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Proud Parent
May 21, 2008
Since most peoples seasons are over, lets answer a fun question......

How did your dd get into gymnastics? Did you every do gymnastics? Would you do it all over again?

My answer:
Emma got into gymnastics pretty much by accident. I have no gymnastics experience, but always loved watching it on TV growing up. A neighbor asked her to take a class with her dd when Emma was in Kindergarten. She really liked it, but couldn't even do a cartwheel. Mastered the cartwheel in 1st grade. Fast forward a few years, the team coaches noticed her and asked her to be on the team. She competed L4 in 4th grade.(i know, shes an old lady). Today she is in 8th grade and just finished L8 (at least for the first time)

Would I do it all over again? I think I would. I wish it wasn't a sport that consumed their lives, 20 hrs a week, 50+ hours a week, I wish we could sit around the dinner table as a family, I wish it wasn't such a mental and pressure filled sport. But along with the bad, comes a lot of good. She really loves this sport. She also ran track for the first time ever since L8 season ends early here. She really liked track, but said to me "its not like gym, I couldn't imagine doing this all year". lol
My DD got into gymnastics in much the same way as yours. She was 8 yrs old and went to gym with a friend for "bring a friend day" By the end of the summer she was moved to L4 She is now in 6th grade and just finished her 2nd season as a L7. She was just officially moved to L8.

I would do everything exactly the same. I am glad that she started Gym "late" She spent her "early " years playing soccer and loved it. When the time game that she had to choose between the two she chose Gymnastics. She truly loves the sport and can also say that she has experienced other sports as well.
This is a fun topic!

I never was a gymnast or an athlete of any kind, but I married a former gymnast and coach. When she was 4 I finally enrolled her in a preschool class which lasted all of one week before they moved her to a preteam type class and now she's training Level 5.
When my daughter was almost 4 we put her in a ballet class but she wasn't crazy about it because it was too slow paced, so we tried a preschool gymnastics class and she loved it. It was the first time I had ever seen her sit still and pay attention in a class setting. She picked up skills fairly quickly I think and is now on pre-team (level 3) at her current gym (1st gym was in a different state). She wanted to try ballet again a few months ago so I put her in a class at the Y and she still didn't like it. She needs to be able to move around a little more quickly than the ballet teacher wanted her

If I knew what I know now about the world of gymnastics would I have enrolled her? I'm honestly not sure. Her gym is talking about moving her group up to level 4 (which I think is ludicrous because I think there's only one little girl who is ready...but that's a whole other topic..) which I know is going to be a WHOLE lot more money and I'm not sure if we can afford it right now. Kind of makes me sad since she loves it so much. We'll see. We haven't gotten the official word and I don't know what it will actually cost me yet. Maybe we can find a way to make it work.

Oh and I did do rec gymnastics for awhile as a kid. I got to the point where we were learning back handsprings and I wasn't crazy about them so I quit and started playing other sports. I can still do a handstand and cartwheel though! :D
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This IS a fun thread!

Well, I did ballet and played soccer growing up, up until the end of h.s. I loved gymnastics and went to a summer camp, but was too afraid to chuck any skills beyond the basics ;)

So, when I had a DD, I had these dreams of having a little ballerina. Weeeell, she took a year of ballet around 5 y.o. and hated it! She's a very energetic kid & was always making faces in the mirror instead of doing her plie or releve - lol. She started to beg me to put her in gymnastics. That summer, we were at the pool and as she was running & jumping in the deep end, a woman came over to me and said, "Hey, I'm a gymnastics coach and you should really get her into a class. She has a great build for it." (DD is more the shawn johnson type of build, very muscular legs, etc., but not as short). As soon as DD heard that, she said, "See, Mom! I need to go to gymnastics!" LOL I Got her in a rec class in the fall and she couldn't do a cartwheel either! She was moved to pre-team after 3 months, then we moved & the new gym put her on L3 team, then we moved gyms and DD is now on L4 team (she is 7 y.o., just finishing up 1st grade).

So far, I would do it all again. I never pushed her into team - this has all been her dream. It is a huge time & financial commitment, but I figure that she has already learned some priceless lessons that she otherwise may not have gotten a chance to learn. If it keeps enhancing her as a person, I will continue to support & bankroll her, as long as she loves the sport :)
Weeeell, she took a year of ballet around 5 y.o. and hated it! She's a very energetic kid & was always making faces in the mirror instead of doing her plie or releve - lol.

This was my daughter EXACTLY! I'd get so frustrated when she would make faces at herself in the mirror while all the other little girls were paying attention and doing what they were supposed to do. ;)
This was my daughter EXACTLY! I'd get so frustrated when she would make faces at herself in the mirror while all the other little girls were paying attention and doing what they were supposed to do. ;)

LOL! I could barely even watch sometimes, it would frustrate me so much! All that ballet training I had and my little girl refused to love it - how could that be? ;) Amazing how the little ones with all that energy are able to channel it into something they really love. Sounds like our DD's are very similar! DD struggles on beam because as her HC says, "She's just still so busy!" But, I guess that's why she does well on bars and vault...she's never satsfied unless she's hurling her body through space!
DD started gym as a fluke. As a two year old, she was lugged around when her older Sis had gym. She and her sissy have always been very close. Well, every time she saw her pass by she would yell, "Sissy!" at the top of her little lungs. Finally the owner said, "Get that kid in class; She is distracting the other gymmies." That lasted one session and then we just stayed out of the gym when older DD had gym.
Then when she was 3, her older Sis and I were talking and out of the corner of our eyes we saw her throw a FF! We both looked and said, "What?" almost simultaneously. She loved that she startled us and proceeded to do two more. I knew then, that in order to stop her from killing herself she had to get re-enrolled in a program.
A year later, it had become too much for me to have to bring all three kids to each of their activities but I feared that I might be pulling a talented little one out of the sport. I should have listened to my own instincts to slow down. DD's old gym scooped her up and placed her on their level 4 team. She trained level 5 as a 5 yo, and now she shows zero signs of stopping. As I type, I am battling a bad head cold! Momma's tired. But in retrospect, I would do this all over again because what I have gotten in return is a determined, hardworking, self-motivated, HAPPY little girl! Momma truly is happy just sick!
J was never in any organized sport but when she was almost 5 she saw a tumbling team (performance) and wanted to join. She did that for a year and then decided she wanted to try gymnastics. We went to a gym, the L3 (preteam coach) evaluated her and from then on she was in the gym 9 hours a week. That was ~18 months ago. She is in the gym 16-19 hrs and loving it.. She is 8 now. She taught herself how to do 1 handed cartwheels at home when she was 4 and that scared me into letting her do the first tumbling team (figured they would at least teach her about safety, etc)
My dd staring Gymnastics last April, at the age of 5. She had previously tried ballet at the age of 3 and she HATED it! She would run out of the class. LOL! She has always played soccer, but this will be the first year that we just don't have the time. ;( She is currently preteam, going 9 hours and training Level 5.

I don't have any gymnastics experience other than "backyard gymnastics." ;) My sister, did gymnastics and taught me a few things. I can still do a handstand and a cartwheel. Last week at open gym dd and another girl from her team went to "preschool" open gym during the day because they are both in kindergarten and they asked me to do "ready set go" (handstand contests) so I did! ONE butt cheek and both forearms HURT so bad for the next two days! I must have looked ridiculous! ;)
My dd took all the parent/child classes Little Gym had to offer. When she turned 3 she wanted to try the dance classes which she did for a summer. At 4 her baby brother was born so we didn't put her in anything. At 5 she took a summer sports class at Little Gym. The coach of that class told me she was a natural (they often did gymnastics instead of sports because the other two boys in the class were on vacation frequently). He wanted me to enroll her for the fall but I felt if she had talent she should go to the local gym. So she started rec classes last year in Kindergarten.

She was moved to L3 team this year and is now working on L4. I was athlete but never a gymnast and I'm so very not flexible and that is dd's strength. Crazy how it all works out?
My ds was the first one into gymnastics. I was dance, drama and track as a kid, but always loved gymnastics. When he started jumping off of furniture, I enrolled him in a preschool class to get rid of some of his energy. When he went to kindergarten they moved him to pre-team and then he competed for three years before "retiring" at the ripe old age of 9, LOL. He then went on to basketball and track and band and doesn't seem to miss gymnastics at all.

On to dd...When ds was doing gymnastics, we enrolled her in a preschool class (since we were already there) but she is incredibly shy and wouldn't go into the class (even though she knew the instructor already). We figured she wasn't ready. Then, ds quit and we thought our gym days were over. She tried ballet, cheerleading and soccer but wasn't really impressed with any of those. Then when she was 7, she asked to do gymnastics. My husband said "Oh no, not again" (he was always concerned with the money factor). I told him not to worry. After all, she was already 7 and had never taken a class before, and nothing else had ever lasted more than a year/season. Besides, she was kind of clutzy, I told him. 4 months later, they asked her to be on team. She loves it and half the journals or papers she writes at school are all about gymnastics. I guess, she knew when she was ready. Turns out, my husband seems to like watching her after all, even though he definitely threw in an "I told you so" when they asked her to go to team.

Who knows how long her love of gymnastics will last, but we will enjoy her journey just like we did with our son.
I put DD in a Mommy and Me class at 18 months after she kept launching herself head first off couches (going into a forward roll, but still scaring me to death!). Figured she should learn how to flip safely, I guess. She went into the preschool class at 3, then onto the gym's pre-team at 4 1/2. That was purely unintentional on my part. She was going into pre-k 5 days a week and the gym did not have many preschool classes in the afternoon. When I asked her teacher (who was one of the team coaches although I had no clue) if she could move to a 5 yr. old rec class a little early, she recommended pre-team. DD perked up hearing she could go 2 days a week. Honestly, I thought at 4 1/2 that she would get bored with the repetition and want to go back to the rec class. Well, was I wrong on that one! She did her 2 years on pre-team and just finished her 1st level 4 season. Who knows how long she will go, but I think it's been a great learning experience.
My girls are twins. When they were about 4-5, Tory kept picking activities and Kathy would go along with them. Tory would say "I want to do dance!" and Kathy would say, "O.K!" and I'd sign them both up for dance. At the end of the term Tory said, "Let's do ice skating!" and Kathy said, "O.K!" so I signed them both up for ice skating. Finally Tory said, "I want to do Gymnastics!" and Kathy was agreeable, so I signed them both up for gymnastics. However, at the end of the session when Tory said, "Let's do dance again!" this time Kathy said "No!" She wanted to stick with gymnastics! So Tory moved on to dance (which she has done ever since) and Kathy has continued with gymnastics. To this day, Tory likes to take credit for her sister's gymnastics career. "If it weren't for me, you would have never done gymnastics!" though I'm not really sure that that's true. In the same way that a happy couple seems like they were destined to find each other (I traveled all the way to Kenya to find my hubby, who was there with the Peace Corps), I think Kathy was destined to find gymnastics!
My oldest began gymnastics when she was almost 5. Before that, she was in a preschool tap/ballet class. All she ever wanted to do was to take gymnastics. In kindergarten, she was moved to an advanced recreation class, and onto the team in first grade. She quit gymnastics to play competitive softball. So we sold our beam and bar thinking that we were finished with gymnastics. Little sis had other plans for us. She began in a preschool tap/ballet/gymnastics class and always called the gym portion recess--(I should have clued in then, but didn't). She also competed on a tiny level competitive cheer squad. After every competition, she would ask when could she go out there alone and compete. When she was 4, older dd's coach also coached a preschool invitational class. One day, I asked him, if he had a spot in the class and if so, could AB have the spot. She quit cheer, and stayed in tap/ballet for one more year. She moved to level 3 in first grade and is now in level 4. She did take a break at the end of the last competition season, but asked to go back. She is now taking hip hop and working on level 5 skills. Oldest dd went into the gym last week and did a round off back hand spring. She had not done one in several years. She has decided that in addition to softball, volleyball, basketball, and preteen at church, she might like to go back and just tumble.
after waking and walking into my kitchen early one morning to find my tiny 15 mo old dd had not only climbed out of her crib but up onto the top of the refridgerator, from which she was perched-waiting for me(because she couldn't figure out how to get down)saying, "Hi mommy", I decided to put her in a mommy and me gym class at the ymca. She only took classes for about two sessions, and was moved to the "little rollers" class, which she then had to quit because we moved across the country. She didn't forget it, though and begged over and over to take gymnastics classes. There were no gyms in our immediate area, so I put her in a combo dance class, which she liked and did well with, but wasn't quite her "thang". We moved again, and for her 6th birthday, i took her down to the closest gym to take a trial class. We came a little late, and she was too scared to go into the class. Just as I decided we should go, the head coach saw her and came out to talk to us. Mia said she "just wanted to go on the big beam one time" (unbeknownst to her that beam was HC's absolute love-of-life!!) I watched her through the window as the HC had her "just walk" on the beam, then "just hop" on the beam, then, "try this" and "how about this" and next thing I knew, she had deposited her in a class with a group of little girls. After an hour, the class was not done, and dd did not come out. HC came out and said, "Oh, yeah, your dd needs to be on our Developmental team-they meet twice a week for two hours". Two years later, she is a level 5 and over the moon loving it.

The funny story is actually my ds's. He refused to join gym. said it was "for girls" even though I could tell he was envious of how much fun dd was having. After a year of watching her, he noticed ppl commenting on her muscles and then one night goofing around, they wrestled and dd won. He told me that night, "All right!!! I'll join gym!!!" (as if I had been twisting his arm...I think he was having an argument with himself!! lol) Now, a year and a half later he has one season of competitve level 4 under his belt and isn't looking back, either. There is actually great good natured rivalry between them-each trying to best the other. If the coaches want them to run faster, they always make races and pair up my dd and ds...nothing makes them work harder!!!
I signed my daughter up for gymnastics when she was a few months from turning 8. My older daughter was playing basketball with a friend and her friends mom suggested we sign the 2 younger girls up for gymnastics 2 days a week to give them something to do. So they started a rec class and after the first session the other little girl did not want to continue buy my daughter did. She then completed one more session and moved to pre-team. She was on pre-team a very short time and moved to the level 3 team (our gym competes starting at level 2). She competed in the fall as a level 3 and chose to compete one more season (spring) as a level 3 although she could have moved up. She is now going to be moving to level 5 for the summer. She loves it so much and I am glad for her although I never thought I would spend so much on a sport for my child!! LOL!
I have no gymnastics background and no real sporting talent. DD just always wanted to do gymnastics, tried one dance class and hated it. She had just turned six when I gave in. DS was 8 at the time and used to sit there watching and boys team coach asked if he wanted to try a boys class... the rest is history. Would I do it all again? Despite the things that I sometimes dislike, that it is such a time intensive, mentally and physically demanding and sometimes very subjective sport... yes I probably would. Sometimes I think that it would have been easier for ds in particular if they had started a year or so earlier, but gymnastics has given them so many more benefits than any of the disadvantages.
Well my older daughter I started in gymnastics after she made up her own little floor routine in the back yard after watching the 96 Olympics (she was nearly 3). Beth is in it because she followed her sister into it. Beth's the more naturally talented gymnast--Sami works harder at gaining skills, then Beth has had to.

I wasn't ever a gymnast--my dad was never in favor of spending money on extracurriculars! Always loved gymnastics though!
WEll I put oldest dd in gymnastics when she was 3 with a friends dd who was the same age , her older sister was in it, and I needed more things got her to do with kids her own age, and when younger dd would hang out they let her try the things and she kept up with the 3 yr olds and she was 18 months , so th emonth before she turned 2 they told me to enroll her in the 2 yr old class and off they went

and baby dd well she just sort of got enrolled cause she wants to be like her big sisters and there is not much else her age to do!
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