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longlivedasset2

Proud Parent
Feb 11, 2021
4
33
My 7yo is about to start practicing for level 4.
She likes gymnastics, but she doesn't 'live and breathe' gymnastics like some girls do. I think she's decent at it.

They are about to start 12 hours/week training, but the scheduling isn't firm yet.
I know this is the low-end of average practice hours for level 4, but it seems like a lot for 7-8 yo's.
I want to push for lower hours, but I also don't want to set them up for failure.

So I wonder... what is the least amount of practice hours for level 4?
I've seen some gymnastics making additional hours as optional. How does that usually work?

And for those who've been through this while girls are still attending public school, did the girl have any time to explore other passion? How did you all manage it?

Thank you,
 

txgymfan

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
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Sep 4, 2008
3,498
Houston
If you think 12 hours is higher than you would like at Level 4 I would seriously think about switching her to an Xcel team. The time and financial obligations only grow over time. This is the opportunity to have a serious discussion with the adults involved, the child’s ideas are secondary if the adults are not willing to drive and pay for the sport.

I don’t mean to be harsh, gymnastics is a wonderful sport. Typically team gymnasts have very little time for other activities past levels 4 or 5. We have several threads that address this topic.

Xcel teams vary even more than JO ( or development , they changed the name) teams. Research what’s available in your area, some of these teams are more competitive while others are more recreational.

This is a thread from 2018, it‘s enlightening.

 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
We are 9... 12... or 16 hours at Level 4. Most are 12 hours.

I would recommend 4 days per week if doing 12 hours. Our 12 hour athletes typically do much better at Level 4.

12 hours is not the "low-end"... there are many clubs that do not do 12 hours at Level 4.

My kids have all had plenty of time for other activities... but not other highly competitive sports. They just have to make a decision to do something else if they want to... mine have always chose gymnastics.
 
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Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
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Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,780
With the right environment you don’t need 12 hours a week to succeed at level 4. A great coach can bring success from talented kids at level 4 in 8-9 hours.

BUT, in the average gym that is just not possible. They have to charge the apparatus with many others, so they need more time to make it all work. And few gyms have their best coaches on the Level 4 group. I would say 12-16 hours is average at this level.

Most gymnasts don’t do other activities outside of gymnastics. They go to school, attend gym and have a nice social life with friends and family.

Its really a new expectation in society that kids would do many activities. I am shocked when I hear that so many kids do gymnastics and dance and piano and tennis and tutoring and netball and swimming and violin etc etc.

Kids are scheduled is so many activities, they never get the true gift of being able to do any of them particularly well. There is a lot of value in choosing one activity and doing it well, truly committing to it and seeing the results of giving your all to something.
 

longlivedasset2

Proud Parent
Feb 11, 2021
4
33
If you think 12 hours is higher than you would like at Level 4 I would seriously think about switching her to an Xcel team. The time and financial obligations only grow over time. This is the to have a serious discussion with the adults involved, the child’s ideas are secondary if the adults are not willing to drive and pay for the sport.

I don’t mean to be harsh, gymnastics is a wonderful sport. Typically team gymnasts have very little time for other activities past levels 4 or 5. We have several threads that address this topic.

Xcel teams vary even more than JO ( or development , they changed the name) teams. Research what’s available in your area, some of these teams are more competitive while others are more recreational.

This is a thread from 2018, it‘s enlightening.


Thanks! We are considering Xcel, but we would have to change gym to do that which will be hard for my girl who's so close with other team members.

The link you shared was very helpful!
 
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longlivedasset2

Proud Parent
Feb 11, 2021
4
33
If you think 12 hours is higher than you would like at Level 4 I would seriously think about switching her to an Xcel team. The time and financial obligations only grow over time. This is the to have a serious discussion with the adults involved, the child’s ideas are secondary if the adults are not willing to drive and pay for the sport.

I don’t mean to be harsh, gymnastics is a wonderful sport. Typically team gymnasts have very little time for other activities past levels 4 or 5. We have several threads that address this topic.

Xcel teams vary even more than JO ( or development , they changed the name) teams. Research what’s available in your area, some of these teams are more competitive while others are more recreational.

This is a thread from 2018, it‘s enlightening.


The linked thread was very helpful. Thank you!
I think Xcel is a better fit for us, but we would have to move our gym which would make my daughter very sad. It seems that all options have pros and cons.. :-(
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
798
This is a thread from 2018, it‘s enlightening.

Ha! I started that thread years ago and now have two competitive gymnasts and I'm still not sure what my answer to that question is! :D
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,266
62
Our gym does flexible hours due the school year. More hours optional in the summer. And mine is a likes gym better then most things but doesn’t live and breathe it

level 2/3 7.5 hours with 3 more optional
4-10 (currently 9 is our highest kid) 9 hours with 3 optional

Mine currently a L8 (might get to L9 but it’s a reach because of a combination injuries and fear) will likely top out at 8 did 9 hours until L7 then 12. This season dropped back to 9 due to her high school sports schedule and our work schedule. Her leaps are better then ever, which I attribute to different conditioning for lacrosse.

Find a gym that works for you and yours.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,751
The 'Wood, Ohio
Our Level 4s currently practice 6 hours a week.
Pre-Pandemic, it was 7.5 hours a week.
99% of our gymnasts at ALL levels have outside activities (school sports, girl scouts, 4-H, church youth group, etc.)
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
243
32
I think it depends on your region as well. In our state, nearly every gym does 16 hours for level 4. Definetly in our general area, where there’s a surplus of gyms to choose from within a 2 hour radius. One gym is very competitive and does fewer hours - with the caveat that they are very selective on who gets on team, and if you don’t maintain their insanely high scoring you’re repeating.

My daughter is doing 20 hours for optionals; no, there isn’t time for anything else. She goes to school in person, we pull her out about 20 min early, get to gym 20 min late, get home around 7 pm so she has time to do homework and chill a bit. Summer is when we find her other activities to get into
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
735
Virginia
At level 4 my daughter was doing 12 hours I think ( I forget if she switched to 16 at some point int level 4). At that level she was able to do one other activity but it was a low commitment activity....like a once a week dance class with an end of year recital. Other team sports probably would not have been possible if there were multiple practices and games. My kid didnt eat breathe sleep gym and still doesnt. Its a bit of a struggle for her to not have time for other things so if she needs a day off or if something fun comes up I let her miss. She is also not the best on her team and probably not reaching her "full gymnsatics potential" but she and I are ok with that. Its a Struggle, and as time goes on other activities really arent as feasible but time for school and friends is still definitely possible. If she decides its not for her later gymnastics is a great foundational sport so she can switch sports pretty easily, so I would say let her keep doing it tills he doesnt want to, just listen to her if she starts saying she wants to quit.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
106
My 7, almost 8 yr old daughter got selected to move from preteam to team in October. Our gym starts team at level 4. She currently goes 9 hours a week, 3 days for 3 hours and enjoys going 1 or 2 days to open gym. But she is one that would live at the gym if we would allow her. This schedule has taken some work for us, but we have only been doing it since October. She is also struggling in school (currently in the process of getting a dyslexia diagnosis) so homework takes a good amount of time and focus. We have not been able to do other sports or activities because of the time and money required. We live in a town without many gym options and our gym is small in comparison to what I see of other areas so I believe that she gets a lot of individual attention in those 9 hours.
 
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raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,751
The 'Wood, Ohio
My 7, almost 8 yr old daughter got selected to move from preteam to team in October. Our gym starts team at level 4. She currently goes 9 hours a week, 3 days for 3 hours and enjoys going 1 or 2 days to open gym. But she is one that would live at the gym if we would allow her. This schedule has taken some work for us, but we have only been doing it since October. She is also struggling in school (currently in the process of getting a dyslexia diagnosis) so homework takes a good amount of time and focus. We have not been able to do other sports or activities because of the time and money required. We live in a town without many gym options and our gym is small in comparison to what I see of other areas so I believe that she gets a lot of individual attention in those 9 hours.
Fingers crossed that she can get the diagnosis quickly and have a smooth transition into an IEP with all necessary accommodations.
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
37
My gymmie was 9 at level 4 and did 12 hours a week. Gymnastics is the only organized sport she does, but we have other children involved in various activities, and we just don’t have the time or resources for all of them to be involved in multiple sports. So they have to choose. But they do have time for church activities, simple hobbies, and time with friends. I encourage her to have a life outside of the gym.
 
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GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
24
Our gym does 12.5 hours, through 3 days through the week (one of which is Saturdays) and my daughter was newly 8 yo when level 4 started. She’s adjusted well. However, I have found that the level of training in those 12.5 hours makes more difference than their time in the gym. (This is why I’m currently looking at other options as well.) Her friends figured out the schedule and only ring the bell on her off days lol.

In general, the 12 hours of practice is the least of the demands. This Friday we traveled almost 3 hours to a meet. With a short detour for fun afterward, it meant we left the house at 1030am and got home at 11pm. I have a friend who stayed overnight at a hotel last night for a meet today and they won’t get home til late. The cost of the meets and the cost of the travel and the Leo’s and the stress of ballerina buns etc….that’s where most of my stress lies with the sport itself. And more parents than I originally realized homeschool, especially post pandemic, to accommodate it.

Good luck in whatever you decide!
 
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GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
24
I think it depends on your region as well. In our state, nearly every gym does 16 hours for level 4. Definetly in our general area, where there’s a surplus of gyms to choose from within a 2 hour radius.
I love your profile name!

May I ask what region / area you’re in? I’m on the east coast area and there are many gyms closer to the city but way fewer near me - alternatives are about an hour away. I notice that where there are more gyms, the teams seem to be much more competitive.
 

drwho42

Proud Parent
Nov 25, 2018
29
49
In my experience I think 12-15 hours would be a good range.

It might also be a good idea to take into account how many are in the group and the levels practicing overall. There might be a bit of "waiting" or observing if there are a lot in the group. The waiting may not be physically demanding but these are variables to account for.

Lastly, your gymnast may adjust to the hours well and may even as to stay longer.
 

goldengirlie

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 8, 2022
21
For reference, I'm a level 4 and I go 9 hours a week (I also weight lift 4-5 hours a week). Level 4s in our group go anywhere from 8-12 hours a week.
 
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