For Parents Proud parent moment but not what you think...

PeanutsMom

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Jun 14, 2019
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My DD has been a competitive gymnast since age 7. If yo read my "Need to vent" post, you know there were some things happening in our gym that made it hard for girls who are not in TOPs to move forward. My daughter made the choice to switch to our gym's XCEL program. It was SOOOOO HARD! She had been teammates with the Optionals girls since she started in JO level 3 years ago. They all moved up together. It was prestigious to be part of the Optionals team and XCEL was always the threat if you didn't perform (If you can't do this, maybe you don't belong in Optionals and you should move to XCEL was a common threat by our HC). But DD has goals and she wants to move up. When you aren't getting coached at higher levels, it is difficult to move up. Throwing skills comes with the real possibility of injury if you aren't spotted or progressed through using drills and stations. The expectation was often just do it. This was not good for my DD. She made the choice, ON HER OWN, to move to XCEL where the philosophy is different and the coaches are more hands on and proactive with spotting and progressions, something my DD recognizes she needs. She left her friends, the prestige of the team title Optionals, and chose to do what is best for HER. This is huge. Confidence has never been her biggest strength, but she is made a very tough choice because it is what she needed to do for her. She had her first practice with this group yesterday and came out grinning from ear to ear and said, "I am so happy." Gymnastics is empowering if we keep letting our gymmies know that it is okay for them to make it their journey, not their coaches, not their parents, but THEIRS! For this alone, I am so proud of my kiddo. I am so glad she chose what is best for her and will help her strive. Just for the record, she is working all 8 skills and 9 skills in XCEL Diamond. She isn't "less than" by any stretch of the imagination. She has skills she wants to learn and I fully believe she will do it!

Keep encouraging your athletes to follow their own path even if it isn't traditional or what all the other gymnasts are doing. Find their strength, find their happy, find their success.
 

PeanutsMom

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Jun 14, 2019
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THat is fantastic! Way to go to you as well, for allowing her to make this decision and do what is best for her :) Can't wait to hear how she does!
Thanks! Me too! I think this season will finally be one where she is confident enough in herself that she will compete how she practices (which has certainly not been the case in the past). She was always so worried about scoring well in order to please her coaches she psyched herself out. This year, well, let's just say I think it will be about pleasing herself instead.
 

Gymx2

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Oct 9, 2015
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Congrats to you on raising a wise daughter with mature decision making skills, and good luck to her on this next phase of her gymnastics journey!
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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This is awesome, I'm so happy your DD is happy! I love when kids can recognize what works for them - you're right, it's not always up to the adults (and sometimes we get it VERY wrong). Wishing her all the best on her journey. :)

(Also, I get a kick out of your posts because one of my nieces is nicknamed "Peanut").
 
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PeanutsMom

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Jun 14, 2019
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This is awesome, I'm so happy your DD is happy! I love when kids can recognize what works for them - you're right, it's not always up to the adults (and sometimes we get it VERY wrong). Wishing her all the best on her journey. :)

(Also, I get a kick out of your posts because one of my nieces is nicknamed "Peanut").
She became Peanut in Level 3 as she was by far the smallest one on the team (not youngest, but certainly smallest). She was 8 and still wearing 3T leotards. Her coach then nicknamed her Peanut. The great thing..this coach has moved up to the upper level XCEL program from compulsory and she is now her coach again! Full circle and it feels good!
 

pt coach

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Dec 23, 2009
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My DD has been a competitive gymnast since age 7. If yo read my "Need to vent" post, you know there were some things happening in our gym that made it hard for girls who are not in TOPs to move forward. My daughter made the choice to switch to our gym's XCEL program. It was SOOOOO HARD! She had been teammates with the Optionals girls since she started in JO level 3 years ago. They all moved up together. It was prestigious to be part of the Optionals team and XCEL was always the threat if you didn't perform (If you can't do this, maybe you don't belong in Optionals and you should move to XCEL was a common threat by our HC). But DD has goals and she wants to move up. When you aren't getting coached at higher levels, it is difficult to move up. Throwing skills comes with the real possibility of injury if you aren't spotted or progressed through using drills and stations. The expectation was often just do it. This was not good for my DD. She made the choice, ON HER OWN, to move to XCEL where the philosophy is different and the coaches are more hands on and proactive with spotting and progressions, something my DD recognizes she needs. She left her friends, the prestige of the team title Optionals, and chose to do what is best for HER. This is huge. Confidence has never been her biggest strength, but she is made a very tough choice because it is what she needed to do for her. She had her first practice with this group yesterday and came out grinning from ear to ear and said, "I am so happy." Gymnastics is empowering if we keep letting our gymmies know that it is okay for them to make it their journey, not their coaches, not their parents, but THEIRS! For this alone, I am so proud of my kiddo. I am so glad she chose what is best for her and will help her strive. Just for the record, she is working all 8 skills and 9 skills in XCEL Diamond. She isn't "less than" by any stretch of the imagination. She has skills she wants to learn and I fully believe she will do it!

Keep encouraging your athletes to follow their own path even if it isn't traditional or what all the other gymnasts are doing. Find their strength, find their happy, find their success.
My daughter considers her move from level 8 to Diamond to be the best decision she ever made in gymnastics! Same coaches for her, but the ability to do the skills she wanted to do and discontinue the ones she hated made a huge difference. She also got to enjoy being one of the top performers at every meet instead of middle of the pack.
 

PeanutsMom

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Jun 14, 2019
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My daughter considers her move from level 8 to Diamond to be the best decision she ever made in gymnastics! Same coaches for her, but the ability to do the skills she wanted to do and discontinue the ones she hated made a huge difference. She also got to enjoy being one of the top performers at every meet instead of middle of the pack.
I am so glad an Optional level gymnast has had a positive transition. My daughter has her aerial on high beam, but can't do it until level 9 in Optionals, but will likely put it in this year as she just loves doing it. She is also working her pak salto which she can't do until level 9.
 

novagymmom

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May 19, 2020
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Love hearing this! So happy for your daughter. As I mentioned, my daughter (13 yo Level 9) is considering a similar move. She's just done with the current environment with her primary coach. :-( I hope my daughter finds the move as empowering and exciting like yours is. This will be fairly unprecedented at our gym. I just hope she is able to still learn new skills (which of course is her favorite part of gymnastics) and rediscovers her joy.

I'll admit that I'm still getting my arms around it - but support her in whatever she decides. Looking at the summer and fall schedule kinds of freaks me out - 7 hours vs 17!?? That will be a huge difference (and my girl needs to stay busy). And summer practices are all in the evening . . . which means she and I would need to think about what she'll be doing in the day. It would be a big change!!
 
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PeanutsMom

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Love hearing this! So happy for your daughter. As I mentioned, my daughter (13 yo Level 9) is considering a similar move. She's just done with the current environment with her primary coach. :-( I hope my daughter finds the move as empowering and exciting like yours is. This will be fairly unprecedented at our gym. I just hope she is able to still learn new skills (which of course is her favorite part of gymnastics) and rediscovers her joy.

I'll admit that I'm still getting my arms around it - but support her in whatever she decides. Looking at the summer and fall schedule kinds of freaks me out - 7 hours vs 17!?? That will be a huge difference (and my girl needs to stay busy). And summer practices are all in the evening . . . which means she and I would need to think about what she'll be doing in the day. It would be a big change!!
All of these were concerns for us too. The hours for us stay the same (16 hours for XD and 16 hours for level 7 as they don't get the extra 4 hours for level 8 until they have all their 8 skills and are "invited" to Saturday practice). To be honest, the evening practices in summer are the worst part. She liked getting up early, going to gym, and then going home to have the rest of the day free, but the gym is less crowded in the summer months, so it should be okay. Also camp kids are gone by evening practices and that is a bonus! Our coach is looking at starting a small session every couple of week for just the 3-4 girls doing Diamond so that session will be very targeted to uptraining and have lots of spotting/coaching help. That may be the biggest bonus for her.

Her move to XD is also unprecedented in our gym. No one wants to go from Optionals to Xcel because of the way it was sold in our gym (always for those less than) but according to my conversations with the XCEL coaches, my daughter isn't the only Optional who has inquired, but so far the only one brave enough to make the move. And yes, brave is the right word because of the stigma and division created in our gym and being wise enough to realize she deserves more than the Optional coaches were willing to give her.
 

mommyof1

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From my perspective, summer evening practices are the best! Daytime practices are a logistical nightmare and interfere with camps and summer classes. The summers when I spent 4 hours a day in the car between gym, camp, and my work commute permanently damaged my career and my sanity.
 

novagymmom

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May 19, 2020
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From my perspective, summer evening practices are the best! Daytime practices are a logistical nightmare and interfere with camps and summer classes. The summers when I spent 4 hours a day in the car between gym, camp, and my work commute permanently damaged my career and my sanity.
Completely agree for the younger kids! But as a rising 9th grader, we're too old for most camps (yet still too young for most jobs).
 

CLgym

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Dec 22, 2014
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I love this post!! I am so happy that your daughter recognized what she needed and was brave enough to make that happen. You definitely should be proud!

We are in a bad spiral right now (12 year old, repeat L8, losing skills like crazy), and I would love for my DD to make a move to Xcel. I think a change and confidence boost would be really helpful, and keep her in the sport she loves.