For Parents How to Get my 11 YO Daughter into Xcel to compete?

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mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,541
The car
I did a little happy dance. Ha! Tryouts are next month, which she said she wants us to do to determine Bronze vs. Silver, and also for me to attend the parents meeting and get the "lay of the land." They require volunteer hours as part of tuition.
Congratulations to your daughter! Be sure to get a very clear explanation of "volunteer" requirements and expenses beyond tuition. Typically you will pay tuition to the gym to cover practices, then there will be a booster club through which you pay meet fees, coaches' fees and travel expenses for meets, and uniform expenses. Booster clubs operate in a lot of different ways, some of which may be a bit dodgy under the tax code. Typically the booster club will ask parents to participate in fund-raising efforts, then distribute the proceeds among all members to help defray the costs of competition. Some of that fund-raising activity may include staffing meets, hosting bingo games, etc. The amount of work parents are required to put into fund-raising is not always proportional to the benefit families receive. It is very important to understand exactly what you're getting yourself into.
 
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GymAir

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Aug 28, 2018
90
SHE'S IN!!!
Whew! I emailed the owner of Gym #3, where she started a BHS class, to ask if they had private coaching. I said from what I understand, DD is close to ready for Xcel Bronze, so I'd hate for her to miss out on competing this year if she falls just a bit shy.
Owner said they do provide private coaching, but kindly offered to evaluate DD to see if she's ready for Xcel.
After the eval, she says, "She'll make Xcel Bronze, maybe even Silver. We have private coaching if you want, but she's ready. She's strong, good on the vault & bars & she's not scared of the beam."

I did a little happy dance. Ha! Tryouts are next month, which she said she wants us to do to determine Bronze vs. Silver, and also for me to attend the parents meeting and get the "lay of the land." They require volunteer hours as part of tuition.

Thanks all for your info & support. I'm beyond thrilled that she can have this opportunity.

Although I have to admit, I still find it odd to have such divergent views on DD's readiness for Xcel. I wondered if that meant standards were lower at gym #3, but no, I've seen meet results, and they had plenty of athletes scoring as high as gyms 1 and 2.
It’s so much better for an athlete to be in a gym that really wants them, where it’s a good fit and she can thrive. Would you rather go to a college that really wants you, or one that thinks they’re doing you a favor “letting” you attend their school. Also, my bet is on silver
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,659
Although I have to admit, I still find it odd to have such divergent views on DD's readiness for Xcel. I wondered if that meant standards were lower at gym #3, but no, I've seen meet results, and they had plenty of athletes scoring as high as gyms 1 and 2.
Congrats to you dd!! There is so much that goes into how gyms decide what skills/attributes are needed for team and then individual levels. Without knowing the information about the initial gym, it's hard to know why they expect more. Ex. it could be that their gymnasts move up faster into optionals so they expect higher skill attainment at the lower levels even if they don't score as high as others.

Good luck to your dd!
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
201
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As far as different standards, that could be the case. Some gyms require silvers to do a roundoff backhandspring, whereas others are fine with alternatives like roundoff rebound backwards roll. Our gym doesn't even do bronze, so I'm not familiar with the requirements, but even silver really does not have to be all that hard. The two tumbling passes on floor can be round off backward roll and two connected forward rolls. So I am sure your daughter will do great! We had first year silvers this year who turned 13 and 14 during the season, and one of our second year silvers is 15.5, so it is definitely about finding the right place that just gives kids a chance.

SHE'S IN!!!
Whew! I emailed the owner of Gym #3, where she started a BHS class, to ask if they had private coaching. I said from what I understand, DD is close to ready for Xcel Bronze, so I'd hate for her to miss out on competing this year if she falls just a bit shy.
Owner said they do provide private coaching, but kindly offered to evaluate DD to see if she's ready for Xcel.
After the eval, she says, "She'll make Xcel Bronze, maybe even Silver. We have private coaching if you want, but she's ready. She's strong, good on the vault & bars & she's not scared of the beam."

I did a little happy dance. Ha! Tryouts are next month, which she said she wants us to do to determine Bronze vs. Silver, and also for me to attend the parents meeting and get the "lay of the land." They require volunteer hours as part of tuition.

Thanks all for your info & support. I'm beyond thrilled that she can have this opportunity.

Although I have to admit, I still find it odd to have such divergent views on DD's readiness for Xcel. I wondered if that meant standards were lower at gym #3, but no, I've seen meet results, and they had plenty of athletes scoring as high as gyms 1 and 2.
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,434
62
SHE'S IN!!!
Whew! I emailed the owner of Gym #3, where she started a BHS class, to ask if they had private coaching. I said from what I understand, DD is close to ready for Xcel Bronze, so I'd hate for her to miss out on competing this year if she falls just a bit shy.
Owner said they do provide private coaching, but kindly offered to evaluate DD to see if she's ready for Xcel.
After the eval, she says, "She'll make Xcel Bronze, maybe even Silver. We have private coaching if you want, but she's ready. She's strong, good on the vault & bars & she's not scared of the beam."

I did a little happy dance. Ha! Tryouts are next month, which she said she wants us to do to determine Bronze vs. Silver, and also for me to attend the parents meeting and get the "lay of the land." They require volunteer hours as part of tuition.

Thanks all for your info & support. I'm beyond thrilled that she can have this opportunity.

Although I have to admit, I still find it odd to have such divergent views on DD's readiness for Xcel. I wondered if that meant standards were lower at gym #3, but no, I've seen meet results, and they had plenty of athletes scoring as high as gyms 1 and 2.
Don't over think it. The gym has their own standards/business model, which may be a good fit your family and child or not. End of story.
Congrats

Congrats
 
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ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
313
32
Congrats!

Different gyms have totally different philosophies in coaching xcel (I’m talking about the ones strictly using Xcel the way it was meant, not as a jump to DP). Our xcel silvers ALL compete RO BHS back tuck as one of their passes, our golds all do kips and flyaways. That’s not the case for most gyms competing silver around us for example, plenty just doing the bare minimum skills. The age group for our xcels is generally all around 12-15, other gyms have much younger kids in bronze and silver than we do. At 11, depending on skill level, they’d either get invited to level 2 or xcel; if they have a back handspring, they’d be invited to level 3 unless they specifically want to go to xcel or are majorly missing some other skills.

Even the same gym can disagree on where kids should go - our sister gym evaluated a kid who has never done competitive gymnastics and put her 3 levels higher than we did.

Also just as an FYI for anyone reading who might have a similar question:

1) rec does not tell kids to straighten knees and point toes - the classes are generally an hour long, parents already complain that they spend too long doing drills and stretches and not enough time learning cool things. On team, you can get a kid to work for hours upon hours on learning to roll with their head tucked in without complaints; you can’t do that with that 1 hour a week. When they pick kids from rec to send to team or preteam, it’s generally the kids who are either super fast learners, super strong or naturally precise. My kid is not naturally precise lol.

2) many gyms do not give much information before a spot is offered. So if you found your friend to be more helpful with info than the gyms are, that’s because they’re free to tell you whatever they like and they’re a better source of info on gym culture than the people working there. If someone calls the front desk and asks me for a price breakdown, what meets we go to, etc - I can’t give them that info, they’re generally comparison shopping and will end up bringing it up to another gym. If they ask what skills are necessary, I’ll give them a barebones list of anything that might be -totally- necessary, but preface it heavily with the words “it is at the coach’s discretion and there are other criteria they may be looking for”. I can’t tell people “we won’t move your child up a level (or accept your child to team) because they lack the ability to listen and have no focus” - we have to put out some fluff about not being ready justttt yet. Seriously, no one wants to hear that their kid doesn’t listen.

3) Not directed at anyone here, but seriously, parents who are rude to the front desk or come across as overly aggressive in the journey of like… a 4 year old, we’re going to warn the coaches. They’re going to have to deal with the parent for the duration that kid is on team, and we do give them a heads up.

I like this thread because I know there’s a lot of parents frustrated about why they can’t get a clear answer on what their kid needs, and getting onto team past a certain age can be a very challenging process. Congrats to your girl and I hope she has a blast on her new team!
 
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