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

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Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,187
Interesting that her big sister appears to be one of those 8 year old L8s.

That will be her only claim to fame, her gymnastics is really sloppy (I should use a harsher word). Even the little stuff is poorly done, clearly in a rush to move up the levels, not sure what the long term goal is. 99% of her skills are done with a mix of poor form, sloppy technique, no amplitude, and poor dynamics.
 
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CoachGoofy

OMG that video...I wanted to spot the kid, slap her coach, put her back in a preschool fun class or a fun developmental class. strength, automatic leg straightening and stuff, technique, and 3 is too young to compete omg.
 
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EastCoastGymMom

Proud Parent
Feb 1, 2013
185
That will be her only claim to fame, her gymnastics is really sloppy (I should use a harsher word). Even the little stuff is poorly done, clearly in a rush to move up the levels, not sure what the long term goal is. 99% of her skills are done with a mix of poor form, sloppy technique, no amplitude, and poor dynamics.
Is that AAU level 8? That form would not get any age kid past level 3/4 at our gym. That video gives me a new appreciation of how our gym progresses the girls through the levels - focusing on form/strength/technique over skills.
 

tooootsie

Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2012
606
Colorado
I think only for pre-team track are the kiddos doing that. My 4.5 year old just got her cartwheel on road beam.. I think we are a month off from the real deal:)
 
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mouey77

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.

Yes, I find a lot of the posts on these forums confusing as well. I just finished reading a thread about a just turned 6 year old competing level 4. This seems extreme, as she must have been what, 4 or 5 when she started competing? I just don't see any 6 or 7 year olds around here ever competing above level 2 and 3 (this year now level 1 and 2). My 6 year old DD has taken gymnastics since she was 4, and she is able to do ROBH by herself and ROBH back tuck with minimal spotting, yet she was JUST placed on the level 1 team. Our gym said they will not take them on team period until they are 6 years old. It is correct that the cheerleading tumbling has led to more very young children learning "advanced" tumbling skills. My DD has done some cheer tumbling, and there is no doubt that is where she got the BH down. We have one another gym in town that will train elite level gymnasts, and again, I do not see any 6 or 7 year olds competing above level 3. At all. They have a homeschooling program there, so there may be upper elementary school aged kids competing at higher levels.

ETA: I meant to quote kiwi who commented that she finds it fascinating reading about all of the 8 year old level 7's.
 
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mouey77

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.

Ahhh! Ok, this makes sense. I don't think any gyms around here do the AAU thing you are talking about, and maybe this is why they won't take them on team until 6 years old.
 

wallflower

Proud Parent
May 16, 2012
2,362
CA
Yes, I find a lot of the posts on these forums confusing as well. I just finished reading a thread about a just turned 6 year old competing level 4. This seems extreme, as she must have been what, 4 or 5 when she started competing? I just don't see any 6 or 7 year olds around here ever competing above level 2 and 3 (this year now level 1 and 2). My 6 year old DD has taken gymnastics since she was 4, and she is able to do ROBH by herself and ROBH back tuck with minimal spotting, yet she was JUST placed on the level 1 team. Our gym said they will not take them on team period until they are 6 years old. It is correct that the cheerleading tumbling has led to more very young children learning "advanced" tumbling skills. My DD has done some cheer tumbling, and there is no doubt that is where she got the BH down. We have one another gym in town that will train elite level gymnasts, and again, I do not see any 6 or 7 year olds competing above level 3. At all. They have a homeschooling program there, so there may be upper elementary school aged kids competing at higher levels.

ETA: I meant to quote kiwi who commented that she finds it fascinating reading about all of the 8 year old level 7's.

I think it just depends on the gym and the kid. It doesn't have anything to do with AAU because we don't have that here and DD was invited to level 4 team at 5.5 years old. She competed her first level 4 meet just a few days after her 6th birthday. She was the only kid that age on her team. She didn't stink either despite being so young. She actually won AA every single meet that season including state and 3 of the 4 events. She got 2nd on the one event she didn't win. Her scores were all above 38 except for one meet she had a higher 37. My point in saying all of that is to say that some kids really are just able to compete and master skills at that level. Level 4 was too easy. She was ready to compete level 5 when she was 6, but was too young obviously. As soon as she turned 7 she competed 5 and had 38's. So that's how some kids end up 8 years old and level 8. Those beginner levels just come easy for some kids.

Some gyms might not have allowed her to progress so fast, but it wasn't like they were pushing her fast and she looked awful at her skills. She has continued to score mid to high 9's on every event except vault. Poor kiddo can't vault very well yet. Level 8 vault won't happen for her, but I still think she is in the right place and pace for her because she can repeat 7 and hopefully do her harder skills.

So no, not all kids who compete level 4 as a 6 year old have competed since they were 4 or 5. The gym just had her skip competing level 2 and 3 and start with level 4.
 

iwannacoach

Coach
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Gymnast
Mar 25, 2012
2,877
region II
OMG that video...I wanted to spot the kid, slap her coach, put her back in a preschool fun class or a fun developmental class. strength, automatic leg straightening and stuff, technique, and 3 is too young to compete omg.

That will be her only claim to fame, her gymnastics is really sloppy (I should use a harsher word). Even the little stuff is poorly done, clearly in a rush to move up the levels, not sure what the long term goal is. 99% of her skills are done with a mix of poor form, sloppy technique, no amplitude, and poor dynamics.

I agree with both of you, but have to add that it's insanity to have a kid her age doing a back handspring... errrrr, well really a back frankenspring. Realy, who here can't imagine what would happen if she planted the handstand phase with locked arms..... geez, I hate to say it, but she's almost lucky that she can't do a correct one. There's now way you could find a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, or pediatrician who'd calmly watch this kid doing the bhs, and support the coach and parent's decision to teach this skill to her.

Whatta you wanna bet she peaks at 8 years old and fades into oblivion with a host of cumulative injuries.
 

CoachTodd

Coach
Proud Parent
Nov 4, 2009
810
North Carolina
Is it common? Unfortunately yes. Should it be done? Depends on the kid.
I end up with quite a few kids that can "do a standing full" (cheerleaders) and in fact they cannot. They do a kind of standing Arabian with a 1/2 twist. None of their basics are sound so we spend a year fixing their round off.
Other kids can just do the skills and already have the strength and awareness to do them safely at a young age but this is a very small percentage, IMHO, of the ones hitting level 8 at age 9 with elbow wraps, knee wraps, ankle wraps, wrist guards and a few surgeries behind them.
 

OzZee

Proud Parent
Apr 19, 2012
2,757
OK so just watched one of the sisters videos - Hallie at AAU State - YouTube
Beam was the one I paid attention to, is the scoring in AAU a lot lower than USAG?
I saw several - what would be here under fig scoring - .5 deductions and loads more lower ones but she got a high 8 something??
Also saw the judges chatting not just watching and trying to catch/write down all the deductions, lol.
 
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OzZee

Proud Parent
Apr 19, 2012
2,757
LOL now you've sent me over looking at Youtube (if someone could link me the yellow unitard I'd love to see it)
So Level 1 Gymnastics Routine - YouTube
Would this actually be acceptable at a competition and score anything?
Cute kid but it would never ever be done in a competition here. We compete from Level 1 and it's all about form.
 

profmom

Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
OK so just watched one of the sisters videos - Hallie at AAU State - YouTube
Beam was the one I paid attention to, is the scoring in AAU a lot lower than USAG?
I saw several - what would be here under fig scoring - .5 deductions and loads more lower ones but she got a high 8 something??
Also saw the judges chatting not just watching and trying to catch/write down all the deductions, lol.

I'm surprised to see her competing L9 in that video. No, the beam routine would not have scored in the 8s under USAG scoring from what I've seen. I don't mean to be nasty, but I have to say that I think it's tremendously irresponsible of her coach to have her competing that piked Tsuk. I really hope she doesn't get badly hurt.

Added: she is clearly a child with some real talent, and she's doing skills my significantly older DD only dreams of doing. I don't mean to disparage her ability in the least. I just wish her gym had slowed down with her and let her develop her skills more fully before moving up to the next one.
 
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2G1B

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2013
2,226
Added: she is clearly a child with some real talent, and she's doing skills my significantly older DD only dreams of doing. I don't mean to disparage her ability in the least. I just wish her gym had slowed down with her and let her develop her skills more fully before moving up to the next one.

I agree. Both of these sisters are able to do skills at younger ages than my girls and I think that these sisters and their little brother seem very talented; BUT... their gym sure seems to want to push young kids at high levels over skills. There is a video of the little brother at AAU nationals. I don't know how old he is; but the skills he was doing don't look like anything a gym I know of would even have a kid competing with. The kid would be on developmental team; but not yet competing (I never knew there even IS a men's AAU!). But then, apparently there are other kids in these age groups competing, so maybe in that area of the country this is the norm? I also find the scoring crazy, crazy high on most of the things in the videos.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I agree. Both of these sisters are able to do skills at younger ages than my girls and I think that these sisters and their little brother seem very talented; BUT... their gym sure seems to want to push young kids at high levels over skills. There is a video of the little brother at AAU nationals. I don't know how old he is; but the skills he was doing don't look like anything a gym I know of would even have a kid competing with. The kid would be on developmental team; but not yet competing (I never knew there even IS a men's AAU!). But then, apparently there are other kids in these age groups competing, so maybe in that area of the country this is the norm? I also find the scoring crazy, crazy high on most of the things in the videos.
I understand that the children's parents own the gym.
 

GymMom67

Proud Parent
Judge
Mar 12, 2013
431
Texas
My DD never really worked on that stuff in her rec classes. She didn't start truly working on her BHS until she got moved to the developmental team. That is when they started focusing on actual skills. Before that, it was more the drills that would lead up to the skills.
 

iwannacoach

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Mar 25, 2012
2,877
region II
I understand that the children's parents own the gym.

They must have an excellent background.......... in the business world.

It's entirely possible to teach kids the skills this girl is doing at age 9, but many times that happens by sacrificing fundamentals and growth in the area of understanding what makes skills work. The kid has obvious talent, but it seems like the gym is trading good technique and form for skills she can't quite control. I doubt you could get her parents and coaches to agree to what I've and they'd likely think I'm some jealous "loser" because, after all, they have a 9 year old with a pike tsuk they can take credit for.
 
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MeetDirector

Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
946
Oh yeah - she has a pike tsuk - that she sat down twice and still scored an 8 something? She doesn't "have" the skill and the weak judging just promotes the notion that she "has" it.
 
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2G1B

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2013
2,226
Oh yeah - she has a pike tsuk - that she sat down twice and still scored an 8 something? She doesn't "have" the skill and the weak judging just promotes the notion that she "has" it.

why is the judging so different?? I'm new to girls competitive gymnastics (relatively new to boys - DS has only competed 2 years); but the scores that they have shown for all of the meets I have seen for those girls seem really, really high. And the videos say that some of the meets are USAG. So it isn't all an AAU vs USAG thing. Plus, my DDs competed AAU last year and their judging was way harder than what seems to be happening for these girls. Is it just different depending on the area of the country you are in?
 

momofthreegirls

Coach
Proud Parent
Feb 12, 2009
164
Yes, I find a lot of the posts on these forums confusing as well. I just finished reading a thread about a just turned 6 year old competing level 4. This seems extreme, as she must have been what, 4 or 5 when she started competing? I just don't see any 6 or 7 year olds around here ever competing above level 2 and 3 (this year now level 1 and 2). My 6 year old DD has taken gymnastics since she was 4, and she is able to do ROBH by herself and ROBH back tuck with minimal spotting, yet she was JUST placed on the level 1 team. Our gym said they will not take them on team period until they are 6 years old. It is correct that the cheerleading tumbling has led to more very young children learning "advanced" tumbling skills. My DD has done some cheer tumbling, and there is no doubt that is where she got the BH down. We have one another gym in town that will train elite level gymnasts, and again, I do not see any 6 or 7 year olds competing above level 3. At all. They have a homeschooling program there, so there may be upper elementary school aged kids competing at higher levels.

ETA: I meant to quote kiwi who commented that she finds it fascinating reading about all of the 8 year old level 7's.

In our region, it's quite common to have 6 and 7 year old level 4s since most gyms around here do not compete at all until level 4. Kids spend time in preteam prepping for level 4 rather than spending two years competing levels 2 and 3. My DD turned 6 right before her first level 4 meet last season. She struggled a bit at first, but was doing great by the end of the season. At every meet last season, the 2 biggest age groups for level 4 were the seven year olds, and the 9 year olds. At about half of our meets, there were enough 6 year olds for them to have their own age category (otherwise it was 7 and under).

I'm sure it differs by region. I know competing the lower levels is popular in other states.
 
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