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Jun 26, 2008
My daughter is 4 and she is on the pre-team she has a lot of potential but she doesn't always listen. I just picked her up and her coach said she wasn't listening and she missed a lot of skills. When I ask her if she wants to quit she starts crying. I know it is not an attention problem because she listens very well in school. What should I do? Should I get her some privates so she becomes more focused?

A mom in need of help.
Nov 6, 2008
How long has she been on preteam? Is she in a fairly large group? She is only 4 and having some trouble listening and following all directions seems normal to me for her age. How is the coach handling this issue during practice? Is she praising her when she does listen?


Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
Pacific NW
I guess I'd need more information to make a suggestion, but privates for a 4 year old doesn't sound like the answer to me. My initial take is that she's probably overwhelmed-- maybe the training sessions are too long for her attention span. At 4, my gut says put her in rec for a year and then go back to preteam next year. She's so young, she has plenty of time for competitive gymnastics.
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Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
She is ONLY 4 years old. 4 year olds often don't listen, especially when they have to wait for their turn, etc. She is acting her age, that is all. At age 4, gymnastics should be FUN, FUN, FUN.

How many hours a week does she do?

If she is pre-team, maybe she needs a decrease in hours. If she is talented, taking a break or decreasing hours is NOT going to hurt her. My DD isn't super talented and she didn't do "pre-team" type class until she was 5 and that was a very low pressure, fun, 1.5 hour class 2 times a week. Even at that age she sometimes didn't listen. :D Heck, she is 6 and a level 4 now and sometimes doesn't listen. LOL.

I wouldn't do privates. That isn't going to help her learn to pay attention. As she grows older, she will pay more attention. Let her be what she is, a little kid. If the coach has issues with it, then maybe she just isn't ready for pre-team yet. Let her do rec, have fun and not be stressed.



My DD is 7 and still sometimes has trouble staying focused during practice. I just have to remind myself that 1) she is only 7; and 2) everyone has "off" days. Your baby is so young, she's probably just being 4. If it becomes and continuous and disruptive problem, then perhaps she is just not ready for pre-team yet, maturity-wise.


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Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
I have never met a 4 year old who sometimes doesnt listen. In fact I have never met a kid who sometimes doesn;t listen, in fact I've never met a person who sometimes doesn't listen.

This is perfectly normal behavior for her age, even the most toalented 4 year olds will not be consistent from day to day. They will have fantastic days when they are really good and they will have off days when they dont listen and miss skills. It will take a while for her to be consistent. This is one of the reasons that most proper competitions dont start until the kids are 6 years old (5 in Australia) because 4 yr olds are too variable. They can't nessesarily show their best on any gioven day just because it is asked for.

Don't bother with privates, they can take the fun out of class. Being with the others is part of whatt makes it fun. At this age if you take the fun out of it she wont want to do it anymore. Then all the talent in the world wont do them much good.

My advice would be leave it, dont worry. Make sure she gets a good night sleep before her training days and eats the proper food before hand and dress her in the correct gym gear, pay your bills and have her there on tiume and you have done all you can do as the parent. Encouraging her to listen and focus is the coaches job. It needs to happen in the class, very little that you can do and say aafterwoulds will make any difference.


I would agree that you need to keep it fun.

Giving her privates now is not a good idea. She needs to learn how to wait and to work stations if they are given without always having a coaches attention. If she has a private lesson, then she mayl begin to not perform unless she always have the coaches attention.

Save the privates (and the $$ - you'll need it later!) until she needs a certain skill or to polish a routine. Never mind when you have to pay for privates for things like routines and choreography!
When I ask her if she wants to quit she starts crying.

This of course depends on HOW you asked. My DW is of often guilty of "asking" such questions with a somewhat scolding voice.

I don't know how other schools work, but in our gym, advancement is skills based even in pre-school levels. If she still likes it, continue at the same level. If she doesnt learn, or doesnt seem very enthusiastic, maybe "taking a break" from gym for a little bit, and try a new activity may help.

For the longest time, my DD spent more time trying to please Mom and Dad with her efforts then she did evaluating if she really interested in the activity herself.


I agree with what a lot of the other posters have been saying. She's only 4 and that's going to happen. Especially if she's with a larger group and has to stand around, waiting her turn on things. What do they expect her to do. But, if her mind is wondering, looking around at things while the coaches are trying to teach her things, maybe she just isn't ready for pre-team. I suggest putting her back in a rec class where they don't focus so much on skills as they do on fun!
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