Gymnasts doing other sports good or bad idea?

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Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
Some of DD friends at school ran track last year & have begged DD to do it with them this year(she's in 8th grade middle school). She's L7 at gym struggling with fear issues on bars & beam. Gym coach wasn't too happy with this plan...says it's a "bad idea". But her track practice doesn't interfere with gym practice at all. She has been sore, b/c she's using different muscles. But other then that, it's been great for her self-esteem! She loves being outside & doing something with her school friends. She just seems so much happier lately:D. She even seems MORE motivated at gym, b/c she has something in her life that is going well & is not a totally stressing her out everyday. I think it's helping her to be less stressed at the gym. Just wondering what kind of experiences others have had, with gymmies doing other sports outside of gym. Possibly doing them against gym coaches "advice". Gym is her 1st love & she is totally dedicated. Track is just a fun "side" thing for her, that she is doing very well in:).


Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
hey, i am also in the 8th grade and am a level 6 gymnast.
I am on my schools golf team...but practices do sometimes interfere with gym, but my coaches are okay with it because it isn't my season. (i don't compete until fall).
I miss some practices and have been getting a lot of new skills lately, so i think it should be okay if your dd does track as long as she still works hard at gym.
i dont see a problem with her doing it, expessialy since it doesn't even have a conflict with her gymnastics practices.
i am glad she is doing well and having fun :)
good luck to your dd :)

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
I think you answered your question when you said you see your dd is happy and less stressed doing track at school and more motivated in the gym. Heck, these middle school sports seasons don't last very long at all and you said she's not missing gym practice. I think sometimes coaches say "no" because they're afraid the girl is going to enjoy another sport more than gym and quit.

One girl on our L8 team is going to compete on the high school golf team(she's THAT good as an 8th grader) and it will mean she misses some practice. Her mom told the coaches about the plan and basically said "this is the plan--no arguments." We also had a girl last year that did track in middle school---more of a problem there since she missed most of the practices in late April/May.

I wish I could get my gymmie interested in trying something "on the side", but she won't even think about it.
Feb 26, 2007
I think it's a wonderful idea, she certainly deserves to have some fun with sport. I imagine the coaches no is just a typical knee jerk reaction, doing track will only help your DD, certainly cannot see how is could have a negative affect. Lovely that she is happy and loving life.

I think it is great for gymmies to see how they can be succesful in many things, gym takes up so much time that sometimes we forget that there are other things out there.

Good for you for encouraging her to try, I am sure her coach will get over it.
I've seen some of the girls on my team also do recreational soccer, and many of the girls also do high school gym too as well as their team gym [our high school gym is number 1 in the state and you have to be atleast a level 8 to be on, so the coaches are okay with us since we are just getting double the practice].
Dec 8, 2007
I do cross country and track for my high school and they run from 3- 4:30 then I go right to gym after that. The only time I'm late for or miss gym is when we have a track meet but I come as soon as I can and they're okay with that. The only problem is that some days I come to practice after having run a good 5-8 miles so i'm sore for gymnastics.
My track coach was excited to have me join the pole vault team since I'm a gymnast.


I am a level 7 gymnast and I do travel soccer. The only thing I have trouble with is that I get injured from soccer sometimes and my coaches get upset but I think track is a perfect idea because there is no real contact. If she is happy, let her go for it.
Nov 20, 2007
I think it's great that she wanted to do track, is enjoying it and doing so well at it. Gymnastics and the fact that she is so fit is helping her excel in something else, which she can do with her school friends - this is fantastic and is great for her psyche and mental strength too! No wonder she is so happy!;)

My daughter (who finished L7 and is now training for L8) has always played tennis alongside gymnastics. This year we decided to let her play even more tennis and cut down on her gymnastics training (instead of 5 days a week she now goes only 3 days to the gym and sometimes manages to come a 4th day before a meet). I had a talk with her coaches and explained that we wanted to give her a chance to advance in tennis as well (we have always been told that she has a lot of potential to become a very good tennis player). The coaches actually accepted this gracefully but will occasionally remark on the fact that she misses practice.

So far I haven't noticed that this created any problem with her gymnastics. In fact she did great at her last two L7 meets finishing with 36 AA scores.

As someone said before, gymnastics takes up so much time that we sometimes forget there are other things out there :).


Jun 24, 2008
Actually, I would be concerned if younger girls only did gymnastics! My coaches encourage all of us to have an outside activity because you never know what might happen in this sport. Not many kids stay in gymnastics through high school, so it's always good to have a back-up activity of some sort. A lot of our compulsories play soccer, and a few swim. I don't think any of the optionals do another sport, but almost all of them play an instrument or sing.

There's no way that I had enough time to do a second sport in high school, but I played both piano and violin for 9 years. I started figure skating for fun, and I think my turns have gotten a lot more secure now that I'm working on turns on blades! I've definitely become more conscious of where my arms are when I turn since not checking while on skates tends to make you lose your balance and/or fall over. :)
Jul 21, 2007
I think it's a great thing that she is trying something new and enjoying herself.

Until late 2007 (I'm 17) I have always done more than one sport.. I have been a power tumbler, gymnast, swimmer, ran track, and now I dive.

Swimming was always in the morning and it never conflicted with gymnastics.. but once I started diving and wanted to compete it made things a bit difficult. At age twelve I was a level 9 training 5 days a week and diving once a week.. and I wanted to be able to dive and do gymnastics five days a week and convinced my parents to let me homeschool. When I was able to do that.. I had a couple injuries but my level of diving went up to where I could compete nationally and be a level 10 gymnast. A year later I had to retire from gymnastics because of a back injury, but because I had been able to do more than one sport I had something to fall back on. I've gotten a lot further in diving than I did in gymnastics too, so I guess it was a blessing in disguise.

Either way I think it's great that she is able to do something else. My gymnastics coaches weren't fond at first about me diving because they thought I would land on my head or get confused, (that never happened btw lol) but now I coach along side them and they are so supportive.

The only negative could be the extra pounding which could cause injuries.. but if her hours aren't too bad then it should benefit her. I ran track my sophmore year in high school (my dad was the high school track coach) and I had a blast and am still friends with the girls!

Good luck!


Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
Thanks for all of your great responses everyone! So many different sports being done by gymnasts, I think it's great! Looks like we're all in agreement, about participation in different sports being a good thing:)! Everyone except DD's coach that is:rolleyes:. Any coaches out there that have a different take on this, that I should be aware of? I agree with Bog & gymlawmom, I think coach is just worried she'll like track better. But track is like 8wks long, compared to gym which is never ending:p. I think coach can deal with it for 8wks. She loves gym...she's not giving it up. I also think he's nervous b/c DD still has sectionals & states coming up. But none of the track practices or meets will interfere with her gym practices or meets. And I've been making sure she's eating well & getting as much rest as possible. I really can only see good in DD is just so darn happy:D! I'm having fun learning about track too. Another sport, like gymnastics, that I knew nothing about until DD got involved. Maybe I can find the CB of track...what do you think that would be called:confused:. Just kidding I could never give up my CB addiction,LOL! Thanks for all of your replies!


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I say, if she is liking track and is happy, let her do it! I imagine the coaches don't want to lose a gymmie to another sport, as often happens. Maybe being less stressed because of track will help her with the mental blocks she is having at the gym. :D


Lots of our girls do other sports and the coaches are encouraging of that--I think it helps prevent burnout if they do other things as well--saying "No, you can't do that--you have gymnastics!" is a pretty sure bet to make them start resenting gymnastics. The only time they discourage it is when you reach level 9 or 10. They say at that level, you're in gymnastics 5 days a week, so would not have time.

When Sami was in club, she did softball, plays and some other things that required her to miss or be late to practice. They coaches weren't thrilled, but they were fine with it.

I did have to laugh at one parent though--her daughter was doing volleyball last fall--told the coaches about missing practices, etc. But then got mad when her daughter missed bars all the time. She wanted them to re-arrange practice time so her daughter could still practice on all events. I was a little surprised she thought they should do that!
Feb 8, 2008
Being in cheerleading drastically improved my dancing abilities and ability to pick up on choreography. Every sport has can help improve an athlete in some way. A bunch of girls on my team used to play soccer. It helped their endurance and they had no problems throwing the back tuck at the end of the level 6 floor routine, unlike me.


Proud Parent
Jul 25, 2008
I think it's important for kids to try other activities, and both of mine who are gymnasts also participate in other sports. However, with the schedule some kids have for gymnastics it would be tough for us to do so; however, with our hours, we can usually fit in another sport with minimal disruption. These activities, like track, don't interfere with the competition season. We do still usually end up missing practice occasionally or leaving early or arriving late at other times. It's hard to say for how long my girls will be interested in gymnastics, so I feel that it's a good thing for them to have other activities to go to should they decide that gym is not for them anymore. I haven't ever had a coach say that they disagree with outside activities so I don't really know what to say about that. All of them seem to agree that is good to have other activities as well as gymnastics.


I have to say that my dd's experience doing another sport has NOT been positive. She has been doing cheer this year as well (she is 10 and trains gym 20 hours a week) and although cheer is "only" 5 hours a week, she is finding it all a bit much, especially during competitive season (both sports have the same season here). She also worries that cheer is hurting her tumbling as the criteria is not nearly as stringent as it is for gym - if you can do the skill without a "touchdown" you are good to go! - and she feels she is pushed to do things that, while not dangerous, promote bad habits (as in pikey layouts, etc.)

She will not be doing cheer again next year, and even tho she has enjoyed it to an extent, for her it is not worth the stress (me either! :eek:) She is really really looking forward to the end of her cheer season (which is in 3 more weeks!)

I too, am all for doing something other than gymnastics -- whether it's another sport or music or whatever. I also could see the coach's point of view, though. Time may not be the issue, but her physical wellness could be. As a coach, I wouldn't want her to be tired and coming to practice worn out. That could not only affect her gymnastics, but could be a safety issue. If she is not showing signs of fatigue, is able to keep up with her school work, continues to have friendships, and continues to have good gymnastics practices, then there should be no problem! I have coached several girls who played soccer, as well as some who played lacrosse and hockey, rode horseback competitively, and did competitive dance. Only one ended up not being able to handle both sports.
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