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TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
Hi Gym Parents,
Our DD is in a small XS team. We are very happy with both the gym and the program. DD and her teammates performed very well in the State meet. Of the 7 Xcel girls, 4 got gold in an event. 5 placed top 5 in AA.
They've struggled to staff Xcel, so they can't grow it, and it's not making financial sense for them. They really tried to staff up and just couldn't do it after COVID.
So, they're turning the Xcel into a glorified rec program with in-house meets where the girls compete against each other. They say it'll be at least a year before they even consider sending Xcel to meets again.
This seems just doofy, but it's their business, I guess?
My DD doesn't know this yet. Team parents are shaken. This new program won't be a good fit. The girls love to compete. In the meantime, we're trying to figure out a new gym...but the girls are going to freak out.
Anyone have any experience with this? Is this kind of rec-ish programming for Xcel a real thing that gymnasts like?
 

LPmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
49
43
This sounds disappointing and unusual, but would make sense if you live somewhere similar to my location. Where I live, many parents prefer activities to be completely non-competitive and low-commitment. Some parents drive to the suburbs or more distant locations for competitive options. It isn’t a huge market and real estate and COL are expensive, so a lot of gyms have struggled to attract qualified coaches. We had several gyms shut down completely or eliminate JO programs in the past couple of years. I haven’t heard of any dropping Xcel, too, but there are gyms that are mostly rec-focused and could get away with it because their current competitive programs have mediocre reputations.
 

TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
This sounds disappointing and unusual, but would make sense if you live somewhere similar to my location. Where I live, many parents prefer activities to be completely non-competitive and low-commitment. Some parents drive to the suburbs or more distant locations for competitive options. It isn’t a huge market and real estate and COL are expensive, so a lot of gyms have struggled to attract qualified coaches. We had several gyms shut down completely or eliminate JO programs in the past couple of years. I haven’t heard of any dropping Xcel, too, but there are gyms that are mostly rec-focused and could get away with it because their current competitive programs have mediocre reputations.
Thanks for the reply!
Their JO program is actually fantastic, but I think running two fully competitive programs was too much? IDK. Anyway, my daughter is 11YO and "too old" to join JO at level 4. (rolls eyes)
There's another gym in town with ALL Xcel then some Level 6-10. It may be a good fit, but getting her to go there and try out is going to be hard, as they've been the primary competition all season. :)
 

LPmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
49
43
That’s frustrating! I assumed they didn’t have a JO/DP team. It sounds like they have the resources (if they can field a JO program) but they’re just not invested in splitting those resources between Xcel and JO. It leaves girls like your daughter really stuck.
 
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TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
Just adding that we've been with that gym since 2018, with the 18mo break for covid.
She's going to be heartbroken.
I know you all can't solve this for me. Just needed some ears. Everyone around me is too invested to see clearly.
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
That sounds disappointing! For reference, our gym does Xcel as recreational and competitive. Every gymnast takes Level 1 and 2 Rec classes. Then gymnasts choose DP or Xcel based on commitment and goals. If you are past Level 2 skills and don't want to compete, you can do Xcel.
 

TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
Interesting!
So the Xcel girls do compete if they want to? That could be an option for us if the gym makes it one, I guess.
 

SmashHeel

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
4
45
Thanks for the reply!
Their JO program is actually fantastic, but I think running two fully competitive programs was too much? IDK. Anyway, my daughter is 11YO and "too old" to join JO at level 4. (rolls eyes)
There's another gym in town with ALL Xcel then some Level 6-10. It may be a good fit, but getting her to go there and try out is going to be hard, as they've been the primary competition all season. :)
My daughter is going to be 11 in level 4 this upcoming year. It seems crazy to shut down XL and not allow gymnasts that want to compete to shift to JO if they are willing to put in the time. Our gym does skew a little older, and they don’t have an XL program at all…
 
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TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
Crazy that 11 is too old for L4... we have a few 12-13 yr olds doing L4 this year.
I agree. Their Level 3s are 5-6 and many are being moved up to L4. There's one 9YO at that level and she's like the leader of the entire crew. It's super cute.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,655
DDs old gym had a rec team program for gymnasts who weren't quite ready for xcel or whose parents didn't want to commit to the schedule/fees/travel. They would mostly compete against each other in-house but would also have 1-2 meets at a neighboring gym. It is a great way to give the gymnasts some competition experience without too much commitment. It's a great program for a specific set of gymnasts but to replace the xcel program for that entirely? That's a stretch and a sad situation to put the xcel girls into. Hopefully you can make a switch that fits your family and your DD. I would not worry about switching to a rivalry. Most times when this sort of thing happens (cancelling a program) other gyms step up and are welcoming.
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Crazy that 11 is too old for L4... we have a few 12-13 yr olds doing L4 this year.
Wow. I have to say I'm not a fan of gyms that are this exclusive. I get that not every kid is cut out for DP, and high school aged compulsory kids just may not be the right fit. But if you have a 10-12 year old that wants to do Level 4, why not? If they are talented, they may skip levels later on, or even without that, they can still reach upper optionals. Our Level 4 team is usually around 3rd-6th grade. We occasionally get an older girl repeating or a super talented little one, but it seems like most 6 and 7 year olds lack the focus to get Level 5 skills within a year and end up repeating anyway.
 
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rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
Wow. I have to say I'm not a fan of gyms that are this exclusive. I get that not every kid is cut out for DP, and high school aged compulsory kids just may not be the right fit. But if you have a 10-12 year old that wants to do Level 4, why not? If they are talented, they may skip levels later on, or even without that, they can still reach upper optionals. Our Level 4 team is usually around 3rd-6th grade. We occasionally get an older girl repeating or a super talented little one, but it seems like most 6 and 7 year olds lack the focus to get Level 5 skills within a year and end up repeating anyway.
For top gyms their goal is to get as many gymnasts to college with a scholarship. They want to be able to boast 70% of their grads got a scholarship etc. gymnasts who are level 4 at 12 are unlikely to make it to level 10, and even less likely to make it early enough to be on the college coaches’ radar. It’s not worth these top gyms investing in older gymnasts.
Not saying they’re right but they’re running a business…
 
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TheXcelMom

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
38
But if you have a 10-12 year old that wants to do Level 4, why not?

So, update. They offered her a Level 4 spot. But...look...this is a gym with a bunch of homeschooled girls at the optionals levels spending 5-6 hours a day in practice. I'm not judging that...there are girls who want and need that level of training and this gym provides it...but it's not who my daughter is or wants to be.
They'll eventually have to cut her from the team--if not this year, then next.
Without Xcel, there's nowhere to go but another gym, and she/we end up in the same predicament.
Better now than later. :)
 
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