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Just spoke to our coach last night and he is confident our girls will be fine making the transition from L3 to L4 this coming month--which means team. Our gym doesn't compete until after the Holidays. He is leaving it up to us to decide if we want the girls to compete this year. I really am not sure one way or the other.
On the one hand, the girls are pretty far ahead, already working on L5 skills, and the coach wouldn't move them up if they weren't ready. On the other hand, they will only have 2-3 months to practice as L4s and they are still so little. We've been talking about this all summer, but it didn't seem that pressing until the coach brought it up (my babies are growing up so fast!) DH and I are leaning towards letting them be on the team, but not having them compete until next year. What do you all think?
They'll be 6 on Halloween. Our coach is very strict about the age limits. He will not move kids up to a higher class until they are the right age. Since the classes are very small, he and his assistant coaches work with the more advanced kids within their own age group classes instead of having them workout with the older kids.
I would say that it depends on your child. If she is the type that thrives on competition then meets are fun. If they are extreme perfectionists than meets with just acquired skills (including the dance)...could be really stressful.

**Most** little ones who are very progressed at a young age love meets!

If finances are a consideration for your family than I'd definitely say wait...your meet fees can add up next year!

Don't know if that helped, :rolleyes:
Tough decision...would they be practicing with team mates that were going to meets? If so, would they feel left out of that team "meet" experience? Meets can be so fun for little ones...but so stressful for others. Really depends on the child. I think they all like to come home with a little "meet bling" for all their hard work:) But either way they'll have each other for support, that's nice. Good luck with your decision. Sounds like your girls are very talented:)
That's a tough one. It's too bad your gym doesn't compete Level 3. It seems like if they haven't started the routines (esp. if they don't have level 3 routines already) it could be a tough/discouraging season.

My youngest was being prepped to compete AAU 3 in the winter, and then last spring they decided to compete her team as USA 3 this fall. I think most of her team really needed the extra time, and so far it has been a tough season (she just turned 7). I really think they need to acquire the "polish" along with the skills before they move on. A couple of months doesn't seem like enough to me. However, if a lot of the polish comes naturally to your daughters, they might have an easier time of it.

That is a very tough decision. Good luck!
I think it would depend on the child. My DD turned 6 in July and wants to compete sooo bad. She will be competing in January. She loves the whole competition idea, the crowd, etc. Some kids at 6/7 are not into that.

At our gym, being on team means doing EVERYTHING with the booster club as if your DD were competing. Had I thought that my DD wasn't going to be ready to compete this year, I would have probably not let her move to team. Except for the fact that there is no middle ground at our gym right now for the littles, just 3 hours a week in a class that wouldn't challenge her, or team. Booster club for us is a huge committment and a pain. LOL. So I would check about that first, etc.

Good luck deciding. Have the girls gone to any L4 meets yet? That really helped me and DD to decide that she could do team. :D Good luck!
Do they have all the L4 skills? I know it took most of our little girls months to get that middle/mill circle and front hip circle. I say if they have all the L4 skills right now and just need to learn routines, want to compete and money isn't an issue, go watch a L4 meet (even if it isn't your gym) and see what they think and go from there! :D
It's a tough decision. We are kind of in the same situation with our dd. Her coaches told us that as soon as she turns five they want to move her up to level 3, which is our first team competition level. She already knows all the routines and they are working on perfecting them in class. However Im just not sure. She will be so young and I dont know if she really needs to be competiting right away, and to all of a sudden be taken out of her class with girls that she knows then having to practice with a totally new group of girls.
MY advice would be to weigh the pro's and con's , ask your dd what she would really like to do and go from there. Good luck with your decision and best of luck to your dd!
Thanks guys! I definitely am bringing up all of this with DH and going to talk with the girls. The idea of going to watch a meet is brilliant!

My girls are very competitive and I know they want to compete like the "big girls", but they are my babies...*shoulder shrug* We shall see.

They have the L4 skills, so, yes, the biggest concern is the routines and just competition jitters. The older of the two is strongest on beam, whereas her sister is strongest on bars. I think their biggest "competitors" in the gym are different, since they have very different styles and strengths. So, competition might be very interesting to watch.
Several things to consider. Can they both handle the extra time required for team practice(I'm assuming more hours of practice?), can you afford it---leos, warm ups, meet fees x 2 etc and can they learn the routines in a few short months. The reality of Nov./Dec practice is gyms close for Thanksgiving/Christmas and families have other plans for that time of year and may need to skip some practices. Would you be willing to put holiday plans on hold this year(and would the girls) to be in the gym for extra team practice if required?

Your idea of moving them to the L4 team, but not competing is good, but you probably would end up paying as if the girls were competing(not meet fees, but tuition) and as has been pointed out, they would hear all the other girls excited about going to meets, but they wouldn't be. Have you asked the coach about letting them start later in the season? Done alot especially with young ones to make sure they have the routines down and feel comfortable when they do compete. Maybe a less stressful way to introduce them to L4. Remember its not just skills. They have to be translated into routines and the routines learned. There are alot of little things to learn when doing routines---stay tight here, chest up there, point toes etc.

Tough call, but I would err on the side of letting them ease in rather than run.
They don't give tests and grades to six year olds in Kindergarten. Going in front of a judge and being given a score is the same as grading their skills. A recreational team is as far as I would go with my own kids at that age. It's not a race, it's a marathon if you decide to stay with this sport.
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