WAG New Mom with problem - DD needs to be more "gymnasty" for new gym

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Jul 15, 2014
17
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Hello Community!

My account just got approved - yay! So hello everyone, I am very glad that I found this website

I want your opinion and would appreciate everyone's input.

Two of my girls are in gymnastics since 3 years, older DD (14) does it more for fun, spends most of her time tumbling.
Younger DD is 11, but more ambitious. I would say that in the USAG system she would be a L6, although she is a little scared with the back handspring on beam sometimes.
However, we are going to move to South Africa by December, because my husband got a good job offer there and we are going to stay for at least 2 years.

Currently, younger DD trains 6 hours a week, but her gym is not competetive AT ALL. Although there are older girls, my DD was one of the best in the whole gym and she really is not that good.

Last week we were in South Africa to have a look at houses etc, and I also visited some gyms in our future home area. 3 out of 4 gyms are hell. There were no colours, 2 of them haven't neither got uneven bars nor a real vault, people were really unfriendly and the areas are pretty dangerous - so no way!

But the 4th one is amazing. Very nice people, expenisve (yuck!) colourful, safe, they have some really good gymnasts, but also very competetive. DD seems to have no problem with all the "drill" she has always been really tough and enjoys working hard. But here is our problem:

She would be allowed to attend class 3 next January, because of her skills on the events (I showed them a video clip I made). She would be training with the other girls 4 days a week for 3 hours each. BUT she needs some strength and flexibility skills she hasn't got yet, because as I already mentioned, her gym wasn't really a "hard working" one.

I had a chat with the HC of the gym. He told me that this gym is one of the best in the area, but due to space and coach problems, they don't have rec teams or so. If you want to do it just for fun, you need to go to another gym. If you want to train here, you either have to pass a test for the level you want to train in or start at level 1. He said, by Level 3 in his gym the gymnasts need to have the "ideal" requirements to get to more advanced skills. So no lack of strength, passive or active flexibility. They should all have the "perfect gymnast body" (of course, everyone lacks somewhere). He also talked about injuries etc. A really nice experienced man, he knows what he is doing and he said it would be his pleasure to have DD in his gym.

So as I said, DD would be in level 3. She meets all the skill requirements on the events, but lacks in strength and flexibilty. The coach gave me a sheet with all the requirements.
As her gym never does any of those skills and DD just works on them on her own every now and then, I had her try all of the kills yesterday and took notes to see if there would be a chance or not.

Strength:
3 straddle press handstands in a row (she can do one from a raised surface)
1 pike press (she can do many against a wall, she can do one with a little jump)
16ft rope in L (she can do about 12ft)
10 pull-ups (she can do 4)
20 dips (she can do 6)
20 full hanging leg lifts (she can do 7)
60 secs L-Sit (she can do 35secs)

Passive Flexibility:
front oversplits of 10 inches left and right leg (she has both splits down, right oversplit of 5 inches)
middle split (she misses 3inches)
pancake (she has it)
shoulder flexibility; shoulders 5 inches over hands (she has it)

Active Flex:
180° split jump from a stand
180° straddle jump from a stand (pancake position allowed)
180° split leap + sissone
180° needle kick

All of her jumps from a stand are about 160°, but her legs are not totally straight and it just looks a little uncontrolled.
As she has never every done any leaps before, she has no idea how to do them and her legs are maybe 120° apart and it looks totally whippy. She just hasn't got the technique.

My question is now:Would you give it a try? DD wants it but I don't want her to be dissappointed if she is not going to make it...
I bet if she has one or two things she can't master completely they would turn a blind eye, but she should have everything generally speaking.

I talked with her coach and she said she would give her private lessons 3 times a week for an hour each to work on the strength stuff and she should also stretch at home everyday and practice leaps and jumps, maybe with therabands and so on.

Siiiiigh.....such a hard decision! I and also DD would love to be in a competetive team and learn all the cool skills... but maybe I am a little unrealistic... looking forward to your opinions!
 

lovethelord

Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2013
81
49
Wow! That's tough stuff but sounds like she's close already. A little strength conditioning and stretching and she'll be there. Maybe you could let her or help her put together some drills to work on at home and see how faithful she is doing them.
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
It sounds like from what she can do now only going 6 hours a week, if she were to keep practicing and conditioning more, those things are a realistic possibility, at least enough of them that she could keep up. It's hard to tell, but it doesn't sound hopeless, certainly.

Are the private lessons/extra practice something your DD wants and is feasible? Is that coach qualified to help her with them?
 
Jul 15, 2014
17
53
It sounds like from what she can do now only going 6 hours a week, if she were to keep practicing and conditioning more, those things are a realistic possibility, at least enough of them that she could keep up. It's hard to tell, but it doesn't sound hopeless, certainly.

Are the private lessons/extra practice something your DD wants and is feasible? Is that coach qualified to help her with them?

Yes, she really wants it, I never force my kids to do something, but within the years and especially the last months, her love of gymnastics grew a lot. she is doing it everywhere. I know she won't be Elite one day, but making it to Level 8 would be great and that is definitely what she wants. She is the only of my three kids who is so ambotious, I sometimes admire her, my other two kids are not even half that ambitious!

The coach is really nice. She was a Level 9 in her youth and coached for 7 years.
She said that the strength DD has is enormous because they actually never do a lot of conditioning in the gym.

she says the hard part is to get started. to get some reps of leg lifts, or pull-ups, or get to one straddle press handstand. or just get the splits. but DD has the base and everything now can be worked on and we should try it...

oh god I am so insecure...
 
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gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
If they don't do a lot of conditioning she will definitely improve markedly with a good conditioning program. I recommend John Geddert's program which has different levels. She could definitely start at a level 1 in his conditioning program and progress from there. The skills she needs are more like a level 2/3 in his program (he does more sets of lower reps for daily training, but more or less).
 

wheezy

Proud Parent
Jun 11, 2014
131
CT
No reason NOT to try. You would be amazed how quickly she will progress and attain new skills just by being there more hours.
We see girls arrive all the time from other gyms where they are L3 or L4 or L5 and it is amazing to see how far they are from our gyms levels....Within a month they are caught up, if they are putting in the hours.
11 is not too young to make a conscious decision to try it. You will know if it is too much in 2 or 3 months.
You miss every shot you DON'T take.

It is not un common for American gyms to put in 12 hours at L4, and 15 for L5/6
That is kinda the norm where I come from. Even the little ones...they just get used to it.

BEST OF LUCK on an amazing adventure....SA is paradise!!!!
 
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Ali'sMom

Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2014
3,116
If time and finances allow for the coach to do privates and see where she gets, I'd absolutely give it a try!
Better to give her a fighting chance, than to not let her try at all.

Good luck!
 

happychaos

Proud Parent
Jul 29, 2011
451
She can totally do it! Assuming, of course, that she wants too! Perhaps if you make a chart of what she can do now, test and record what she can do every month, so even if she is making small improvements she will be able to "see" it. Also, if she isn't quite ready when she needs to be, it couldn't hurt to show her progress to the coach. Would she be able to test into level 2 and plan to move up as soon as she gets the strength?
 
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Jul 15, 2014
17
53
She can totally do it! Assuming, of course, that she wants too! Perhaps if you make a chart of what she can do now, test and record what she can do every month, so even if she is making small improvements she will be able to "see" it. Also, if she isn't quite ready when she needs to be, it couldn't hurt to show her progress to the coach. Would she be able to test into level 2 and plan to move up as soon as she gets the strength?

Thanks sooo much! I really hope she will be close...the test will be at the end of January, so 6 more months to go!

Yes, that's possible, but Level 2 is pretty small in this gym and so they train together with Level 1. So the group is pretty big and she would definitely make faster progress in Level 3. She won't be bored with the skills and the kids in L1&2 are much younger, so I guess she won't feel comfortable there... but if there is no other option we will do that.

Time will tell...the chart is a great idea and I will definitely do that!

Thanks once again!
 
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