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Proud Parent
Sep 9, 2013
I would say that in general as a coach, you try to avoid the back and forth plan. That being said, once season has started it can become inevitable if a gymnast is not making progress fast enough to match up with the meet schedule.

As far as your anxiety question... If your DD is at a gym where it's "okay" not to be a winning L10 or on that path, then she might thrive by staying in the sport. If she's in a different environment, it probably is contributing to her anxiety. I have coached at many programs around the country and I have seen kids who were made to feel valuable to their team even if they repeated L8 or L9 until graduation. I have been at other programs where after one allowed repeat season, you were moved up to the next level where you were expected to compete the routines you had at that level and scratch the ones you did not "until you got them." Really it was to get the gymnast to quit from the pressure, because they did not want you if you were not ultimately going to be a national qualifier/NCAA recruit. Those kids were full of anxiety. At that same program, they had one L8 who refused to quit and refused to switch to XD as they recommended every year. That had never happened before. They were so taken aback by her self-advocacy that they "let her" continue as a L8 until graduation. She was a beautiful L8 (never scored under a mid 37), but they did not want a L8 high school senior. At the end of the year banquet, even though XD seniors were asked to give senior speeches along with L10 graduating seniors, she was not. Just make sure she is not at a gym like this.
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Proud Parent
May 19, 2020
At the end of the year banquet, even though XD seniors were asked to give senior speeches along with L10 graduating seniors, she was not. Just make sure she is not at a gym like this.
Wow, that makes me so sad. Good for that gymnast for speaking up and continuing to do what she loves. Although there are plenty of issues that I have with communication/culture/etc, I am happy that I have never seen this type of attitude. Although the graduating seniors are typically L9 or 10, a couple of years ago we had a L8 graduating senior who was adored by coaches and gymnasts alike. She was such a role model for many of the younger gymnasts and was celebrated in the same way as all of the other graduating seniors.


Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
@gymjunkie -- Thanks so much for your coaching insights. Your comments about gym culture are interesting to me. I am honestly not sure exactly where our gym falls with respect gymnasts who have stalled. We definitely have older L9's (including one L9 senior this year) so clearly you don't have to be a superstar L10 by high school in order to stay. However, there are also examples of gymnasts being moved from JO to Xcel. It's not entirely clear to me what differentiates a slow moving JO gymnast from one who is directed to Xcel?? On a related note, I've definitely noticed the coaches' attention and interest naturally gravitates towards the younger, quickly progressing stars (my DD was on the received end of this attention as a 10yo L7 putting up big scores). And we have an especially talented group of first year L8's (mostly age 10-11) which adds a little complexity to my DD's situation as a 12 year old repeat L8 being outperformed. Thankfully, I am well past the stage of comparisons and focus only on my own kid.
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