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GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
Hey y’all. I have an almost 9 yr old, she’s practicing for level 5 or 6 (?) and going into 4th grade. In level 4, she had about 12.5 hrs of practice per week. Practices were Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday, she got home at 9:30 on weekdays. There was an adjustment as she returned to public school after homeschooling in 2020. She struggled a bit with losing confidence, etc, which we bounced back from. But 12 hrs was a lot. She got through the season and was SO excited to move on and get new skills. Well…for the summer, she got moved up to a group that practices 20.5 hours a week. Coach doesn’t talk about levels til end of summer. She’s been pushing through but she is Tired. Now, bills started coming in. A few hundred for camp, another 200 for warm ups, and we have to decide and commit to all of our selected meets by July 28th. I don’t know what level she will be except that the coach, when I asked, said “I’m hoping for level 5.” (So no cross country travel meet thank goodness.) We don’t have a practice schedule but she was included in the day program invite for kids who homeschool and that schedule would be 22.5 hours. The contract for the year is due in August, before school even starts. Assessments are upwards of $600 plus monthly costs of upwards of $300. Even though she has been gently conditioning her ankles at home, she’s been complaining about her foot hurting lately. She’s tired. She’s cranky. I ask if she wants to quit and she says no. She finally settled into this grueling schedule. Then recently on a drive I said, if you have the same amount of hours now, but also school, will you want to do it anymore? And she said no. Now, she had a bad fall, landed directly on her head, and even though she told me about it, the head coach didn’t actually reach out to me til the next morning.
All of this to say: From the start, this has been her sport and her goals to achieve. I write the checks and drive her to practice and cheer her on. I don’t want to encourage her to quit if she truly feels in her heart that this is all worth it. But I am really questioning if it’s worth it. For so many reasons. I don’t want to crush her dreams or manipulate her to feel like she wants to quit if she doesn’t. This was her journey to take. How do I guide her??
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
201
31
If it is doable for your family in terms of time and money, and she says she doesn't want to quit, I think you should let it be. She may just be going through a rough patch at the moment and it's possible she even grasps this and knows it's part of the way to achieve her goals.

If it's a big stretch for you, maybe you want to look into some lower cost/lower hours programs, whether that's DP at another gym, or Xcel at her current (or another) gym. Maybe she backs off for a year and is much happier, or maybe she realizes she does want the intensity.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
20 hours a week is over the top imo. Reduce her hours or change gym. She doesn’t seem the type to want to commit her life to gymnastics. If she will be competing 5/6 14 hours a week is probably average.
We also have to pay for our warm ups, Leo’s and meets soon - by the end of August I think. We are told what level they will be competing some time soon, as different levels attend different meets.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
334
20 hours plus school seems like a lot to handle. If her body is consistently fatigued I think you’re asking for an overuse injury sooner rather than later. The reality is, not all bodies can handle that level of stress long term without breaking down.
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
20 hours a week is over the top imo. Reduce her hours or change gym. She doesn’t seem the type to want to commit her life to gymnastics. If she will be competing 5/6 14 hours a week is probably average.
The thing is, she’s adjusted to the 20+ hours a week but I am worried about how school plus gymnastics will go and we have to have the contract signed before school even starts, without knowing level, practice times, etc. i also think if she’s level 5 it doesn’t make sense to have so much practice time - so, is that above what other gyms do? I don’t see 20+ hours in the gym at 9 years old as being horrible but I feel like we will be dealing with overuse injuries moreso than not. I already have her conditioning her ankles at home (writing abc’s with her feet while she’s watching tv) because so many girls had ankle injuries this year and they don’t do much at the gym to prevent it.
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
20 hours plus school seems like a lot to handle. If her body is consistently fatigued I think you’re asking for an overuse injury sooner rather than later. The reality is, not all bodies can handle that level of stress long term without breaking down.
There have been several girls with overuse injuries lately. That’s why we started doing small things at home to try and strengthen her joints, ankles etc.
they have camp week coming up and that’s a full week. I’m waiting until after that to see where she stands.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
334
There have been several girls with overuse injuries lately. That’s why we started doing small things at home to try and strengthen her joints, ankles etc.
they have camp week coming up and that’s a full week. I’m waiting until after that to see where she stands.
Injuries happen but a rash of systematic injuries would have me watching practices closely and thinking about a different gym if I didn’t like what I saw.

Also, I’d hope most gyms would let you modify the contract if the hours just weren’t working out.
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
Injuries happen but a rash of systematic injuries would have me watching practices closely and thinking about a different gym if I didn’t like what I saw.

Also, I’d hope most gyms would let you modify the contract if the hours just weren’t working out.
I know it’s a red flag and I don’t follow the rule anyway, parents are only allowed to watch practice on the last week of the month. When my dd was struggling with some issues this winter I made a point to go in and watch her practices (I was in mama bear mode at the time and had a lot of frustration with the gym - I still do but differently so) and after a few weeks I got a nice email “inviting” me to watch her practice on the last week of the month instead. I do t usually go into the gym anyway, I have no desire to sit in the bleachers for 4 hours, but if there are issues I want to be there to watch. It’s bs that they have this “rule.” I’ve thought about different gyms but the other gyms are much farther away and it isn’t practical. I tried to get her interested in another sport and she won’t bite. She’s in that gymnastics-is-life mindset at the moment. And when she’s tired and frustrated that little voice creeps in like, the time is now, make her quit! But I want her to quit when she is not frustrated with a skill or tired from a long workout.
I hate it here.
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
334
I know it’s a red flag and I don’t follow the rule anyway, parents are only allowed to watch practice on the last week of the month. When my dd was struggling with some issues this winter I made a point to go in and watch her practices (I was in mama bear mode at the time and had a lot of frustration with the gym - I still do but differently so) and after a few weeks I got a nice email “inviting” me to watch her practice on the last week of the month instead. I do t usually go into the gym anyway, I have no desire to sit in the bleachers for 4 hours, but if there are issues I want to be there to watch. It’s bs that they have this “rule.” I’ve thought about different gyms but the other gyms are much farther away and it isn’t practical. I tried to get her interested in another sport and she won’t bite. She’s in that gymnastics-is-life mindset at the moment. And when she’s tired and frustrated that little voice creeps in like, the time is now, make her quit! But I want her to quit when she is not frustrated with a skill or tired from a long workout.
I hate it here.
That wouldn’t be the gym for my family, but I hope it works out for your daughter.
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
Decided to reply to my own thread instead of making a new post because why waste the space but, side rant.
I hate this sport. I love the sport but I hate being in it. I hate the pressure. I hate the schedule. I hate that we have to sign a contract and if we miss two meetings we get charged money for it. I hate how expensive literally every single thing is. I hate the long travels to meets. I hate not knowing what level she’s going to be in, what the practice times are, what she is excelling at or struggling with. I hate that we have 1 week from the time we get the email to the date hundreds of dollars are due. I hate that there’s no feedback from coaches. I hate that the coaches sit around eating popcorn while my kid is vaulting. I hate that she fell off the bar and landed directly on the top of her head and no coach reached out to me until the following day via email while I was at work to even tell me about it. I hate that my almost 9 year old has 20+ hours of gymnastics a week and I won’t get to see her barely at all during the school year if this keeps up. I hate that I let her do the sport at all but I know she loves it and I don’t want to pull her away from it.
I try to keep this all to myself. I try to get on board. Im doing my own financial gymnastics to make the sport work for us. Im talking positively about it, im listening, im encouraging, im trying to cook meals that provide her with the energy to do this sport, im drowning.
She’s loving it. Her best friends are at the gym. Her 2nd home, if you ask her, is that gym. Her dream is to live at the gym. She already wants to coach just like her favorite coach (who does not eat popcorn while the girls are flipping) and she wants to get to optional so she can choreograph her routine etc.
i second guess the gym and my decision to be there. I question the amount of hours - 20 per week during the school year for a 4th grader?
If someone asked me I wouldn’t do this over again. I’d put her in swimming. Track. Anything else. At this point she isn’t burned out by I am. And I sense that she Will burn out if she keeps up the hours. Our contract doesn’t really have an adjustment for changing levels or anything. And you can’t get out of it without losing upwards of $1000. I just hate it.
Sorry. This rant kind of bubbled up this morning. Gymnastics is an intense sport and August is a hard month and I hate it here.
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
320
32
Hey I feel you - I also hate many aspects of this sport, the constant stream of injuries, the cost, the hours... like you said, the pressure.

My 4th grader did 20 hours a week during the school year, I felt bad for her, but worst for the 2nd grader in her level. I'm just preparing myself to battle her school once again to let her out a little early on at least a 2 days so I can actually see her during the school year :(

My husband is also pushing hard for her to go into swimming, and if I could do it again, I would never have put her into gymnastics. Your Xcel hours are nuts though and any place that tells you that you can only be there the last week of the month is very suspicious
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
My husband is also pushing hard for her to go into swimming, and if I could do it again, I would never have put her into gymnastics. Your Xcel hours are nuts though and any place that tells you that you can only be there the last week of the month is very suspicious
I told my dd she was going to swim, like her brother, just for the summer this year, end of discussion. She didn’t want to but got on board. Then, we got the summer schedule and every single day overlapped. There went that plan. Her friend on the other hand had less hours at the gym, went to swimming also this year (the plan was for them to go together) and she loved it so much she said she would 100% quit gym for it. On top of that she’s been wildly successful due to her balance and strength from gymnastics.

Thanks for your response. Sometimes it’s fine and great and manageable but this week feels the opposite (gym camp this week, a million deadlines, vacation next week, birthdays, school shopping and work pressure all at once). Sometimes I think it is best for our family to pull her and also safer for her. But im trying to let her navigate this and she’s really happy. Then she has a rough patch or complains and I think, pull her! Pull her now! But here we are. Glad im not the only one who has this love-hate relationship with gymnastics.
 
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ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
320
32
I told my dd she was going to swim, like her brother, just for the summer this year, end of discussion. She didn’t want to but got on board. Then, we got the summer schedule and every single day overlapped. There went that plan. Her friend on the other hand had less hours at the gym, went to swimming also this year (the plan was for them to go together) and she loved it so much she said she would 100% quit gym for it. On top of that she’s been wildly successful due to her balance and strength from gymnastics.

Thanks for your response. Sometimes it’s fine and great and manageable but this week feels the opposite (gym camp this week, a million deadlines, vacation next week, birthdays, school shopping and work pressure all at once). Sometimes I think it is best for our family to pull her and also safer for her. But im trying to let her navigate this and she’s really happy. Then she has a rough patch or complains and I think, pull her! Pull her now! But here we are. Glad im not the only one who has this love-hate relationship with gymnastics.
We have gym camp too, which cost a fortune and she’s injured for. She was also supposed to go to a college camp, and she’s injured. I lost a crap ton of money this week.

Unfortunately mine never complains about her mental blocks or about the long hours. So I’d just be an asshole if I pulled her :( I did selfishly move her closer to home because I was over the hour drive each way to the other gym location, and she didn’t complain about that either

It sucks your schedule overlapped with swimming, we got lucky that gym was first thing in the morning. Being able to do other things during summer is the only thing that keeps me sane
 
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Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
256
Glad im not the only one who has this love-hate relationship with gymnastics.
We are on year 11 of this sport. Sometimes I think I have had more hate than love. You are not alone in how you feel. Finding a balance between regular life and gymnastics commitment is exhausting and more than difficult sometimes especially for working parents. My kid has done 18+
Hours since she was 9 and she has never had an issue with being in the gym that long but as a parent know there will be overuse injuries and you wiill learn all About growth plates especially in feet and wrists. Know that there will be bad times for them but they will pass and are not the end of the world even though they feel like it.

Wish I had words of wisdom to help you. My best advice looking back at the earlier years is to keep a balance that works for you. If the gym you are at can’t respect it or work with you then find another gym that will. Your sanity is as important as your child’s !!!
 
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GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
47
We have gym camp too, which cost a fortune and she’s injured for. She was also supposed to go to a college camp, and she’s injured. I lost a crap ton of money this week.
Oh no! I hope she heals quickly! Two years ago mine got pink eye and missed a day of camp. Last year she broke her finger, a day before her bday, and missed camp again. I have been holding my breath for a month lol. Just get us through this week. Good luck to your dd, I hope she feels better soon!
 

Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
90
44
Decided to reply to my own thread instead of making a new post because why waste the space but, side rant.
I hate this sport. I love the sport but I hate being in it. I hate the pressure. I hate the schedule. I hate that we have to sign a contract and if we miss two meetings we get charged money for it. I hate how expensive literally every single thing is. I hate the long travels to meets. I hate not knowing what level she’s going to be in, what the practice times are, what she is excelling at or struggling with. I hate that we have 1 week from the time we get the email to the date hundreds of dollars are due. I hate that there’s no feedback from coaches. I hate that the coaches sit around eating popcorn while my kid is vaulting. I hate that she fell off the bar and landed directly on the top of her head and no coach reached out to me until the following day via email while I was at work to even tell me about it. I hate that my almost 9 year old has 20+ hours of gymnastics a week and I won’t get to see her barely at all during the school year if this keeps up. I hate that I let her do the sport at all but I know she loves it and I don’t want to pull her away from it.
I try to keep this all to myself. I try to get on board. Im doing my own financial gymnastics to make the sport work for us. Im talking positively about it, im listening, im encouraging, im trying to cook meals that provide her with the energy to do this sport, im drowning.
She’s loving it. Her best friends are at the gym. Her 2nd home, if you ask her, is that gym. Her dream is to live at the gym. She already wants to coach just like her favorite coach (who does not eat popcorn while the girls are flipping) and she wants to get to optional so she can choreograph her routine etc.
i second guess the gym and my decision to be there. I question the amount of hours - 20 per week during the school year for a 4th grader?
If someone asked me I wouldn’t do this over again. I’d put her in swimming. Track. Anything else. At this point she isn’t burned out by I am. And I sense that she Will burn out if she keeps up the hours. Our contract doesn’t really have an adjustment for changing levels or anything. And you can’t get out of it without losing upwards of $1000. I just hate it.
Sorry. This rant kind of bubbled up this morning. Gymnastics is an intense sport and August is a hard month and I hate it here.
Your gym sounds kinda like a nightmare, honestly!! Financial penalties for missing classes??? Isn't already a penalty that you are paying for classes you don't attend??

I don't go in the gym, I have never been inside my daughters current gym. My oldest daughter has(she's 21), but I see no reason to go myself. My kid is happy, she is progressing, she's not injured.

I spent an inordinate amount of time picking this gym/these coaches(because my daughter is autistic-so gym/coach choice mattered a bit more). Now? I don't need to be there. I see that they are telling her that she doesn't need more hours-despite her asking for more, they worry about burnout.

However, don't tell me that I cannot take an impromptu weekend trip & miss a practice(not before a meet, but during regular practice time)...or that my kid cannot get sick-or has to come to the gym sick!!

I would also have a problem with all the injuries in the other kids-although that alone may or may not be a big issue, things DO happen sometimes & it's noones fault.

The fact that they don't know her level assignment wouldn't worry me too much. I don't ever worry about what level my kid is. She will get there when she gets there, what level doesn't really matter. I actually appreciate that they evaluate skills and decide vs pushing for certain level goals. But I view all this from a different perspective than most.

The basic financials(600/yr & 300/mo)doesn't seem too out of line(to me). BUT if you cannot afford it, especially with the other issues, I would find another gym.

As for quitting the sport, maybe you just need a new gym & new perspective?? Maybe it is time to evaluate what you are hoping to get out of the sport?? For me, my gymnast is autistic, I would pay ANYTHING for the peace and calm gymnastics brings her to her life. So while everyone talks of her olympic potential, that doesn't bring out the checkbook. The lack of meltdowns? No more hurting her siblings? They have a blank check from me! So that is our reason...and what I remember anytime the 3hrs of daily LA traffic(90min ea way)or if the 30+hrs of practice feels invasive in our life...or anytime I feel like the "full time job" of training is too much for a 10yr old(11 in Dec). Then I am happily driving again.

So maybe sit down and think about what your goals are, what you want out of the sport, what you are hoping to gain from it....ask your daughter similar questions. Is gymnastics the reason for a high self esteem?? Is she better at overcoming challenges and adversity due to her commitment in gym?? These are priceless life skills that she will carry with her forever!! Sometimes it's not ACTUALLY about the BHS on beam, but has larger implications.

Just a thought.

Good luck in your journey, regardless of what you decide :)
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
Decided to reply to my own thread instead of making a new post because why waste the space but, side rant.
I hate this sport. I love the sport but I hate being in it. I hate the pressure. I hate the schedule. I hate that we have to sign a contract and if we miss two meetings we get charged money for it. I hate how expensive literally every single thing is. I hate the long travels to meets. I hate not knowing what level she’s going to be in, what the practice times are, what she is excelling at or struggling with. I hate that we have 1 week from the time we get the email to the date hundreds of dollars are due. I hate that there’s no feedback from coaches. I hate that the coaches sit around eating popcorn while my kid is vaulting. I hate that she fell off the bar and landed directly on the top of her head and no coach reached out to me until the following day via email while I was at work to even tell me about it. I hate that my almost 9 year old has 20+ hours of gymnastics a week and I won’t get to see her barely at all during the school year if this keeps up. I hate that I let her do the sport at all but I know she loves it and I don’t want to pull her away from it.
I try to keep this all to myself. I try to get on board. Im doing my own financial gymnastics to make the sport work for us. Im talking positively about it, im listening, im encouraging, im trying to cook meals that provide her with the energy to do this sport, im drowning.
She’s loving it. Her best friends are at the gym. Her 2nd home, if you ask her, is that gym. Her dream is to live at the gym. She already wants to coach just like her favorite coach (who does not eat popcorn while the girls are flipping) and she wants to get to optional so she can choreograph her routine etc.
i second guess the gym and my decision to be there. I question the amount of hours - 20 per week during the school year for a 4th grader?
If someone asked me I wouldn’t do this over again. I’d put her in swimming. Track. Anything else. At this point she isn’t burned out by I am. And I sense that she Will burn out if she keeps up the hours. Our contract doesn’t really have an adjustment for changing levels or anything. And you can’t get out of it without losing upwards of $1000. I just hate it.
Sorry. This rant kind of bubbled up this morning. Gymnastics is an intense sport and August is a hard month and I hate it here.
I'm still fairly new and from a pretty small town and a very small gym but my personal opinion is that it's not the sport of gymnastics, it's your gym that is making you hat the sport.
Most of the things you noted as things you hate are things our gym doesn't do. Maybe our gym is an anomaly but if I were you I would definitely be looking at other gyms!
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
151
63
20+ hours for level 5 seems way too high. That is probably why she is getting little injuries here and there. That will only continue as she moves up and her hours continue to increase. I agree with other posters it sounds like it is more the gym not the sport itself. I would get into a new gym as soon as possible given that compulsory season is about to start and before you pay a whole bunch of more money. I hope there is a less intense gym near you. Adding school pressure and the pressure for 20+ hours a week in the gym seems unmanageable at this stage. If you need 20 hours to train a level 5 then there is something wrong. They are probably doing a lot of up training and really your daughter could be a competing a higher level, but they probably compete a level below where the gymnast really is training. Most competitive gyms do that, so they make themselves look good, but it is not always in the best interest of the individual.
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
320
32
I’m not sure it’s way high for someone who has a goal of going very far, but it does seem like a lot for someone who isn’t homeschooled.

I know of a gym where LEVEL 2s train 20 hours a week. That’s way high.
What?? That’s stupid, no one needs 20 hours a week to learn to do a cartwheel on the floor and a pullover. For level 2, we did closer to 20 hours a MONTH
 
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