Need advice for decision

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
I agree with you CoachTodd..I don't really see where this is going and how this will be beneficial to this child....there are a few elites (here in the US) who have been "elite" for years and don't compete much (Cassie Whitcomb of CGA is one that comes to mind...if you look at her bio on USAG , she has competed 3 times for the US in all the years she's been endlessly training as an elite...she's a good gymnast it's a shame we haven't seen more of her) so what has the benefit of elite status been? Even being on the National Team doesn't insure that they compete either ...

I think colleges do look at the good Level 9/10s and the elites so i don't think that elite is the only road to success in this sport...you're actually likely to last longer (at least physically) in the JO track..
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
Many of you have already summed it up for me.

Let's face it! The kid just turned 6, is new to the sport and have never competed. The kid may have superior talent. Why is the gym suggesting anything remotely resembling she becoming an elite like it's a sure thing? The only sure things yield from this is a swollen head (at the very least a spinning one) on the parent's shoulders. I won't even touch how the kid may act/react. The only thing the gym should be doing is to suggest the potentials to the parents but let the kid go through at least L4/5 (with some intensive training this summer and fall) for the first year to see how things go. What if the kid does not make it through this season due to any number of reasons? Just remember, once committed to the elite track, you can say goodbye to this young kid's childhood.

Lastly, no, don't let the child decide (but do ask her for input). Kids at 6 CANNOT make career decisions because they don't know what they want and what is available at that age. The parents must be the one with no exceptions. If many kids at 19/20 change majors through college, suggesting a kid at this young age knowing what's best is just ridiculous.
 
Last edited:

sally

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2010
356
Australia
I can answer that one for our state. My dd is in elite and has been for the past year. Last year she did not compete at all. This year however they have around 4 comps which they have just brought in. The problem with our state that not many clubs do idp, however it has changed this year where there is a few more clubs doing it, so they are now going to get some comps under their belt. back in the day their first comp would have been states, which is a huge deal for us. I can understand what the parent must be thinking as I did the same, and I do remember putting a post on here about the 15hrs, and I have to say she has amazed me with how she handles it. My thought would be if she is that good, why wouldn't the coach let her follow the elite stream but increase the hours slowly so she isn't just put straight into those hours, build her up. That is what the coaches did her with new people joining the program.
 
B

Bobby

...Why is the gym suggesting anything remotely resembling she becoming an elite like it's a sure thing? The only sure things yield from this is a swollen head (at the very least a spinning one) on the parent's shoulders. ...Just remember, once committed to the elite track, you can say goodbye to this young kid's childhood....

I think that's a little harsh.
The gym has simply provided some training options to choose between, along with an explanation of what each option is working toward. I didn't read anything about probability much less a sure thing being asserted.
Nor did I see any suggestion of anyone getting either a swollen head or ahead of themselves by being given options or in seeking opinions on them. And I don't think going ahead and accepting an option desiged to nurture a possible future elite career would be evidence of that either.
Childhood isn't the stuff that happens in between lessons. It's the sum total of experience. Depending on individual personality, interests, talents, and goals, some childhoods may be much enhanced by pursuing an elite experience. Perhaps even diminished by the unnecessary denial of such an opportunity.
 

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
I can answer that one for our state. My dd is in elite and has been for the past year. Last year she did not compete at all. This year however they have around 4 comps which they have just brought in. The problem with our state that not many clubs do idp, however it has changed this year where there is a few more clubs doing it, so they are now going to get some comps under their belt. back in the day their first comp would have been states, which is a huge deal for us. I can understand what the parent must be thinking as I did the same, and I do remember putting a post on here about the 15hrs, and I have to say she has amazed me with how she handles it. My thought would be if she is that good, why wouldn't the coach let her follow the elite stream but increase the hours slowly so she isn't just put straight into those hours, build her up. That is what the coaches did her with new people joining the program.


Sally- where does your daughter do elite ? Is it here in the US because I am puzzled by your response that your daughter's first competition would have been states as elites cannot compete in the JO cycle of states, regionals and nationals while they have their elite status (they have to wait a year after if they want to drop back to Level 10) unless by "elite" you mean HOPES as those girls are not considered to have achieved elite status and can do the JO cycle of states, regionals and nationals?
 

sally

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2010
356
Australia
No I am in Australia. Like last year her first comp would have been states, they do like inhouse comp to get their required mark to be able to get in. But no local comps. Over here we can compete states,nationals,international events. However because they are taking girls 5 and 6 which haven't had any comps they are allowing them to do like little comps around the place to let them get use to it. Sorry I am finding it hard to explain.
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,144
Perhaps even diminished by the unnecessary denial of such an opportunity.

This feeling from childhood is what most pushy parents use to justify their own behaviour. We make hundreds of choices every day, with consequences big and small for each. The OP needs to choose the option that suits best in the short term, because long term anything could happen. Short term health and happiness should trump anything labelled an opportunity, which is how parents get sucked in.
 

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
This feeling from childhood is what most pushy parents use to justify their own behaviour. We make hundreds of choices every day, with consequences big and small for each. The OP needs to choose the option that suits best in the short term, because long term anything could happen. Short term health and happiness should trump anything labelled an opportunity, which is how parents get sucked in.


well said, Pineapple Lump...
 
B

Bobby

...The OP needs to choose the option that suits best in the short term, because long term anything could happen. Short term health and happiness should trump anything labelled an opportunity, which is how parents get sucked in.
Gosh I bet there's plenty of kids who'd love to use the argument that short-term health and happiness ought to be a parent's guide stick!! :eek: IMHO we're obliged to do a little better than that.
 
L

lilgymmie7

Many of you have already summed it up for me.

Let's face it! The kid just turned 6, is new to the sport and have never competed. The kid may have superior talent. Why is the gym suggesting anything remotely resembling she becoming an elite like it's a sure thing? The only sure things yield from this is a swollen head (at the very least a spinning one) on the parent's shoulders. I won't even touch how the kid may act/react. The only thing the gym should be doing is to suggest the potentials to the parents but let the kid go through at least L4/5 (with some intensive training this summer and fall) for the first year to see how things go. What if the kid does not make it through this season due to any number of reasons? Just remember, once committed to the elite track, you can say goodbye to this young kid's childhood.

"Lastly, no, don't let the child decide (but do ask her for input). Kids at 6 CANNOT make career decisions because they don't know what they want and what is available at that age. The parents must be the one with no exceptions." If many kids at 19/20 change majors through college, suggesting a kid at this young age knowing what's best is just ridiculous.


NotAMom- What I meant was that the child is the one doing the sport in all actuality- she should have input on the decision. My DD trains 15 hrs. per week on the suggestion of her coaches, but nothing elite was discussed. Her gym doesn't do that. They have trained a multitude of girls that have become elite and almost 99% of their level 10's have received full ride scholarships. Although this is a fact at her gym, I am not banking on that for my kid. She is extremely talented herself. She is also 6 and does compete level 5 through GIJO which has no age requirement. She loves it, but as her mom we take everything day by day. Anything can happen in gymnastics. I agree with all those who have said that the JOURNEY is what is the most important. This is a wonderful sport. I was a gymnast, and I loved every minute. I wanted my girls to experience that.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,884
The only real obligations are love and a roof over their heads. Beyond that it is all up to the individual. One parents over the top control can be another parents laid back.

I guess the problem is that the culture of kids needing to excel at something and "be the best", with parents behind them promoting and pushing them to reach "their goal" is becoiming the norm. Why would that be the right thing for everyone?

I think most parents here can honestly say that having their child in a sport like gym involves huge parental commitment that is way above and beyond "obligation". For some parents that is just way out of their reach, and it is clearly not essential to raising a happy, healthy child. It is a lifestyle choice.

I would hate any parent to feel judged for the choice they make, but it is far from an obligation to give everything so their kids can acheive a goal that they don't really understand, and what a nebulous goal it is. We all know the stats, making it to International Elite is rare, making it to the big O is even rarer.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I would do level 4. Let her get introduced to the concept of routines and competition. Not only because she's young, but because going from skillskillskillskillskill training to quality performance where the naggy details matter can be a bit of whiplash. It will give her a broader experience, so that if the elite track is still an option later she can have an informed opinion and a solid decision base.

If there's a conditioning/flexibility class available at your gym I would add that to her level 4 training. If not, and she's still wanting to be pushed, maybe conditioning privates. It's less pressure than TOPS, more personalized, and will provide her with a physical outlet should she find L4 easy that preps her for further training.
 
B

Bobby

The only real obligations are love and a roof over their heads....

Well what a minority am I. :D
I'm not one speck persuaded that parents aren't obligated to use their maturity, experience, and perspective to predict consequences and try to minimise the worst ones (such as deep regret in the medium-long term). Sure I'd let my DD waste her pocket money for years on end until she learns to save it. And other such trivial things - as useful life lessons. But there are may be some opportunities in her future that I won't let her squander easily. In her particular case gymnastics may never be a subject that comes up in this context. But for some others on CB it may be.
And honestly - I can't see how anyone with a "school first" or "college is not an option in this house" philosophy can possibly sincere about the only thing that matters is food, shelter, and love. We all want do do slightly better than that for our children - whether we admit it or not. JMHO.
 

sally

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2010
356
Australia
At the end of the day, some children can handle it some can't handle doing that many hours. It all depends on the child. My thought is if the child is having fun and enjoying it what does it matter. The chances of making it to the olympics is not great, and that isn't the whole thing why my dd does the elite. I let her do it as it is a challenge for her, she is getting great coaching, and she has FUN. If she ends up saying that she doesn't want to do it anymore that is fine to, she can always go back and do a rec class once a week if she wants to. However the one thing I hope she gets out of it is commitment and dedication, as this is a big part in anything you do. If you have that you will do well in life. I guess what I am trying to say, it doesn't really matter which way you choose as long as your child is happy, and having fun.
 

Obeg

New Member
Jan 26, 2010
47
NC
Gymnastics is such a weird sport. Imagine these scenarios:

You take your 6 year old son to t-ball tryouts and the coach says - "Woah Jr. here has talent! You have two choices - he can play T-Ball this year, Coach pitch next, and then farm league --- OR! Get this! We can put him directly in MLB training and skip all that low level play and in 10 years he will be in the Major Leagues!"

Or kip Pop Warner football and go directly into NFL Training.

Or heck - this 6 year old does not need to race go karts - lets train him up and get him in a NASCAR race as soon as possible.

Little Sally here can either play pee wee basket ball with the lower baskets - OR she can start WNBA training today and skip all that!

All those other scenarios are ludicrous - but not for Gymnastics for some reason. Again - I say stick with option 1. Find out if she loves the sport, likes to compete, and actually really has talent beyond the right genes, body style, and a pretty cart wheel.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Let me weigh in with a persepective I've haven't seen in the answers -- that of the mom who's done. My girls both trained into the optional levels. Dd1 stopped when she hit the limits of what her body could do. Dd2 just decided one day that she was "ready to be done and have a life".

Just so you know, both kids still love the sport. Dd1 coaches now. We're all still big fans. So, while I've going to give you negatives, please don't think they're coming from a position of sour grapes.

First, finances definitely need to weigh into your decision. Elite gymnastics gets expensive and gets there fast. Can you afford it?

While we're on the subject of finances, let's talk realistically about that college scholarship. Not all level 10s and elites get them. NCAA rules limit the number of full rides a school can give in each sport. Do not EVER think of this as your college plan. If you can't save for college AND pay for competative gymnastics, think really hard about which is more important to you and fund that. Yes, girls get them, but only a fool counts on them.

I also want to strongly agree with the poster who said that in sport, especially for a 6 year old, "right now" should weigh more than "later." Stuff happens. My dd1 is so short, 4' 11" adult height. Great for a gymnast, right? A funny thing happened during puberty. She didn't grow taller, but the girl's got Curves. D cups. She came home from a meet one time and said "how come I'm the only one with boobs and a butt?" What I'm saying is there are things that are compeletly beyond your control. Pick what's best for her health and happiness right now (well, within the next couple of years).

While we're on the subject of health, let's talk about injury. The likelihood that your 6 year old is going to be injured is probably pretty low. And let's face it, falls and catastrophic stuff happens in all sports. What you're looking at that may be unique to sports like gymnastics is the probability, of overuse injury. So, she'll be an elite at 13. How many hours has she spent pounding those growing joints? Dd1 lives with pain in her knees every day. She cannot participate in running sports because her knees can't take it. We've been to all kinds of doctors, all with the same diagnosis. Sorry, can't fix her. Understand this risk (and it's very real) if you take that elite track (Well if you take any track!). Is the reward worth the risk? FWIW, dd2 is fine. Totally fine.

Finally, I want to weigh in on the whole let your kid choose debate. Your 6 year old cannot decide for herself because she does not have the capacity to understand the long term ramifications of her choice. Of course you ask her if she likes what she's doing, but understand that it is your decision.

Letting the child decide is, I think, my biggest failure as a gym parent. WHen dd1's knees started to go, I should've stepped in and said no more. But she loved it. But she WANTED to go. But she could handle the pain. It was HER CHOICE. NO, it was mine. I'm the parent. Even a teenager can't look far enough into the future to determine what's best. It was my job, and I failed. Had I made her stop, she could probaby play any high school sport and participate in any activity she wanted --- without bracing or pain.

Not that you shouldn't go ahead with the sport. Like I said, we still love it, but go into it with your eyes open.

My choice would be option 1, just because I think an elite track is too much, too soon, and too fraught with problems for a 6 year old.
 
B

BreezyGymnast

I think option 2 would be best if she wants to become an elite one day..haha she would have the same hours as me and she's 6! my gym is really laid back. but I also think option 3 is too many hours for a 6 year old.. I would also ask her what she wants to do and if she really wants a lot of hours then it might be more clear which path you want to take, but I hope it all turns out well for you DD!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.