Saying No thanks to TOPS

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
Since this is TOPS season, many TOPS threads are cropping up on these forums.

Here comes a controversial question/topic from a different angle...

Are there any parents or gymnasts here who turned down such an opportunity to train for/with the best? This can be for a number of reasons including busy school schedules, lack of confidence, uncertainty of future, leave room for other activities, etc. For those who went for it, resulted in either successful or not-so successful outcome, would you have done things differently?
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
967
We had 2 girls in our gym that opted to not to TOPs due to a busy schedule & in the case of one, the girl really did not like it. Both of them would have made it to Nationals had they tested (without a doubt). It certainly does not work for everyone.
 

Gymdad2

Proud Parent
Jul 11, 2008
438
Ohio
HC refuses to do TOPS - he says in the long run it doesn't befefit the girls so dd never tested.
 

v1hebrews11

Member
Mar 16, 2009
61
We had a couple of people opt out of the training and then a couple more opt out of the testing. We're at a really good gym, but they don't concentrate on TOPs much, so our chances of anyone making it are usually pretty slim. We had one girl make the Diamond level as a 7 year old last year, so she probably did well again this year. I haven't heard any results yet. My daughter and another girl had a slight chance, so I'm hoping they'll have mercy and let us know soon!
 
C

cathiann

Our gym used to do TOPs and Beth participated (had to be invited), but our gym stopped doing it two years ago as the HC didn't feel it beneficial (and we had sent several girls to Nationals over the years.)
 

Ingwe

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2009
760
Region 8
Our gym used to do TOPs and Beth participated (had to be invited), but our gym stopped doing it two years ago as the HC didn't feel it beneficial (and we had sent several girls to Nationals over the years.)



This is our Gym as well. My DD trained TOPS (also invitaiton only) but then the Gym opted not to do it anymore. They also sent several gilrs to the National training camp over the years. I will be honest, I wasn't sad that they opted to do away with the program. LOL


Tracy
 

Tumblequeensmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,451
Caveat: My DD is too old to participate, so I have no feeling on this one way or the other.. BUT: our gym has just started doing this program. The girls chosen are by invitation only. I do know that these girls are absolutely worn out (they practice either team on tops every single day), so the parents are just waiting to see what happens when the fall schedule is posted. How are the girls going to manage school PLUS gymnastics w/o getting burned out? Time will tell.

Our previous gym (an elite training center) did NOT do TOPs. They felt it wasn't beneficial to the girls in the long run, yet they managed to produce elite level gymnasts. One just competed at the Cover Girl Classic and has qualified through to the next competition.
 
D

Dallas Gym Mom

We chose a gym that did not participate in the TOPs program. The head coach felt it wasn't beneficial to the girls in the long run. The girls we know from other gyms who do participate are absolutely worn out and one very promising gymnast quit because between school, the TOPS training and her level 4 season she had way too much on her plate.

.
 

gym-mom-fla

Proud Parent
Nov 15, 2008
185
Florida
I haven't really been posting much this summer because of the craziness (what happened to lazy days of summer?), but your thread caught my eye. My dd was invited into TOPS in March when they introduced the program at our gym. None of our girls were ready to test this summer, which I think has more to do with our gym not letting anyone do anything until it is a close to perfect as possible, and not the girls themselves. I have really struggled with keeping dd in the program. She is exhausted, especially after summer training. She has never complained, and actually says she like it, but after reading some comments here, I wonder if it is worth it. I would rather have her to myself for those two hours!! She is a very hard worker, and pushes herself very hard, like I'm sure many of the dd's here. I have no idea how long she will stay in this sport, but I would hate for her to quit because she was burnt out from exhaustion and the joy was gone. I'm sorry to ramble...you guys just got me thinking! As always, this is just such a great place for a gym parent to come for some perspective!
 
C

cher062

we didn't do it with our girl. But we did do the optional day of training instead. Basiclly the folks who did tops did it on Sat those who didn't do it and wanted extra training and working on routines could come at the same time and would work with one of the other coaches. That was what we did the optional day. Honestly I havent seen any benifit to those who have done TOPS and those who havent other than they get the national ranking.
 
I

iggy1988

I think this is a great question and one that we do debate at the gym amongst parents on occasion. From my perspective, my DD was spending 1.5 hours a week extra for TOPs preparation but she was also spending several more hours at home preparing for TOPs. I have not noticed her being worn out. (yet) but I have noticed that her strength and her skill set have greatly improved. Even some parents have commented to me that they have never seen my daughter as focused as she has been. She has had a very good summer of training and I contribute a lot of it to TOPs. The caveat is this is her first year of testing (she took the class last year as a 8 yr old but was not ready to test) and we will see when we get back from Houston how she is doing physically and emotionally because meet season will be starting. I will report back then how she is doing.

I do have a question for the gyms whose HC does not think it benefits in the long run. Why is that? I would like to hear both sides of the debate. Thanks,

Sean
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
When I stated "TOPS training" in the original post, I implied "training for TOPS" with the goal to test for and participate in the program. Even if one has what it takes, the program takes a lot of time, money and commitment. It also leave no room for anything else in the kids' young lives, which is the hardest part for me to give up.

Our now 13yo opted out to allow a chance to parallel pursue other opportunities outside of gymnastics. Ironically, the decision was made under the recommendation by our very understanding HC at the time, who invited her to join the program in the same breath. We weren't sure of the decision at the time. But, in hind sight 4 year later, having to watch the sacrifices others had gone through (much of it brutal), none of us has regretted having to pass it up.

With that said, I personally think that regular training that integrates some TOPS testing elements (if I put that correctly) is good for the gymnasts, especially at L6 and up. It makes them a lot stronger, more disciplined, more focused and much better performers.
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,525
The gym we started at did TOPs when it first came on the scene with USAG. They dropped the program after a few years due to the "politics" of the those running the whole thing and felt they could train their gymnasts just as well if not better(they do have girls up through elite). My gymmie was picked to be in a TOPs like group when she was on pre-team which added 2 more hours to her schedule. Once she moved up to L5 they were no longer eligible for the program which didn't break my heart.

Current gym does have the TOPs program. Now, gymmie is too old for it. We have 1 girl that has made the national team every year she's tested and is now on the developmental team. Parents are coaches and I remember when she was getting ready for national testing, she seemed to live in the gym----VERY close to burn out. Another girl who tested the same year with her as 9yos, didn't have a good skills test and came back from Houston and quit.

The girls that do TOPs now all put in extra hours just training for the TOPs test plus if they are in that 9-11 yo group are training the skills also. I've noticed a pretty high drop out rate once they hit 9 or 10 due to all the extra hours needed to test.
 
S

starmaker

Interesting debate....

My experience with my dd is that she absolutely LOVES, LOVES Tops training. During the summer she trains an additional hour for tops on 3 of her 4 work outs for a total of 3 hrs a week. Sometimes she will say I don't want to go to class today and all I have to say is today is Tops and she will be dressed and ready to go.

She had an opportunity to test early this summer since her Tops coach is also state manager and let me tell you it was a wonderful positive experience for her. Her scores were not submitted and did not count since she is only 6yo. DD has been very motivated and like iggy said her skills and focus have improved greatly. She has had a fun summer of uptraining and is looking forward to competition season.

Of course now she wants to be compete L5 instead-lol! Last year when she was competing L3 all she talked about was being L4 and now all she wants is L5. I reminded her of this and she laughed at herself!

Personally I think TOPS has had it successes!! :)
 
I

iggy1988

The girls that do TOPs now all put in extra hours just training for the TOPs test plus if they are in that 9-11 yo group are training the skills also. I've noticed a pretty high drop out rate once they hit 9 or 10 due to all the extra hours needed to test.[/quote]

This is obviously something I do not want to see happen. She is living at the gym right not, that is for sure... Everybody is scaring me:confused:
 

snowbound

Member
Jan 2, 2009
179
I guess I'm a little lost here. Our gym does the TOPS testing (they offer it to the top 5 girls after spring fitness tests) but we don't have a special "class" for TOPS training. our L4's go 12 hours a week, how many hours are other groups doing? My DD was actually supposed to move up to a group that does 16 hrs a week, but they have too many girls, so she is staying with the 12 for now and supplementing at home (which she would do anyway even if she were going 16 hrs, because that's the kind of kid she is)

I guess I'm just wondering how many hours a week leads to burnout? (I realize that number varies from child to child, but there must be a kind of average) This is the first year that I've even been aware of the TOPS program (we love our gym,but communication is NOT their strong suit!)

Snowbound
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,525
The girls that do TOPs now all put in extra hours just training for the TOPs test plus if they are in that 9-11 yo group are training the skills also. I've noticed a pretty high drop out rate once they hit 9 or 10 due to all the extra hours needed to test.

This is obviously something I do not want to see happen. She is living at the gym right not, that is for sure... Everybody is scaring me:confused:[/QUOTE]

What I meant was many girls drop out of the TOPs program at about age 9 or 10---they still are on team. I think the extra hours of doing all the strength, flexibility and skills starts to really stress them because they also have regular team practice and meets.
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
I think there are different factors here...

I guess I'm a little lost here. Our gym does the TOPS testing (they offer it to the top 5 girls after spring fitness tests) but we don't have a special "class" for TOPS training.
There has to be unless your gym admits nothing but the cream of the crop and nothing else, which would not make good business sense. TOPS training is very intensive. Many gymnasts cannot handle it and do not want to be a part of it (as most don't even like doing normal conditioning).

how many hours are other groups doing?
I guess it's a bit misleading when we speak of only hours. TOPS training is not only about time trained. It's the intensity and the amount of drills involved. It's about being able to meet testing requirements (based on age). Please take a look at the video in one of the recent TOPS thread. Kids who can handle it are clearly the best in this sport.

This is the first year that I've even been aware of the TOPS program (we love our gym,but communication is NOT their strong suit!)
I'm not surprised that you don't hear much about it. To avoid additional friction amongst gymnasts (and parents), I don't expect any gyms to openly talk about day-to-day details pertaining to TOPS. TOPS kids are by invitation only. They train more, get more recognition and get much more of the coach's time/attention (and usually pay more in tuition as well). But, with almost no exception, these kids earn their spots being there.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
I so wish our gym offered a TOPS program. We don't and that is so unfortunate. The closest gym is 45 minutes away that offeres it and with the training schedule it is not a commute we can do. I do feel strongly that if we had it DD would be in the program. for 6 years old she has incrediable strength and flexibility. Also the xtra hours would not affect her due to her wanting to do the conditioning and more practicing when she gets home. Most of her afternoons are on her beam and tramp
 

jls1969

Member
Sep 27, 2007
105
Our HC doesn't do the TOPS testing either. We are at a strong gym and have had several elites. There are reasons why--but I feel he believes strongly that his program doesn't need any others to supplement. The girls have a very regimented routine every day and not much time for extra hours. Our team is also difficult to be selected and placed on (there is a tough evaluation process)...once you are on, there are no other distinctions other than your dd's coaches and level. The girls seem to do most of the things that are part of the TOPS testing in their daily routine and I think the coaches use some of the testing as part of the evaluation process in fact. Not sure if that adds to the discussion of why not ( I have yet to figure out how to make the quote thing work :) )
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

New Posts