For Parents level up or level down, why coach changed their mind?

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Nov 8, 2022
5
43
My DD started gym at 8, late to the game, then the gym downgraded the JO program to Excel program and she wasted two years there until she couldn't take it anymore because she wasn't learning new skills. So we transferred to a new gym last November.. She did great in the new gym, picking up new skills very fast.. Last competition season ( Jan to March 2022), she was competing at level 3, and she was winning all competitions (except the 1st one), but she was 11 years old. I don't think she was competing against the best.
Just last month, her coach told my husband that level 4 is too easy for my DD, she should compete at level 5. So I went to talk to the level 5 coach who is also the co-owner of the gym, but the level 5 coach said some weird stuff like she(my DD) has to have all the level 5 skills by the end of the year, she can't call some parents and tell them that she is pulling their daughter off level 5 and downgrade the said daughter..........I wasn't sure why she said that, so I just said thank you and left. The truth is level 4 has around 17 girls and level 5 has about 6 girls.
when I talked to level 4 coach two days ago, and asked her whether I should give my DD some private lessons on level 5 skills. ( They have been doing routines only, no upgrades), she changed her tone. She said ever since my DD fell from the bar two weeks ago, she does not want to push her, so my DD likely will compete at level 4 this year. When I told my DD about this, she got upset and cried. When I talked to my husband, he said "that is why I told you to wait until after the mock meet in early December to ask about the private lesson on level 5 skills. We had a parent meeting just two weeks ago. Judging from what was said at the meeting, it seems like the gym is trying to downgrade athletes, maybe for better competition results. What she said about the fall and not pushing our DD, it is just an excuse." My DD also said the fall has nothing to do with level 5 skills as they have been doing only level 4 routines recently.

My DD still needs two skills to have all level 5 skills and I don't think it will be a problem since she learns really fast. Last November when she moved to the new gym, she didn't even know how to do a back handspring before the level 3 competition. She said now she is better than most level 5s.

so, now I am wondering what I should do next. Shall I push for level 5 or shall I just listen to the coach? Personally, I prefer my DD go to level 5 because she is going to be 12 years old in a few weeks and she is ready to compete in level 5 with some private lessons. If she is competing at level 4, then that is another year wasted not learning new skills. I want her to compete at her level and against more competitive athletes.

Any advice or insights?
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Every interaction and conversation we have with anyone is never just an isolated interaction. The reactions we get are often based on other things that have happened in the past.

Perhaps the gym is trying to downgrade people because they had a poor meet season, and realised they accelerated them too fast or they had injuries etc. Maybe they had other parents pushing the coaches to put their kids to higher levels and now are balking against it.

Without having seen you DD’s gymnastics it’s hard to say what the best choice is. I think one of the great things about gymnastics is that age doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be a certain level by a certain age, like in school. You compete the level you are ready for.

A Level 4 can be 7, or 12 or 27 or 40. Yes, it may mean less competition, but gymnastics is ultimately a competition with ourselves. Learning to break down challenges, overcome obstacles, control fear and nerves etc.
 

CuriousCate

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Jul 12, 2016
694
Perhaps ask the plan for your daughter after level 4. Many kids will compete 4 one season, while taking the time to upgrade without stress; then they will test out of level 5 and move straight to level 6/7 the following season. If they have a plan that makes sense for your daughter, I'd stick it out as long as she is having the opportunity along the way to work upgraded skills. If they cannot offer you a plan beyond level 4 this season, perhaps move on.
 

WV Gym Mom

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Mar 7, 2022
72
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I don't see any reason to push for level 5...is it possible your drive for advancement is causing your daughter stress? She will have to at least score out of four, and I don't see how fast tracking through levels will benefit anyone. Level 3 to 5 is a big jump. I'd stop focusing on her age -its not a race, and she doesn't have an expiration date :) What is HER goal... this post seems to talk a lot about your goals for her.
 
Nov 8, 2022
5
43
I don't see any reason to push for level 5...is it possible your drive for advancement is causing your daughter stress? She will have to at least score out of four, and I don't see how fast tracking through levels will benefit anyone. Level 3 to 5 is a big jump. I'd stop focusing on her age -its not a race, and she doesn't have an expiration date :) What is HER goal... this post seems to talk a lot about your goals for her.
Frankly, it never occurred to me that she could skip level 4 and go to level 5 even though my DD quite a few times said indignantly that she is better than most level 5s. when the coach told us that level 4 is too easy for my DD, that is when I realized that what my DD said all along was right. This happened before: When she told me that she wasn't learning skills at the old gym and she didn't like the coach, I didn't pay attention, and that cost her two years. All her teammates at the old gym left and we were the last ones to leave. I regret that I wasn't being proactive, and I am now trying to tune in to her and be more supportive and provide opportunities for her to exploit her full potential. Seeing that she is practicing level 5 routines at home and telling me that level 5 is fairly easy and similar to level 4, I think she is ready for level 5 and that is what she wants. If she was not ready, I definitely would not push her. I do want her to compete at her level with people more at her level and exploit her potential.
 

RTT2

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Oct 9, 2015
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I would schedule a meeting with the coaches so you can get some clarity. Know that "getting" a skill isn't the same as having it competition ready. I would also encourage your daughter to view her teammates as allies, not competitors, and to stop comparing herself to them.
 

Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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If she doesn't have all her level 5 skills right now, I know our gym would not consider her ready for level 5. We do level assignments at the end of summer, so skills should really be there or very close by the end of August. The routines for level 4 and 5 are similar if you're talking about dance and choreography, yes, but if she doesn't have the skills, she doesn't have them. At this point in the season, we do focus on current skills and routines and then as we get more into the meets, then there are more opportunities for upgrades.

I wouldn't call level 4 a wasted year at all. 3 to 4 is actually quite a big jump, especially on bars. It doesn't really matter how old she is, as the majority of kids are there to build confidence, gain strength and fitness, and most of all, have fun.

And, as others have mentioned, it is possible scoring out of 5 to 6 would be an option for next year, once she's had a year of competing two kips and is able to get those skills.

I honestly recommend relaxing. There seems to be a stressed, negative tone coming in your posts. Your daughter has competed one year of level 3. She is at the beginning of her competitive gymnastics journey and it should be a lot of fun and still relaxed at this point.
 
Feb 2, 2022
78
44
Hmmm. Agree that there seems to be attitude coming across in your post and your daughter's comments, and that could very well be the reason she isn't being moved up. At our gym, an "I'm better than everyone" posture is looked at very, very negatively (even if true) and girls are absolutely expected to be supportive teammates. Behavior like what you've described would be squashed and ultimately result in being asked to leave the team.
I don't mean to be unkind and I understand that typed words on a message board can easily be misconstrued, so perhaps that is the case here. Regardless, there are lots of things coaches look for when determining if a child is ready for the next level and many of those things are not readily apparent to us as parents. Strength, flexibility, dedication at practice, fearlessness, being committed to the progressions that lead to a new skill (and aren't always fun), how quickly corrections are taken into account/made...the list goes on and on. I think you should take a step back.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
At our gym, an "I'm better than everyone" posture is looked at very, very negatively (even if true) and girls are absolutely expected to be supportive teammates. Behavior like what you've described would be squashed and ultimately result in being asked to leave the team.
I totally agree with you, but I'll go a step farther -- the OP's daughter might actually be "better" than all the level 5s in some respect. At my daughter's gym a level 5 would be at least a couple years younger than the OP's daughter. It's totally expected that a 12 year old's coordination would be generally superior to a 10 year old's.

I hope you're correct in that the OP just came off wrong. Because a kid who's 2-4 years older than everyone with similar skills yet runs around the gym acting like she's "better" than everyone else isn't going to be well liked.
 

NutterButter

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Jan 24, 2013
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Honestly - she doesn't sound ready for L5 if she is still missing L5 skills and I get what you are saying about her being a quick learner and all but learning the skills and having them competition ready are two different things. Plus, it's a new set of routines. And it could be a bad look for the gym if they break their own protocol and move your DD up and not give the same opportunity to others.

I also understand having an older than average gymnast too. My DD was a 11 yr old L4. For compulsory and lower level optionals she was always in the oldest age group and was on average 3 years older than her teammates. This was a bigger deal when she was in middle school and her teammates were still in lower elementary school. But, it all worked out. By the time she hit L9, she had peers her age and by then her younger teammates had matured and my DD was besties with them all.
 
Jun 10, 2022
16
Figuring out where your kiddo fits in gym world is tough.
We’ve been in a same, same but different situation earlier this year trying to work out what group/route was next for our kiddo.
Ultimately we went with the smaller step, could she be doing more, probably, but there’s plenty of time and there’s some new challenges.
Which brings me to wondering about why you feel the year is wasted? Your DD will be doing something different at level 4. Is there an ultimate goal you/she is working towards? And you/she are feeling time pressure?
 
Nov 8, 2022
5
43
thanks for all your replies.
Some of her words may come off wrong when taken out of context. She said she is better than some level 5 at some skills when she showed off those skills at home (sometimes we kind of teased her too). She loves her current coach and teammates.
I agree with Amumcalledove that "figuring out your kiddo fits in gym world is tough". I would also thank CuriousCate and Gymx2 for their constructive comments on talking to the coach to clarify the plan. Some of the comments from coaches also make me see it from the coaches' perspectives. NutterButter has a good point on making friends.
 
Jun 18, 2022
74
49
The interest of some gyms mostly for revenue! They want good meet results , so they make kids to repeat levels . As long as you pass mobility test , you don’t need high scores to move up levels. Some gyms wud not put the needs of gymnast ahead of their own gyms . Only parents know what your kids need!

Every time , I switch gyms, my dd move up a level! If not, we wud have had to repeat levels and wasted years to reach for level 9 .

So I am glad What I did for my daughter , I was not fooled by some gym’ coaches or owners ‘ words . They had lots of excuses of not moving up your kids .
 
Jun 18, 2022
74
49
I think for a 11 year old gymnast, if she really wants to take the challenge, she can do it , with your super on - the -top support!! My daughter did that. My 11 year dd even couldn’t get on a team when she was 9. but I found one gym during COVID , accepted her and she took two years to finish the compulsory, now in level 7 group. We even didn’t do preteam . She started gymnastics at 9 . We did lots of privates and she worked really hard.

At this age, not wasting time is very important.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
I think for a 11 year old gymnast, if she really wants to take the challenge, she can do it , with your super on - the -top support!! My daughter did that. My 11 year dd even couldn’t get on a team when she was 9. but I found one gym during COVID , accepted her and she took two years to finish the compulsory, now in level 7 group. We even didn’t do preteam . She started gymnastics at 9 . We did lots of privates and she worked really hard.

At this age, not wasting time is very important.
That’s odd, because in this thread you say your kid is a level 9:
https://chalkbucket.com/forums/threads/should-i-continue-to-push-dd-to-switch-gym—-level-9-—-incoming-high-schooler—-goal-college-team.68636/page-2#post-622400

The inherent weirdness of the Internet combined with the inherent weirdness of gymnastics fans leads to a pretty interesting set of behaviors.
 
Jun 18, 2022
74
49
Actually I know it seems odd. That is why I told my younger daughter, she made the impossible possible .
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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I’m just wondering what qualifies you and your daughter as knowing the skills are better. Form matters. What might look better might not actually be better regarding shapes/form etc….
 
Jun 18, 2022
74
49
It is not like she has zero gymnastics experience before 9. Before 5/6, she did a take two classes. Then she did swimming for 2 or 3 years. Her form is not perfect right now, but is good enough to be on the team