For Parents experience with repeating level?

nhurdle8

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My daughter competed level 3 last year and is training level 4. Her gym informed us that in Sept. the girls will be tested on level 4 skills. If they do not have them, they will repeat level 3. Right now she just needs to get her kip. Is this common? My concern is my daughter competed level 3 well last year, consistently scored 35+ AA. They literally just started training level 4 skills at the beginning of June. Personally, i'd rather her spend more time working these skills before deciding she can't do level 4, and then repeating a level with skills she already can do. Or not having the kip, competing level 4 anyway, and repeating it next year (instead repeating a level she can already successfully do). Thoughts?
 

cp13

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It is common to repeat a level and it depends on the gym as to how they handle moving kids up. The kip is a really hard skill for kids to get and yes, the kids are at a disadvantage if they don't work that skill until the summer and then have only a short time to get it. My daughter struggled to get a kip and was told she could not move up to L4 as a result. A couple of weeks later, the gym changed their minds and my daughter got her kip in the meanwhile and they moved the 3-4 girls they were holding back up to L4.

She was thrilled to move up. The good thing about that year of L4 is that she was challenged and she could work her upgrades. The bad thing about it was she was at the bottom of the podium for vault and bars all season. L4 bars are hard and the judging is tough. They need straight arms in the kip and a tight body position throughout and they need speed throughout the routine and it takes time for that to develop especially if you have a kid who isn't a natural bar worker. She wound up repeating L4 as a result and had a much stronger year of L4 where she started to consistently score 9s on bars. She was much more ready to move on to L5 after the 2nd year of L4.

So, it just depends on the gym. If your child does not quite have the skills when they move to L4, it may be fine but you may be in for a rough season of scoring. When they repeat a level, they have more confidence and and can really succeed in the meets and can be more ready to move to the next level. When they are a bit behind, it is like they have to be held back at some point to catch up.

Problem with L4 is that they cannot compete bars at all without a kip.
 
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nhurdle8

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It is common to repeat a level and it depends on the gym as to how they handle moving kids up. The kip is a really hard skill for kids to get and yes, the kids are at a disadvantage if they don't work that skill until the summer and then have only a short time to get it. My daughter struggled to get a kip and was told she could not move up to L4 as a result. A couple of weeks later, the gym changed their minds and my daughter got her kip in the meanwhile and they moved the 3-4 girls they were holding back up to L4.

She was thrilled to move up. The good thing about that year of L4 is that she was challenged and she could work her upgrades. The bad thing about it was she was at the bottom of the podium for vault and bars all season. L4 bars are hard and the judging is tough. They need straight arms in the kip and a tight body position throughout and they need speed throughout the routine and it takes time for that to develop especially if you have a kid who isn't a natural bar worker. She wound up repeating L4 as a result and had a much stronger year of L4 where she started to consistently score 9s on bars. She was much more ready to move on to L5 after the 2nd year of L4.

So, it just depends on the gym. If your child does not quite have the skills when they move to L4, it may be fine but you may be in for a rough season of scoring. When they repeat a level, they have more confidence and and can really succeed in the meets and can be more ready to move to the next level. When they are a bit behind, it is like they have to be held back at some point to catch up.

Problem with L4 is that they cannot compete bars at all without a kip.
I don’t mind her repeating level 4, I just don’t see the benefit of repeating level 3 when she’s already mastered those skills…she might not have the kip now, she very well can get it by practicing level 4 and competiting level 4. If not, repeat that level 4. Maybe I’m looking at it poorly.
 

Tmacs

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With the new level 3, I see no problem repeating… it would be hard to swallow if you still had to do the mill circle. Girls at our gym who have repeated level 3 generally don’t repeat other levels until optionals. It is a real confidence building level. My daughter and another girl were the only two girls in L4 who had not repeated L3. You could definitely tell in their lack of meet confidence even though they had the skills beautifully. She scored high 36/37 in L3 and in L4, she scored well on bars and beam but struggled with mental blocks on floor and vault. All the repeat L3 gymnasts in L4 excelled and will move up to 5 with no repeating. My daughter will move up because she has bars and beam skills for L5 but the other girl who did not repeat 3 will probably repeat 4. Long answer to say that repeating a level for competition can be beneficial in the long run as long as she is up training this year.
 

raenndrops

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It is common to repeat a level and it depends on the gym as to how they handle moving kids up. The kip is a really hard skill for kids to get and yes, the kids are at a disadvantage if they don't work that skill until the summer and then have only a short time to get it. My daughter struggled to get a kip and was told she could not move up to L4 as a result. A couple of weeks later, the gym changed their minds and my daughter got her kip in the meanwhile and they moved the 3-4 girls they were holding back up to L4.

She was thrilled to move up. The good thing about that year of L4 is that she was challenged and she could work her upgrades. The bad thing about it was she was at the bottom of the podium for vault and bars all season. L4 bars are hard and the judging is tough. They need straight arms in the kip and a tight body position throughout and they need speed throughout the routine and it takes time for that to develop especially if you have a kid who isn't a natural bar worker. She wound up repeating L4 as a result and had a much stronger year of L4 where she started to consistently score 9s on bars. She was much more ready to move on to L5 after the 2nd year of L4.

So, it just depends on the gym. If your child does not quite have the skills when they move to L4, it may be fine but you may be in for a rough season of scoring. When they repeat a level, they have more confidence and and can really succeed in the meets and can be more ready to move to the next level. When they are a bit behind, it is like they have to be held back at some point to catch up.

Problem with L4 is that they cannot compete bars at all without a kip.
Actually, they CAN compete L4 bars without a kip. They just won't score well, but scoring ANYTHING is better than a 0. They attempt the kip (or are spotted if they are close). Then, they do a pullover or jump to front support and continue from there. They attempt the high bar kip. If they fail at that, the coach can lift them to front support to finish the routine.
We have had girls who got their kips for the first time alone in a meet.
It all depends on the specific gym.
 
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GymDadWA

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Check to see if the gym does uptraining throughout the meet season or is training specific just to routines. If they are doing up training I wouldn't worry about what level she is competing as she'll be gaining skills throughout the year that will help her in the next level and beyond. It's also possible she skips a year of competing 4 altogether if she gets those skills (tests out) and then starts uptraining the 5 skills. The USAG JO track isn't a straight line for a lot (most) of gymnasts, some levels are skipped some are repeated.

The kip is one of those foundation skills that should be learned the correct way, if not it will just lead her to not being able to do all the skills that use the kip as the base for them.
 
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gymgal

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When does the season start? This will play a part. There are so many variations in what gyms will allow. Sounds like you're in a gym where they want all the skills by a certain time. This helps build meet confidence brings higher scores. I hear you but a full year of mediocre scores b/c she doesn't have the skills can really spit down confidence. If she were getting 37s in L3, then I Would say maybe she had some great fountain skills that will help carry her through.
 

Aussie_coach

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So much will come down to how the gym deals with repeating levels. She could learn way more by repeating 3, if she if coached appropriately.

Since she already has the level 3 routines down, they can spend minimal time on routines and just spend most of her training time on skills.

If she moved to 4, she would need to spend more time learning and perfecting the new routines and would have less time for skills.

The issues would arise if she is put in with a bunch of kids who are just starting level 3 and the coach is not flexible enough to be able to allow different kids in the group to work on different things.
 

MuggleMom

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I will say that my DD had to repeat level 3 and at the time I wasn't happy. She didn't have a great first year at level 3 but I thought she would be bored doing the same thing again and I wanted to be sure she wasn't going to be spending FOREVER in compulsories because some gyms around us do that. I had a meeting with the coaches and asked why she was repeating and what was their plan for her. They laid out their reasons and say while they would like her to repeat level 3 they didn't think she would have to repeat level 4. That made me feel a bit more comfortable with her path. She repeated level 3 did fine did level 4, scored out of 5 and has done really well in 6 and 7. I will also say all the kids that moved up ahead of her....many have since quite and those that didnt she has caught up to or passed in terms of levels so repeating did not hinder her at all.

Most gyms set the levels in the fall after the summer of uptraining. She should be able to get her kip or be very close to having it by September with as much as they will work on it over the summer. Also many gyms will let you have 1-3 missing skills when they set the levels if the child is close and they are confident they will have the skills by meet season. I would say what you gym has presented is reasonable and your kid would be fine in level 3 or level 4 so I wouldnt be too concerned. I have heard some horror stories where kids have to have multiple 37+ meets to move up or have to have all skills in like June to move up, or even worse they dont know what they need to do to move up. Your gym has set some clear and reasonable expectations so that's good!
 

Dahlia

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It really depends on the gym. I do know ours will not move to L4 without the kip. Repeating can be a positive thing, but I agree that there needs to be uptraining mixed in during competition season (when there is a longer period between meets).

I would ask the coaches if your dd is close or not. A couple of private lessons may help her get her kip. Not always, but if she's really close sometimes that extra instruction helps.

That being said, repeating a level is usually fine. It's a great year to perfect form and foundational skills and usually to do well podium wise. My daughter has repeated levels and it has always benefitted her.

The other option is, if your gym has a good xcel program and mobility between DP and xcel, is to go to xcel gold for a year while working on her kip and then go to L4 the following year. This is not an option everywhere, you have to be at a gym that treats xcel seriously and has quality xcel coaching for her to get the skill. But it can be a good option to prevent boredom at a level and allow uptraining/competition of harder skills that aren't in L3 (for example, if she got the kip mid season she could compete it. If she gets her flyaway she can compete it even though in DP she couldn't until L5, etc.).