For Parents Running out of time

Momma Bear

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My daughter will be a junior this year. She’s competed 2 years at level 9 (both wonky because of Covid). She has desires of doing college gymnastics and realizes it will be D3, if at all. My question is, do you think it would be better for her to compete level 10 this year or do another year of 9? If she did 10, she’d be a low level 10. I think she has a 10 beam routine but would have lower starting values on the other events.

Obviously, her coach makes this decision but I’m just wondering, as a parent, if she does 9 again, would her dreams of college gym be over?

We’ve tried to tell her about acro and tumbling but as of now she doesn’t seem interested in that. She just loves gymnastics and really wants the chance to continue doing it after high school.

She’s also heard the colleges with clubs don’t have coaches and she says she doesn’t want to just train on her own.

Thanks so much for any suggestions you may have! I feel clueless and want to help her reach her goals.
 

gymgal

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My dd is a rising college junior (where has the time gone?!) and she is loving her D3 experience

My recommendation would be to have her explore the D3s she might be interested in and look at the bios of the gymnasts, look them up on mymeetsscores and YouTube. You can get a good idea of the level of the gymnasts as freshmen. Also, have her reach out to the D3 coaches where she is interested so that she is on the radar. With her being a junior, and if they are interested, they will tell you what they are looking for in terms of skills. They may have her work on getting specific skills/events the team needs. Being a junior she is in good position to work those skills so she would be ready as a freshman.

As for which to compete this year, it's a tough choice. If she competes L10 and does really well on beam, she could possibly be viewed as a specialist by some of the low ranked D1s, D2s and higher ranked D3. If she stays at L9 and makes it to east/westerns, that bodes well for showing confidence and ability under pressure, especially if she excels in one area.

Also, D3 teams are often still making their team decisions well into competition season of senior year so she could compete L9 as a Jr, load summer training videos and then compete L10 as a Sr.
 

Momma Bear

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My dd is a rising college junior (where has the time gone?!) and she is loving her D3 experience

My recommendation would be to have her explore the D3s she might be interested in and look at the bios of the gymnasts, look them up on mymeetsscores and YouTube. You can get a good idea of the level of the gymnasts as freshmen. Also, have her reach out to the D3 coaches where she is interested so that she is on the radar. With her being a junior, and if they are interested, they will tell you what they are looking for in terms of skills. They may have her work on getting specific skills/events the team needs. Being a junior she is in good position to work those skills so she would be ready as a freshman.

As for which to compete this year, it's a tough choice. If she competes L10 and does really well on beam, she could possibly be viewed as a specialist by some of the low ranked D1s, D2s and higher ranked D3. If she stays at L9 and makes it to east/westerns, that bodes well for showing confidence and ability under pressure, especially if she excels in one area.

Also, D3 teams are often still making their team decisions well into competition season of senior year so she could compete L9 as a Jr, load summer training videos and then compete L10 as a Sr.
Thank you so much for your reply! It’s so good to hear that your daughter as had a great experience with D3! I appreciate your experienced advice. We have started looking at the D3 roosters. I do feel like many of the teams have a wide range of girls though. Some are higher scoring 10’s and some are mid-range 9’s.

I guess my daughter should start emailing coaches to try to get her name out there and see if there is any interest.

Thanks again! Best of luck to your daughter this year!
 

NutterButter

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My DD was in the same spot 2 years ago. She ended up doing a 3rd year at L9 her Sr year instead of moving to L10. The reasoning at the time was: 1. She should have an easier time competing at L9 and since she made Westerns as a Jr, maybe she would again as a Sr. 2. Less pressure overall since she would not be competing a new level and 3. More time to continue working the skills the D3 college coaches were most interested in.

Covid ended up cutting her sr year short and in hindsight my DD wishes she would have done L10 even if she would not have necessarily competed all events or had a 10.0 start value. There’s something to be said for achieving the highest level in JO even if you aren’t a strong competitor. At least this is my DD’s stance now a year out. I agree and wish she would have done L10.

My DD is on a D3 team now. She had serious conversations with 4 schools and none of them cared if she was L9 or L10. They were most interested in whether she could put together a routine with a 10.0 start value. A couple of them wanted to see progress on skills her Senior year. One made suggestions on new skills that her gym doesn’t train and encouraged her to try them and send videos ASAP (a tall request given she was a month away from comp season which also required support from her JO coaches which they were not at all supportive). The feedback she received from all schools was very similar including the events where she could be a team contributor her freshman year.

The most important thing was being able to cobble together a 10.0 start value for college routines. Second was being able to show progress on skills she was training over the summer and fall of her senior year. A more distant third was her success at state and regionals because it shows she can deliver under pressure (she did well at these meets but has never been a state or regional champ).
 
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NutterButter

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Oh wait - I misread your post. Your DD still has two years left in HS. I would say get to L10 ASAP because she’d have 2 years to compete in L10!
 
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pt coach

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We had a gymnast in a similar situation a few years ago. She elected to level 9 her junior year with solid State, Regional and Eastern performances. Was able to secure a walk on spot on a D1 team summer before senior year based on her one very strong event. She then did level 10 as a senior. She was not a great level 10, but did qualify to regionals and was able to have success on her one strong event. She has competed at every meet on her event for her college team for the past 4 years so it all worked out for her.

We also have had 4 or 5 kids go on to a D3 school without ever competing 10 - they were all strong level 9s who for various reasons like injuries or skill acquisition issues did not make the jump to 10. They were all in the lineups for their school and had a fabulous experience.

I guess I don't have any real advice - just some stories!
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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This is a very individual decision, and would depend entirely on her skills, her quirks, her confidence, her goals, her philosophy, and her coaches' philosophies.

Worth noting, though, is that there are a lot of college club teams out there, so even if she doesn't qualify for an NCAA team, she'll still be able to continue gymnastics after high school.
 
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Momma Bear

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Oh wait - I misread your post. Your DD still has two years left in HS. I would say get to L10 ASAP because she’d have 2 years to compete in L10!
Thanks so much for your story! I think it gives her hope knowing there are some level 9’s and lower level 10’s who have made it on a college team and are doing well! Also great to hear what the college coaches were asking of your daughter. Thanks again for sharing!
 

Momma Bear

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We had a gymnast in a similar situation a few years ago. She elected to level 9 her junior year with solid State, Regional and Eastern performances. Was able to secure a walk on spot on a D1 team summer before senior year based on her one very strong event. She then did level 10 as a senior. She was not a great level 10, but did qualify to regionals and was able to have success on her one strong event. She has competed at every meet on her event for her college team for the past 4 years so it all worked out for her.

We also have had 4 or 5 kids go on to a D3 school without ever competing 10 - they were all strong level 9s who for various reasons like injuries or skill acquisition issues did not make the jump to 10. They were all in the lineups for their school and had a fabulous experience.

I guess I don't have any real advice - just some stories!
Thank you for sharing! It sounds like even if she did another year of level 9 she could still have a shot! I can’t wait to share these stories with her.
 

Momma Bear

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This is a very individual decision, and would depend entirely on her skills, her quirks, her confidence, her goals, her philosophy, and her coaches' philosophies.

Worth noting, though, is that there are a lot of college club teams out there, so even if she doesn't qualify for an NCAA team, she'll still be able to continue gymnastics after high school.
From what she has heard, college club teams do not have coaches and practice on their own. Is this true?
 
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