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Proud Parent
Jan 8, 2016
So last year my daughter was in level 2. They decide the team into two groups during practice she was out with what was obviously the weaker group. It bothered me because they never worked on the skills they needed after a few months and me saying something they moved her to the stronger group and she worked on more skills and became one of the strongest on the teams. She placed the highest overall at state and always placed one of the top 3 girls on the team.
We just moved up to level 3.
They decided the girls up again this time the two groups are a weak and stronger group except the stronger group is made of all 2nd year level 3s.
The girls that were put on that group were 3 girls my daughter practiced with in her stronger group of level 2. They out her in the weaker group which at first didn't bother me because it's the beginning and her first year.
The problem I'm having is that this year they are not having a level 2 so girls that were on excel bronze were moved to level 3 instead of level 2.
The first day of practice they worked on skills like front pull overs and conditioning. The second day I noticed they worked more on conditioning and level 2 skills. When I watched the stronger group I noticed they were working on skills hey needed.
I was irritated the two groups are working not working on the same Things. I wasn't going to say anything till my I asked my daughter how practice was and what she worked on.. She informed me they only did level 2 skills and she can already do those and that the other group is working on level 3 skills.
This made me irritated she noticed that.
What is irritating me is one of the 3 girls that was put in that group never scored higher than my dd and didn't even place at state.
They have to have all their skills by May or they will bump the girls down.
I'm so frustrated because she needs to be learning the new skills not practicing the old ones. Most of the girls they grouped her with during practice never competed or were on a team and can't even do level 2 skills like a mill circle or back hip circle.
The coaches aren't paying any attention to her because she can do the the skills so they are concentrating on the other girls in her group because they need more help so she is being forgotten..
It is really bothering me.
I don't know if I should say something to her coach about my concerns with where she is placed and the reason she is with these weaker girls who are having to learn skills she can do while the other group is practicing the skills she needs to learn or if I should just not says anything and let things play out.
I don't want her to be forgotten or Miss out on opportunities to practice her skills like the other group is.
Do other gyms group their girls similar to this?
How would you handle this situation?
We also do private lessons once a week to help her have an edge.
With her being in the weaker group we almost feel like she has to do privates to keep up with the other group or she's going to miss out.
We also noticed that the group that is more of the weaker group and doesn't do as much stuff as the stronger group seems to score lower at comps and have to repeat the level. It's almost like the coaches don't have faith in them and I don't want that for my daughter especially since they out this other girl who performs lower than my daughter is in the stronger group.
That would be frustrating. I hate when gym's divide groups into what are essentially the A group and the B group w/in the same level. The ones that seem to suffer from this division the most are the strongest gymnasts in the B group for the reasons you describe. What do you think their rationale was for the placement decisions they made? Do you think they were totally arbitrary or does it seem like they drawed a line and your DD just wound up right on the B side of the line? Or do you see a pattern where they divided them by age? Do the girls in the A group all seem to have a certain quality about them (like good strength, flexibility and form even though they may not score well) and they are using "long term potential" to divide more than how the kids look right at this moment?

Answers to these questions may help you understand if this gym is going to be the right fit for you and your daughter's goals for her gymnastics. If you want her to progress faster than they believe that she has the potential to, that could be an uphill battle year after year. However, if she just barely missed making the A group, you probably have a good chance in getting her moved if you approach them the right way.
This is frustrating, I feel your pain. I have been in this situation as well. But you must understand, there ARE girls that are stronger, and faster and quicker at picking up skills than your DD (that's reality). The coaches do divide and they must create groups that are more alike in their skill level. Unfortunately us moms or dads cannot make this determination because what we see is different than what the coaches see.

Some girls have a very different learning curve. Some girls progress more slowly, and that's OK. It does not mean they will not pick up the necessary skills. Sometimes, these 'slower' progressing gymnasts eventually do better because they have more time to mature and their basics a far superior to those 'bright, fast' stars.

I would bring up the fact that your DD is bored to her coach, and that perhaps a more rigorous program is better. Sometimes the girls that take a lot of privates are actually in a worse position because the gym may see them as , needing more work. Perhaps if you can talk to the coach and discuss your concerns they can explain to you exactly their plan for your DD. I don't know their policy on age, size, type of personality......all this matters a lot. Some gyms are very matter of fact about who is going to make the A team, and that's it......if your DD is not what they want they perhaps you could look into a program that fits your family better. Other gyms are more inclusive and they treat all girls equally.

My DD is in the upper range of the weaker group. I have told her If she wants to be noticed and move groups, she better get to work. I certainly can't do it for the end THEY have to want it, and get it.

Remember, the slower, more constant stars are better than the bright, fast stars. Just be patient, and please know that each kid really does take off at their time....I promise!
A group is all second year level 3 girls with the exception of 3 girls that were in group A on level 2 last season with my daughter. One of those 2 of them were the oldest in level 2 and the 3rd one who is two weeks younger than my daughter her sister is an older competition other than that I don't see a reason why they put her in A group.
On level 2 she was in group B and only does basket tosses no mill circles where as my daughter out scored her every meet and was on group A on level 2
Now group B on level 3 where they placed my daughter there are two other girls that are also from level 2 but they were in group B and one never scored above an 8 and the other showed lost of improvement last season but still finished level 2 in group B. The rest of group B my dd was placed with are all newbies who where in excel bronze or pre-team. They are still struggling with basic skills like t- lunges on beam, vaulting with the required mats and getting their back hip circles.
The only thing I can think of for putting her in that group is because of her size she is a lot smaller than the other girls from level 2 that were placed in group A
I really wouldn't care because it's a new season and team and coaches if it wasn't for the girl who is in group A who is the same as my daughter in size and age with the exception my daughter out scores her in every meet and she doesn't even do all the skills my daughter does.
I was actually surprised she made the team especially since another hit who scores 9s on vault and beam and scored 3 place at states didn't where this girl didn't place at states on any events and never scored above an 8.9.
We have been doing private lessons with one of the coaches for almost 1.5 years now weekly, when I was concerned with this last season she explained why they had her in that group but then she eventually switched groups to group A . Where she really started to grow.
She just is working so hard and I would imagine it would be extremely frustrating to practice so hard get the skills to qualify to move to level 3 only to be placed in group B where you are working on skills you learned a year ago while you watch the other group working on skills that you need to get by May.
If they had placed this other girl in group B with my daughter it would have been fine by the fact that she is performing and scoring above this other girl is what really is bothering me.
I just don't want her to loose her new skills because she is training with in experienced girls who have to play catch up.
Then our weekly private lessons won't be helping her excel they will be to help her get by because she is not able to utilize those skills in practice.
It's just so irritating group A is practicing skills and group B is doing conditioning and playing games and maybe doing one level 2 skill during practice at different events.
This may not apply to your situation but my dd's level has been divided into a "higher" group and a "lower" group. The higher group and the lower group were based not just on actual skill level, although that was part of it. The other part was work ethic, focus, and coachability. There were girls who had high scores and high level skills who were placed in the lower group, and these were all girls who fooled around during practice. And there were girls who did not have as strong skills but were placed in the higher group because they were hard working.

For that reason, there were definitely girls in the "lower" group who out scored girls in the "higher" group, all year and also at states. The girls with good skills continued to have good skills, even if they had been placed in the lower group. Yes, more girls from the lower group were eventually asked to repeat a level or switch to Xcel than the higher group. But the girls who had strong skills and were in the lower group due to behavior issues kept up skill wise with the higher group. Would they have been progressed even further skill wise in the higher group? Who knows.
I just don't want her to fall behind because she is doing things she can already do. I watch as she rotates different areas in the event they are practicing and when it is her turn to work with a coach on one of these skills she already can do she does it once and they have her move to the next station. They aren't correcting her or coaching her on improving anything because she clearly has the skill where a lot of the other girls in group B are struggling and having to do it multiple times.
Its like they already know she can do it so they don't pay her any attention.
I would rather her be a weaker girl in group A where the coaches will work more with her because she needs more work than a stronger girl in group B where she is over looked because they are doing things she mastered last year.
As far as behavior I understand what you mean but this does not really apply the girl that I am speaking of actually cried a lot, acts like she doesn't want to be there, picks fights with the other girls. During last season it was a normal night of practice of she was throwing a temper tantrum or pretending she was hurt so she could sit out half the practice.
That is part of why I don't know why they put her in the group her skill level isn't there and neither is her attitude.
The only reason I think is because of her older sister.
My daughter has a good work ethic and really worked hard to get better I don't think that she is the best or strongest and I compare her to other girls as unbiased as possible. I just don't want her to fall behind or loose skills because she is not learning anything in group B.
I honestly don't like this method at all and think that if the girls aren't all at the same pace then they shouldn't be on a team. Everyone should be working on the same skills and although each girl might have their own struggles and might need help in her own way at least they are all getting the equal opportunity to practice the same things.
Sweet, please don't take offense, you need to take a sound as you are intrigued by every have checked scores, and ages, and previous season, and you are watching are risking doing more damage to your DD than good.

Just let it be and wait n see what happens over the next month.......if possible, don't stay for practice for a whole month. See what happens......

Privates for 1.5 years to give her an edge is really not advised for success in team over the long run......
Sweet, please don't take offense, you need to take a sound as you are intrigued by every have checked scores, and ages, and previous season, and you are watching are risking doing more damage to your DD than good.

Just let it be and wait n see what happens over the next month.......if possible, don't stay for practice for a whole month. See what happens......

Privates for 1.5 years to give her an edge is really not advised for success in team over the long run......

That. All of that.

Take a step back. Stop watching practice. Things are never going to be equal or "fair" (and everyone defines "fair" differently) all of the time. You are going to make yourself and your dd crazy with this kind of micromanaging and detailed analysis.

You don't say how old your dd is, but I'm guessing pretty young (under age 9). Is she having fun? Because honestly that is going to carry her further than anything at that age. If you start making it all about the scores and groups and placements and turns and up training, she is going to lose all sense of fun.
I don't watch every practice.
We are only allowed to watch 30 mins at the end and I work at night so don't often watch.
She loves it and it's her most favorite thing.
I don't discuss her scores with her as far as compared to others.
I'm not worried about how far gymnastics can carry her.
I do care how she is treated and that she is given the same equal opportunity.
I want to make sure she has the opportunities the rest is up to her with what she wants and what she does with those opportunities.
I noticed what had happened and where they placed her but understood why until I saw this other girl is with a group she doesn't belong in and I'm almost positive it's because her sister is an older competition I don't think that's right.
I wasn't that upset about it till my daughter said something about how she is upset that the other group is practicing stuff she used to do and she's not doing anything but playing games and doing stuff she can already do.

I think I will just see what happens over the next month hopefully they will start working on appropriate skills and not things that they should already know.
It's just hard to ignore and I don't want her to get bored because she isn't being challenged or working on what she should be.
She worked hard to learn her skills and to qualify for level 3.
I don't want to see loose her skills she just worked so hard to learn because she is too busy playing games and practicing level 2 skills she mastered last year.
If you truly feel your current gym is OK with letting competitive team girls loose skills then you need to look elsewhere.
I find it hard to believe they are throwing the B team aside and letting them loose skills and become poorer gymnasts.....
Have a conversation with the gym.
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No they aren't. That's not what I meant because
The group B is all excel girls and preterm girls who have not developed certain skills they can't even do a back hip circle without falling and still learning to do basic things that my dd learned last year on level 2. They decided not to have a level 2 this year and it seems as if the girls that have never competed who don't have basic level 2 skills are behind and since my daughter was placed in that group she has to practice what they are doing which are skills she can already do while the group A is practicing things like front hip circles and hand stands on the beam and back hand springs which is what she needs to be working on which is what she works on in privates.
There are over 20 on the entire team which to me seems like a lot.
Pretty much my whole concern is if I should ask the coach what their plan is for her group because it seems as if except the 3 that were on level 2 last year all the rest are really behind and when they are going to start working on level 3 skills not things they should already know.
I would ask the question. Ask what their plan is for your DD group.
I assume they just finished their season and compete again in 6-8 months?
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Yes that is correct.
She has to have all her new skills by May in order to compete.
Group A is already working on them.
Group B had not worked on them because 7 out of 10 of them don't have basic level 2 skills so her group is only practicing those.
Which she had to learn last year.
I just don't know how to ask what their plan is for her without being over bearing or getting worked up about my frustrations.
You're sure she has all her level 2 skills solid - on all 4 events - consistent and solid? The other 2 girls that have level 2 skills (calc from the 7 out of 10 don't have L2 skills number above) - do you know if their parents share the same concern about the groupings?

Does the gym call your daughter and her group "Level 3's"? Like are these girls who don't have Level 2 skills expected to be Level 3's in May as well? Is Level 3 the same label they give the other A group as well?
How does your gym do in the long run? Do girls tend to stay and make it into upper level optionals? Was just looking at one of those FB memory posts this morning that popped up on DH's feed -- it's a photo of DD and her ten teammates their first year competing. Of those eleven girls, one quit and one moved after the first year, another quit after two years, and still another just quit this past fall. The remaining girls are two L8s and 5 L9s. Over the years, they've bounced around through different groups, with DD always in the lower group. But hey, she's a L8 and most of them are still in gym and still progressing. In the long run as long as the training is good and the kids are progressing, the groups don't matter. At all.

You will make yourself crazy and your DD even crazier if you spend a lot of energy using other kids as a yardstick or worrying about where they are placed in relation to your DD. Coaches generally have some rationale behind group placements, and scores/meet results are not the only factors, especially when they're just getting started.
"Sweet", I completely understand your frustration, and it's a very legitimate feeling and question to have. Thanks for posting. I'm sure others who might be reading silently along can relate.

How old is your daughter?
Do the two groups practice at the same days/times?
Do the two groups have the same coaches?
How many girls are in each group?

Is your gym a reasonably competitive program producing competent Optionals?
Above your daughter's level, do they seem to 'track' JO girls into a faster pace/slower pace 'stream' from an early age? i.e., are there girls that are tracking into TOPs/HOPEs/Elite vs ones who are not?

There are many reasons why your daughter might be in the 'B' group at this moment. Ultimately, an open-minded, inquisitive meeting with the main coach (the one who would have made that grouping decision) is perfectly reasonable. It is better to ask than to stew.

In my experience, here are some reasons I've personally seen why a girl might be put in the apparent 'A' group (or any different group) when based on skills/scores it might not be the obvious choice...
- Sibling on team and parents ask/demand for same schedule
- Girl is a little older than average and coaches trying to catch her up
- Girl has something in particular coaches see like extra flexibility or 'lines' that they think will develop even if she is behind in skills at the moment
- Girl has one or two very superior events even if lacking in other areas
- Girl works better with a particular coach

And here are reasons I suspect may happen as to a girl not being targeted for a faster-moving group, as coaches are people, have multiple priorities to manage, see things we don't and/or things aren't always fair...
- Girl is younger/smaller and coaches think there is more 'time' for her so no need to rush since she isn't going Elite or anything
- ***Girl may be ahead/on par in skills, but is not ahead of the curve on body awareness/polish/presentation, and they want to keep her focused on basics for longer with her long-term progress in mind because they know she will pick up skills easily. ***I think this one throws off the most parents.
- Other girls are seen as more 'driven' as they are more outspoken in class asking for help/to do new skills, etc.
- The top group is just 'full' and there isn't a compelling reason.
The other 2 that came from level 2 do have theirs but were always in group b one of them even has her front hip circle where as my daughter and the other don't. It's just the rest of the girls that don't have their skills.
I wouldn't say completely soils because there is always room for improvement but always scored one of the top 3 of the team and was on team A.
The other 3 girls were placed in group A of those girls that competed last year 2 of them were group A with my dd and one was in group B the one that was placed in A is the same age and size of my daughter but always scored lower and has a poor attitude throwing fits and fighting with other girls. I didn't really have a problem until I noticed she was in group A.
They are defiantly level 3 as far as classification but it's frustrating that they are working on the same set of skills and same training.
It seems they are not because the majority of the group she was placed in never competed and are struggling with the basic skills.
I think my daughter could benefit for sure from the extra practice on these skills but still needs to be working on stuff that is required for the level she was placed on
I want my DD to go to Saturday practice. I know she would keep up after a few practices, and I know she would benefit a great deal and get an extra edge. But she has not earned that spot yet........
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Yea I can understand that and I agree and have the same out look and tell her if she wants it she's got to put in the work.
I'm just frustrated that they put a girl same size and age as my daughter who competed and scored less against my daughter who cried and threw fits all year on the more mature group A . The only reason I can she she was put there is because of her older sister who competes.
The girl can't even do a mill circle and refused to even try. She can only do a basket toss on bars. My daughter has the all level 3 skills now except for the front hip circle.
That's what is most frustrating to me because no matter how I look at it I don't understand why she was placed on in that group.
And Im just worried she is going to get less time to get her new skills down because the group she is on is working on level 2 skills because of all the newbies to competing at all.
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