wants to move to level 5 after this season sooo bad. She loves the L5 routines and skills and doesn't want to do L4 again. I think it would be best for her to move to the training L5 group (they don't learn routines for 5, they work the skills for 5 and compete L4) and do at least another season (fall of next year) at L4. I am not sure what her gym will do with her and I don't know what our future holds for staying in the state anyway, so I am not concerned. I do agree that I would rather her repeat L5 than L4, for reasons stated, kip, vault, etc, but in the end, I really don't think it matters. Many girls don't even start until they are older. If they have some talent, a huge heart and will work hard, they will be fine.

I also think that the decision to let them move up (if it is a choice) or repeat a level depends HUGELY on the child. A kid who NEEDS to be up there on that podium and win might be better off repeating in hopes of having that year of their time up on the podium. Mine really doesn't care about winning right now. She just wants to learn harder skills and do the L5 stuff.

Good luck. Try to look at all the positives of her meet and realize how young she is. :D Success (or lack of it) is not the end all indicator of how they will do in the future. :D
As everyone has said, as long as she's having fun, I would count her season a success. When you think about it, there are so many who are at the top at level 4 or 5 who end up quitting, you can't really consider high scores at the beginning levels an indicator of future success. It's the ones that are learning to love the sport, have fun, and challenge themselves who will make it to the higher levels.

My ds is a second year level 4 this year and it's going great for him. Last year, he was consistently near the bottom and now he's one of the highest scores. It's like everything just clicked and he gets it a lot better now. For him, the second year has been a real confidence booster. Of course, the boys' program is different from the girls'. They have bonus skills, so it's not the same old same old. He's challenging himself by trying to get all the possible difficulty bonus.
At 6 years old it should really only be about having fun and getting experiance at competing.I agree with Granny Smith I would have my dd repeat L5 versus L4.The only compulsary Level our gym would hold them back in is L5(we due not have L6 team they do prep opt instead then L7) due to the fact in L5 they use the high bar have to have kip and do a real vault are doing skills that they will need for opt.
My dd was in exactly the same position last year as your dd. She was 6, going up against a lot of other 6 year olds and 7 year olds. She was never on the podium. Always came in at the bottom 5 or so. Her scores were never really that bad, I think her lowest score ever was a 7.0 on floor and that came at her very first meet (where it was the very first rotation and she competed 1st! No pressure!) At that level most gyms give out some kind of participation medals so that's all the girls care about. I never told her where she placed and she never asked. I just always reassured her she did her best.

At the end of the season, at states, she was in the same situation, competing with the 7-year olds. At this point she still didn't even have her back hand spring on floor. Well, she didn't get called up at all during awards. I will say she knew she didn't place well and she did cry because of it. I just explained to her that she had an off day and she'll just get better. Well, over the summer, learning Level 5 skills, she honestly has gotten stronger and is now doing the 2 bhs that they need on floor!! I guess 1 just wasn't enough so she went for the 2!:rolleyes:

I agree with what everyone else has said. Level 4 should be fun and try not to focus on scores. Just tell your little gymmie how proud you are of her. Something else I always do, too, is participate in the little shout-outs that the gyms do. Even if it's $5.00 for a flower or a balloon. It really perks them up.

Enjoy the season!
I agree with everyone else - No worries;)! She is very young, and as long as she is enjoying it, I would say to go with it. I know I have told this before, but we had a 1st year level 4 that never scored above a 29, then repeated the next year and was consistently in the 35's and 36's:)! Sometimes it just takes awhile for everything to click in. As far as moving to level 5, her coach will probably take her skills and emotional aspects into making that decision.

Some kids burn out repeating a level because they feel like they are doing the same old thing - no excitement, but some kids also will burn out if they are moved up too soon, because they feel like everything is a battle, and no fun at all. I think alot of it comes down to if the child is the type that needs a challenge to keep interested, or the type that would feel better if they were excelling at a level (whatever level that may be). You and her coach can decide which personality she would fall under, and what would be best for her:).

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