For Parents Possible switch to cheer

Avasmom

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2015
116
44
Country
USA
My daughter turned 13 in October and her world is changing. Her friend group is basically divided right down the line. One set of friends play volleyball and the other does cheer. This year she has watched as each group grew closer and she grew apart from them. School is different too. She only sees the same cohort group of kids because they stay in the same class all day to avoid exposure. She wants to hang out with her friends on the weekend but the volleyball kids do stuff together and the cheer girls do stuff together. It's no one's fault. They didn't not include her but she is always at gymnastics practice. Recently she has mentioned feeling like she has no friends. This is completely untrue though. It's just they are isolated because of covid rules and the girls are sticking with their sport and their group of friends. I have tried not to intervene b/c my thought was this will pass. My biggest piece of advice has always been live with no regrets. I can't help but feel a little bad for her though because friends are hanging out and she has practice. On the other hand she chose this. Recently my daughter has mentioned doing competitive cheer. She is not sure at all and not ready to give up on gymnastics either. I don't even know if it would be possible to do both but I would lean towards no. She is a level 6 gymnast practicing 18 hours a week. Have any of your daughter's made the switch to competitive cheer successfully? Did they have regrets?
 

Carly

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
177
Country
USA
Two of my dd teammates switched after level 5 to do competitive cheer and one after level 7 so that is definitely able to be done.

For my dd, there would be no way to do 18 hours of gym a week along with cheer and school. If she really wants to do cheer, maybe she could do Xcel gymnastics and cheer depending on the time commitment. However, I would think that meets and cheer competitions could overlap unless your gym was flexible about attending meets. I can't imagine that she could miss a cheer comp since it's a team sport.

Hope it works out for her. It's definitely hard even during normal times for these busy kids to see their non-gymnast friends.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin and Avasmom

mommyof1

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,471
The car
Country
USA
An eighth-grader on my daughter’s team competed Platinum and did competitive cheer last year. She only made it to two or three of the four gym practices each week (Platinum trains 3.5 hours x 4 days with JO L5 and optionals), and there were gymnastics meets and cheer competitions some of the same weekends. I doubt that any other gym would have allowed this arrangement, but it’s a small and flexible program. The gymnast had originally quit gym for cheer but missed gym enough that everyone involved wanted to make it work for her. There was definitely a social component to the kid’s desire to do both. She seemed to be enjoying herself, but her mom was run ragged and was talking about cutting back on activities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LJL07 and PinPin

MuggleMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
569
Virginia
Country
USA
One of my daughters friends switched to cheer and seems really happy. Her older sister cheers so she knew alot of people going into it. There are a lot of cross over skills between the two sports so that will definately help. Cheer teams always love a good tumbler and stunting should come easy with the body control learned in gym. I would see if she can do a trial week of cheer classes before she switches to see if she really likes it.
 

Faith

Active Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2011
2,172
Country
United Kingdom
Mine switched to cheer this year. She is a very talented gymnast but never had that drive to get new skills and move up. She is more about the team and the social aspect.

so cheer has worked really well for her. Practice is only 3x a week, so once lockdown is over she can come to kids crossfit for some s&c.

we fully intended to carry on with gym by moving to tumbling, which she hd been doing 2 days a week anyway alongside her normal squad. When we asked though they said they could only offer her the elite 5x a week tumbling squad for ££££££, so we declined.

Unfortunately for DD after the first lockdown she broke her finger, was out for 10 weeks, then back into lockdown just as she was back to full training!! So we haven’t had the full cheer experience yet, but there seems to be some great opportunities for travel and comps she wouldn’t have had with gym.
 

cheergym101

New Member
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 15, 2020
2
18
Country
USA
I would ask your DD why she mentioned starting cheer to you. Is it for the social aspect of seeing her friends? It might be a good idea to help her set up a virtual movie night or something similar with her friends. Like you said, if she doesn’t really want it, she could regret it.

If not, if she really wants to try cheer, she should. Competitive cheerleading is one of the most rewarding sports out there; there’s a teamwork requirement like no other, as well as the opportunity to better yourself as an athlete. It wouldn’t be “downgrading” as an athlete or a gymnast. I think you could make both gymnastics and cheerleading work— if you’re both willing to give up some free time— by giving up some gymnastics hours. If she’s serious about doing both, maybe try a switch to XCEL, or if her middle school or her high school has a gymnastics team? Cheer practices tend to be 3x a week and 1.5-2.5 hours depending on level/age.

Good luck to her(and you) with her decision!
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,020
61
Country
USA
Of course she should be able to do both. Of course it would require cooperation.

Schools sports seasons are much shorter then gymnastI s.

we have lots of girls at our gum they do school sports and gym.
 

MuggleMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
569
Virginia
Country
USA
Schools sports seasons are much shorter then gymnastI s--.

I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
 

mndl

New Member
Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2011
46
I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
My DD switched to all star cheer and loves it, the team aspect just worked better for her and she still gets to do the tumbling she loves, however I don’t think it would be possible to do both comp cheer and comp gym(unless maybe excel). All star cheer is year round and the competition season is mostly Dec-late April, roughly same time as gymnastics, she practices 3 days a week for a total of six hours but practices are often added during comp season. It is definitely a commitment like gymnastics and honestly almost as expensive depending upon the travel schedule.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MuggleMom

LJL07

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,692
Country
USA
I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
Right. I don’t think it’s realistic to do optional level gymnastics and cheer. My girls can’t do any school sports (covid aside) due to their gym practice schedules. There is no way they could cheer at evening games during the week or attend any of the cheer practices (also held during the week). When my youngest was a compulsory gymnast, she did competition cheer too. It nearly killed us because cheer season is the same time as gym meet season.
that being said, many gymnasts have transitioned from gymnastics to cheer and done fabulous. It’s a great sport for gymnasts to transition to!
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,020
61
Country
USA
It’s very realistic to do optional gymnastics and school sports, including competitiv cheer. It requires every one helping to make it work, including the gym, the school and the child.

Our optional girls do gymnastics and various other school sports. Had it not been for Covid, my daughter would have HS gymnastics as well as her team, as do many other girls in our state. she also plans on doing HS lacrosse or track.

I can’t speak to all states/towns/districts. But the competitive Cheer squad at HS around here is a different team them the cheer squad that goes to the football/basketball games. They may or may not have the same members.

And our school sports practices end at around 4, I could get my daughter to gymnastics practice a wee bit late and leave school practice a wee bit early from time to time.

If Covid has taught us anything, missing an occasional practice for a meet/game elsewhere. Or adjusting hours a bit, is absolutely doable....... yeah my kid was out of gym from March until July.... getting to practice late a few times should not be a problem

Not a fan of “can’t”
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,195
Country
USA
I can’t speak to all states/towns/districts. But the competitive Cheer squad at HS around here is a different team them the cheer squad that goes to the football/basketball games. They may or may not have the same members.
I also got the impression that this is not a HS sports team but a club team outside of school. In our region, Cheer gyms are a big deal and they practice/compete almost as intensely as mid-level gymnasts

to the OP, I would have a more in depth discussion as to why she wants to try it and whether she would be happy with either transitioning to Xcel or stopping gymnastics all-together (or switching to a tumble team if you have one). What she gets out of gymnastics is also important. My dd was a much better beam/bar worker and "put up" with floor and vt in order to progress in the other two. Switching to cheer would not satisfy her because she would be giving up her favorite parts of gymnastics. But for those who love the mid level tumbling, a lot of times cheer is enough for them and then they get the whole other aspect of team work through Cheer. Also, if your child is not looking to go to the high levels of gymnastics, transitioning to tumbling and/or cheer will offer more options if she wants to continue sports into college

ETA: Several of dd's former teammates transitioned to HS cheer squads, a few to club Competition Cheer teams, and a few are on (or planning to be on) college acro/tumbling teams.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cheergym101

raenndrops

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Oct 24, 2009
6,666
The 'Wood, Ohio
Country
USA
We have 2 girls that were gymnasts at our gym that moved to other states. Neither had done cheer before that ... and one of them had a major back tumbling block. They are both All Star Cheerleaders now. The first one went into cheer within a year of moving. The second one did find a gymnastics gym when she moved and she competed for 2 years. This year, she is in cheer. I don't know if she is doing both, but she may be.
 

Avasmom

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2015
116
44
Country
USA
The real reason she wants to try cheer is because of the social aspect. She goes 17.5 hours a week and we have a 30 minute drive so she gets home at 9 pm, eats dinner, showers, and does homework. This is no time to text or Facetime friends except during the ride home. Most of her friends understand she has gym but they have moved on and created new friendship groups with the girls that do the same sport as them. She isn't sure she wants to end her gymnastics career but wants to try cheer and hang out with her friends again. Basically our middle school cheer team is not that great. New coach last year. No one gets cut and it's like rec cheer. She did rec cheer for years and ended up giving it up for gymnastics. If she does do cheer she will want to try out for the jv or varsity team. Most of her friends are trying out for jv. I think it's possible she could do both but I may go crazy getting her there and of course her hours would be cut at gym. J.V. does competitions too and with her tumbling skills I think she will likely make the team. With school sports it's after school so there is no worry about getting her there. After talking to the cheer coach she mentioned tumbling might be off since she is used to a spring board but she goes to a cheer gym on Fridays and can do all of the same skills there. We are in the middle of competition season for gym or I would look into cheer classes. Basically our only option is tumbling classes and she is getting that from gym. There is no competition cheer going on besides girls who are already on a team. If there was I would certainly have her try it to see if she likes it. I just want her to be happy. If cheering and being with friends make her happy I am all for it. I know from all of her complaints she isn't happy with her social life but still happy at gym. I don't know what the solution is though.
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,195
Country
USA
Sounds like switching to xcel where she can go for lower hours may be a good option for her and would allow her to try cheer as well. She may find that cheer gives her just enough tumbling to be happy and stick just with that after a while. If your area does high school gymnastics, that could be an option when she gets there too. At dd's gym, there were several girls who moved from JO to High school gymnastics and cheer and were very happy. Gave them a lot more time with their friends and to do other activities but kept them in the sport they grew up with.

It is not unusual for this to pop up at this age. Everyone becomes more social, has more freedom to be on their own and hang with friends. Kids who are in time intensive sports get/feel left out of the loop. All kiddos are going to react to this differently. She will find her own path but it is a bumpy ride at times.
 

mls529

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 12, 2016
241
44
Country
USA
Have a DD who has done both club cheer (only 1 year) and school cheer (several years). Club cheer is often as serious as gymnastics, as others have said, and close to year-round. Even for school cheer - which is lower key and she was able to do with Xcel gymnastics- most coaches don't like you to miss any practice. When one girl is missing from a stunt group, the entire group generally can't stunt. Even if she is just a back spot - everyone needs to be there to practice and you generally don't mix up stunt groups once they are set.
My DD moving to Xcel and doing school sports was absolutely amazing for her in middle school. She made more friends, tried new things, and has no regrets. Gymnasts transition to cheer fairly easily. My DD loved being the "lead" tumbler on the squad, and getting the ooh and ahhs from the crowd :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan and CLgym

Bendy

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2021
2
43
Country
USA
My daughter turned 13 in October and her world is changing. Her friend group is basically divided right down the line. One set of friends play volleyball and the other does cheer. This year she has watched as each group grew closer and she grew apart from them. School is different too. She only sees the same cohort group of kids because they stay in the same class all day to avoid exposure. She wants to hang out with her friends on the weekend but the volleyball kids do stuff together and the cheer girls do stuff together. It's no one's fault. They didn't not include her but she is always at gymnastics practice. Recently she has mentioned feeling like she has no friends. This is completely untrue though. It's just they are isolated because of covid rules and the girls are sticking with their sport and their group of friends. I have tried not to intervene b/c my thought was this will pass. My biggest piece of advice has always been live with no regrets. I can't help but feel a little bad for her though because friends are hanging out and she has practice. On the other hand she chose this. Recently my daughter has mentioned doing competitive cheer. She is not sure at all and not ready to give up on gymnastics either. I don't even know if it would be possible to do both but I would lean towards no. She is a level 6 gymnast practicing 18 hours a week. Have any of your daughter's made the switch to competitive cheer successfully? Did they have regrets?
Yes. She switched. I was not ready. Cheer parents are a completely different group of people-I'll come back to that. She surprised us when she wanted to leave the gym but it wasn't for too many hours like most people. Her coaches had beat her down mentally so badly it has cost us $$ in therapy. It still saddens me what effects long term it has had and continues to have. Why I'm not sleeping right now.

The switch to cheer was a good match for skills. She was able to skip cheer levels to match her tumbling skills. She's even gained new skills. It's a ton fewer hours so for high schoolers socially that was encouraging. The team parent pressure is more intense than what we felt at club gymnastics. She made new friends. She cannot do high school gymnastics or another "winter sport" because of the overlapping seasons.

It's a culture shock. The cheer parents were intense. The multi-day overnight travel to competitions is more intense. The hair and makeup are over the top. Whereas gymnastics was so skill-based, "look" is huge in cheer. The money is no cheaper even though there's significantly less gym time. Parents dressed up-father's in bodypaint support is not uncommon. Parents are told their cheering affects points so they go crazy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mls529

mndl

New Member
Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2011
46
Yes. She switched. I was not ready. Cheer parents are a completely different group of people-I'll come back to that. She surprised us when she wanted to leave the gym but it wasn't for too many hours like most people. Her coaches had beat her down mentally so badly it has cost us $$ in therapy. It still saddens me what effects long term it has had and continues to have. Why I'm not sleeping right now.

The switch to cheer was a good match for skills. She was able to skip cheer levels to match her tumbling skills. She's even gained new skills. It's a ton fewer hours so for high schoolers socially that was encouraging. The team parent pressure is more intense than what we felt at club gymnastics. She made new friends. She cannot do high school gymnastics or another "winter sport" because of the overlapping seasons.

It's a culture shock. The cheer parents were intense. The multi-day overnight travel to competitions is more intense. The hair and makeup are over the top. Whereas gymnastics was so skill-based, "look" is huge in cheer. The money is no cheaper even though there's significantly less gym time. Parents dressed up-father's in bodypaint support is not uncommon. Parents are told their cheering affects points so they go crazy.
Haha- would you be in the South by chance? I will agree cheer parents can be intense but the real over the top “look” and dressed up parents has been something I’ve seen more at big southern competitions such as NCA and Cheersport than up north
 

Faith

Active Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2011
2,172
Country
United Kingdom
It's a culture shock. The cheer parents were intense. The multi-day overnight travel to competitions is more intense. The hair and makeup are over the top. Whereas gymnastics was so skill-based, "look" is huge in cheer. The money is no cheaper even though there's significantly less gym time. Parents dressed up-father's in bodypaint support is not uncommon. Parents are told their cheering affects points so they go crazy.

So funny- I’m in the UK and it’s completely different. Much more of a “team” feeling and the parents have a group chat and help each other out a lot. Coaches are friendlier and there’s more transparency on what you need to be in which team and why a kids isn’t. Money is about half of what gym cost, for similar hours.

I haven’t been to any real comps as she’s only been on team this season, but hair is a simple pony, makeup is subtle apart from the red lip gloss, and the competition uniform cost me £40 instead of the £140 competition leotard! There isn’t the complicated hairstyles and plaits, no glitter spray or hand washing swarovski crystal encrusted leo’s...

I agree with the overnight travel, but we are used to that with dd1, so it’s actually quite nice for dd2 that she will get to go on trips with her team, and even abroad. Rather than the drive to some freezing local gym for the day...
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,195
Country
USA
So funny- I’m in the UK and it’s completely different. Much more of a “team” feeling and the parents have a group chat and help each other out a lot. Coaches are friendlier and there’s more transparency on what you need to be in which team and why a kids isn’t. Money is about half of what gym cost, for similar hours.

I haven’t been to any real comps as she’s only been on team this season, but hair is a simple pony, makeup is subtle apart from the red lip gloss, and the competition uniform cost me £40 instead of the £140 competition leotard! There isn’t the complicated hairstyles and plaits, no glitter spray or hand washing swarovski crystal encrusted leo’s...

I agree with the overnight travel, but we are used to that with dd1, so it’s actually quite nice for dd2 that she will get to go on trips with her team, and even abroad. Rather than the drive to some freezing local gym for the day...
Cheer can get pretty intense in some parts of the US but there are programs everywhere that are much more low key with uniforms, makeup, hours, etc. Very similar to gymnastics and any sport really