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Apr 18, 2022
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I just don’t get privates at a young age just to get to pre-team. Now optionals ok I get all that m, but it just seems like a whole lot to me just to get a skill for pre-team.
I mean it’s coming out of my pocket and the coaches at our new gym reached out to me about doing them. They obviously see the potential and it’s not even about “just for pre team” it’s to instill the correct form, shaping, and discipline needed for the sport. She takes multiple breaks so it’s not a 5 year old just going hard for an hour. My husband and I want to give her the tools for success and in our opinion it’s not too early for that. If you don’t think privates are good for your child then don’t do them. It’s really as simple as that :)
 

JPC13

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Mar 25, 2022
440
I just don’t get privates at a young age just to get to pre-team. Now optionals ok I get all that m, but it just seems like a whole lot to me just to get a skill for pre-team.
Agree. I’m sure my daughter did a private or two at five, but she was already in the USAG system at that point. Privates to get on pre team is a different story.
 
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rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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I am unsure why I’m getting attacked about privates. She wasn’t overworked at 3/4 by any means. Her coach did about 10 min on each event with 10 min stretching/warm up and 10 min cool down and she has always enjoyed the one on one. Her privates are focused on correct shapes, and the one on one allows for more reps to be able to master the skill. I would never force my daughter to do anything she doesn’t want to but when she’s asking for more gym time I’ll support it.
You’re right! I’m not sure why I think it’s overboard for a kid her age to have privates… whatever is right for the child, go along with! You sound like you are really trying to do what is best for you daughter and I shouldn’t have been so opinionated about it.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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I just don’t get privates at a young age just to get to pre-team. Now optionals ok I get all that m, but it just seems like a whole lot to me just to get a skill for pre-team.
The purpose of privates for these little ones was never to get to pre team. These kids were not on that track.

Most of the kids who come through our gym will not end up in team. The parents had them in gymnastics to develop their coordination, agility, balance, confidence and cognitive skills, not to get in team.

Imagine a child who all of a sudden developed a fear of beam or bars, they might do a private where the coach could reignite their spark, build their confidence etc. the result isn’t a team gymnast, it a kid who is now able to come away having a positive experience of sport and feel good about being physically active, and high had a lifetime of benefits.
 

WV Gym Mom

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Mar 7, 2022
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A full year of pre-team at 5 is super normal. Not to mention there could be the possibility of going directly to level 3 after if she is ready. Even the most advanced kids at that age can really benefit from focusing on form.

My daughter also wanted to be in the gym 24/7 at that age ... we didn't do privates at 4/5, but she did do an additional tumbling class once in a while. Preteam (at 4yrs old) was only 2 hrs/week and Level 2 was 6 hrs I believe.

That being said, if I look back at my 12 years being a gym mom, the kids that I have watched grow up over the years that have excelled into optionals are usually NOT the same kids who did the multiple privates and classes at young ages. In fact, most of those kids were burned out in the early levels. Or worse, had chronic injuries that made them quit.

The biggest factor I have seen anecdotally over the years is the kids that build the strong team friendships, and the kids whos parents tend to step back some, tend to stay in when the skills get tougher.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
175
I think people that have been around the sport some have seen parents rushing their child through the levels and it never seems to turn out well. I think that is why everyone was jumping on you for the time in the gym and the privates at such a young age. My daughter did privates pretty early just because she loved learning and her coach loved working with her, I think her total time in the gym was only around 3 hours a week until she joined preteam at 6 years old and then it went up to 4-5 hours. Now at 8 she is on the team and practices 9 hours and is currently doing an hour of privates to clean up form.

Some of my concerns with longer hours is burn out and injury. I also am very much against rushing my child through the levels... personally I don't see an advantage to being a young level 10, but that is just my approach. There are different routes for every family.

I would just encourage you to use this time while your child is not in the gym crazy hours to allow her to try out other interests... I know it only gets harder to fit in other extra cariculars so it would be a great time to let her (and you) try out lots of other things.
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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Will just chime in with a discussion ongoing in another thread… I got my second DD into rec gymnastics at 3.5. She competed level 3 at 6 and now at 13 just finished her second year of level 10. She is now “bored” of level 10 with another 4 years to go. She is now joining a competitive climbing group part-time.
In hindsight I’m wondering if I should have put her into climbing much earlier and decreased her gymnastics hours then. She was doing 8-10 hours at 6 years old and I sometimes wish she had gone the Xcel route until optionals in addition to climbing. There was no need for her to reach level 10 so young.
Consider putting your DD into another sport if she wants to do more hours. It will give her more opportunities and skills in the future and open her mind to other options. No need to tie her down to one sport at 5 years old.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
175
Will just chime in with a discussion ongoing in another thread… I got my second DD into rec gymnastics at 3.5. She competed level 3 at 6 and now at 13 just finished her second year of level 10. She is now “bored” of level 10 with another 4 years to go. She is now joining a competitive climbing group part-time.
In hindsight I’m wondering if I should have put her into climbing much earlier and decreased her gymnastics hours then. She was doing 8-10 hours at 6 years old and I sometimes wish she had gone the Xcel route until optionals in addition to climbing. There was no need for her to reach level 10 so young.
Consider putting your DD into another sport if she wants to do more hours. It will give her more opportunities and skills in the future and open her mind to other options. No need to tie her down to one sport at 5 years old.
Thank you for sharing so honestly.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
440
I think people that have been around the sport some have seen parents rushing their child through the levels and it never seems to turn out well.
Yes. I was waiting to pick my daughter up the other day and the subset of very loud compulsory parents were talking about how their kids (aged probably about 7 or 8) are doing 6.5 hour days during the summer (I have no idea how many per week).

The reality is that doing that many hours at that level doesn't really produce a better gymnast. In fact, most of those 6.5 hour day girls are indiscernible from the ones who are doing 6 hours a WEEK. Some a little better, others worse. The only difference is the parents. There’s clearly an arms race in some people’s minds (“my daughter does 20 hours a week at 7, cause we’re SERIOUS!”) and I guess it might produce level 2 AA winners, but at what cost?

I’ve seen people get sucked into that mindset and i think it requires pushback.
 

jillc

Proud Parent
Apr 1, 2016
172
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Back to the original question — 2 years of pre team is the norm at my DDs gym.

On the rest of the post.
I do think there are a lot of great, knowledge gym parents on here. In my experience 90%ish of the time they are really trying to be helpful — by sharing what worked for them or often what didn't work for them or others.

But like most things related to parenting — I think it is very valuable to listen to the ideas and others with and open mind — but ultimately it is always up to you to decide what is best for your child.

I have very often followed the advice from these experienced parents, but not always.

On this one — I agree with most others that I wouldn’t suggest this high of hours for most kids at this age.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
230
I am all about letting kids do what they are passionate about but I would strongly encourage using the money for privates towards swim and tennis lessons instead. They are lifelong sports that will allow for cross training. Or put her in another sport as well to burn off energy. My daughter had a talent for gym at a young age and was asked to go to team at age 6 but we waited a year and I'm so glad. She's L6 and I can count the number of privates she's done on one hand. We just don't do them yet she has consistently finished in the top 3 at most meets.
I still allow/ encourage her to do other sports like track and field, swimming, basketball and skiing. With a gym background, she does them well and I think mixing it up and taking lots of training breaks (even when gym doesn't) has helped prevent overuse injuries.
 
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