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LeoSwaplady

Proud Parent
May 8, 2017
11
54
Hi gym mamas! My gymmie is an 11 year old L7. The thing is she is in 7th grade. She was put ahead a year when she was in elementary school so she is in a grade with kids who are 12 and 13. At the time I never thought about how this would affect her gymnastics career or that she would want to go all the way to college gymnastics. So at this rate she will be L10 when she is in 10th grade. That will give her three years as an L10. She will graduate high school and start college at 17 (which now scares the heck out of me, lol). I thought about re-shirting her (holding her back next year) but then I heard gym moms saying not to , that colleges actually like them younger for gymnastics. Maybe not for other sports where you need to be bigger and stronger so 17 to 18 makes a big difference. If I hold her back one year that means she will be L10 for all four years of high school. If not, she will be L9 in 9th and then L10 for her last three years. Thoughts?? Uggggh, I don't know what to do.
 

reluctant

Proud Parent
Apr 28, 2017
261
49
Hi gym mamas! My gymmie is an 11 year old L7. The thing is she is in 7th grade. She was put ahead a year when she was in elementary school so she is in a grade with kids who are 12 and 13. At the time I never thought about how this would affect her gymnastics career or that she would want to go all the way to college gymnastics. So at this rate she will be L10 when she is in 10th grade. That will give her three years as an L10. She will graduate high school and start college at 17 (which now scares the heck out of me, lol). I thought about re-shirting her (holding her back next year) but then I heard gym moms saying not to , that colleges actually like them younger for gymnastics. Maybe not for other sports where you need to be bigger and stronger so 17 to 18 makes a big difference. If I hold her back one year that means she will be L10 for all four years of high school. If not, she will be L9 in 9th and then L10 for her last three years. Thoughts?? Uggggh, I don't know what to do.

I think it is hard to anticipate when she will become a L10 as many kids repeat L9 or even L8. But you shouldn't even consider holding her back in school unless she is struggling emotionally or academically. She's undoubtedly right where she needs to be.
 

2gymmies

Coach
Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2011
1,967
Sounds like you have a bright young lady! There is a girl at our gym that recently graduated high school at a very young age and they decided to give her a gap year after graduation but before college to mature a bit... she will not do college gymnastics but she was a young graduate and there were issues with her being in college before age 18. I believe it has to do with things like signing legally on your own behalf and stuff like that but I’m not totally sure. Might be worth researching.
 
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gasrgoose

Proud Parent
Dec 15, 2010
518
Hi gym mamas! My gymmie is an 11 year old L7. The thing is she is in 7th grade. She was put ahead a year when she was in elementary school so she is in a grade with kids who are 12 and 13. At the time I never thought about how this would affect her gymnastics career or that she would want to go all the way to college gymnastics. So at this rate she will be L10 when she is in 10th grade. That will give her three years as an L10. She will graduate high school and start college at 17 (which now scares the heck out of me, lol). I thought about re-shirting her (holding her back next year) but then I heard gym moms saying not to , that colleges actually like them younger for gymnastics. Maybe not for other sports where you need to be bigger and stronger so 17 to 18 makes a big difference. If I hold her back one year that means she will be L10 for all four years of high school. If not, she will be L9 in 9th and then L10 for her last three years. Thoughts?? Uggggh, I don't know what to do.

Just let it be! She might be and amazing level 10 and get several opportunities for college gymnastics. But she also might not make it to level 10.... the last numbers I've seen were 7600 level 7's in the country and only 1600 level 10's. So around 6000 level 7's won't make level 10. I wouldn't make a schooling decision based on gymnastics for an 11 year old level 7. My daughter is a 3rd year level 10. At level 7 her team won state and there were 3 gymnasts that always scored better than her, none of them made level 10. Of the gymnasts that were on the state team (highest scoring all around) that year, 2 made level 10. It's along winding and bumpy road so drive slowly.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
643
Hi gym mamas! My gymmie is an 11 year old L7. The thing is she is in 7th grade. She was put ahead a year when she was in elementary school so she is in a grade with kids who are 12 and 13. At the time I never thought about how this would affect her gymnastics career or that she would want to go all the way to college gymnastics. So at this rate she will be L10 when she is in 10th grade. That will give her three years as an L10. She will graduate high school and start college at 17 (which now scares the heck out of me, lol). I thought about re-shirting her (holding her back next year) but then I heard gym moms saying not to , that colleges actually like them younger for gymnastics. Maybe not for other sports where you need to be bigger and stronger so 17 to 18 makes a big difference. If I hold her back one year that means she will be L10 for all four years of high school. If not, she will be L9 in 9th and then L10 for her last three years. Thoughts?? Uggggh, I don't know what to do.

Is there a way to "extend" high school by adding in a few college courses along the way, so she takes 5 years to do 4 years of high school work + some added in college work? Sort of like being a 5th year senior?
 
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LeoSwaplady

Proud Parent
May 8, 2017
11
54
Is there a way to "extend" high school by adding in a few college courses along the way, so she takes 5 years to do 4 years of high school work + some added in college work? Sort of like being a 5th year senior?
I think I read something about NCAA rules that once you start 9th grade you have four years to finish high school. I'll have to research it.
 

skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,170
Region 9
Except, there is a boy in our state that technically "graduated" last year, but is taking college classes through the high school and is competing one more year. Not sure how that happened.
 

gymnastmom05

Proud Parent
Oct 27, 2015
395
43
I have a daughter, while she didn't skip a grade, is on the very end of the school cut off (actually it's now changed and we wouldn't have been able to enter her into school when we did). She's also a 7th grade, level 7, though she has finally had her birthday so she's now 12 (but I understand, kids were turning 13 while she was still 11). I have thoughts about this and think that I basically took a year away from her, we should have waited, etc...Then I also realize there are a LOT of what if's. I didn't take her to gym because I had any desire for her to be a competitive gymnast. She went for fun. She went because her little kindergarten friends were there. If she hadn't of started school and these girls hadn't become her friends, would she have even walked into that gym?? Things could have been totally different if she wasn't where she was, when she was. So, maybe she would have had an extra year to be a gymnast but maybe she would have never been a gymnast at all. Then there's the looking towards the future. She says she wants to stay through high school. She says she would love to do college gymnastics. But there is a lot of life between 7th grade and senior year. There is a lot of gymnastics in between. I'm more of a plan for the worst and hope for the best. She reaches level 10, regardless of being a sophomore or a senior, that is an accomplishment in itself. Heck, maybe she stalls and she never gets past level 7. There just isn't a crystal ball to show the future. Clearly your daughter is smart. Don't hold her back educationally for something that might not even be a reality. At least those are my thoughts. Just like you want her to be challenged at gym, you also want her challenged at school. From what you said, it doesn't sound like holding her back a year would offer any sort of challenge. Unchallenged kids become bored and sometimes lazy (at least in my experience). Finding a balance is the key. Good luck!
 

duyetanh

Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2015
4,106
You just cant predict the future with this sport, unfortunately. But level 8 is like level 4 times 2...meaning there is a huge drop off at level 4, and an even bigger one at level 8.

My dd is attempting level 8 this season. I fully expect her to be in this level for two seasons. The level is such a beast, and really seems like the intro level to the *big* stuff across the board in all four events.

If your child follows the trajectory you are thinking of, that will be awesome! But its also rare that many gymnasts take the straight and narrow path to level 10, as the stats show. There are so many factors that mess with it all, even beyond skills. There is fear, puberty (the gymnastic demon), social challenges (esp once they hit age 13 to 14), injuries, only to name the obvious.

My kid is starting to think college might have a chance to be in her life. But she knows that until she actually gets to level 10, that's all it is. If/once she gets to 10, depending on when that happens, the chance can become a possibility of a reality.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
839
It's hard not to play 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' with our kids! My DD is among the youngest in her grade. She will be a 17 year old college freshman. She also started gymnastics late but has progressed steadily at one level/year and will be L9 this year...and no longer considered 'old for her level. I really didn't think she'd hit L9 until her senior year yet here I am thinking that she may have a shot at L10 her senior year. Sure, I've thought about it and it's a little bittersweet because if she had just one or two more years she *might* have a chance to compete in college. I can't imagine holding back an already academically accelerated kid for a sport. She may not even make it to L10 anyways or she may and then want to quit. There are other ways to pursue gymnastics after high school other than NCAA if she is interested.
 

gymmom10

Proud Parent
Dec 16, 2012
320
Leoswaplady, I would leave her right where she is. As many have said, this is a marathon and so much happens between L7 and 10. My daughter is practically the only one left from her original group. Not to discourage anyone from the college gym goal- it is certainly a very worthy goal for any gymnast, just know that so many will not even get to 10 for so many different reasons. So I certainly would not change your daughter's school track for gymnastics- just let everything play out. I spent a lot of years beating myself up for my daughter's late start- she told me frequently I had ruined her college chances by starting her so late - for perspective she was an 11 year old L5. Reached L10 by junior year in HS. I always thought, if only we had even one more year... we'll she signed her NLI last week and yes, will be doing college gym. Looking back, I think it all happened how it was meant to. And I wouldn't have changed a thing after all.
 

BachFlyer

Proud Parent
Mar 29, 2010
1,103
As another L10 parent, I agree with all of the previous responses. Gymnastics, and especially college gymnastics, is a crap shoot. A quality education is not. I would not make your decision based on a dream of college gym. Even if the stars lined up and she progressed as anticipated (which I am not saying you should rule out - dreaming big is important) you also can't discount the possibility of injury...it happens to the best of girls and it can completely change your dd's course. The good news for an academically talented gymnast is that she could get academical money/scholarships and walk-on to a college team. There is no difference on most teams between a walk-on and scholar-shipped athlete, many walk ons contribute significantly to their college teams, and walk-ons usually have a little more flexibility on timing as far as when they hit their stride/potential as a level 10. Walk-ons are still recruited, just as an FYI, just usually a bit later than the girls on scholarship.
 

thefellowsmom

Proud Parent
Dec 13, 2010
1,348
Hi! Sounds like your daughter is right where she belongs. Please don’t second guess your educational decisions for her. It will all work out how it is suppose to.

Gymnastically, it could really work out all kinds of different ways. Lots of people have talked about progression and whether she will even get there or not. They all have great points and if I have learned anything along the long and windy journey is that anything can happen and only a very few make it all the way to the end. We have just started down the college recruiting path so I will share what I know from that perspective.

First of all, there are a million different roads to college gymnastics. The only one and hard fast rule is keep them doing gymnastics and focused on their goals. I have heard many stories and even seen myself several girls pick up scholarships after nationals their senior year. I have also seen kids get there as sophomores and be recruited just fine, even by a top D1 program. So, if she is really committed to college gymnastics then never give up on it.

And as previous poster mentioned, with her academic potential that would open up more possibilities in academic scholarships and walking onto a team or competing for an Ivy League school. Ivys don’t give gymnastics scholarships but do recruit to their teams. Money would come in the form of financial packages as it would if you were applying there simply as a student.

But, saying all that. It may more come down to what schools she can target, assuming she does get to level 10. My dd is in 8th grade and this will be her first year of level 10. We are feeling pretty good about her prospects and she recently drew the interest of a top 10 school. Schools are recruiting earlier and earlier and the level of gymnastics at all levels is just improving and improving so it is pretty crazy.

From everything I have heard, it is best to be to level 10 no later than 9th grade. 9th grade is where the recruiting process really kicks into gear. So, in all honesty yes, her trajectory, even if perfect would be a little late to the game. But this certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, assuming she is a talented, motivated and committed gymnast ready to put in the effort to make it happen.

So where do you go from here? Well, it really is up to her. For now, she needs to work hard in the gym and commit to progressing quickly, because the truth is that if she doesn’t get to level 10 until sophomore or junior year she will need to be very good when she gets there. What it does is takes out the first year level 10 buffer. She will need to hit level 10 fully loaded. She also needs to stay committed to academic excellence as this may be her way into a program somewhere and even open up possibilities that a vast majority of kids don’t have access to.

Recruiting can even start at level 9 so having a great showing at westerns or easterns would be really beneficial as well. She should be focusing her goals now on progressing at a solid rate and really focusing on being the best gymnast she can be. For the next couple of years that is really all she can do.

When she gets to level 9, I would then start looking at what schools she might be interested in and being realistic about what schools interest her and what level of school might be interested in her. But, as others have said, she is still just a level 7 so anything can happen in the next several years so it is a bit early to be worrying too much about it.

I don’t have any insight to how good your dd is so it is hard to give too much advice, but I have found that being on the same page with my dds coach has been essential to the beginning of this process. We had a sit down and they explained the process to us and what we needed to start doing including suggesting what schools they thought would be a good match for her. We then did a bunch of research and went back with a prioritized list of her top choices and why she ordered them that way etc. They then gave us feedback on that and we are now able to go forward with everyone working toward the same goals.

Obviously you guys aren’t to this point yet, but talking to her coach and letting them know the situation will be really helpful. Do they know that she is a year ahead in school? Don’t make any assumptions. Unknown to me my dds old coach thought she was a year younger than she is until she was 9. That can make a big impact on how they train them and progress them. A discussion and reminder of her situation and expressing her desire to pursue college gymnastics may change the way they look at her and maybe they can start fast tracking a bit to see if they can get her to the right place. Again, a lot of this depends on her drive, commitment and talent level, but a talk with her coach seems an obvious next step.

Good luck! And please keep us posted.
 
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rjb123

Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2013
891
Sounds like you have a bright young lady! There is a girl at our gym that recently graduated high school at a very young age and they decided to give her a gap year after graduation but before college to mature a bit... she will not do college gymnastics but she was a young graduate and there were issues with her being in college before age 18. I believe it has to do with things like signing legally on your own behalf and stuff like that but I’m not totally sure. Might be worth researching.

I went to college at 17 and there were some things that popped up due to me not yet being legal. It was all workable, but things like signing documents etc required more planning. :)
 
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LeoSwaplady

Proud Parent
May 8, 2017
11
54
Leoswaplady, I would leave her right where she is. As many have said, this is a marathon and so much happens between L7 and 10. My daughter is practically the only one left from her original group. Not to discourage anyone from the college gym goal- it is certainly a very worthy goal for any gymnast, just know that so many will not even get to 10 for so many different reasons. So I certainly would not change your daughter's school track for gymnastics- just let everything play out. I spent a lot of years beating myself up for my daughter's late start- she told me frequently I had ruined her college chances by starting her so late - for perspective she was an 11 year old L5. Reached L10 by junior year in HS. I always thought, if only we had even one more year... we'll she signed her NLI last week and yes, will be doing college gym. Looking back, I think it all happened how it was meant to. And I wouldn't have changed a thing after all.
Thank is so amazing! Congrats! She and one other girl are the only ones on L7 that were on their original L4 group too.
 
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LeoSwaplady

Proud Parent
May 8, 2017
11
54
It's hard not to play 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' with our kids! My DD is among the youngest in her grade. She will be a 17 year old college freshman. She also started gymnastics late but has progressed steadily at one level/year and will be L9 this year...and no longer considered 'old for her level. I really didn't think she'd hit L9 until her senior year yet here I am thinking that she may have a shot at L10 her senior year. Sure, I've thought about it and it's a little bittersweet because if she had just one or two more years she *might* have a chance to compete in college. I can't imagine holding back an already academically accelerated kid for a sport. She may not even make it to L10 anyways or she may and then want to quit. There are other ways to pursue gymnastics after high school other than NCAA if she is interested.
What are other ways to pursue gymnastics?
 

LeoSwaplady

Proud Parent
May 8, 2017
11
54
Hi! Sounds like your daughter is right where she belongs. Please don’t second guess your educational decisions for her. It will all work out how it is suppose to.

Gymnastically, it could really work out all kinds of different ways. Lots of people have talked about progression and whether she will even get there or not. They all have great points and if I have learned anything along the long and windy journey is that anything can happen and only a very few make it all the way to the end. We have just started down the college recruiting path so I will share what I know from that perspective.

First of all, there are a million different roads to college gymnastics. The only one and hard fast rule is keep them doing gymnastics and focused on their goals. I have heard many stories and even seen myself several girls pick up scholarships after nationals their senior year. I have also seen kids get there as sophomores and be recruited just fine, even by a top D1 program. So, if she is really committed to college gymnastics then never give up on it.

And as previous poster mentioned, with her academic potential that would open up more possibilities in academic scholarships and walking onto a team or competing for an Ivy League school. Ivys don’t give gymnastics scholarships but do recruit to their teams. Money would come in the form of financial packages as it would if you were applying there simply as a student.

But, saying all that. It may more come down to what schools she can target, assuming she does get to level 10. My dd is in 8th grade and this will be her first year of level 10. We are feeling pretty good about her prospects and she recently drew the interest of a top 10 school. Schools are recruiting earlier and earlier and the level of gymnastics at all levels is just improving and improving so it is pretty crazy.

From everything I have heard, it is best to be to level 10 no later than 9th grade. 9th grade is where the recruiting process really kicks into gear. So, in all honesty yes, her trajectory, even if perfect would be a little late to the game. But this certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, assuming she is a talented, motivated and committed gymnast ready to put in the effort to make it happen.

So where do you go from here? Well, it really is up to her. For now, she needs to work hard in the gym and commit to progressing quickly, because the truth is that if she doesn’t get to level 10 until sophomore or junior year she will need to be very good when she gets there. What it does is takes out the first year level 10 buffer. She will need to hit level 10 fully loaded. She also needs to stay committed to academic excellence as this may be her way into a program somewhere and even open up possibilities that a vast majority of kids don’t have access to.

Recruiting can even start at level 9 so having a great showing at westerns or easterns would be really beneficial as well. She should be focusing her goals now on progressing at a solid rate and really focusing on being the best gymnast she can be. For the next couple of years that is really all she can do.

When she gets to level 9, I would then start looking at what schools she might be interested in and being realistic about what schools interest her and what level of school might be interested in her. But, as others have said, she is still just a level 7 so anything can happen in the next several years so it is a bit early to be worrying too much about it.

I don’t have any insight to how good your dd is so it is hard to give too much advice, but I have found that being on the same page with my dds coach has been essential to the beginning of this process. We had a sit down and they explained the process to us and what we needed to start doing including suggesting what schools they thought would be a good match for her. We then did a bunch of research and went back with a prioritized list of her top choices and why she ordered them that way etc. They then gave us feedback on that and we are now able to go forward with everyone working toward the same goals.

Obviously you guys aren’t to this point yet, but talking to her coach and letting them know the situation will be really helpful. Do they know that she is a year ahead in school? Don’t make any assumptions. Unknown to me my dds old coach thought she was a year younger than she is until she was 9. That can make a big impact on how they train them and progress them. A discussion and reminder of her situation and expressing her desire to pursue college gymnastics may change the way they look at her and maybe they can start fast tracking a bit to see if they can get her to the right place. Again, a lot of this depends on her drive, commitment and talent level, but a talk with her coach seems an obvious next step.

Good luck! And please keep us posted.
Thank you, thank you for all of this! I think she is pretty good ;-) She has always won the state AA titles and usually takes beam and floor at Regionals. She makes the "38 club" every year at our gym and is in America's top 100 for beam and floor. She works her little butt off , lol! She has all the skills for 8 but our gym tends to be very conservative which is why she is competing L7 this year which we are fine with. I haven't spoken to her coach yet because I feel she is still young and I'll look silly. If she has a good L7 season and trains 8 next year I think I will sit down with the coach. I know our coach really pushes college for her 9/10's. We had three sign NLI last week. One got her offer when she was a L9 training L10. She did one season L10, just signed and is starting her second year as an L10 as a senior with her scholarship already secured. Then we had another one that has been L10 since she was 11, lol! So it is so true that everyone has their own path.
 
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