WAG Is it usual in the US to learn these skills as a beginner.

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OzZee

Proud Parent
Apr 19, 2012
2,757
Just reading this thread http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/w...tics-wag/41217-new-parent-forum-question.html

Something I've noticed often is people talking of 4/5/6 year olds doing back handsprings etc.

So in that thread the OP's dd has been doing a beginner class for 6 months and is 6. She is working/has back handspring, front handspring, handstand and cartwheel on beam etc.

You just don't see these skills being worked with either beginners or with young kids. Until 5 they are in kindergym. Which is just that (with a few exceptions) kindergym, a fun class for toddlers/young children. More about movement than skills.

I just can't imagine 6 months into a beginner class (which in Australia would be 1 hour once a week) working on back handsprings? The girls in our beginner classes work on a bit of conditioning and stretching, forward and backward roll, handstands, cartwheels, walking forwards and backwards on the beam, maybe chin ups on bars, casts, forward roll to tuck on bar.

Even in the pre-idp (international stream) kindergym class I saw they were working more on strength and perfecting the basic skills, certainly no handsprings for the 4/5 year olds in that class.

So is it usual to be teaching young and/or beginner kids handsprings etc? Is that why I'm always surprised by all these 5/6/7 year olds with an array of skills (and also why on youtube you see kids competing with really poor form on these skills?)
 

2G1B

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2013
2,226
I only know the small area that I have seen; but no... I don't think that is typical. At the gyms that my kids have been at and that their friends have been at, I don't personally know of any 5 year olds doing back handsprings or cartwheels on the beam. I think that poster's daughter is probably the exception. But hey. Maybe I live in an area with not as talented kids. ;-)
 

Gymnastisism

Coach
Proud Parent
Jun 2, 2013
154
Sydney, Australia
I guess it really does depend on the child. In the US, gymnastics is way more competitive then it is here in Australia, especially with college scholarships and the like at stake. The population in America is 15.5 times larger than in Australia, so there are a lot more girls to beat out in competition. I think maybe if the child was capable of training back handsprings (even in kinder gym) most coaches and parents would allow their child to train them. I guess as long as the child is happy and safe, all is well.
 

gymmiemom

Proud Parent
Feb 28, 2013
240
My DD started gymnastics the day she turned 6 (it was a birthday present). A few short months later she was placed on team. So since then (a year ago almost exactly) she has been working all of the above. Now at 7 she is working BHS on beam, BWO on beam, ROBHSBT and front tumbling on floor, the very beginning states of learning cast handstands and giants, etc. She however is an exception in our gym. All the other girls in her training group are at least 2 years older than her. Most are 3 or 4.

Now with that said, our beginner gymnastics classes don't work those skills. They mostly focus on pullovers, cartwheels on floor, handstands, bridge kickovers if they are ready for them, getting comfortable on tramp with very simple skills, etc. Very beginning skills. Beginners ages are 5+ and only go 1-3 hours a week depending on how much their parents want to pay for.

Intermediate kids who have advanced past those skill are learning correct roundoffs, handstands on beam, back hip circles, learning how to properly run down the vault runway etc, etc. My 9 year old DD is in the intermediate group and has never even attempeted a BHS as of yet.
 
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bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,878
Not in Quebec either. preschool classes are lower level and even if you are chosen for Defi (developmental program) the skills move at a specified rate and you test out of each of the 6 levels. The levels start very simply and are all about basics, but by L6 the skills are quite advanced and look a specified way. Girls do not compete in actual meets until the year they turn 9 here, so no rush. But when they do compete they begin at the level that fits their skills, even national levels. I think being able to compete a BHS at age 6 leads to "in a rush" coaching. Question is, just because a child "can" BHS, should they wait to save stress on their body?
 
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GymGirl's Mom

Proud Parent
Jun 3, 2010
582
Agree with others- beginner, even intermediate rec class- not at any gym I am familiar with. At a Cheer gym, probably. From my limited experience cheer gyms begin having girls throwing skills very early, and often before they are strong enough to do the skill safely..... scary.
 

sglemon

Proud Parent
Jul 21, 2012
343
With the popularity of cheer, they start on those skills really young, like 4 yr old. But what I mean by start, the child jumps back, the coach grabs and hold them on their back, and lower their hands to the floor and physically push their legs over.

a lot of time when people talk about how their 6 yr old is doing bhs, it is with a super heavy spot. I heard it more around the gym when my kids were younger, where a mom would talk about all the big skills their kids are working on, and when you watch them, ever part of the skill is coach spotted and manipulated. My younger dd gets some of that now, when a fellow dancer goes to a tumbling class and starts bragging to my dd how she got a back tuck. When we go to tumbling class to watch, that back tuck is spotted by a coach on a tramp, and landed in the foam pit. Not exactly the same thing as having a skill.
 

profmom

Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
At my kids' gym, definitely nothing like that in the beginner rec classes. But pre-team kids are doing drills that lead into these skills, and some of the pre-teamers are young. I would say that most of my daughter's and son's teammates had a year or so of pre-team.

On the girls' team, the youngest girl I've seen wasn't quite 7 at the start of the 12-13 meet season and had to sit out the first few meets until she had her birthday. Our girls start competing at current/old L5, so that implies some significant work on those skills at a young age. On the boys' side, two of DS's teammates competed L4 as 6 year olds last year, and both of them competed the RO-BHS pass. They were both too cute to be believed. One of them -- who likely will compete L6 as an 8 year old next season -- did a 1.5 full off the tramp onto a mat yesterday and stuck it. He's a very gifted tumbler. And did I mention ridiculously cute?
 

gymmomtotwo

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2011
478
Those skill from a rec standpoint would be advanced skills, and it would be rare to see someone doing these skills that hadn't already been talked into our JO or Xcel team. So no, not typical. Now if you are talking about preteam or developmental kids, we have 5 year olds and 6 year olds doing without spot backhandsprings and cartwheels on beam etc. DD is 6, almost 7, and has been doing cartwheel on beam for over a year, robhsbhs without a spot, front walkovers, front handsprings all without a spot. And from what I have gathered from reading this forum is not particularly advanced for her age. She does 11 hours a week, while the rec kids do one or two hours. The skills mentioned would not be in a beginner class. Carthwheels and handstands on the floor would be the first things to conquer in beginner.
 

Iwannabemargo

Numpty Watcher
Proud Parent
Aug 28, 2011
6,962
UK
It seems odd to me that a child can be doing these skills at 6 if the gym/coaches don't teach backbends/bridges til age 5. Heck of a progression from back bends to unspotted flicks on beam in 12 months ! Or is it me ?

Sent from my CnM Touchpad 9.7 using ChalkBucket mobile app
 
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HoldThePhone

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2012
917
The first program my daughter was in was at a rec center, no team or anything, just for fun classes. They worked on more advanced skills far more often and quickly for younger kids than any team program I've seen. I don't see the point in it, half the kids couldn't and shouldn't be bridging. We never worked on back handsprings there or anything, but for their "hotshots" program, which starts as young as 4, the skills needed are cartwheel on beam, back walkovers, etc. I don't think any of them had to look pretty though.
 

Kiwi

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Judge
Jul 14, 2010
1,381
New Zealand
Only our IDPs would be training skills like BHS, and probably not until 6 or 7, they don't go into IDP until 5 or 6. IDPs do a lot of hours and really intensive training to get everything perfect. STEPs (the other competitive stream) don't do BHS until step 4, most of these girls would be at least 7, usually older. Our rec classes would rarely go beyond cartwheels and round-offs. Pre-school classes would do maybe forward rolls and bunnyhops, definitely no BHS! I'm always amazed on here reading about the 8 year old level 7s.
 

Moxiegrl83

Proud Parent
Jun 11, 2012
529
Those skills would be in our intermediate or advanced rec classes...not beginners. Our new L2 group is aged from about 6-8, and I'd say a few have their ROBHS and none have their cartwheels on beam consistently.

Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk 2
 
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Fliptwisttumble

I'm always amazed on here reading about the 8 year old level 7s.

My daughter is one of those. And she could do back hand springs at six (almost seven) BUT she'd done a daddy and me class at three, an advanced rec class (5 hrs a week) at 4, moved to the developmental program at 5 (increasing in hours from 5 to 9 over 2 years). and had been in for a full two years and just got her BHS. I say just, because she'd worked on conditioning, stretching and fully spotted skills gradually over the two years at it was in the last month of the second year of developmental that the coach even allowed her to try herself.

Was she the only one at that level? No. Was everyone at that stage? No again.

But that long/relatively intense program is far different than a beginner's rec class for 6 months whipping off all of those skills.... She'd been training seriously for three years at that point.
 
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OzZee

Proud Parent
Apr 19, 2012
2,757
OK just seen this video on you tube 3-Year-Old Bradyn's First Gymnastics Meet
Ok the kid is only three, and I think she's pretty darn amazing for three!
But would someone (not matter what age) really be allowed to compete with skills at this level normally? Or is it because she is 3?
But she got 6th out of 10 competitors???? Were they all three? Is this common?
Also is this actually level 3? (or what was?)

Can't compete here until the year you turn 6 so no babies trying to throw skills.

fliptwisttumble, yes i can see that progression, though it would be a rare club offering more than 2 hours a week here at 4/5 years old, but can see if you are training those hours for that time that you could actually really have the skills.
 

mylittlemiss

Proud Parent
Aug 28, 2012
131
To answer the original post, I do not think those skill are usual for beginners who are in regular rec classes. Girls on a pre-team/team program will be exposed to those at an early age, usually in drills till they are a bit older, then to the actual skills, after having more of the basics and strength.

To reply to the video you posted, that very young girl was competing in an AAU competition. It's a different program than I think most of the girls in the US are in, which the us USAG, JO program. I have to say that I think 3 is WAY too young too compete. My DD was 6 and I thought that was a bit on the younger side. ;) I am not aware of or nor do I think that 3 is a common age for girls in the US to be competing.
 

profmom

Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
I kind of wanted to reach through the screen and spot her on bars, OzZee, and the headstand and BHS made me nervous. She's cute as a button and very strong, but the video was scary to me. But I hasten to add that I don't know a lot about neuro-skeleto-muscular child development. Interesting that her big sister appears to be one of those 8 year old L8s. My DD was put on pre-team as a seven year old, shortly after taking her first rec class!

USAG doesn't let them compete in sanctioned meets until age 6, but other systems (like AAU) let them start younger.

I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure no one in my kids' gym is doing any back handsprings before age 5, and more usually closer to 6. The children I mentioned in my earlier post all progressed very quickly once they were on pre-team; one of the boys actually went straight from rec to team. The three-year olds in the gym are definitely learning some gymnastics skills, but it's more along the lines of forward/backward rolls, walking/hopping on a low beam back and forth, learning pullovers with a solid spot, etc. The preschoolers do learn some trampoline progressions with six or seven steps (remembering back to when DS was still in rec).

How common is stuff like the posted video? I don't get the sense that it's super common in my area.
 

2G1B

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2013
2,226
I have seen that video before. My daughter just finished her first year competing and was AAU 3. I never saw anyone under 5. And those scores were extremely generous. Extremely. I feel safe to say that not a single one of those would have gotten much over a 5 at any of the competitions that we went to. I'm not sure why she did the back handspring. Maybe because of kids her age being too young to do bridges? It was supposed to be either a bwo or a bridge kick over. My thoughts when I first saw that video were that she seemed really talented; but why have her competing when clearly she wasn't ready/old enough? And if you really wanted her competing, why not have her do level 2. The level 2 skills seem much more at her ability level. I suspect someone (coach or parent) wanted to be able to tout their "3 year old level 3".
 
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