Parents Need Advise

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So the gym decided that they would do testing to determine who moves up. My dd did her best and threw skills I have never seen her throw. She always stuggled with handstand forward rolls and she got it when it counted. She also did amazing on vault. She did great on beam. She struggled on bars. Afterwards I talked to her coach who said she did well. I asked if it was good enough and she said she did not know what the owners were looking for. She wants her for the team but she is not sure the criteria the owners will have. I decided I needed to at least put the idea in my dd's head that she may have to wait. She was very understanding about this and said as long as she makes the team at some point she would be okay. They she said she wants to pick up the skills she needs to move by June.
I decided that no matter what happens I can ask for her to be retested at the end of summer. It is the not knowing part that is hard.
medic, I hope that you won't take this the wrong way, it sounds like your dd may need a little more work on her strength before competing... I would be hesitant to have her moved to level 4 w/out a strong bridge kickover and w/out a strong handstand forward roll. She can still keep working for it (practice at home, open gym etc) but if they say to wait a little longer I am sure it would only be for her safety. I am one that believes that strong basics provide the best foundation for future gymmastics. She will only do that much better if she works on those basics for a few more months. Since she only goes a few hours a week now, you could probably add a few more hours a week at home for her... I would allow her to work on skills she already has that our strong plus addtl that you feel safe spotting her on. If you do only 5 of each I am sure her strength will increase in no time:) fwd rolls, bckwrd rolls, crab walks, Cartwheels - both legs, one handed crtwheels, hndstnd fwd rolls, back ext. rolls, handstands, walking on hands (fwrd, bckwrd, sideways), tick tocks, frnt & back limbers, front and back walkovers. You can add push ups, v-ups, hollow rocks on the floor, & pull ups and leg ups on the bars - no more then 10 per day - , but I would leave addtl bar skills for the gym w/a coach... I would also be careful if she does not already have these skills or has never tried a certain skill, because you don't want to help her with them incorrectly.... out of all of this if she only has time to practice one thing I would say the handstand is the most important. As I said before, no matter how impt making the team is to your dd... please stress to her just being on a team is not the most important part of gymnastics. She can still progress wonderfully w/out actually moving to level 4 and when she does make it - she will only be that much better:D ... all of this is just my personal opinion, I am not a coach just a concerned parent. I wish you guys the absolute best...
I understand your point. Our gym does things a little bit different. They are starting to teach new skills now for the next level. Like my dd is learning the skills for level 4 now. Some skills they have been working on all year like backhandsprings. Her handstand forward rolls are now really strong. I brought my concerns about the skills she doesn't have that she should like the pullover and the kickover to the gym owner. He is very confident that she will pick these up as they go along. He seems to think that the extra hours will help her. Their open gym is not set up to do skills. It is more for fun and play. Her gym does not do privates but in July and Aug she does privates by our summer house on the weekends. Last summer she picked up a ton of skills doing privates. She could not even do a cartwheel or roundoff. By the end of the summer she had running cartwheels ,roundoff's and the beginning of a backhandspring.
Her coach thinks she will blossom again this summer. The other thing her coach said is that for the first year the girls do 3 non sanctioned meets. She said many girls opt to not do the meets the first year and then the second year they do all sanctioned meets. This gym does two years at level 4 and then 6 months of level five and then move up to level 6. It is a weird set up.
As I think of it, it may be a blessing for her to wait until the fall and have her retested after 10 weeks of privates. Last year she did 5 weeks. The only reason why I wanted her to move is that she would get used to the longer workouts before school starts. If they offer for her to move up, I won't stop it. I did explain to my dd that she may have to wait and she said it was okay but that she was sure she would have what she needed by her birthday, June 21st. Oh to be 6 almost 7 again lol.
And so the drama continues......

I spoke to my dd's coach. Now they are thinking about starting a level 3 team. These girls will compete all year as 3's while they learn their four skills. This will guarentee her competing this year, where the other group the chances she would not compete is high. This would then have her doing a level a year instead of repeating level 4. They are not 100 percent positive bu this looks like what they are gonna do. They are also going to start this very soon, not in June like we had planned. So this new group would meet twice a week for 1.5-2 hours a night. My dd already does 3 hours but that is spread between a level 3 and level 2 class because there is not another level 3 class. I hope they do this because my dd would rather compete then be a certain level. Does that make sense?
The part that doesn't make sense is what appears to be the gym's schedule for moving kids from level to level. Kids advance and mature at different rates. A good coach should be able to individualize promotions based on skill level. I've seen kids that can push through L4 almost immediately, and those who benefit from a second year. Some kids take to the kip required for L5 and some don't right away. Some are comfortable with L6's back walkover on beam and flyaway on bars and some aren't. That doesn't follow a timetable that's the same for all kids.

The most important thing of all is the child's safety with the skills they're required to do. Next most important is their confidence in their performance, which requires a balance between keeping the child at a level in which they demonstrate competence and pushing them to be all they can be. Way, way down on the list (or not even on it) is following a prescribed schedule of advancement. You'll be surprised by how often a kid who's great at one level has trouble with the subsequent one, and vica versa. Focus on quality of gymnastics education and continued enjoyment of the sport rather than on speed through levels.
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