WAG Moving to USAIGC?

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Aug 3, 2022
I am currently on a team that is unique to my state. It is flexible, huge varying age range, and a huge varying skill range. I have a significant difference in skill level than the majority of the girls on my team and those I compete against. The difference in skill level is so wide that it’s difficult for me to get new skills, however I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of this team as it allows me to go at my own pace which works well for how my brain functions. Just as an example, there are girls younger and my age who are learning to jump to the high bar and front handsprings on floor while I am learning giants on bars and back handspring tuck fulls as a dismount on beam. The difference makes it hard for my coaches to accommodate all of us and thus finding it difficult for me to learn and train new these skills. I just got news that in the fall more gymnasts will be coming into our team which will make it even harder. We only train 7.5 hours a week and I feel my body ready to train more after each practice.

I want to move into our USAIGC program but I don’t feel good enough for my age. I am 14 years old but started late (first class before turned 10) and have the skills for diamond. However, the diamond gymnasts are younger than me, around 12 and younger, and I wish to do silver. The biggest issue would be floor. I had an elbow strain that threw off my tumbling and it’s difficult for me to get back into it, mentally and physically. I’m doing physical therapy for it but I’m progressing very slowly on floor. I have a roundoff bhs tuck but it’s not great and am relearning layouts, very slowly. I have a full on tumble track and a front handspring layout on tumble track but basically have no front tumbling. I’ve never had a punch front tuck (no idea why I can’t do one) but am training front handspring front tuck which is nowhere near consistent yet. The silvers currently at least have layouts on floor, some have fulls.

Bars is also an issue as competitions start soon and I am nowhere near a routine ready for silver that I am aware of. I just started learning giants and am getting pretty close and have issues with connecting things to my kips. I do have a cast handstand though which should help.

Beam should be fine as I have a consistent back handspring back tuck dismount which seems okay but I might need to work on jumps and leaps. I’m not sure the requirements for silver either, this is all by observation of the silver and gold gymnasts.

Vault could be an issue, but I think I will progress a bit quicker on that event. It’s really hard to train on my team since we have kids who are just learning half ons and front handsprings, some are twisting, and I am slowly but surely learning yurchenkos (no flip) on the table and flipping tsuks. But my coach is good at accommodating everyone and I have been able to do the back handspring of a Yurchenko with a spot on a low setting and flipping tsuks with a t-trainor.

The 7.5 hours is tricky too, as we only have 15 minutes on certain events several days. It makes it hard to train and keep skills when I am learning higher level ones.

I don’t think I’d be able to compete silver as we are approaching meet season quickly, but I’d hate myself for not trying. I feel stuck between the two teams because I don’t feel satisfied with this team right now.

I’m going into high school so I have the option to stay on this team and possibly compete as an individual for my high school (does not have a team). This would make more time and progress at this pace. Or, I could move to USAIGC and pray that I somehow gain enough skills to have competable routines by January.

I fear that USAIGC will be too much pressure and will cause me to lose my love for the sport, however I fear that staying on my current team will stunt my progress and not allow me to reach my full potential. This is sort of my last year to try out for IGC due to my age. A year of training with my current team won’t make me to gold. I’m torn. Are there any gymnasts, coaches, and parents with advice?