Level 4 scores/How bad? LONG

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Apr 16, 2008
LOL...o.k I shouldn't say how bad but I'm looking at them going...hmmmmm.
#1 and above all, she's THRILLED. She had five medals hanging from her neck and flowers from her parents.
When all was said and done she was so proud of herself and THAT is what I prayed for. Everything else is icing on the cake!

My question is this.
She's a week away from turning seven. She went from 5 hours to 12 to 16 hours this summer.

She was not picked at her beloved gym for team which she so badly wanted. I was afraid that maybe she was not picked bc well...maybe this was NOT her thing and I didn't want to force things...she wanted to visit other gyms and after much thought, we searched.

She found a good fit, they would give her a slot on their USAG team. She had been going to the gym 5 hours a week for about a year at her old gym and knew all her routines but had no "real" training, it was a rec program.

From one day to the next she started going 12 hours in June and then 16 hours in July. Today was her first meet. She competed against the girls from her old gym...eeek!

Her scores were:
Beam 8.675
Floor 8.0 (she stepped out of bounds twice, she had no idea what the white lines were...oh well..live and learn baby!
Vault: 9.4
Bars: 8.2 (ouch, have no idea how the scoring works..but it looked great to me! LOL)

She placed 2nd and 3rd on the beam and vault but there were only about 7 girls there her age/level.

I was happy for her but in the back of my mind kept wondering is this why her original gym didn't want her?

A parent congratulated her and asked me if I realized she was the youngest one there. She said that in her age group she was the only one whose first meet was this one. She mentioned that everyone, including the ones from her previous gym (except for one I believe who actually WON the AA) were repeating level 4.

I was like HUH? I didn't realize that was possible. I then went and looked up their scores from last year and noticed they scored a lot of 6's and 7's last year and now they've had a year to train while my daughter only had three months!!:rolleyes:

So, I'm JUST wondering....what should I think? Are these scores typical for a girl in her situation? (you can give it to me straight ..really...you won't hurt my mom feelings LOL.) Should they be higher? So you can repeat a level just like that?

To me, those were great scores! My first meet ever as a level four, i got a 4.4 on beam! I fell on just about every skill! And she will keep improving i am sure, and just make sure that she is having fun and loves what she is doing. Scoring 6's and 7's is what most kids score in the beginning, and so her scores are great!

My DD's first meet (she was just 6, and not too much training yet )she did well on vault, but the beam was in the 7's, floor also low 7's and her bars, a whopper 5.8 which we still LOL about since bars is her favorite event. She didn't qualify for sectional on that first meet, but by the second one, 2 weeks later she did get over the 30AA score. She went on to score 32's, 33's and maybe a 34. She got 4th place on vault at states as a 6 yr old too. Here in NJ they now have Open (repeaters) catagory at sectionals and states and novice for newbies. I was shocked over how well some of the newbies did though.

While some gyms are looking for something specific, like good lines, flexibility, some just are looking for a hard worker w/a good heart. That's my DD and maybe yours too. It's great to go out and surprise all thouse who doubted, especially her old gym. Good for her, she sounds like she will have a very good year!
First of all, those are great scores!! Especially for her first meet. I am hoping my DD gets all high 8s at her first meet this season. I think judging is pretty tough here and that they definitely look at ALL the little things.

My daughter competed her first meet at 6 years 3 months. She had been training on level 4 10 hours a week for 6 months and was moved up to level 4 without even having her level 4 skills. Her first meet (these are guesstimates, it is in my posts here somewhere) she had a 5 on beam, 6 on bars, 7 on floor and 7 on vault and AA was 27.something. She left the meet with a participation medal and was all smiles. She had a blast out there. Granted, she wasn't truly ready for competing, but she didn't care. Judging is really tough here it seems, I would see YouTube routines with girls doing similar routines as my DD and getting way better scores, but that is just how it is. She finished her season with getting low 8s on all events (even placing at a few) and a 33AA and I was just happy she was happy. Age groups here are almost always 6-8, 9-11 and 12+ and that can be rough competing against older girls, but some really young girls kick butt as well. LOL. Top scores here are usually mid 9s and 37AA, so tough to get up high on that podium. ;)

My opinion is that as long as they are happy and proud of themselves and did their best, I am happy. My DH has higher expectations, but he is chilling out a bit and realizing that she just loves gymnastics and I hope he will just let her do the best she can and be happy with that.

My DD is repeating level 4 this year at a different gym. We took her from her old gym for many, many reasons, mostly inconsistent coaching, safety concerns and lack of any organization among the coaches. Her old gym was moving her to level 5 even though she obviously hadn't mastered level 4 skills, but they just had a different philosophy. They didn't work on the little things that judges deduct on and it just was tiring to see ALL our girls not do very well when they were very capable, skills that were beautiful, but they were being tenth-ed to death for all the little things they weren't taught.

It is pretty common around here for girls to repeat level 4, especially since many kids don't get their kip for awhile and vaulting over the table can be a challenge, too. It is common to repeat other levels as well.

Gyms look for different things for their team program. DDs old gym was very kid friendly and if you wanted to be on team and worked hard, you could, regardless of whether you had the stuff to move on to the upper levels. Her new gym is much more selective and doesn't move girls up as easily either. They aren't the type to hold girls back though just to win team titles either, they very much base the decision on many things and in the girl's best interest. We are very happy with her new gym and she has gotten over having to repeat level 4, LOL. She knows she when she does move to level 5, she will be truly ready. They uptrain and do progressions for next level skills, so she is challenged and happy. Hoping she will have a great season and really get some confidence. As much as she loved it, not medaling did get to her a little and that was hard for the mama in me.

I wouldn't be worried. She is very young and just starting her season. She did very well and should be extremely proud of herself!!! Looks like she found the right gym for her, which is great!!
For her first meet, these scores are awesome! On vault, a 9.4, that's great!!! And on beam, she also did excellent, and the other scores aren't bad at all. Congratulations to her, and keep up the hard work!
I wouldn't be too stuck on the scores based on one meet, no matter what they are (they are great scores BTW). It's really hard to judge how she actually did. As you will find out, scores will fluctuate from meet to meet, even with the same or progressively better performance. Judges will look for different things on each events at each meet and score them accordingly. For whatever reason, scores tend to be more consistent on floor and beam. Over the season, her scores as a whole will get better as she progresses, so there is a lot to look forward to.

As for the old vs. new gym, as mariposa already pointed out, all gyms have different objectives with their teams. A more casual gym will not care so much about score so long as the gymnast is working hard and she is showing results overall. Other gyms are very serious about performance. They may not move anyone up until the gymnast can score high. They can also be very tough on their gymnasts. Some will only send gymnasts to meets if they can show potential high placement for podium. Some may even go as far as pulling them out of a meet (including big and costly ones) for making mistakes, not making a skill at practice or potentially shaming the gym.
I think she did great. My DD competed L3 and I think her first meet AA was inthe 28 range. Her scores will continue to rise - great job. My DD's first L4 meet is in Sept.
To me, those were great scores! My first meet ever as a level four, i got a 4.4 on beam! I fell on just about every skill! And she will keep improving i am sure, and just make sure that she is having fun and loves what she is doing. Scoring 6's and 7's is what most kids score in the beginning, and so her scores are great!

I agree those are AWSOME scores for a first meet. Usually a first meet with the amount of training you said your daughter had would produce scores in the 7's and maybe an 8. If I remember correctly my DD's first meet at L4 she got a whopping 26 AA When she ended the season she placed 10th in the state and had an AA score of 35.85.

Don't focus on the scores. Focus on "is she having fun" It should be fun first then look at the scores. We always kept a small note book with the scores from one meet to the next then after a meet I would and still do sit down with her and we look to see if she did better than the last meet. If she did (and everyone does) we make a big deal of that. and there is ice cream involved.

If she doesn't we discuss what she though she did or didn't do to get a deduction. then again Ice cream is involved LOL. We tried to train her early that the ribbons and awards are nice to get but the only one she is really compeating against is herself. If she is showing improvement then she is doing great - now she is 12yo and Level 7 I spoke with her coach last week to see if she was in the bottom of the group or what and the new coach said she is exactly where she expects the Level 7 group to be and she is far from the bottom of the group.
She did great for her first meet. My 7 year old was in the same situation this year. She joined team 3 months before the first meet after leaving our old gym for the same reason you did. They didn't think she was ready for team. My DD socred a 7.1 on her first floor rountine. The more practice she gets and the more she gets used to competing and practicing those routines the score should go up. We end up competing with her old gym at almost every meet and it is a little hard. She didn't fit the image they were looking for and gave us multiple excuses why she wasn't ready. She wanted to be on team so badly that she would wake up in the middle of the night crying about it. After several months of this and other things the gym was doing we left and haven't looked back. They first 3 meets were a little shaky for her but after that she enjoyed beating all but one of the 4 girls in her age group from her old gym at every single meet after that. And they didn't think she was ready:D Some coaches think they know what to look for when picking team but they discount a lot of others that could be just as good. What ever my dd lacked that they were looking for she more than made up for with her hardworking attitude and desire.
GREAT scores for a first meet. My DD who was 8 when she competed her first L4 meet had 8.3 on beam, 8.4 on floor, 8.6 on bars, and 8.5 on vault. She'd had 2 and a half months to train. By her 2nd meet (state championships...4 weeks later) she had 7.995 on beam (fell off!), 8.8 on floor, 8.7 on vault, and 9.0 on bars! She is doing her "second" season of L4 starting in October and is expected to be one of the highest girls in her age group. It takes TIME to perfect all those little parts of those routines. That's what your DD will do in the coming weeks.

And she's only 7, wow, that makes me just give the girl an even bigger thumbs up! WAY TO GO!:D You will see those scores go up and up as the season goes on!
Listen to the posters who are telling you not to get too worried about scores. They are just subjective numbers that vary by judge, meet, location and probably the weather! If you really feel the need to evaluate how competative your dd is, then pay attention to placements. However, the real benefits of gym is not scores, medals or placements, but having fun, being part of a team, being physically active and healthy, learning self-confidence, self-releiance, and responsbility. Scores are forgotten and medals will end up in a drawer somewhere, but these other parts of the experience will be with her all her life. Good luck to your dd.
Those are scores to be proud of!

My question is this, though: Is 16 hours/wk of practice ok w/ you? Seems like a lot, not only for Level 4, but for your dd's young age. When my dd left artistic after Level 6, she had been at 16 hrs/week, which got overwhelming, and was one of the reasons she ended up quitting.

Not to put a damper on your fun, but I am just wondering...;)
I was thinking maybe those were just summer hours? 16 is too much for a level 4 in my opinion (especially a young level 4), but everyone has their limits. It was one of the reasons I was glad my DD moved to another gym and wasn't moved to level 5, I couldn't see her doing 16 hours a week. My DD did 10 hours a week at her old gym and does 10 hours a week at her current gym. Summer there was no increase. Our level 5s go about 14 hours a week, the level 6s go 15 hours a week. At old gym, level 5/6 go 16 hours a week.

And I agree with everyone on the scores. I have tried hard to get my daughter (and my hubby!!!) to realize that scores are subjective and can vary from meet to meet and judge to judge. Sometimes, they do BETTER and get a lower score and vice versa. It happens and it is very confusing. I always tell her that all she can do is her best. Some meets judging seems very harsh and others it seems pretty lax.

One important thing (in my opinion): NEVER make a score a goal for a meet. Abby makes goals such as trying to keep toes pointed, stay on beam, make those beam turns pretty, etc. She never has a goal of "getting X.X score on X apparatus."

My hope is always that she goes out there and has a blast, does her best and comes home all excited and chatty about the meet and wanting to do another one. :) I love to make her meet montages because she loves watching herself and will point out the good stuff and the mistakes she sees.
Thank you all for the very helpful replies!!!!
You all make great points.
As far as the hours. Yes, we went back and forth about the hours. I was TERRIFED to say the least about letting her train that many hours. I actually posted about it on here. It was mentioned that if we're in region 3 (Texas) it's pretty much the same anywhere we go. I did get informed as far as hours trained in other gyms, even our old gym. Some gyms do 12 hours during the summer and 9 hours during the school year. Other do 16 hours during the summer and 12 during the school year.
Our coach gave us the option of 12 hours during my daughter's school year since she's the youngest one. She said she could come that fourth day for 16 hours or miss it.
Our level 5's do 20 hours and that's pretty much everywhere around here :(

For the first month I stayed the whole 4 hours EVERY DAY OF PRACTICE - that would be four times a week -(yes, my bottom was SORE LOL) but I wanted to make SURE she was o.k and comfortable with those hours. With my 3yr old in tow...I looked like I was going camping!!!

I noticed that the first hour of every practice is stretching and conditioning so that put me a little tiny bit at ease. I also noticed how much fun she was having. They get about a 15 min or so snack break.

.....sigh...I dunno. I hope I'm not setting her up for failure. It was a tough decision that I have to take week by week.
Those are decent scores for a first year level 4. I coach in Texas (Region 2) and being in Texas, competition can be tough for sure. I assume your daughter is a 4 Placement. We only have half of our level 4 group as Placements at this point: Our 3 second year level 4's and 3 of our first year level 4's. The other 9 first year 4's are starting as level 4 Achievements until they can build the confidence and scores to do well. This is the first year Texas has done Placement for level 4, so it will be interesting to see how tough the competition is. Good luck to your daughter! I'm sure she'll do great. My girls may even end up against her gym at North State. :)

I agree to watch her hours carefully. If you see any signs of burn out (any sort of negative feelings about practice or not wanting to go to gym), I would rethink the hours. Our 4's trained 10.5 hours/week this summer and go 9 during the school year and are doing well (several 36-37 AA's this past weekend). She is super young and I always hate to see talent burn out because of too many hours. Our 5 Achievements go 12 hours and the 5 Placements and 6's go 15 hours.

Hope this helps!
Those are really good scores for a first meet. I remember my DD's first meet was the one that she recievecd the most medals of the season. She was level 3 and took 4th AA and 1st on bars and vault. It was all down hill from there! Actually she did get higher scores at many meets but there were also more girls competing so she did not place as high at those. She did not care though as she LOVES the competitions!! As far as the hours that does seem like alot. The level 5's at our gym only go 12 to 16 hours. Our level 4's do 9 or 12 hours. The third day is optional and my DD goes that day about every other week, but my DD is 9. Some of her teammates are 7 and they actually discourage them from coming 3 days a week. But Texas is a whole different ballgame from what I have read here on Chalkbucket. I am glad we are not part of that region. I know my DD would not be successful. She is not exactly the most graceful child but she has a great time so I don't worry to much. Just make sure she is enjoying it!! Can't wait to see how the rest of her season goes!!
It was mentioned that if we're in region 3 (Texas) it's pretty much the same anywhere we go.

That explains it! :eek: TX is nuts about sports.

There are gyms that have more reasonable hours and still do compete well, but you have to dig a bit to find them. In my opinion, may of them buy into this philosophy that more hours = better gymnasts/scores, and I think many parents go along willingly. Plenty of girls do just fine w/ those hours, so don't panic! Just keep a close eye on her like you are already doing (good job, mom!) and don't be afraid to 'buck the system' a bit, if you have to!

Good luck, sounds like she's going to have a great season! Keep us posted! :)
those are really good scores when i was level 4 i only got like one 9 my whole season she got one her first meet
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