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Preteam or continue in rec?

Discussion in 'Parent Forum' started by mindful, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. I’ve been trying to figure out if I should have my daughter pursue a preteam opportunity.

    She is 6 years old and has been invited to start in the fall. My dilemma is that she has been perfectly happy in the recreation classes. She looks forward to her gymnastics classes and goes for the joy of gymnastics. She isn’t innately interested in competition. She has never competed in sports and finds the idea of being judged to be anxiety-provoking. I worry that an emphasis on competition/getting ready for competition will take away her enjoyment of gymnastics and place too much pressure on her. Plus, I have been warned that not everyone on preteam gets selected for team. While this makes sense, I also don’t want to ruin her feelings for gymnastics if she gets cut when she never asked to be on a team in the first place.

    I suppose the main advantage of joining the preteam would be presumably better training.

    Any comments to help me think through this are welcome.
  2. If she doesn't like competing or being judged, I wouldn't put her in. It doesn't sound like the the team track would be a good fit for her at this point in her life.
    SMH and txgymfan like this.
  3. Can you ask her? If she practices in the same gym as the team, then she likely has been able to observe and pick up a little bit about what is going on there. She might have an opinion on it. The competitions are a small part of being on team, IMHO and it took my kid until about age ten to sort of like competing, but she has always LOVED training. While the team track might not be the right spot for her, I would not make the decision based on a fear that she might not make the team. Just generally speaking, I don’t think that it (fear of failure) is the best way to make decisions or to model decision-making for a child. Good luck!
    mommyof1, Aero, PinPin and 1 other person like this.
  4. I would give it a try at least and see how she likes the training. There are many girls (and boys) who have been in pre-team and have returned to rec for whatever reason and they carry on, still loving gymnastics. I wouldn't worry about something that hasn't happened yet.
    Aero, Okgymmom23, Mamabear123 and 4 others like this.
  5. Well I admit I am biased, as I am having frustrations with the quality of the rec classes at our gym right now and am wishing my dd would get asked to be on pre team precisely for the benefit of better training. But fwiw, here are some thoughts (I also have two sons who have done team gym for several years.)

    As long as the hours and price are reasonable, I would look at "pre team" as rec with (presumably) better, more consistent training. And that (better training) could lead to more satisfaction and pleasure in the sport, even if ultimately "team" is not in the cards.

    Does she need to even know this is "pre team?" (When in fact it might not be anyway?) At our gym, the "pre team" girls have a cute name for their group, it is not called "pre team." (Same with the boys, actually.) I once made the mistake of asking a friend's kid if she was on pre-team, and she (the kid) immediately corrected me! Unless it comes from the parents (which I am sure it does in many cases but anyway) there need not be pressure about "getting on team."

    Also, if it is pre team, there will not be any competitions or judging, right? Not yet. Even with a team that is high pressure-and not all are- pressure should not be happening in pre-team. Also I think there is a benefit to helping a kid learn to handle competition in a healthy way, rather than avoid it.

    If she may like to try team at some point but just not right now, is it possible she could start pre team later? Or go right to team without doing pre team later? Basically, what are your options?
    mommyof1, ProvB, Okgymmom23 and 3 others like this.
  6. Thanks for the thoughts everyone!

    The work "preteam" has already been used with her, unfortunately. When I asked her if she was interested in preteam, she said she just liked her regular class. But I found out that she was pulled out of her class the last time and placed in another class which sounded like a pre-pre-team. (The preteam doesn't practice when she has class.) When I pointed that experience out to her, she said, "oh, I liked that class." This won't be a regular thing since she doesn't usually go at that time. It was a makeup class.

    There's an upfront couple hundred dollar extra team fee if we start in the fall, in addition to monthly tuition. I was trying to save that money if it was clear that her personality wouldn't fit a competition mindset.

    It's good to know lots of kids go back to rec without problem after trying preteam. I don't really know what the options are. I don't know if the preteam is open in the future if we decline for the fall. I guess I worry I would be closing the door on this opportunity for her if we decline at this time.
  7. Trust your instincts. Is it possible for her to do a one week trial in pre-team? My daughter didn't do preteam but did a trial when she started team to see if she was a good fit for the program (and vice versa). At the time, she really didn't want to compete but she DID say that she wanted to learn more skills and learn them better than what she was getting in rec. (ex. they would work back walkovers one week and then not again for another 3 weeks.) If I'm being honest, competition is still not her favorite thing. She much prefers the summer months of conditioning and skill aquisition to the competition season. Maybe talk to her about what goals she has for gymnastics. Does she just want to play around and have fun or do her goals include mastering some high level skills? That may help drive your decision. For me, it because clear that the only way for my daughter to safely learn the skills she wanted was through team. Good luck!
    Okgymmom23 and Jard.the.gymnast like this.
  8. This is interesting, considering it's pre-team. I've never heard of an upfront fee for pre-team. Are you sure that fee is not applied once she makes the team? What is the fee for?
  9. Is this a charge that either goes toward team completion costs later on- or is refunded if the child never gets on the team?
  10. I don't have access to my email at the moment with the information. What I remember is that the fee is partly for team-building social events. It definitely was not for competition. I'll have to go back and reread it. I didn't realize it could be unusual to have an upfront fee.
    sce likes this.
  11. That is quite interesting. Are you at a big gym? I've never heard of such a thing for pre-team because it's exactly that - PRE team. They're not on a team yet. Not all of them will be. The gyms we've been a part of have not invested time into team building before they're on team (shoot, ours now doesn't at all, even with the team. But that's a whole 'nother post). But maybe you're gym structures pre-team differently and they are actually considered part of the team?
  12. There are some gyms that actually allow their pre-team to compete at their home meets and they get other "team" perks, so they pay the upfront fee. One gym in particular, the upfront fee includes a practice leotard and free open gym.
  13. Okay, I've reread the email. The fee includes a leotard, "other activities," and clinics with a choreographer. I wish it included free open gym! My daughter looooves open gym.

    Well, I'm not too hung up on the fee. I'm just torn with decision-making. I find it tough to say no to opportunity, especially when it's being presented because people see potential in my child. The best course would be if she could try a week before committing.

    I barely know anything about the gym and it's teams. Until recently I was oblivious in Rec Land!
  14. Ask if she can try it for a week or two. It makes sense.
  15. As a very new parent to all of this team stuff, I would suggest you read up on all that is involved in team gymnastics. It’s a lot! It’s time consuming and expensive and it can be very overwhelming. I have read 100’s of threads on here and felt pretty prepared and even I am shocked at how quickly it “takes over!” My dd is 6 and we just left a gym that wanted her to train 13 hours (her new gym is 10.5).

    I’m not trying to talk you out of it. My dd, like so many, LOVES it. However, if your daughter is completely happy with rec then why change? My dd was bored in rec and kept asking to go to more classes and do more and that’s when we looked at team. It’s a difficult decision, especially when you hear your kid has talent. Just be prepared that if you do try team, she may fall in love and there may be no turning back. :)
  16. Precisely! That's what I'm stuck on.

    My daughter did want more gymnastics, so in the spring I signed her up for about 3 hours worth of classes. Then for the summer I signed her up for 5 hours. And she still asks to go to open gym on top of that. But this way of doing more gymnastics so far has worked out well. And I feel during the year I could flex the hours down depending on what's going on in school or with the family.

    After reading on this site, I realize team gymnastics is rigid in it's time demands. For me, I like the flexibility of adding or subtracting classes based on the family's schedule. I couldn't imagine 10+ hours per week for her at this time. The preteam she was offered is more like 3 hours.

    Well, good food for thought. If I just considered myself, the answer would be no. If my daughter clearly wanted team and competition, it would be, of course, I'll sign you right up. Since that's not the case, it's more the thought of in a few years time, would she have wanted me to put her on the team path?
    FlippinPrincess likes this.
  17. Then definitely ask if she can have a 1 week trial before having to pay the up front fee. Explain that you want to make sure it is a good fit before committing to the program.
    Good luck in whatever you decide.
    NY Dad, txgymfan and FlippinPrincess like this.
  18. Are you sure that pre team is the only "team path?" Having a pre team does not necessarily make pre team the only path to team.
  19. Our pre-team kids pay into the Girls Parent Organization. They get team perks.

    Open gym for team girls is not something the coaches like. Actually, there is no open gym at her gym.

    My thoughts are to decide if competitive gymnastics is what your daughter wants to pursue and is it something your family can accommodate. Gymnastics will do its best to consume your family. We like it very much. There is more to gymnastics than just gym, some of my best friends have developed from my daughter's gymnastics, but I would understand if any family decided to run as fast and as far as they can. I was hoping Dani would take to softball but it did not happen.
  20. Good point!

    This decision is probably not the big fork in the road I was thinking it was. I'll see if she can do a trial and take it from there. Thanks everyone!
    PinPin and Aero like this.
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