Parents Explaining-scores to kiddos

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Jan 1, 2010
My girls are 10 and 6. They understand the actual score. Even Ellie-kindergartener-understands the percents. Great lesson learned from meets. Here is where it gets hard. Emma got a 9.422 on bars. Placed third. Ellie got a 9.4 on bars. Placed second. Another girl got a 9.2 on bars. Placed second. El is at a lower level. She is in the youngest age group in her level. Bars is her strong area. Usually places here. Her all-around score was 35.8something. Good enough for third all-around. Other girl is in Em's level. She was in the oldest age group. Her all around was 36.995. She placed 4th all around. Em's is in the 10 year old age group. Her overall score was 36.444. She placed seventh in her age group. All scores were great. I understand about the distribution of scores and the rankings etc. How do I explain it to Em and El? Em was telling me she felt bad about her scores and felt like she did bad. I kept telling her that was awesome scores. She was upset she didn't do better AA. How do others handle this?

I tell the kids scores are like money. Everyone starts out w/ $10.00. For every mistake, the judge takes a dime, fifty cents for a fall, etc. I tell them its their job to what they can to keep their money.

As far as placements, the person w/ the most money left wins, 2nd most is 2nd etc. It seems to make sense to them. We also discuss that we cant help what the judge takes for money, but we can help things like keeping good form, etc.
Thank you!
Both girls seem to understand that part of it. :) The tricky part is why someone with 35.8 got third place all-around in her age division and level, but someone with 36.9 got fourth place. :) And that the placements should not be compared. I tell the girls to look to see if they are improving at each meet and if not to look at the reason. But the problem come in when Girl A gets 2nd place with a lower score then Girl B who got 5th. :)
Just explain that all scoring is relative (or use a simpler term if preferred) depending on how well a group does. You 10yo should easily understand that. For the 6yo, just telling her that the higher the placement, the easier the group.
I do not even understand the scores. , I call it luck if you are in a certain age group with certain gyms you might get a better AA score than others it depends on you session. I just try to get my daughter to focus on her own scores not just placements but it is hard. It also depends on how many places they go out some do 25% and some do50% also the number of girls.
I call it luck if you are in a certain age group with certain gyms you might get a better AA score than others it depends on you session.
Luck is the bottom line and it may not be bad to explain that too. The worst case is to be placed amongst kids in a group that she didn''t even compete with just because the competing group is different than the placement group. (and the scoring criteria were different)
I have to agree that placements are often just luck, especially at larger meets where there are many sessions of the same level. It depends entirely on how they break the age groups down, which gyms are in your session, and how other girls score. It sounds like Em is in a very competitive age group. It might help to explain that to her she can't control that fact - all she can do is strive for her own personal bests. I think she is doing great!
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