Does your club have policies about when kids can move to team?

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Proud Parent
I brought dd to the new gym this week and they evalutated her and were quite surprised that her old gym had not placed her on team. They said they would have placed her on team if she had been with them all summer. They generally dont' do move ups after the summer and team camp at the end of the summer. She also said moving up at this time would be hard because of fees that have already been paid and that the kids were allready learning the routines. She did says dd was more advanced then several of the current L4s. The coach wants her to stay in preteam because of the move up policy. She did say DD was way ahead of the current preteam. She was going to talk to the other L4 coach and see if they could make an exception but wasn't sure if they could. DD got into the car and cried. She wants to be part of a team so badly and wants to be pushed in her gymnastics. Any advice? Also is it common for clubs not to let someone join team after a set time period?
Sounds a little weird. Every gym handles it differently but I know a lot of people who switched gyms mid-season. But there's a difference between an already competitive gymnast and a new 4. If there's a compulsory fall season and she doesn't know the routines, then I have to say I wouldn't be surprised they won't do it. Somes states have already been competing for awhile and some have just started. My state does the state meet for every level in the spring and many gyms are still working on routines, so it would be possible to start a kid in L4 right now and if they actually have the skills or are relatively close, they'd be fine by May. But in some states the compulsory timeline will be just a few more months, and qualifying meets even sooner, and the entire group has switched over from "training" mode to "competition" mode and there's no time to teach one child the routines.

But the upside is that some states with fall compulsory seasons do spring invitationals or change training groups after the fall states, so she could be in a different training group or possibly even a few competitions before next summer. I would ask for clarification on that. If that is possible, I wouldn't stress too much...if she is pre-competitive now I think giving the transition to a new gym a few months before jumping into competitions would ultimately be a positive thing and less stressful in the long run, while still letting her work towards that goal.

It's possible you could let them know you are open to a few privates if they can offer that for her to catch up learning the routines. Maybe she could start going with pre-team, and do that, and they could see if she can catch up to the current 4 group in time. It might be worth asking about.
I would let them know your DD is willing to work and if you are willing to pay for private lessons to catch up, let them know that too. But then how they handle it is kind of out of your hands since some gyms do have pretty strict policies. Maybe you could try out a day or week in the group they are proposing for her and see how you like it. I know it is disappointing but if it is a direct track to team the next year then at least she knows she is working towards it and maybe they do some unsanctioned pre-team meets or performances. Ask about that as well. I would keep your DD on a "need to know" basis so to speak to avoid getting her hopes up or creating false impressions as much as possible, but I would definitely communicate with the staff again (if you can, try to go directly to the owner or whoever is in charge).

Just respectfully let them know that you realize you are behind their usual deadline, but you are willing to do certain things and understand your daughter might miss a meet or might not do as well as those who started sooner, so they know you have realistic expectations. Then ask the questions about the preteam program. Just because one coach said one thing is not always indicative, particularly if that coach doesn't work with the group everyday...I've seen a lot of great pre-team programs designed to meet individual needs. Definitely give it a try if you are interested in this gym's program. It sounds like this group has several coaches per level (bigger team I'd assume) rather than several coaches for the program as the whole - the fact that she is going to consult with the other coach makes me wonder. I'd try to talk to whoever the head coach, owner, team program director is.
She may actually learn more and progress better in preteam than she would on team. Many gyms will almost completely stop teaching new skills to their team girls at all during their competition season (which I strongly disagree with I think new skills should be taught year round). many just stop and focus on nothing but routines, perfection and scores. Which is great but it means for however long the season is no new skills are learned. If she is on preteam she can continue to develop her skills without the disruption of the competition.

Having said that though, I don't see why she shouldn't do team. In reality if all the other girls on her team know all the routines, most kids would pick them up in a matter of weeks without even being shown or taught a thing. They will se the same routines over and over again.
Could it be possible that she trains with the level 4s and if she doesn't know the routines, she just doesn't compete (if comp season is going on right now). You do not have to compete level 4 to go to level 5. If she is just as qualified as some of the 4s then why can't she be with them and learn the skills they are learning and just go to level 5 with them.

I personally think that if you have already been told that she is far advanced than the pre-team and just as qualified, if not a little ahead of some of the 4s, I think pre-team might be a little boring and non-challenging. I do not think it would be a position that I would want to be bringing my child into if there are other alternatives.

Is it possible that there is another gym that you could check out.
I feel bad for your daughter.It sounds like she would be up for the challenge.My daughter advanced very fast.At one point she was more advanced than the group she was in.She was allowed to go with a more advanced group a few times.When they stuck her back in the other group she told me she was bored and wanted to quit.I talked to the coach and the next time they put her back in the more advanced group for good.Which wasn't team like in your situation.Well she done very well in that group too.I am not aware of such a policy in our gym but I'm sure exceptions can always be made.
Sounds like she falls into limbo at this gym also. As far as move up policies, our gym sets their L5 and 6 teams in May(meet season is Sept-Dec). I think the only exception would be a girl who moved to the area and already had the competition routines. Yes, from a practical aspect the gym needs to order leos, warm ups, send in meet entries(complete list of all girls competing) months ahead of the start of competition season.

What did you and dd think of this gym overall? Is it a place where you could see her being happy? Ask about practicing with the current team and maybe missing some of the early meets if her skills/routines aren't ready---make sure dd understands this also. Once meet season starts, the coaches don't really "teach" skills for that level(they may uptrain some), so if she needs some work on a few skills or needs to correct form etc,., that probably won't happen much now. The downside to competing in Jan(we have to go through this too) is practice over the holidays. Is dd(and your family) ok with taking family time to run her to the gym during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks?

Lots to consider---hope the gym is willing to work with you.
Our gym starts new levels at the beginning of June, but they did just bring up a couple new girls to L4 from their rec program a few weeks ago. Our first meet is 11/22, so these girls basically only have 2 months to learn the routines and polish up skills.

Here's another point of view though. My DD#2 started at another gym before the one we are at right now. She had tried out for their preteam there and started in August. Less than 2 months later they told me she should be in L4 instead. She wanted to do that, but by the time she joined level 4 in October at that gym, the other girls had already had their first meet of the season. The bad thing about this was that everyone knew the routines at this point, and my daughter felt like she was constantly playing catch up, and a lot of what she learned was learned by watching other girls and not getting so much explaining, details etc. from the coaches. She didn't compete her first meet until the beginning of February. At the last regular meet she qualified for state, which was good, but it was also hard for her to go into the meets having played catch up all along and not scoring as well as the other girls on her team who had already competed the whole season. If I had this choice again, I'm not sure I would do it like this. I think I would prefer for her to learn the routines from scratch with all of the girls. She developed a couple bad habits from picking things up on her own that were hard to correct in her 2nd year as a L4. Just another thing to think about though. Each child and gym is different so that's not to say that it would be the same for your daughter.
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