For Parents Making the move

novagymmom

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May 19, 2020
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My daughter (age 13) has made the decision to move from Level 9 to Xcel Diamond. She's had a rough year (mentally/emotionally) - primarily due to conflicts with a very difficult coach, but also due to growing a lot and developing some fears for the first time. That being said, she had a strong competitive year. (Not as strong as in earlier levels - but was able to compete lots of new skills and score reasonably well.)

My daughter is pretty head strong (her best and worst trait), and this is a very old school coach - who has been particularly tough on my daughter. I've struggled myself between feeling like the behavior borders on emotional abuse, and also knowing that there are things my daughter could do to make the situation easier on herself . . . and wanting to teach her those skills as she will undoubtedly have difficult teachers, bosses, etc in her life. I had encouraged switching gyms but she would never leave her friends.

My daughter decided on her own that she wanted to switch to Xcel because she likes the coaches there. I'm proud of her for this decision and hope that she can rediscover the joy of gymnastics. At the same time, she'll be starting HS next year and will tryout for some sports there - so maybe she'll find some other joy. That would be great too. I just hope she has passion for something again.

We were both nervous for the conversation with the head coach/owner - as she can be defensive (and has been so when we've gone to her in the past about my daughter's coach). But she was absolutely wonderful and very supportive. She took accountability for the fact that the other coach is difficult and they've been working with her. She made my daughter feel good - as a gymnast and a person. She told my daughter that if she starts loving gymnastics again and wants more, there is always a spot for her back on the JO team. I'm grateful that the conversation went this way.

Now I guess we'll see how it goes. This is pretty unprecedented in our gym. There is movement in our gym between JO/Xcel at the Silver/Bronze/3/4/5 levels, but not typically above that. I'm so proud of her but admit that I'm still really sad that her JO career is ending. I love watching her. I know that I'll still get to, but also know that it will be at a different level. She would have been a 2nd year L9 next year with the goal of competing at Easterns. I think it will be tough for her to see her friends do that and to know she could have been there too. But, it was her decision and I support it.

I hope she finds joy. I hope she remains close with her teammates. Onto new things. (Thanks for letting me vent - cathartic for me to put all this out there.)
 

TumbleTimes4

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Sep 13, 2016
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I think it’s great that the owner left the door open for her. I would think that it’s also reassuring to your DD as well that this doesn’t have to be a permanent move if she changes her mind later. Kudos to your DD for making a positive change for herself and best of luck to her this season.
 

mom2newgymnast

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Jul 8, 2014
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Good luck to your daughter! It sounds like she is really talking ownership of her gymnastics and doing what she thinks is best. I wish that she didn’t feel she had to leave the JO team because of a coach, but hopefully this turns out to be a great experience for her. And very exciting to be able to try out high school sports too!
 
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PeanutsMom

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Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
125
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USA
My daughter (age 13) has made the decision to move from Level 9 to Xcel Diamond. She's had a rough year (mentally/emotionally) - primarily due to conflicts with a very difficult coach, but also due to growing a lot and developing some fears for the first time. That being said, she had a strong competitive year. (Not as strong as in earlier levels - but was able to compete lots of new skills and score reasonably well.)

My daughter is pretty head strong (her best and worst trait), and this is a very old school coach - who has been particularly tough on my daughter. I've struggled myself between feeling like the behavior borders on emotional abuse, and also knowing that there are things my daughter could do to make the situation easier on herself . . . and wanting to teach her those skills as she will undoubtedly have difficult teachers, bosses, etc in her life. I had encouraged switching gyms but she would never leave her friends.

My daughter decided on her own that she wanted to switch to Xcel because she likes the coaches there. I'm proud of her for this decision and hope that she can rediscover the joy of gymnastics. At the same time, she'll be starting HS next year and will tryout for some sports there - so maybe she'll find some other joy. That would be great too. I just hope she has passion for something again.

We were both nervous for the conversation with the head coach/owner - as she can be defensive (and has been so when we've gone to her in the past about my daughter's coach). But she was absolutely wonderful and very supportive. She took accountability for the fact that the other coach is difficult and they've been working with her. She made my daughter feel good - as a gymnast and a person. She told my daughter that if she starts loving gymnastics again and wants more, there is always a spot for her back on the JO team. I'm grateful that the conversation went this way.

Now I guess we'll see how it goes. This is pretty unprecedented in our gym. There is movement in our gym between JO/Xcel at the Silver/Bronze/3/4/5 levels, but not typically above that. I'm so proud of her but admit that I'm still really sad that her JO career is ending. I love watching her. I know that I'll still get to, but also know that it will be at a different level. She would have been a 2nd year L9 next year with the goal of competing at Easterns. I think it will be tough for her to see her friends do that and to know she could have been there too. But, it was her decision and I support it.

I hope she finds joy. I hope she remains close with her teammates. Onto new things. (Thanks for letting me vent - cathartic for me to put all this out there.)
I hope it works out for you! My daughter made the decision to move from level 7/8 to Xcel Diamond, but because of the "less than" mentality in the gym and her friends from Optionals saying "Why are you with them? They suck. They aren't real gymnasts" she quit altogether and has been miserable ever since. Part of me wishes she had stayed with Optionals so at least she would still have gym, but at the same time, I KNOW the coaches had no intention of helping her and are solely focused on the super young gymnasts they are pushign to Jr. Elite/HOPES (this is new at our gym). The environment was awful, so again, glad she made the right decision for her. I hope your daughter is happy again and can love gym without the pressure. My best to you both!
 

novagymmom

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Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 19, 2020
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USA
I hope it works out for you! My daughter made the decision to move from level 7/8 to Xcel Diamond, but because of the "less than" mentality in the gym and her friends from Optionals saying "Why are you with them? They suck. They aren't real gymnasts" she quit altogether and has been miserable ever since. Part of me wishes she had stayed with Optionals so at least she would still have gym, but at the same time, I KNOW the coaches had no intention of helping her and are solely focused on the super young gymnasts they are pushign to Jr. Elite/HOPES (this is new at our gym). The environment was awful, so again, glad she made the right decision for her. I hope your daughter is happy again and can love gym without the pressure. My best to you both!
Yes, I had been following your story closely and was so happy that first week when you talked about how happy and excited your daughter was . . . then so sad to hear how her friends were treating it. I'm really sorry about that. I hope she finds something else to get involved in that she loves!

I have these fears too as that mentality exists in our gym as well. I also know that my daughter will not be as strong a gymnast working out 7 hrs/week as she is with 17. I've tried to make that clear to her so she knows what she's getting into. I suspect she'll go back to Level 8 routines, or maybe upgraded Level 8 (but pick 1 or 2 new skills that she'd like to work and focus on). This could frustrate her - or she could get upset when she sees her friends get new skills. Or she may just be relieved to be having fun again. I'm just not sure exactly where her head is. I guess time will tell.
 

PeanutsMom

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Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
125
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USA
Yes, I had been following your story closely and was so happy that first week when you talked about how happy and excited your daughter was . . . then so sad to hear how her friends were treating it. I'm really sorry about that. I hope she finds something else to get involved in that she loves!

I have these fears too as that mentality exists in our gym as well. I also know that my daughter will not be as strong a gymnast working out 7 hrs/week as she is with 17. I've tried to make that clear to her so she knows what she's getting into. I suspect she'll go back to Level 8 routines, or maybe upgraded Level 8 (but pick 1 or 2 new skills that she'd like to work and focus on). This could frustrate her - or she could get upset when she sees her friends get new skills. Or she may just be relieved to be having fun again. I'm just not sure exactly where her head is. I guess time will tell.
Thanks. I have lined up try outs at 2 other gyms in our area. Both are very small, but one has super successful level 7/8s (no higher at this time) and they have about 12 Optionals total. The other is just starting a JO program and has only 1 other girl who could do Optionals, but she is transitioning from XCEL so has to test out of 4 and 5 before she can do 7. I imagine my daughter will repeat level 7, but after a year of COVID closures (about 5 months total) and really teaching herself, a solid coaching year and repeating 7 will likely be a huge boost to her confidence. Wish us luck. We are doing 2 practices at each gym next week to see what feel "right" (or at least better). I am fine with either. She just needs to be back in a gym.

Good luck to your daughter. Please keep us (or just me through DM if you don't want to post the whole journey) posted. I really hope your daughter does well and finds her love of gym again.
 

novagymmom

Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 19, 2020
123
48
Country
USA
Thanks. I have lined up try outs at 2 other gyms in our area. Both are very small, but one has super successful level 7/8s (no higher at this time) and they have about 12 Optionals total. The other is just starting a JO program and has only 1 other girl who could do Optionals, but she is transitioning from XCEL so has to test out of 4 and 5 before she can do 7. I imagine my daughter will repeat level 7, but after a year of COVID closures (about 5 months total) and really teaching herself, a solid coaching year and repeating 7 will likely be a huge boost to her confidence. Wish us luck. We are doing 2 practices at each gym next week to see what feel "right" (or at least better). I am fine with either. She just needs to be back in a gym.

Good luck to your daughter. Please keep us (or just me through DM if you don't want to post the whole journey) posted. I really hope your daughter does well and finds her love of gym again.
Thanks. Will do. She'll finish out the school year training with her Level 9 group. Then gym closes for 2 weeks so she will start at the end of June wich Xcel. Good luck to your daughter!! Anxious to hear how the other gyms work out!!
 
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