Parents How do you guys know what level your DD will compete in the Fall?

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Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2012
I know for compulsories, it can be clear about the coming level but optionals seem much tougher to forecast. We still have so much summer training left and with the huge variety of summer skill training, it is not obvious to me or my dd what level she will be. Do the coaches tell you, are you best guessing, or can you tell by the skills they have acquired? I guess I will will know when its time to pay for a meet package, and it doesn't matter to me what level she competes...I was truly just curious how so many seem to know already. I guess every gym has their own way of getting it done.
Some gyms know already because their season starts in a month or two. In my case I just asked :) because I had some paper work to fill out. I knew pretty much what was required for her level (7) and from watching bits and pieces knew that she either already has the skills for floor, beam and vault and was close to the giant and cast handstand on bars.
With the kids I coach, we have long talks and set goals. We discuss score outs and requirements. The ideal goals must be met by October for optionals. Comps. must have it by mid Aug. Opts compete Nov-march, comps compete sept-jan.
Yeah, our season doesn't begin until late Nov/early Dec so we have quite a bit of time left. But I just had a conversation with her coach at the end of last season regarding plans for this year. DD competed old L6 last year and will compete L7 this year. She's got most of the skills and is just working on form & consistency now. We have quite a while yet until our season though and haven't started routines yet. I think they have pieces of routines that they working, but nothing solid yet. I do think that it will be fluid for some of our groups though, depending on what skills they get. Our old L5 group is training new L5, but I don't think they'll all get all the skills they need, so some of them may actually compete new L4 at the beginning of the season and then move up when they're ready.
I don't have any idea and they tell us nothing, But I think it's safe to assume that she competed level 7 last year and is training level 8, so either she will compete 7 or 8. I know she won't be skipping to level 9 so really there are only 2 options. I also know it will come down to vault. If she is doing the yurchenko vault she will compete 8, if she can't get it she will do level 7 because the other 3 are ready. So it's really not much of a mystery. There are probably some safe assumptions you can make.
Well this year it's easy--she was a level 10 last year, so she'll be a level 10 this year. But in the past, it was frequently a question and a guessing game. Our gym likes to have the level set by October--if you don't have your skills by then, you will compete the lower level (our optionals start their season in December or January), but that seems to be flexible too (they've changed things after that date).

It usually doesn't hurt to ask if they know what level your daughter will be competing. If they haven't decided yet, they can tell you that too.
Our coaches discussed with the optional girls at the beginning of the summer the requirements for each level. If they get the requirements then they compete that level. My dd competed 8 last year and has no desire to try to push for 9, so she already knows she is doing 8 this year. She is still working a variety of skills though, so the skills for her routines have not been set. I have to say I have loved this year of having no stress of getting skills for the next level. She is just having fun figuring out which C skills to add to each event but since they aren't mandated, she feels much less pressure. So she is having the fun of upgrading without the stress.
Our compulsories are tested for skills at the end of summer, the optionals about a month before first meet so late Oct/early November.
DD's team brought home papers in the spring with their summer training groups on them. There may be some movement at the end of the summer... kids who struggled with or flew through new skills during summer practice, but I think they're mostly set. We do have one group of girls who competed 7 last year that are 7/8's for the summer. I don't know when HC will decide where to put them, or if they might remain 7/8's and just compete 7 till they're ready to compete 8?
I have no idea yet what dd will compete. They said right now they are "just training skills" and they'll figure out the levels later. Dd competed L6 last year and didn't do all that great. She did qualify for states, but did not medal there. She's working L7 skills now, but not sure if she'll have them all to compete. It is just a wait & see game for us here.
In the past we have known before the summer schedule starts. This year for the optionals at least they are all training skills and at the end of the summer they will evaluate and decide who competes what level. Although watching last year I did see a lot of movement in the middle of the year. Girls that started excel and moved to JO, girls that started L7 and then went L8, etc. I have no idea what will happen for my dd!
Our compulsories are usually set in stone by the beginning of the summer. Our optionals have all the way up to the beginning of completion season to get their skills. If they get their skills they will compete the level if not they will repeat the same level.
At our gym formal move-ups occur at the end of August, but optionals are more likely to move up during a year if it doesn't happen in August. This is especially true if the optionals are repeating a level and are only missing one skill or event. It was really difficult to predict right after states, but it's pretty clear right now based on summer training groups where the coaches expect a gymnast to be at the end of August.
We recently found out because soon school will be back in session and we will return to night practice. You've got to have a level to know what your schedule is! None of our levels practice on the same nights consistently and our parents like knowing what the schedule is to accommodate all of the other extra curricular activities.
Our compulsories are usually set in stone by the beginning of the summer. Our optionals have all the way up to the beginning of completion season to get their skills. If they get their skills they will compete the level if not they will repeat the same level.
This is similar to my dds gym. Of course nothing with optionals is set in stone since injuries occur and set backs so a gymnast can start at a lower level then move up when ready. Right now the optionals are uptraining and we'll see come Nov/Dec what skills dd has then the coaches will let her know.
With the exception of the girls that very obviously have acquired what they need for the next level (usually just a few girls), nothing is said until close to the first meet. It drives everyone crazy, but it is what it is. Coaches just keep saying "we're training skills, not levels," so everyone just keeps working hard.
Sometime in the fall the coaches at our gym provide each athlete a written evaluation describing their strengths and weaknesses. At the bottom of this evaluation it typically states the level they're expected to compete. Experience has proven that the level indicated on the evaluation sheet isn't cast in stone, e.g. two girls from my daughter's training group last year were supposed to transition from L7 to L8 mid-season and never did.

Other than that, I imagine it's like most gyms and you have to pay attention to which group your daughter is training with, what skills she's targeting, which skills have been acquired, etc. As far as I can tell, the coaches generally have a good idea where they're going to place an athlete by the end of the season and then it becomes a matter of meeting (or exceeding) expectations.

In my daughter's case, I expect that she'll be (new) L8--she's been training her 8 and 9 skills through the summer. I'm nearly 100% certain she won't compete (new) L7.
Yeah, we're just doing skills now. DD right now only has what is required for level 6, so she's putting together level 6 routines. If it ever becomes clear that she's better off in level 7, she'll tweak her routines to suit. Which level (6 or 7) she ends up competing in has nothing to do with her training group.
We were told this past spring that the girls would be testing out of the old 6 and moving to optionals. Some have moved into the level 6 group, others have been with the level 7 group. The HC tends to be a bit more flexible with the optionals so if some start gaining level 7 skills during the meet season, she could possibly bump them up as well. The optional team all follow the same schedule so I've not heard alot of concern about who is placed where.
At our gym girls are placed in groups based on a combination of skill and age for training. Most won't know exactly what level for a couple more months. But many will have a good idea based on what they did last year, what additional skills they've achieved.....

DD's coach has a goal for her, but there are always backup plans in the event that she's not ready. I think that is what a lot of people have right now - "the plan".
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