For Parents Spin-off from College Thread - Can we talk D3?

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Flounder

Proud Parent
Dec 4, 2015
74
In the other college post, I saw a question for a parent to describe what it is like for their gymnast who is a D3 athlete. We have started thinking about colleges and, while my gymnast isn't considering D1, she doesn't want to walk away from the gym when she graduates. While club is an option, hearing that most don't compete above a 7/8 means it would be a step backwards. Of course, that makes it easier to balance gym and school, but she'd also like to keep working towards new goals. She hopes to compete as a 10 before leaving HS. So, if anyone has a D3 gymnast, can you tell us what that is like? Most D3 schools are smaller than what my gymnast was considering, but things can change between now and then.

Thank you!
 

pt coach

Coach
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2009
195
We have had 4 gymnasts from our gym compete for D3 schools in recent years. They absolutely loved their experiences, both academically and athletically. They had wonderful supportive coaches and teammates and really made the most out of their experiences.

All had been accepted into the premier large state university in our state but could not step away from gymnastics so they chose to attend the smaller schools. Turns out they loved the smaller class experience at their D3 schools. 3 of the 4 have now moved on to prestigious universities for grad/professional degrees.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,597
My dd is a rising college senior D3 gymnast in the East and she is loving her experience. Not sure what info you're looking for so I will just mention a few and you can ask specifically. The team trains 20 hrs per week - this includes weight training and other conditioning activities. The have 8-10 regular season competitions, then regionals (all teams qualify) and nationals if they are top 3 in the region. So yes they compete every weekend, sometimes 2 in one weekend. So meet season is very crazy time wise and they are exhausted by the end of the season. This year was the first full season D had since 2020 was cut short and then D3 East choose not to have a season in 2021 due to Covid - the west had their season though. As for the college size - yes many of them are smaller but that fit my d just fine. She initially wanted to go to a state school and try for their D1 teams but after visiting them, she didn't like the fit/feel of the huge campuses and enrollments. The small school atmosphere is perfect for her but I know of others who have not been happy with it. As for the gym itself, it will vary. Some have good set ups. Others not so much. Dd's school is one of the better ones.

D likes that she has good balance between gym and studies. She is studying abroad this coming fall as well - something that would be unheard of at most D1s. Is she posting super high scores? No but she is doing well for D3 and she has continued to insert new skills into her routines during the past 3 years.

If your dd is still interested once she is a junior, I would encourage her to start reaching out to the D3 coaches. That's when they really start looking to firm up their future rosters. Many will commit during the first semester of their senior year. Others will wait to see if they can get a walk on spot of a D1 and then commit later toward graduation.
 

Flounder

Proud Parent
Dec 4, 2015
74
Thanks for the feedback! My gymnast has a few years, but has a friend who will be going to a D3 program next year, so it's on her radar.
 

GymCMLA

Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2014
446
47
My dd is a rising college senior D3 gymnast in the East and she is loving her experience. Not sure what info you're looking for so I will just mention a few and you can ask specifically. The team trains 20 hrs per week - this includes weight training and other conditioning activities. The have 8-10 regular season competitions, then regionals (all teams qualify) and nationals if they are top 3 in the region. So yes they compete every weekend, sometimes 2 in one weekend. So meet season is very crazy time wise and they are exhausted by the end of the season. This year was the first full season D had since 2020 was cut short and then D3 East choose not to have a season in 2021 due to Covid - the west had their season though. As for the college size - yes many of them are smaller but that fit my d just fine. She initially wanted to go to a state school and try for their D1 teams but after visiting them, she didn't like the fit/feel of the huge campuses and enrollments. The small school atmosphere is perfect for her but I know of others who have not been happy with it. As for the gym itself, it will vary. Some have good set ups. Others not so much. Dd's school is one of the better ones.

D likes that she has good balance between gym and studies. She is studying abroad this coming fall as well - something that would be unheard of at most D1s. Is she posting super high scores? No but she is doing well for D3 and she has continued to insert new skills into her routines during the past 3 years.

If your dd is still interested once she is a junior, I would encourage her to start reaching out to the D3 coaches. That's when they really start looking to firm up their future rosters. Many will commit during the first semester of their senior year. Others will wait to see if they can get a walk on spot of a D1 and then commit later toward graduation.
I love to hear this. My oldest gymnast will be at a D3 out east in the fall. It checked all of her college boxes (except the close to home part) and she is so excited.
 

Leo7

New Member
Jun 3, 2022
25
My dd is a rising college senior D3 gymnast in the East and she is loving her experience. Not sure what info you're looking for so I will just mention a few and you can ask specifically. The team trains 20 hrs per week - this includes weight training and other conditioning activities. The have 8-10 regular season competitions, then regionals (all teams qualify) and nationals if they are top 3 in the region. So yes they compete every weekend, sometimes 2 in one weekend. So meet season is very crazy time wise and they are exhausted by the end of the season. This year was the first full season D had since 2020 was cut short and then D3 East choose not to have a season in 2021 due to Covid - the west had their season though. As for the college size - yes many of them are smaller but that fit my d just fine. She initially wanted to go to a state school and try for their D1 teams but after visiting them, she didn't like the fit/feel of the huge campuses and enrollments. The small school atmosphere is perfect for her but I know of others who have not been happy with it. As for the gym itself, it will vary. Some have good set ups. Others not so much. Dd's school is one of the better ones.

D likes that she has good balance between gym and studies. She is studying abroad this coming fall as well - something that would be unheard of at most D1s. Is she posting super high scores? No but she is doing well for D3 and she has continued to insert new skills into her routines during the past 3 years.

If your dd is still interested once she is a junior, I would encourage her to start reaching out to the D3 coaches. That's when they really start looking to firm up their future rosters. Many will commit during the first semester of their senior year. Others will wait to see if they can get a walk on spot of a D1 and then commit later toward graduation.
Does the timing work out waiting until senior year or even towards graduation if waiting to try to get a walk-on D1 spot? What are roster limits of D3 teams?
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,597
Does the timing work out waiting until senior year or even towards graduation if waiting to try to get a walk-on D1 spot? What are roster limits of D3 teams?
You would need to start talking with the D3 coaches before then. Mine started in the summer before senior year. Some gymnasts do commit as rising seniors or fall semester, but yes, many of the gymnasts wait until the spring semester of their senior year before they officially commit to the D3. Most of the time it is because they are still hoping for a walk-on spot on a D1 team. Also, usually these gymnasts have not considered these d3 colleges before so they have to go through the application process as well, and wait for acceptance before the coach will offer a spot. Some of these colleges are private (expensive) so the financial aid packet plays a part in the decision as well. My dd was sure about her decision so she applied early action and committed in Dec after she was accepted and we had seen her financial aid package.

There are no athletic scholarships for D3 so the roster limit is primarily on how much the coach wants on the team, and expenses. We have seen low as 15 (which is really too low especially D3 as there are many more specialists from past injuries) and as high as 30. The norm is 18-23. Some D3s are more competitive than others so their rosters might fill faster, by the end of fall semester.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,597
You would need to start talking with the D3 coaches before then. Mine started in the summer before senior year. Some gymnasts do commit as rising seniors or fall semester, but yes, many of the gymnasts wait until the spring semester of their senior year before they officially commit to the D3. Most of the time it is because they are still hoping for a walk-on spot on a D1 team. Also, usually these gymnasts have not considered these d3 colleges before so they have to go through the application process as well, and wait for acceptance before the coach will offer a spot. Some of these colleges are private (expensive) so the financial aid packet plays a part in the decision as well. My dd was sure about her decision so she applied early action and committed in Dec after she was accepted and we had seen her financial aid package.

There are no athletic scholarships for D3 so the roster limit is primarily on how much the coach wants on the team, and expenses. We have seen low as 15 (which is really too low especially D3 as there are many more specialists from past injuries) and as high as 30. The norm is 18-23. Some D3s are more competitive than others so their rosters might fill faster, by the end of fall semester.
oops, I misread Leos post.
As for D1, yes, you would need to be in contact with the coaches well before senior year in general so you are on their radar. Spots open up due to changing of commitments, career ending injuries, grades, etc. Some of the lower ranked teams still need specialty spots. Sometimes coaches leave one or two spots open to catch a gymnasts that hasn't been on the radar. If a gymnasts has been injured or is an unproven L10 but has the skills in training, the coaches will watch how their senior season goes before extending a spot. Just from knowledge of some recruits on dd's d3 team, a few have gotten spots on D1s during their senior season (spring semester)
 

Leo7

New Member
Jun 3, 2022
25
You would need to start talking with the D3 coaches before then. Mine started in the summer before senior year. Some gymnasts do commit as rising seniors or fall semester, but yes, many of the gymnasts wait until the spring semester of their senior year before they officially commit to the D3. Most of the time it is because they are still hoping for a walk-on spot on a D1 team. Also, usually these gymnasts have not considered these d3 colleges before so they have to go through the application process as well, and wait for acceptance before the coach will offer a spot. Some of these colleges are private (expensive) so the financial aid packet plays a part in the decision as well. My dd was sure about her decision so she applied early action and committed in Dec after she was accepted and we had seen her financial aid package.

There are no athletic scholarships for D3 so the roster limit is primarily on how much the coach wants on the team, and expenses. We have seen low as 15 (which is really too low especially D3 as there are many more specialists from past injuries) and as high as 30. The norm is 18-23. Some D3s are more competitive than others so their rosters might fill faster, by the end of fall semester.
Thank you, this is very helpful!
 
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