For Parents Remind Me Again That Level 4 Scores and Placement Isn't So Important

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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
My 8yr old daughter had her last meet of her first competitive season on Friday. We only do 4 meets, she came in last in her age group at this meet and once again, she was the lowest AA score on her team (she was the lowest at the three other meets as well). She is handling this fine. She is also making great improvements. She scored her first 9 on the beam and then got a 9.125 on floor. Her coaches aren't concerned at all. They expect her to compete level 5 in the fall even though she was .575 away from scoring out. They say they see great potential and they say she is on track. It's just hard for my own competitive spirit to feel like she is always coming in so low.

We don't talk about scores or placement with her at all. There is no pressure on her as far as scores. We celebrate personal bests with her but that is really the only time scores are even brought up with her. We talk about how much fun she had at the meet and congratulate her on things like getting her handstand on the beam so much better. She may mention placement but we don't focus on it at all.

I know a lot of you have made comments about the scoring in these lower levels not really being indicative of how they are going to do in the sport. I just need to hear that again. I'm hoping that my girl will not be the lowest score forever!
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
I think sometimes Level 4 can have a rocky start. With the new vault, a more complicated floor routine and much more difficult bar routine there are more places to mess up and therefore scores are a little lower than L3. I'm surprised a 33 AA is the lowest score, too. If she is enjoying gymnastics and improving, let her keep going.

How close is your daughter to her Level 5 skills? If she trains the whole summer, adding .5 to her AA doesn't seem out of reach. She could score out of Level 4 and then go straight to level 5 if she is ready.
 
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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
I think sometimes Level 4 can have a rocky start. With the new vault, a more complicated floor routine and much more difficult bar routine there are more places to mess up and therefore scores are a little lower than L3. I'm surprised a 33 AA is the lowest score, too. If she is enjoying gymnastics and improving, let her keep going.

How close is your daughter to her Level 5 skills? If she trains the whole summer, adding .5 to her AA doesn't seem out of reach. She could score out of Level 4 and then go straight to level 5 if she is ready.
She is very close on the level 5 skills. Her coaches feel confident that she will have what she needs by the Fall.

She was the lowest AA in her age group, out of the 50 level 4's that competed in her session she came in 41st. Guess there is some tough competition out there!

She LOVES gymnastics and is improving greatly. We have no intention of quitting. I just need to be reminded to keep my focus on that and not get distracted by the desire to see her win.
 
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gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,659
As hard as it is with a different POV, the best you can do is to follow your dd's lead. If she's happy with how she is doing then you need to be happy for her. Everyone goes through life with different perspectives, expectations and motivations. She is progressing and is happy just to be there. That's what counts for her. If it were you competing, you likely would have a different perspective and that's ok but since it is her sport, her perspective is what matters.

My dh had a hard time with this with my dd for several years as well - if you're not winning, why play the sport? It took a long time for him to see all the benefits that are still there in the sport regardless of where you place and that she was still a really talented gymnast even though she didn't have super high scores and wasn't winning. She had a love for the sport and continued to progress year after year. That's what counted *TO HER*. She was a 4-year L10. So yes, they can be successful moving up the levels even if they aren't high in the rankings each year. Mine never repeated a level but there is also nothing wrong with doing that to solidify form and skills when necessary.
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
As a competitive person, it is hard for me to compete what I felt like were good routines and not place well. Or do a couple good routines and mess it all up with a crazy one. But that's just how it goes sometimes... and both parent and gymnast have to learn to roll with it.

Talented gymnasts don't always score the highest. Especially in L3/4. At age 8, she has plenty of time to reach high levels. But more important than being a L10, is the life skills she is learning and the friendships she has.

If your daughter has 9s on beam and floor and is close to her Level 5 skills, she is doing awesome! Keep doing what you are doing and celebrating her small achievements. Her time to blossom as a gymnast is coming!
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
290
My dd was on team with a girl who rarely ever medaled on any event in levels 3-5 but she kept working hard and did well by the end of L7. She is now a L10 and still has 2 years of high school left.

There was also a girl who was several years ahead of my dd whose mom always said how terrible she did in levels 3-5. She was a 3 year L10 and is now competing for a D3 college.

It's not always a bad thing to start off not being one of the best. I think that it can inspire them to work harder. If it always comes easy to someone, they might not know how to put in the hard work to get there. Gymnastics definitely teaches them many life lessons.

If your dd is already close to having the L5 skills, she is in great shape for next season. And being a little older next year may help her if she is getting deductions for small details that can be harder for younger kids to pick up on.
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
38
My dd was not a great compulsory gymnast. She was usually middle of the pack. Skills never came easy to her and she had to work hard for everything. It has paid off and she is doing great in optionals. She was already used to working hard and now we have noticed that a lot of the more “talented” compulsory gymnasts are having harder time because they were not used to having put in the hard work that optionals requires, or they have quit entirely. Having to deal with adversity early on can be a good thing.
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
79
47
My DD is having a rough L4 year - planned to be solid 36's turned into praying to get a 34 this coming weekend due to Nov/Dec 3" growth spurt and losing Jan to a cold and COVID. She has yet to put 1 meet of solid events together. Each meet has an event that just goes wrong. Never the same event. Frustrating for her but she is pushing hard to overcome the disappointment. Oh and she has a stomach bug today with States in 6 days....

That said her coaches are expecting her to still get to L6 this fall. Might mean 2 score out meets but her skills are there.

Her gym is far more concerned about attitude and progression than scores for getting to Optionals. They have seen over the decades their lowest scoring compulsory gymnast turn into a D1 college athlete but also saw their highest scoring compulsory gymnasts quit before L8. As they say - attitude is key - teachable, dedicated, determined.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
My DD is having a rough L4 year - planned to be solid 36's turned into praying to get a 34 this coming weekend due to Nov/Dec 3" growth spurt and losing Jan to a cold and COVID. She has yet to put 1 meet of solid events together. Each meet has an event that just goes wrong. Never the same event. Frustrating for her but she is pushing hard to overcome the disappointment. Oh and she has a stomach bug today with States in 6 days....

That said her coaches are expecting her to still get to L6 this fall. Might mean 2 score out meets but her skills are there.

Her gym is far more concerned about attitude and progression than scores for getting to Optionals. They have seen over the decades their lowest scoring compulsory gymnast turn into a D1 college athlete but also saw their highest scoring compulsory gymnasts quit before L8. As they say - attitude is key - teachable, dedicated, determined.
Thank you! That is such a great point... my daughter has a great attitude!! Extremely teachable and very dedicated and determined. Thank you for helping me adjust my focus!
 

Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
256
They have seen over the decades their lowest scoring compulsory gymnast turn into a D1 college athlete but also saw their highest scoring compulsory gymnasts quit before L8. As they say - attitude is key - teachable, dedicated, determined.
We are 10 years on this journey now. Of the 16 that started at level 4 only 3 remain in the sport. The highest scoring compulsory gymnast on the team quit after level 8. The lowest scoring and consistently bottom scoring compulsory gymnast is a multi year level 10 committed to a top ten D1 program.

Winning level 4 is not a prerequisite for success down the road. There are so so many factors and pieces to this sport. Some kids peak at level 4, some excel once they hit optionals, some quit when the going gets tough. Then there are the injuries, growth spurts, mental blocks, the list is endless.

Don’t stress it now seriously it is a long haul with so many peaks and valleys. Your daughter is doing great !
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
39
I am a bit of a stats nerd and browse mymeetscores quite a bit (ok big nerd) and have noticed that the top level 4 girls are usually out around 7/8 and it is often the ones you least expect to make it all the way through. One reason I think is that often the best compulsory girls are the perfectionists that get every little foot placement right and so score well but at optionally this matters a lot less than sheer grit and athletic talent.

Heck, go watch the Simone Biles “earliest footage” on YouTube. She obviously had loads of talent, but at this meet she falls on her vault, looks like she falls on her squat on, has very bent arms in all her kips etc. She was still very raw, needed lots more refining and I suspect didn’t place too well. But I’m sure Aimee didn’t care b/c she saw the long run potential and was focused on where they were going rather than one or two meets.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
223
Good points and... many gyms do care about placement and scores which means she is probably competing against many repeat level 4s. Sounds like she is on track to go far!
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Looking at old team pictures of L3/L4, I realized just how many kids have left the sport by Level 6. Kids that were pretty good and got 34/35s just decided gymnastics took too much time and they were interesting in something else. Or kids that were always top of the pack in L4 are now in the middle. Things change and people's talents develop.
 

KIPSOG

Gymnast
Feb 8, 2022
13
My level 4 year was a mess. My first meet I got a 27 AA. I didn't scratch anything, that was with all 4 events. I got a 5 on beam. I got last AA at every single meet.

6 years later and I'm the only one from that level 4 team left. I find that it's often the lower scoring gymnasts that just genuinely enjoy the sport, that continue on for more than a couple years

I'm now an Xcel Diamond (my whole gym switched to Xcel after my lvl 4 year) and my scores and placements are much better. I still love the sport, and I dont regret the lvl 4 year at all.
 
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