For Parents Level 2

ReluctantGymMom

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I'm confused regarding the notion of L2 or L3 being "a waste of time and money." What are your goals for your kid? To have fun, remain fit/build strength and skills, and gain valuable life lessons? They can do that at any level, and the time and money cost just increases the higher up you go. I really would not overthink this. If you're happy with the gym overall, and your child is thriving, second-guessing a level 2 vs a level 3 placement is not something to waste bandwidth on especially since your child is only 7.
I think level 1 and 2 are a waste of money, not level 3 because level 3 starts the foundations for level 4 and 5. The reason I think it’s a waste of money is that it would make more sense for kids to learn those level skills and NOT compete them. Paying 1000 dollars in meet fees and a 400 dollar leotard so my kid memorizes a routine from level 1? Huge waste of money. She would have been better off just learning skills, even if she did those exact same years and could have saved parents tons of money that they would need to cough up in later levels.
 

LYoungblood

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My daughter did a light competition year Level 2 in 2019/2020. 3 real meets and for us it was worth it. We saw some progression in her scores and she got to go to 2 smaller meets and 1 huge one to get a real sense of what was happening.

Depending on what the coach actually said, competing a year at L2 can really help get your daughter into a stronger position for the next level especially if she is missing some skills. Things like a front hip circle take some time to learn and even more time to perfect. Perhaps the coach is thinking this year can be solidifying skills so L3 can be a year to get higher scores and more confidence?
Everything you said is what I'm trying to tell myself. I just don't want her to be behind. One mom I talked to said the year of level 2 could actually propel her in allot of ways cos she'll get some experience that the girls who were moved directly to 3 won't get. So fingers crossed lol
 

LYoungblood

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I will say that both of my girls competed level 1. One was 6 years old and the other was 5 years old as a level 1. I guess getting the competition experience helped, but level 1 was so boring. That's tough because you really can't dictate to the coach what level she should compete and have to kind of tread lightly. It is early July though, and I would imagine there is plenty of time to get the rest of her skills. For instance, my youngest was 6 on level 3, and they initially didn't plan to compete her at all due to "TOPS" (long and crazy story), but they decided around early October to do level 3 with her. She was competing by mid-December. She struggled a bit on beam initially because they did rush her a bit. I think it depends on the goals and what type of scoring your gym expects. I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask them about level 2 versus 3.
From what I've heard they really want better scores from the level 3s this season cos least they didn't do well.
 

LYoungblood

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My DD did JO2 at 6 years old and it was one of her happiest years in gym. No stress, cute meets, won some medals, and really got hooked on gymnastics. She then skipped ahead to 4 which was a lot more stress and not nearly as much fun.

I wouldn't get too caught up in what level they are competing at early on, a good gym is constantly up training and helping girls build new skills so whether they are competing those skills or not they should be progressing all the time. When/if they are ready the gym can skip them through levels as well (3, 5, 6, etc.) to get them "caught up". I know early on it feels like a race but there really is no reason to rush.
Thank you for that. I think we do get so caught up in it all early on. It's nice getting this kind of reminder from Mom's who have been there done that. ❤️
 

LYoungblood

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My kid did level 1, 2, 3 then scored out of 4 and 5. Everyone in our area does 1 and 2 and yes, they’re a waste of time and money unless your kid loves to compete and is too young for other levels. But my kid also needed more time to mature in body awareness.
I’m gonna be honest and tell you that it is NOT likely she’s going to go from level 2 to level 4. Level 4 has a double back handspring, two kips, jump to high bar, a handstand and cartwheel on beam and most importantly: table vault. That flat back onto a mat stack does not in any way transition to a front hand spring off the table. At least they finally changed the routines so level 3 is a front hand spring over a mat stack and prepares kids. But level 2 literally has nothing that would prepare her for level 4 at all, so don’t get your hopes up that she would skip 3. 3 at least starts introducing elements from level 4 and 5.
She already has a double back handspring. It's not perfect form but she has it. She also ahhh does the new level 3 vault in the gym and can do a cartwheel on beam. The only things she's missing for 3 are on bars that's why I was so confused by it all.
 

Tmacs

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Thank you for that. I think we do get so caught up in it all early on. It's nice getting this kind of reminder from Mom's who have been there done that. ❤️
I was way more caught up in things in L2. I hardly think about her gym now. I personally think that L2 for a 7 year old is the best route... gets her some good body awareness with the fun of meets without the pressure or hard skills. She will do well later on because of it. I think not competing at that age is good too but I think forcing L3 when she’s sloppy on skills or missing some is just going to make her not enjoy it as much. She will NOT get behind. There is always time to accelerate and skip levels later when the skills become more diverse. A solid pre-team or L2 or bronze experience is the best way to go for her age.
 

LYoungblood

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I was way more caught up in things in L2. I hardly think about her gym now. I personally think that L2 for a 7 year old is the best route... gets her some good body awareness with the fun of meets without the pressure or hard skills. She will do well later on because of it. I think not competing at that age is good too but I think forcing L3 when she’s sloppy on skills or missing some is just going to make her not enjoy it as much. She will NOT get behind. There is always time to accelerate and skip levels later when the skills become more diverse. A solid pre-team or L2 or bronze experience is the best way to go for her age.
Thank you so much for this. You have really helped me feel better about the whole situation. I really need to learn to just sit back and enjoy the process. Thank you again for all your input.
 

novagymmom

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My daughter also did L2 at 7. In our gym, L2 is "competition light". They have a (much cheaper) tank competition leotard and just do 3 home meets and one local but larger out of the gym meet. It was a perfect introduction to competition and she experienced a lot of success, had fun, and gained confidence.

Over the summer while training for L3, she got both her kip and her vault over the table. So, they ended up moving her to L4 instead. She had a decent (but certainly not as strong) year there. But, it was the right path for her.

Good luck to your daughter and just enjoy watching her have fun!
 
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LYoungblood

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My daughter also did L2 at 7. In our gym, L2 is "competition light". They have a (much cheaper) tank competition leotard and just do 3 home meets and one local but larger out of the gym meet. It was a perfect introduction to competition and she experienced a lot of success, had fun, and gained confidence.

Over the summer while training for L3, she got both her kip and her vault over the table. So, they ended up moving her to L4 instead. She had a decent (but certainly not as strong) year there. But, it was the right path for her.

Good luck to your daughter and just enjoy watching her have fun!
Ok awesome. That gives me hope. I honestly think she'll be ready for 4 by next season. She's so strong and picks up skills quick.

Gonna enjoy this level 2 season and relax!
 
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TumbleTimes4

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Our gym doesn’t start competing until level 3, and honestly I’m happy they don’t. The sports gets expensive when you have to start paying comp fees. My DD will compete 7 this year, and sometimes I wish I could rewind the time and just watch her do ice cream scoops on the beam in preteam. Enjoy the ride. This sport is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy every level and don’t wish it away or rush through it. Oftentimes, the kids that skip levels early experience burn out and don’t last long in the sport. Don’t worry about falling behind. She will compete the level that she is ready for when she is ready for it. Rushing only puts pressure on the gymnast and that can take the fun out of it. Bar skills oftentimes are the hardest ones to get and is usually the apparatus that holds them back. My DD had all level 3 requirements except for the front hip circle and the no longer required mill circle. So she did a year of bronze and then moved to level 3 the next season. She has done a level a year since then and has enjoyed success on the podium. Sometimes keeping them at a lower level to enjoy success is better for them than to do a higher level where they may struggle with skills and not make it on the podium.
 

Really

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Everything you said is what I'm trying to tell myself. I just don't want her to be behind. One mom I talked to said the year of level 2 could actually propel her in allot of ways cos she'll get some experience that the girls who were moved directly to 3 won't get. So fingers crossed lol
Your child won't be behind. My daughter competed L2 at 7 years old. She will turn 14 at the end of the summer and will be a pretty competitive L8, and she repeated L7 last year due to the COVID closures slowing down her progress. If my daughter wants to continue on to L10, it's a very real possibility for her. L2 or L3 at age 7 is not a make-or-break/do-or-die situation by any means. Olympian Betty Okino didn't start gymnastics till age 9.
 

Dad1234

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My daughter competed level 2 at age 5 and repeated level 2 at age 6. She had the skills to move to level 3 after her first year, but her coaches thought that it would be best for her to repeat level 2 so that she would have a successful year and build up confidence before moving forward. At the time, I would have preferred that she moved to level 3. But, looking back, repeating level 2 was perfect for her. She had a great year and medaled at every meet. It gave her confidence in her gymnastics which I think was important moving forward. She probably wouldn’t have had a super successful year if she went to straight to level 3. She didn’t have a great first year of level 2 and if she went straight to 3, she probably would have have two somewhat unsuccessful years and maybe lost confidence in herself at a young age. Maybe her coaches want her to have a successful year in level 2 and build up her confidence before moving to level 3.