For Parents L4 2nd meet over....and a question (at the end)

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Jan 9, 2009
...and dd is not to happy. She did okay....she had big trouble on the bars ...fell off on mill circle, I swear she just let go, got 7.0

Vaulted it is her strongest even 9.5..placed 3rd for 8yo (which she will not be until 2/14 but did not know that they aged them by age @ states)

Beam good too...8.25

Floor was not too good (for her) either...7.25

She said ..."I had an off day, Mom"

She also had a biggest age group...if she was still aged in 6-7 she'd have taken top in all. Not big scores from younger girls.

She was disapointed as she is a 2nd year L4 but she is still "young" for our group. She will do better next least she still held a 32 AA so she feels that she still is doing "states" scores.

We are not a very "aggressive" gym...only practice 6 hrs per week (big team 25 girls) and the teams that posted higher scores have longer hours and are driven to get that.

What is it like at your gym? Most of our L4 are 8,9 and 10. 2 hrs 3 days a week.
I love your daughter's attitude - it's great to recognize that an off day is just that, and that she can bounce back next time!

My gymmie is still just pre-team, but at her gym (which is very competitive - it has a solid Level 10 and elite training program) the Level 4s practice a total of 8 hours per week, two hours four times a week. Some girls also have an additional 2 hours per week for TOPS training.


Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
Awww, sorry she had a "off" happens. This was my DD's second year too so I think she also felt the need to come up with big scores. I told her as long as she shows improvement meet to meet we didn't care. Off days happen. My DD had a real Klinker this season at a sectional. On her second vault she triped and splated. Even though they scored the first one and it counted as a 9.1 I think, it took her out of her "game" for the rest of the events except floor. She fell on that mill circle which only happened once in 2 that meet. Fell off the beam twice that meet. I think off days happen sometimes. For your DD to get a 9.5 on vault is awesome though and she should be very happy. I agree the age thing does stick. At states this past weekend my DD's friend just had a late Dec B-Day and got thrown into the 8 Open (repeaters) and some of those girls were getting 9.875's on vault! Most of those girls had about a year's more experience than her & it makes a huge difference. I'm sure your DD will do much better next time around.

We practice 11 hrs a week and I LOVE it. It is enough for us. DD is now considered a training L5 and thankfully our hours will stay the same til Summer I think. We did hear that many girsl at states this past weekend (L4's) and especially a team that blew us away, practice their L4's 16 hrs a week which I honestly think is just too much for a 6, 7 or 8 year old. My DD does other things and I would rather see her gradually work up to the hours & skills. Our gym would rather get the girls to the optional levels than to make them spend a lot of time at the compulsary levels. Our L4 team is pretty young, mostly 7 & 8's. Everyone moved up except our lil 6 yr old.


Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
Aw. Sorry to hear about the rough day...:(

My dd is a young 8 yr old L4. Our L4's train 14 hrs a week at our gym. Our L4 team has a couple 7 y.o's, a few 8 y.o's, and lots of 9's, and 10's. It's A LOT of practice...but generally she loves it and is glad to be there.


Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
Region 7
Awesome vault! So glad your DD seemed to take it all in stride.

Our L4's practice 9 hrs/wk....down from previous years when they practiced 12 (my oldest DD at L4) to 15 (my youngest dd at L4). Our L4 team had an old 7 (turns 8 2 wks after states), an older 8 and bunch of 9's.


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
Sounds like she realizes that all gymnasts have off days, getting through them with a positive attitude is what matters and seems like she knows how to do that as well. :D It is hard to be the youngest in an age group, especially with a birthday that makes you be in the older age group the whole year.

My DD is 6.5 and they almost always do the awards from 6-8yo here. Tough because you can be competing against girls that are almost 9, when you are 6. Sometimes the little ones rock though, so you never know.

6 hours a week isn't many hours. Our L4s range from 6-12yo. We have a huge age range. There are 20 L4s and only 9 are competing right now. Some are expected to at the end of the season, if they get their skills.


Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
DD is a 7yo (but soon to be 8) level 4. Her team has 17 level 4 and she is the 5th youngest. She practices 9 hours a week, but some of the level 4's only go 6 hours a week. She is the youngest that is expected to train 9 a week.

At her last meet she was actually in a disadvantage to be 7, as she was in the hardest age group (6-7). If she was in any other age group she would have been 2nd or 3rd in the all around. Going forward though I think that the rest of the meets she will be either grouped as 8 and under or be 8.

Just reread your initial post, looks like our girls are basically the same age, mine has 5 days on your (Feb 9 birthday). Good luck to her for the rest of the season.



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Jan 4, 2008
Our level's system in AUstralia is very similar to yours in the USA, so a level 4 in Australia would be very similar level to a level 4 in the USA. And at that level training just 6 hours a week would be unheard of in a competitive gymnast. This would be what you would expect in a recreational gymnast at this level.

The state and national gymnastics associaction reccomend here that level 4's do between 8-16 hours a week. The more competitive gyms have their levels 4's train 14-16 hours and week and sometimes more, I know of one gym who had their level 4's doing 22 hours a week.

The average hours for a level 4 would be 12-13 a week, and the lower level competitive gyms who did the more recreational type comps would do about 9-11 hours.
Jan 9, 2008
My daughter is also a second year level 4 she is 8 now but will be 9 a week before states. The age thing is a pain because sometimes they make her a 8 and after Jan I think she moves up. On her first 2 meets this year she did not place because they counted her as a 9 and then the 2nd meet she was counted as a 8. I think there are alot of level 4 who are 8. My daughter last year as a new level 4 trained 9 hours a week, it did not seem enough but it was her 1st year competeing and she skipped from preschool to preteam. This year she is doing much better she trains 13 hours 4x a week but she trains with the level5's. She loves going and never complains about the extra hours.


Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
DD team has 20 L4s and they range from 7 - 12 years old. Our girls train 6 hrs a week with the option off training an addtional 3 hrs.


Our gym's Level 4 team does 10hrs. during the school year (very standard for this area) and then bumps up to 12 during the summer. 2nd yr. Level 4s train up in the summer and do Level 5 hours which is 16 during the summer months and then in the fall drop back to the 10 hrs to be with the incoming Level 4s. We currently have 8 L4 girls ranging from just turned 7yr to older 9yr olds. Last yr. there was a 6yr. old.

We are a very competitve gym, but relatively small. Kelsey currently has 31 girls on her team ranging from 4s through 9s. But the motto is no matter if the team is small, train hard or don't come. It's a safety issue, they don't believe that anyone should attempt skills without the hours of training to back that up (bigger issue for the higher levels). It is also very hard to compete against a team that trains on average 12 or more hours a month then you. It's a huge disadvantage. My daughter started a gym that the only had Level 4,5 &6, and the L6 only trained 9 hours a week (the owner didn't want to pay the coach more hours, but I digress, that's a whole different issue). It was Very hard for her to go against other Level 6s who trained 20-24 hours a week and very disheartening.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with 6hrs. a week if your goal is to have fun, not worry about placing and moving up levels. For some kids, they just want to have fun and really aren't all that into placements and medals. There are some who know that they really don't want to do this sport beyond a few years and are just having fun with it in the meantime without the hours commitment. I guess you need to think about whether you're okay with how things stand or would like to look at other options.

Let me know how it goes, I've been there before. My dd switched gyms last year (training hours was just 1 of many issues though).

:bars: Hope this helps
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gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
1st, sorry to hear dd had an off day. Unfortunately, everyone does and it happens more than once. It comes down to being able to shake it off and go back to practice willing to work on the problem areas.

Our gym doesn't compete L4. Our top level pre-team girls do 6 hours/week plus 1 hour of ballet. In listening to parents from gyms with L4, I would say 6 hours/week is on the low end. Most gyms I hear about do around 8-12.

My big concern though is the number of hours plus the very large team. Do they split them up for practice/how many coaches are out there working with them? Especially with younger girls, this can be a mess because they tend to get lost in the shuffle.

You and dd need to consider what you want out of next season. While you're doing meets this season, watch the other teams and if there is one that impresses you, then check it out. Usually at meets its easy to get info by asking parents from other gyms.


You and dd need to consider what you want out of next season. While you're doing meets this season, watch the other teams and if there is one that impresses you, then check it out. Usually at meets its easy to get info by asking parents from other gyms.[/QUOTE]

:)That is a great suggestion. Parents are usually very honest and upfront about the pros/cons of their gym. I would recommend however that you be careful to not let the current gym know that you are posslbly looking elsewhere. That way if you decide to stay where you are, no harm done.

:(When we switched gyms last yr. it was less then amicable due to a parent from the team we used to belong to calling the coaches and informing them of our decision to leave before we could have our 1 on 1 with the coach to inform them ourselves. We decided on a Sat. and were going into the gym on Mon. to tell the coaches about the decision, but were met at the door with some nasty accusations instead (they thought that we'd try to recruit the rest of the team to leave).

Things would have gone smoother if we had gotten the chance to tell them ourselves instead of someone else blowing us out of the water. :D I don't regret the decision to leave, as a matter of fact, my dd has never been happier. She is so much more prepared for her 1st yr. of L5 than she was for her 1st yr of L4. And when you're prepared, it eliminates a lot of the stress of "will I make all my skills or not".

I completely agree that if it were me, I would check out which local gyms have the style and dedication to their gymansts that you would like to see. When you narrow the search down, most gyms will let you come "try it out" for a week or so and see if it's a good fit your gymmie before making any decisions. That's always a good thing to do. Just don't inform anyone at the current gym that you might be doing this, to avoid any mess if you decide to stay where your at, just to be cautious.

Sorry I'm so long-winded!
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Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I forgot to put how many hours my gymmie practices. They do 10 hours a week. I think average here is 9-12 hours a week for L4. I agree with others, maybe check out other gyms and see. Depends on your DDs goals as well. Good luck.


Sorry to hear about your dd's off day:(. She had an awesome vault score, though:cool:! She also seems to handle the off days in a very mature way, which is good because everyone has them from time to time!

As far as gym hours go - my dd is training level 5 and goes 12 hrs per week. At level 4 she went 9. Our optionals go 16 hrs per week. The whole team is about 45 girls from levels 4 to 9.
Sep 8, 2007
Sorry to hear that she had an off day,but her vault score was great!My dd is L4 only 8 on team ranging from 8-10 most are 9 years old they go 3x week for 2 1/2 hrs which gives them 30min warmup strenght and 30min on each event. 6hrs week at 2 hrs a night does not give them much time especially with 25 kids .How many coaches are there? How much time are they spending on events?Our L3 team has 30-35 kids go 2x a week for total of 4hrs week they have 3 coaches and break them in to groups .Our L 5 goes 4x a week for total of 10 hrs.If your dd is not getting much time practing on each event I think she will have a hard time improving.
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Proud Parent
Jul 25, 2008
My daughter is a 1st year L4. She just turned 7 last month. She started off rough at the first meet, but the last two meets have been okay for her. Her team is very large. There are about 39 girls. This is too many, in my opinion. They are split into 3 groups during practice, but watching the meets that we've done this year, scores seem to be lower than in years past for new L4 girls from what I remember when older DD did L4. I've been starting to wonder if due to the high numbers, there isn't enough time to focus on all of the details of every girl's routines, but this is probably a separate discussion. Anyway, DD's team practices 6 hrs per week as well, and the team is made up of 6 to 13 year olds, although the majority are 7-9 years old.

It's funny how age groups at meets work though. The 6-7 year old group at the meet we were at this past weekend was one of the toughest we've seen yet. 1st place AA was a 37+. DD got a 9.2 on vault, and I was excited because I hadn't seen many high scores at all on vault, but sure enough when we got to awards, DD got 3rd place. She would have had 1st place if she had been with the 8 or 10-11 year olds. Plus she would have placed higher on most events if she had been in with the 8 year olds. It doesn't usually seem to work that way though. She doesn't worry about placements though. She is happy when she gets called for a medal, but she doesn't care what place it is. :D
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