For Parents Need Input about advancing vs repeating level from you more informed at this sport

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Jan 27, 2009
myrtle beach
We have just finished States as you may have seen from former posts. DD has not been told yet what the next year will bring. She just completed level 7 at 11 1/2 years old. She started when she was 71/2. She did summer rec. and went to 4 that season. She has not yet repeated so she did 4/5/6 and just finished 7. I read here that some repeat and some don't. My question is, what is the best level to repeat? DD has done very well although never consistently won (top 3 in each event through out the entire season) at any of her levels to date. Is there more of an advantage to repeating and gaining that confidence to consistently place or is it more advantageous to continue through the levels and arrive at the final destination, whatever that may be, and get all the skills behind you to be able to excel at whichever level is her final destination. We have kids at our gym who repeat levels each move and do very well the second year then move on. Seems like there are advantages to both methods. Just wondering what are the determining factors the coaches look at to make these decisions to move them or not. I have read here that the older you get, the more scary the skills become. With that being said, seems progressing through would make more sense. On the other hand, repeating and getting that confidence also seems the right thing to do. I hope this is not a stupid and obvious question that someone of my limited knowledge should know. I'm sure whatever decision her coaches make will be the correct one for her, I would just like a little prior insight from you guys.


"My question is, what is the best level to repeat?"

it's not uncommon for a gymnast to do two years in Level 8.


Proud Parent
Jul 11, 2008

Well, there just isn't an easy answer to this question. Every gym/coach is different and each has their own philosopy about moving up. Physical abilility is only part of the criteria. Most coaches also include experience, maturity, attitude, confidence, age, etc.

You said the skills get scarier and they do, but they also get harder, so even if a girl is very successful at L7 that doesn't mean she is ready for L8 skills. I don't know when your dd's coach makes the decisions to move girls, but maybe they will wait and see how much she learns this summer and then decide.

If your dd is not yet 12 then there certainly is no hurry to move up. I have noticed over the years that it is usually the parents who worry about moving up move than the girls themselves. I am a strong beliver in 'slow and steady wins the race' so to me it is better to be sure she is ready before taking on a new level. JMHO.

Congrats to your dd on her success at the state meet.


Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
Region 7
My older DD was on the same track as your DD - started at 7.5, competed Level 7 as an "old" 10 yr old (States a wk before her 11th birthday). She wanted to repeat L7, she herself knew she was not ready for Level 8. However, our coaches just moved up the whole group of 7's- and DD just competed L8 as an 11 turning 12 yr old. She agonized over the skills she knew/felt she did not have. Each meet was excruitiating. The blessing in disguise was getting hurt just before the last Sectional and not completing the season....she did NOT want to go to States and come in at the bottom of the pack.

I think every child is different and needs to be evaulated individually. GL to you and your DD.
Feb 4, 2008
Region IV
What's the best level to repeat? Any of them.

Not to be glib, but a young 4 might repeat because she's not mature enough for the extra practice time in 5. You might have a kid repeat a level because you simply can't afford the extra tuition or a more extensive travel schedule (esp. if moving from compulsory to optional). Mostly, though, I've seen kids repeat levels when their skills are still a bit shaky or they've been unable to master the skills required for the next level.

At our gym, we see a lot of girls repeat level 6. That seems to be the level where the competition starts to get a bit more real and there's no more coasting for the more talented crowd.

If a girl repeats 8 or 9, it's likely that she's having trouble getting the skills she'll need to score well at the next level.

Girls repeat 10 because there's nowhere else to go (at least in our neck of the woods there isn't).

My dd2 repeated level 6. Dd1 never repeated a level. I don't know that an athlete scoring as well as your dd would gain much confidence from repeating levels.


most of our level 7 girls will do a year and a 1/2 at the level. A lot depends on their skill set. They need to be able to do the skills of the next level. there is nothing wrong with repeating a level. Every girl will be different as to if they move up or not. this year many of our level 4 and 5 girls were young and just aren't ready to start the next level so they will do the sep - dec session at their current level while trying to learn the next level if they have the skills then they will do the Jan - may session at the new level. You just never know when a girl will "get it"
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