1. I wish we knew how expensive this sport is. No one told us that we would need to set aside $15,000 or more each year (that's how much we spent in 2022, including monthly tuition, meet fees, leos, meet admission fees, hotels, flights, usag/state fees, etc). Financially, it is really hard for us. We've had to make a lot of sacrifices and also think of random ways to come up with funds. Our gym does not have a booster, so all the burden falls onto the families. I've talked with other families, and most of us didn't expect it to be THIS expensive. I really wish we knew... Will it be worth it if she gets a full ride into college? Maybe... but what are the chances? I hear most D1 colleges only give out 3 new athletic scholarships. Even if she gets in as a walk-on, only a very small percentage make it onto a college team, and then we would still have to pay for their college tuition (either right away or financial aid).
2. I wish we knew that my daughter would be at the gym 21+ hours/week. That's a part time job. She has no time for anything else, and she wouldn't have it any other way. BUT, getting home really late and having to eat dinner, take a shower, and then do homework to keep her straight A GPA... and not getting to bed until after 10pm each night seems crazy for a pre-teen (it'll probably be worse once she's in HS). I was also on a scholarship committee that reviewed applicants. The ONLY ones that made it through the first round were the ones that did 10+ hours of volunteer work almost every week of the year. They also did other clubs/organizations on their HS campus and held leadership positions. How is this possible for gymnasts who spend all their time in the gym?
3. I wish we knew more about the importance of nutrition. My daughter has always been a really good eater and always eats balanced meals, but there's more to nutrition than that. Now, I am conscious about what she's eating before her workouts, and what she eats after (and throughout the day). Don't get me wrong - she still gets all her "fun" food, too, but I just wish I knew more about nutrition earlier.
SORRY! Those were 3 things!
I also want to add that I know the first 2 especially sound so negative, but it's really what I wish I knew. Now that I know, will I pull her out? NO, she loves the sport so so so much and has gained so much from being a part of it. <3