For Parents New to this (DD on pre team)

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Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2021
Hi, all. This is my first post but been scrolling the forum a bit and feeling a little overwhelmed. My 4yo (5 in September) just had her trial class for the developmental program at her gym where she’s been doing rec classes. The coach said she did really well so it looks like she’ll be starting in July. She’s my oldest and I have no background in gymnastics at all. I would love to hear any advice you all have! Also, I’m American but we live in Canada. I thought it was a little less intense here but the other parents watching the trial class yesterday seemed pretty intense! Suddenly feeling nervous about what we’re getting into. Finally, I need to get her a few bodysuits but not sure what brands are good. Any suggestions? I’m so clearly out of my element here!


Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
Welcome! Gymnastics is an amazing sport but also very consuming as the gymnast advances. On one hand, I love it- especially at the lower levels when we had a big, tight group of friends (moms and kids). On the other hand, I'm sad to see so many friends quit or advance at different rates. My dd (L6) was pretty lonely last year. And I watched all her friends from school doing club volleyball and having a blast traveling with families and working as a team. It made me sad... but not my gymmie... she still chooses it over every activity. I made her try a few track meets and, nope, even though she rocked the jumping events, she was back to full time gym 2 weeks later.

So... my advice is do many other activities with her at the low levels... swim lessons, soccer, etc. Make sure she is not in gym more than 2 days a week at 5. Take lots of vacations and breaks. Keep this up for as long as possible Make sure it's what she wants to do. It's a long haul. At L2, I swore my dd would eventually go do UCLA gym (her goal). Now, I just want her to stay in the sport until she no longer enjoys it and maybe do high school gym for social time.

As for leotards, she likes Sylvia P, Salute, Destira, Cocovida, and Dragonfly. I think Plum or Destira do cheap "mystery" leos which are fun and budget friendly if she doesn't really care yet.


Proud Parent
May 26, 2022
I’m new too so I don’t have much advice. Just wanted to say that we are exploring leo brands for my daughter who just made the team and she seems to wear a different size in every brand. So read the size charts carefully and then do some searching here to see which brands seem to run big/small/etc.


Proud Parent
May 4, 2022
I hope that your daughter has a great time in gymnastics. Not sure where you are, but anecdotally Ontario seems to be the most extreme for training hours and intensity.

For gym suits, check with your gym. Often clubs will have gently used suits for sale at a lower price to get you started. Also, in Canada, I would say the following are common:
Gym Gear - super soft, my daughter's favourite practice suits
BoutiqeGYM - GK elite distributor
Jagwear Leotards
DNA performance wear


Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020

Definitely keep up with other activities. My DD(9) is Level 5 and still does Diving, horseback riding, and art club. Others on her team do travel soccer, lacrosse, basketball, cheerleading, etc. One never knows when gymnastics will come to an end so being involved elsewhere means that gymnastics is just 1 part of your child - keeping it as a "thing she does" vs "she is a gymnast" is key!

As for leos - ask around as well. I know we are happy to hand down leos to younger girls. When you spend $50-60 on a leo and it is outgrown in a year you wish for it to have a longer life!

our favs are GK, Sylvia P, and Plum right now. DD is longer torso and tiny waist so watching the sizing charts is really important.

Oh and target has a line of Simone Biles that look cute and aren't too costly.


Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
GK has a kids line of leos that are about half the price of the teenage leos. Avoid leos from department stores like Target, they often don't have enough stretch and are made of the wrong material and are hard to move in.

When she is old enough or wants the Nike Pro shorts to go over the leo just buy the Nikes. I tried a bike-tard (huge mistake) and some off brand shorts but they were not the same and it was in no uncertain terms made clear to me that the Nike shorts are the only option.
Feb 2, 2022
My daughter actually loves Target leotards, so it's probably a personal preference. They just don't carry all that many at once. I also buy the inexpensive leos on Amazon with good luck - I've only had one that was oddly shapped that I had to return. She is particular about fabric, so I avoid leos that have shimmer or alot of stiching on the inside. For her, the more simple the better.


Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2021
Thank you all for the responses! I ordered a couple Destira leos for her. I’m looking at GymGear too but not sure how many she needs.

I appreciate you all suggesting she do other activities too. She currently has ballet and swim lessons. Will do summer soccer and has done ice skating in the winter. But…. How do you all fit in other activities when the training hours get more and still make sure they have time to just play/sleep/etc?
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