For Parents L10 gymnast (The Reality Of College Gymnastics)

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
I am not a big fan of the "Professionals" stepping down from elite level into college, but I also agree that is not going to change. I do compare it to for instance, if LeBron James did one or two years of the pro's and then wanted to play college basketball someplace. I am pretty sure NCAA would not let that happen, but honestly, I am not even sure anymore. I think it used to be based on earnings etc, but that has all changed now with NIL. I guess what I would like to see is that if the "pro's" are going to continue to step down and compete in college then USA gymnastics should help support more D2 and D3 schools so that more normal but still talented athletes have a shot at college gymnastics. I believe if you are successful at getting to Level 10 gymnastics you are a pretty talented athlete compared to some other sports. There should be more opportunity for these athletes. I also am realistic and know that new gymnastics programs take a lot of money, coaches, and facilities, and not all schools can afford something like this.
I gotta disagree with what you're saying. Just because a gymnast is working elite or is elite doesn't mean they are going "pro". I know the majority of elites that I have been around are doing it for the challenge AND the enhanced opportunities that it will provide down the road, INCLUDING a college scholarship. I haven't met one who has said Olympics and pro or bust. And now you are implying that is not fair? Everyone has the opportunity to pursue this path, I understand that for some it is harder logistically than for others, but everyone has their own cost/benefit decisions to make. But its THEIR decision, own it and accept it. You can't punish others who made different decisions that work out for them because gee it just doesn't feel fair that they trained and sacrificed so much and now are able to get a scholarship above someone who didn't do the same.
I agree, all who make it to L10 are gifted athletes and should be celebrated as such. But its a bit naive get to L10 and then suddenly realize oh gosh, there is not that many post-competition opportunities. In other words, if you have been in this sport long enough to reach level 10, as a gymnast and family, you know what's up. Like any sport, its what the market supports. Fortunately, the market for college gymnastics (women) seem to be trending up, so definitely 3 cheers to the new programs coming on-line.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Solid444

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,219
Wisconsin
more D2 and D3 schools

This could be the key. Not sure how to get more D2 & D3 colleges going... but the level of D1 college gymnastics is definitely far above that of the average Level 10 DP (JO) gymnast.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LJL07

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,219
Wisconsin
I haven't met one who has said Olympics and pro or bust.

I would say most of them would love to be in the Olympics... but yes... there is definitely a benefit for the future that most recognize early on.

And pro gymnastics isn't even a thing... closest thing to that would be Cirque.

On the flip side... TOPS and HOPES are completely unnecessary at this point. Level 10 has almost all of the skills that elite gymnastics has minus number of skills and the combos. Someone can easily be trained for college through the DP (JO) program and be a firm contender for college.

What college wouldn't want a Maloney... Pak... Maloney 1/2 bar routine? There is no need to do elite to learn this.

How about a Yurchenko 1.5... definitely not an elite vault. Lots of DP (JO) athletes doing this vault.

Beam is just about hitting... college routines are just not that difficult.

And floor... if a kid can't do a double layout in DP (JO) training... then they aren't going to have one in elite either... it's a very basic and simple skill technically.

Also... what is everyone calling "elite"? Is it only athletes that have actually qualified "elite"... or is it anyone that has ever been on the "path"? TOPS / HOPES / Camps / etc?

Now if "elite" means working out extra hours to fine tune and sharpen everything to the best you can do... well then... just get in the game... it's necessary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FlippinLilysMom

Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
243
In other words, if you have been in this sport long enough to reach level 10, as a gymnast and family, you know what's up.
I am always amazed at parents lack of awareness and it starts before level 10. The statistics are out in the open and as a parent you have to be responsible enough to know what is a true reality for your child… Dreams are fine but I see so many sacrificing for something that is so not gonna happen and coaches and recruiting agencies just going along for the ride cause it’s a business.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
Also... what is everyone calling "elite"? Is it only athletes that have actually qualified "elite"... or is it anyone that has ever been on the "path"? TOPS / HOPES / Camps / etc?
In my context, I am talking about individuals who are working on the elite path as well as those who have successfully made elite.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JBS

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
I gotta disagree with what you're saying. Just because a gymnast is working elite or is elite doesn't mean they are going "pro". I know the majority of elites that I have been around are doing it for the challenge AND the enhanced opportunities that it will provide down the road, INCLUDING a college scholarship. I haven't met one who has said Olympics and pro or bust. And now you are implying that is not fair? Everyone has the opportunity to pursue this path, I understand that for some it is harder logistically than for others, but everyone has their own cost/benefit decisions to make. But its THEIR decision, own it and accept it. You can't punish others who made different decisions that work out for them because gee it just doesn't feel fair that they trained and sacrificed so much and now are able to get a scholarship above someone who didn't do the same.
I agree, all who make it to L10 are gifted athletes and should be celebrated as such. But its a bit naive get to L10 and then suddenly realize oh gosh, there is not that many post-competition opportunities. In other words, if you have been in this sport long enough to reach level 10, as a gymnast and family, you know what's up. Like any sport, its what the market supports. Fortunately, the market for college gymnastics (women) seem to be trending up, so definitely 3 cheers to the new programs coming on-line.
Everyone does NOT have the opportunity to pursue this path. That is simply not true.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
This could be the key. Not sure how to get more D2 & D3 colleges going... but the level of D1 college gymnastics is definitely far above that of the average Level 10 DP (JO) gymna

I am always amazed at parents lack of awareness and it starts before level 10. The statistics are out in the open and as a parent you have to be responsible enough to know what is a true reality for your child… Dreams are fine but I see so many sacrificing for something that is so not gonna happen and coaches and recruiting agencies just going along for the ride cause it’s a business.
This! Yes! It is unreal how many parents are snowed into believing that their level 3s and 4s have "college potential" and start homeschooling them. This is a money-maker! I think it is unethical. You cannot possibly tell at level 3 or 4 who is going to college. It's not even "real" gymnastics at that point. I am telling you that we have level 3 and 4 teams on mymeetscores who are unbeatable in the country. But what the parents aren't realizing is that any gym program vested in level 10s and/or elites does NOT care about award winning level 3s and 4s. So we have a bunch of award winners through level 6 and then no gym can get the kids past about level 8. The parents are just stunned.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
Everyone does NOT have the opportunity to pursue this path. That is simply not true.
Yes they do, there are plenty of gyms out there willing to take talented athletes and train them. There are no (or very few) turning people away because your race or how you look or where you come from. As I said, there is a cost/benefit calculation that everyone makes. So in what you relayed, the cost for you would be essentially moving to another state, with the benefit of getting a talented child top training that may lead to something more. It is very clear that you have decided that cost is too much. But I know there are plenty of examples of people that have done that, that have split their families because in their calculation the cost is acceptable.
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,536
The car
Not former elites… gymnasts… just gymnasts. Many gymnasts achieve what was said before.

I would really like to know how a gymnast can attend school full time, take AP courses, and do gymnastics. My daughter gave up gymnastics as a sophomore taking 3 AP courses and training L6 on just 12 hours a week. Four out of five weekdays, she got off the bus, changed, went straight to the gym, and got home after 8:00 p.m. By the time she'd eaten dinner and showered, it was time for bed. That left exactly one weeknight and the weekends for 24+ hours a week of homework, which was just too much. Her workload will only increase next year with 7 IB courses, all required in her program. How anyone could manage that plus 20 hours a week of gymnastics is beyond my comprehension.

Regular honors coursework would be a different story. At my daughter's high school a kid taking only honors courses would have maybe 4 hours of homework a week, so gymnastics would be feasible.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
Yes they do, there are plenty of gyms out there willing to take talented athletes and train them. There are no (or very few) turning people away because your race or how you look or where you come from. As I said, there is a cost/benefit calculation that everyone makes. So in what you relayed, the cost for you would be essentially moving to another state, with the benefit of getting a talented child top training that may lead to something more. It is very clear that you have decided that cost is too much. But I know there are plenty of examples of people that have done that, that have split their families because in their calculation the cost is acceptable.
You are wrong. Period. You are making a gross oversimplification. Here is the reality and this is what makes gymnastics a unique dilemma:

You need a facility for gymnastics (expensive)
You need equipment (expensive)
You need coaching staff (also expensive and good luck recruiting over here)

Outdoor sports like basketball and soccer are a bit easier to pull off resource-wise, although there are other sports (formula 1 racing, snowboarding, etc) where you might need to live in the right place.

Baseball (for example) has many of the same issues as women's gymnastics and is super competitive, BUT there are many, many, many more college baseball programs available for those families not wishing to do super high level intense club baseball. The number of women's college gymnastics programs is just low. Period. And even lower for D2 or D3.

It's not just the cost although that is a significant variable. There are many other variables that you are overlooking. Gymnastics is much much more accessible in certain areas than other areas. Your two hour away gym that you are commuting to is a better option than anything here, and I would actually not be surprised to hear that the gyms closer to you are probably stronger than what is available here.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
I would really like to know how a gymnast can attend school full time, take AP courses, and do gymnastics. My daughter gave up gymnastics as a sophomore taking 3 AP courses and training L6 on just 12 hours a week. Four out of five weekdays, she got off the bus, changed, went straight to the gym, and got home after 8:00 p.m. By the time she'd eaten dinner and showered, it was time for bed. That left exactly one weeknight and the weekends for 24+ hours a week of homework, which was just too much. Her workload will only increase next year with 7 IB courses, all required in her program. How anyone could manage that plus 20 hours a week of gymnastics is beyond my comprehension.

Regular honors coursework would be a different story. At my daughter's high school a kid taking only honors courses would have maybe 4 hours of homework a week, so gymnastics would be feasible.
Yep. That's why it is comical to me that the options are D1 elites who have dropped down (and quite a few are not star students, but who cares because they were elite! This is totally par though in athletics) OR we can plan to become National Merit scholars and kill ourselves earning an IB diploma while training level 10 and get an Ivie scholarship. Come on! This is absurd! We are foregoing honors classes for my daughter for this very reason.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
You are wrong. Period. You are making a gross oversimplification. Here is the reality and this is what makes gymnastics a unique dilemma:

You need a facility for gymnastics (expensive)
You need equipment (expensive)
You need coaching staff (also expensive and good luck recruiting over here)

Outdoor sports like basketball and soccer are a bit easier to pull off resource-wise, although there are other sports (formula 1 racing, snowboarding, etc) where you might need to live in the right place.

Baseball (for example) has many of the same issues as women's gymnastics and is super competitive, BUT there are many, many, many more college baseball programs available for those families not wishing to do super high level intense club baseball. The number of women's college gymnastics programs is just low. Period. And even lower for D2 or D3.

It's not just the cost although that is a significant variable. There are many other variables that you are overlooking. Gymnastics is much much more accessible in certain areas than other areas. Your two hour away gym that you are commuting to is a better option than anything here, and I would actually not be surprised to hear that the gyms closer to you are probably stronger than what is available here.
I know, but you can move right?

All those things are mitigated by moving to a location that does have those gyms that you mention.

Look, I am not minimizing those challenges, I know they are real, all I am saying if you feel strongly enough about it you can move so your child does have those opportunities. Plenty of people before you and plenty after will do the same. Its not right or wrong (although I know everyone has an opinion) but it is what works for that family when confronted with that decision. Does it stink that you would have to go to such extremes to get to good training? Absolutely. Is it not fair? Only in the sense that life is not fair and everyone is born into situations beyond their control.
 

Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
243
I would really like to know how a gymnast can attend school full time, take AP courses, and do gymnastics.
They can do it and many do. We know more than one gymnast attending the Ivy League as gymnasts in the past 2 years from our state. That being said it is HARD. The one gym has practice till 9 at night and they have 2 girls this year going.

Again you as a parent have to look at the TRUE realities for your child and if the means justify the ends. The reality for us said to give up the long commute cause the slim chance of making it was not worth the all the other sacrifices. mine still does 18 hours as a level 10 and takes a full AP course load and is in the top 2% of the class
 
  • Like
Reactions: esor and LJL07

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
I know, but you can move right?

All those things are mitigated by moving to a location that does have those gyms that you mention.

Look, I am not minimizing those challenges, I know they are real, all I am saying if you feel strongly enough about it you can move so your child does have those opportunities. Plenty of people before you and plenty after will do the same. Its not right or wrong (although I know everyone has an opinion) but it is what works for that family when confronted with that decision. Does it stink that you would have to go to such extremes to get to good training? Absolutely. Is it not fair? Only in the sense that life is not fair and everyone is born into situations beyond their control.
Oh sure. Let's put the entire rest of our family and our jobs and extended family at the bottom of the priority list so our kids can maaayybe get a scholarship at one of the few less competitive programs. Basically we would have needed to move when the girls were about 8. That is a bit crazed to move small children for gymnastics at 8 when we are looking at an outcome 10 years in the future.

I really do not mean to sound snarky. I really like this discussion. I would have very much appreciated someone shooting straight with me years ago before my kids got totally immersed.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
Oh sure. Let's put the entire rest of our family and our jobs and extended family at the bottom of the priority list so our kids can maaayybe get a scholarship at one of the few less competitive programs. Basically we would have needed to move when the girls were about 8. That is a bit crazed to move small children for gymnastics at 8 when we are looking at an outcome 10 years in the future.

I really do not mean to sound snarky. I really like this discussion. I would have very much appreciated someone shooting straight with me years ago before my kids got totally immersed.
As you mentioned earlier, you are having more of a philosophical discussion. And from a philosophical standpoint, I agree with your lamentations. If you step back, its absolutely crazy the lengths that many, heck all of us (all our challenges are relative), go through for our children to compete in this sport for little to no "payoff". But we do it, and we all make decisions to balance what we individually can do. You mention moving your family and obviously the cost of that is too much. But there are plenty of Konnor McClains out there that do do it. And for every Konnor McClain that actually has olympic potential, there are plenty others that don't, but still pursue moving, separating, juggling family in pursuit of some elusive goal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MuggleMom and LJL07

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
301
53
I would have very much appreciated someone shooting straight with me years ago before my kids got totally immersed.
And I definitely agree with this lol. Its what I tell all the littles parents at the gym, to run away and put them in soccer, or softball or anything else but gymnastics.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Tmacs and LJL07

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
And I definitely agree with this lol. Its what I tell all the littles parents at the gym, to run away and put them in soccer, or softball or anything else but gymnastics.
Indeed! It’s so backwards here! Xcel bronze and compulsory kids and lower level optionals homeschooling. you do not need to homeschool at those levels. Get to at least level 8 first. Maybe even level 9! :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: FlippinLilysMom

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
839
I would really like to know how a gymnast can attend school full time, take AP courses, and do gymnastics.

My DD did this. Most of her teammates did too. It wasn't easy with lots of sacrifices made along the way. She was rewarded though and received very attractive scholarship packages from all the colleges she applied to. So far she is finding that college is easier than high school (and her college GPA is the same as it was in high school). She's a D3 gymnast so is juggling both school and training.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,842
My DD did this. Most of her teammates did too. It wasn't easy with lots of sacrifices made along the way. She was rewarded though and received very attractive scholarship packages from all the colleges she applied to. So far she is finding that college is easier than high school (and her college GPA is the same as it was in high school). She's a D3 gymnast so is juggling both school and training.
Could you share more about getting on a D3 team? I would love to hear more of these stories.