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skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,143
Region 9
At my gym, you have to be 8 or older to compete, but my gym trains above their skill requirement. When I was younger nothing was good especially vault because I had no power. Also when you get older it's easier to have more power but still controls it, and because she's starting at a young age she could be ahead of some people when she gets older I was in silver for two years but when I moved up I was above my skill level and went through Gold very quickly and easy now I'm in Platinum and I'm 11.

It sounds like you have a lot of great info, but you have to be 16 to post on ChalkBucket, for your protection. Come back when you are old enough.
 
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4gr4ce

New Member
Feb 27, 2022
9
38
Yes, we focus a lot on personal bests. One of the best things about gymnastics meets is you have 10 opportunities (each event and all-around) to feel good about either a medal or a personal best. (And truly my daughter at this point feels better about a personal best on bars with no medal, then a medal on vault where it wasn't one of her best and she got a lower score.)
Yes, we focus a lot on personal bests. One of the best things about gymnastics meets is you have 10 opportunities (each event and all-around) to feel good about either a medal or a personal best. (And truly my daughter at this point feels better about a personal best on bars with no medal, then a medal on vault where it wasn't one of her best and she got a lower score.)
“personal best on bars with no medal, then a medal on vault where it wasn't one of her best and she got a lower score.” Oh amen to this! This is the perfect point I’ve been looking for to offer my kid. Thank you for sharing!
 

Whyhellothere

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
9
40
My daughter didn’t even start competing until she was 7!! She started in level 2 and was usually no where near the top … she still loved every second and was so happy to just be doing gymnastics and competing!!

She is now 12 and a level 8 and winning first or second in every meet!

At 6, I would just focus on having fun!! She will gain the skills and get stronger every practice with a good attitude!!

I am happy to hear she is already gaining them :)
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
105
I know you are probably tired of hearing this, but 6 is so young! My daughter just turned 8 and is competing for the first time this season (we are 3 meets into our 4 meet season). Coaches have always talked about how amazing my daughter is but this season she has been the lowest AA score on her team at every meet. She always falls in the bottom 5 for AA (and each meet we have gone to has given medals for every participant) in her age group. The highest placement she has gotten is 6th on beam. It was hard for me because it wasn't what I expected and I was also worried for how it would impact her. We haven't discussed scores at all. We celebrate little victories like beautiful kips or less balance checks on the beam. We talk about the difference of equipment and frustartion with that but how she has to be prepared for that. I see other parents that are totally preoccupied with scores and placement and I worry that adds pressure to their gymnast. I honestly thought my child didn't know or fully understand the scores and placements until recently. She has talked to us some about her, in her time. She does understand but she is able to not get too down by it and instead focus on the little victories. I think if I was to encourage you on anything it would be just that, celebrate the little victories because in reality they aren't little, these girls are making huge acomplishments no matter their scores or placements!
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
34
Longtime lurker who felt compelled to post on this topic. As background, I have a 6 yo in Bronze and an 8 yo in Level 4. My 6 yo scored in the 32s in her first meet and my other daughter has won all of her meets so far this year, so I've been thinking a lot about this. So far there hasn't been an issue, in part b/c we praise them for the inputs rather than the outputs, try not to compare them, and remind our youngest that her sister was not even competing at her age (which she is very proud of). I offer the following observations that have really helped me calm my inner crazy gym parent (we all have one to some degree!)

All the long haul gym parents on this board have helped me realize that gymnastics is an ultra-marathon, not a sprint. Early results at the compulsory levels mean almost nothing about future success, and more importantly, what they are going to get out of the sport. So enjoy those early days when there is no pressure and they do it for the love of the sport. One thing that helped me (and my girls) calm down and enjoy the journey more was checking out Jade Carey's scores on mymeetscores. Jade almost never won any compulsory meets, scored a 31 at Level 7 and never scored above 37 until she got to Level 10. And Jade is not an isolated case, even among Olympians. So no matter how they do in the beginning, who knows?

In contrast to Jade, go check out the "No Days Off" videos of Chandler King and Jurzi Cromartie on Youtube, both touted as the "Next Simone Biles". They were training 35 hours a week at the age of 9 and doing insane skills for their ages. But now, despite loads of raw talent, both are completely out of the sport. It's tragic that this still happens so often in gymnastics and I see it over and over, kids that burn too brightly and burnout before reaching their potential and coming to hate the sport that they once loved.

Parents also believe that gymnastics improvement should be linear and that more inputs will produce more outputs, but neither is true. Sean Johnson only trained 24 hours a week at her peak, and I'm starting to believe this is about optimal for any gymnast to avoid injury and burnout. To reach your potential, it's all about staying in the sport and avoiding injury. Also, as you probably experienced with raising your child, development isn't incremental but rather is sudden and abrupt. One day a baby can't crawl, and within a week they are into everything. It's the same in gymnastics, one day they get a firmware update, reboot and they can finally do that kip no problem and never fall again.

Stopping myself from worrying about scores, winning and medals has allowed me to start refocusing on the important stuff you mention in your post, the fantastic benefits that gymnastics in a healthy environment offers. Are their teammates supportive? Are they still happy with the sport? Do their coaches treat them with respect? etc. It's great you already see and appreciate this, it took me a while to get here.

p.s. I would love if USAG imposed a maximum of 20-24 hours per week for all gymnasts under 16 to prevent kids (or heck even Simone Biles) from being pushed too hard.
 
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