For Parents Spin Off The "Confused" Post, Question about Elite Training

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skygirlpc

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Mar 3, 2016
175
I'm just curious for more information after reading through the "Confused Myself" thread. I'm not really interested in doing junior elite with my 8yr old (level 4) but I do wonder if she may want to do senior elite someday. Is it possible for a child to go elite in a town with no elite gyms? I believe we only have one gym close to us that has even sent a girl to college and that was a D1 school last year or 2 years ago. I'm just wondering if it is possible to acheive elite in a town like this or would we have to move?

This is all totally hypothetical, I'm just curious about the dynamics. My child will probably never make it that far just trying to learn a little more.
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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If there are no gyms within commuting distance which would agree to coach elite, you would have to move. That being said if you’re putting so much time and money into elite gymnastics I would go to a tried and tested elite gym, not your backyard one which hasn’t trained optionals yet.
 

welovethegym

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Oct 12, 2022
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Region 6
You would have to move (or commute), or convince gym owners to add an elite program. I know our gym is strictly no elite, but a gym about 1.5hrs is a big elite gym. So if my DD wanted to do elite (which she wouldn't just hypothetical), we would probably commute or move a little closer.
 

Flicfliclay

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Aug 12, 2016
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Also, just keep in mind... that one doesn't just decide they want to be and elite. Elite level gymnast are not common. It takes a really special athlete to become and elite and maintain that level. It may seem like there are a lot, but in reality i think it's around 100 or so. Some may say they are training elite, but that does not make one and elite gymnast. Of course i am not directing this at your daughter. Just as general knowledge.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
448
... or convince gym owners to add an elite program.
I think that's a real big false economy. There's more to coaching elites than just an owner/coach wanting to do it. If they have the inclination to coach at the highest level (which they would need for you to successfully convince them) but haven't done so -- you can probably presume it's because they don't know how.

Why would you pay for, and subject your kid to, elite training from someone without experience? I think you either (1) settle for what's around you, or (2) move to somewhere with an existing elite infrastructure. Trying to convince someone to build that infrastructure for your kid is not going to work out very well IMO.
 

catchingupmom

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May 4, 2022
43
Just to throw in my two cents, if they've produce a D1 athlete then they presumably coach optionals likely up to level ten which means that they have a lot of knowledge, and by the time this child reaches that stage they may be poised to train elite. We had a national level coach at our gym who retired and we don't have anyone currently at that level to replace them, but we have a couple of years (due to levels of gymnasts currently at the gym- our elites left for college) for the next highest level coach to upgrade to that placement. It may be worth meeting with the head coach to discuss the direction of the gym and what they are able to offer as the years go on.
 

JBS

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The stars must align for elite to work out. There have been many athletes that move around the country for the best "elite" coaching only to become excellent level 10's. Then there is that one that had the coach that never trained an elite before... I think their names were Simone and Aimee?

 

JBS

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An interesting thing about many coaches that are able to coach at the elite level... they can get almost nothing out of average level athletes. Pair them up with an athlete that has elite physical abilities and elite mindset though... bam... watch them go.
 

JPC13

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Mar 25, 2022
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An interesting thing about many coaches that are able to coach at the elite level... they can get almost nothing out of average level athletes. Pair them up with an athlete that has elite physical abilities and elite mindset though... bam... watch them go.
That's not surprising. It's a totally different mindset between "be your best self" and "be the best in the world at what you're doing." I both teach undergrads and I advise PhD students. They both require a lot from me, but the things that they require are totally different.
 
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JBS

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The simplest analogy for Level 10 to Elite would be NASCAR to Formula 1 (open wheel)... however... if you don't know racing... then that makes no sense to you.

Level 10 is like NASCAR... you can bump and grind your way to the top...



Formula 1 is like elite... you just have to be good... or you are done...

 
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Pigeon

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Mar 10, 2015
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The simplest analogy for Level 10 to Elite would be NASCAR to Formula 1 (open wheel)... however... if you don't know racing... then that makes no sense to you.
Ok, I know this isn't the point of this thread, but I have to disagree on this one...Nascar and Formula 1 are two different sports. That might be like comparing rhythmic gymnastics to artistic. They just aren't the same :cool:
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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I think that's a real big false economy. There's more to coaching elites than just an owner/coach wanting to do it. If they have the inclination to coach at the highest level (which they would need for you to successfully convince them) but haven't done so -- you can probably presume it's because they don't know how.
All Elite coaches had to learn at some point
 

JBS

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Ok, I know this isn't the point of this thread, but I have to disagree on this one...Nascar and Formula 1 are two different sports. That might be like comparing rhythmic gymnastics to artistic. They just aren't the same

Completely different rules... but it's the same cartwheel... there have been plenty to cross between F1 and NASCAR.

While I have stated that the Xcel cartwheel and the DP cartwheel and the Elite cartwheel are all the same... the rules are not. If something has rules that are completely different... it's basically bordering on a different sport.

When I dove into the world of elite women's gymnastics I found out one thing... it's completely different than what I had been doing for years... it's a different sport.

The world of men's gymnastics there is a very large cross over in JO and elite gymnastics... it's just not that way in women's gymnastics... getting closer... but not yet.

That racing analogy was explained to me over a beer with a group of elite women's coaches at the Ranch. Whether you agree or not... there are definitely people that think like this.

You basically just made my entire point... elite gymnastics is NOT the same sport as DP / JO in WAG. It's that different.
 

JBS

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I'm just wondering if it is possible to acheive elite in a town like this or would we have to move?

"Elite" is a factor of the athlete first and the coaching second. While athletes will have little to no shot in elite gymnastics without proper coaching... selecting an elite athlete is more important.

Here is a quote from an email long ago about being invited into the lower level camp structure...

There are two major factors to being invited: 1) A perfect handstand on every event. As I said numerous times at the Ranch, "Straight is straight. It is non-negotiable." Any pike in the hip, chest out or shoulder angle is not straight and therefore not impressive to ******. 2) Good legs. It is not so much that the gymnast must have a lot of hard tricks. What matters is she is very bouncy and whatever she does she does high and fast easily. Fast and bouncy can be improved but for the most part it is either natural or not. Teaching girls how to swing bars with good technique is much easier than teaching girls how to tumble high.

In other words... make sure you have a "fast twitch" athlete before you even go down the road of elite gymnastics.

Elite = beat everyone. If someone is doing that... they may get invited into the camp system... it used to be that the camp system would educate the average coach into an elite mindset... not sure about now.

To answer the question... most likely you would have to move. However... the stars could align.
 

JBS

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This is obviously just my opinion... but you don't just train JO and then add 5 more release moves to your bar set when you want to go elite. It's a whole mindset shift that happens early on.

This is for the world of WAG only...
  • Competing at Level 10 is NOTHING like Hopes or Elite. The rules dictate that it is completely different.
  • Competing at Level 10 is actually very similar to competing in college as the rules are much more similar.
In the Developmental Program (DP / JO) in the US... E + D scoring is not used. This fact alone creates a mindset that is as different as NASCAR and F1. Same cartwheel though.
 

Pigeon

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Mar 10, 2015
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Same cartwheel though.
Not the same cartwheel. Not the same wheel, tire, track, sensors, down force, team...sport. Again, I'm going with the artistic vs rhythmic comparison. Both gymnastics, not the same sport.

It might be helpful if you spell out the rules that make L10 completely different from elite.

I don't think the E+ D mindset is as different as you are implying...men's gymnastics uses it and many of us non-elite types can sort through that. Calculating connection bonuses, D, E bonuses in L10 is a different way of calculating difficulty, but it's capped at a 10/10.1 start...it's math...and then having an athlete that can make that math work. L10: "elite-lite".

I think the L10 system is one of the reasons US gymnastics is so strong. Your elite gymnast isn't born with a stamp that says "elite". She starts where everyone else starts. In a gym, somewhere.

Not the point of this thread, but trust me when I say your Nascar and F1 drivers don't start in the same place as each other. Do you think Americans don't have elite drivers capable of succeeding at F1, just because there aren't American drivers on the F1 circuit? Kids start racing differently in the US as compared to Europe. Doesn't mean they aren't super talented. Different access. Different goals. Different sports. Different outcomes.

(FWIW, I don't particularly care for Nascar or F1. And I've never had beer with anyone from the ranch, I'm sure those guys watch a lot of F1. But every weekend I'm not spending in gymnastics with one kid, I'm spending it at a racetrack with another).
 
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GymAir

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This is a little bit of a sidetrack, but I don’t think it’s enough to have a talented kid and a coach capable of coaching elite. Elite coaching is a huge drain on a gym. Now you have a coach that needs to make trips to the National camps, etc - and if you’re really successful will be gone longer for international assignments - that’s a lot of time your “best” coach isn’t coaching the other high level kids. So in that sense it’s much better to have a group of elites who all need the same coaching. But I guess that’s also the difference between gyms that have successful elite athletes and those just trying to get a kid qualified as elite.
 

JBS

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It's funny how everything that you tell me about racing is exactly why it was picked for the analogy. People just don't understand how different elite vs L10 is in WAG gymnastics.

Not the same cartwheel. Not the same wheel, tire, track, sensors, down force, team...sport. Again, I'm going with the artistic vs rhythmic comparison. Both gymnastics, not the same sport.

You might be surprised how different the equipment can actually be in gymnastics. The bars set at FIG... or how about a coach that tensions the bars either looser or tighter based on an athlete? Or how about going to a camp with National Staff and having them tell us that we should purchase a different brand of equipment for our gym based on the "feel" of it. What about a vault board that you are not allowed to change the springs in? There are differences in the equipment in L10 vs elite. While some of them may not be an extreme adjustment... bars is. If a taller athlete was trained to L10 on wide bars... they will struggle to shrink them down to FIG.

It might be helpful if you spell out the rules that make L10 completely different from elite.

Very simple... elite is open ended... L10 is a 10.1. There is absolutely no reason to get more than a 10.1 at L10 (maybe a backup combo or something if you break one... but nothing major). You don't get more by doing more at L10 after you are at a 10.1.

This is WAG only. Men are brought up in a modified FIG system. L10 WAG is not "more is better"... completely the opposite actually.

I don't think the E+ D mindset is as different as you are implying...men's gymnastics uses it and many of us non-elite types can sort through that. Calculating connection bonuses, D, E bonuses in L10 is a different way of calculating difficulty, but it's capped at a 10/10.1 start...it's math...and then having an athlete that can make that math work. L10: "elite-lite".

The fact that someone can understand how the scoring works has nothing to do with it. The E + D system is actually easier to understand.

The MAG program has always tried to stay in alignment with elite gymnastics... same with men's NCAA. The WAG Dev program is in direct alignment with the NCAA... which is obviously not in alignment with elite... not even a little bit.

I think the L10 system is one of the reasons US gymnastics is so strong. Your elite gymnast isn't born with a stamp that says "elite". She starts where everyone else starts. In a gym, somewhere.

Um... not sure about this. There are basically two ways into elite.
  1. The athlete is just so outstanding that no matter what happens they just can't be missed (Simone is a basic example... Jade Carey as well).
  2. There was a coach somewhere along the line with a stamp that said "elite". They stamped the athlete. This athlete was now able to "access" different coaches / training groups.
Not the point of this thread, but trust me when I say your Nascar and F1 drivers don't start in the same place as each other. Do you think Americans don't have elite drivers capable of succeeding at F1, just because there aren't American drivers on the F1 circuit? Kids start racing differently in the US as compared to Europe. Doesn't mean they aren't super talented. Different access. Different goals. Different sports. Different outcomes.

Fully aware... you are fully proving my point... your Simones and Jades will make it to elite... they are just that good... that's the one way.

The other way is as you stated above. Have someone that has above average talent... but not super talented. Give them different "access"... different "goals"... train them in a different car... different "outcomes".

Bottom line... it is possible to train for elite gymnastics without being super talented... but only if you get a "stamp".

FWIW, I don't particularly care for Nascar or F1. And I've never had beer with anyone from the ranch, I'm sure those guys watch a lot of F1. But every weekend I'm not spending in gymnastics with one kid, I'm spending it at a racetrack with another).

I love racing... just a fan though. Grew up next to a dragway. The coolest thing I have ever done in racing was a flag boat (official boat) in an offshore power boat race. I have two daughters and a son in gymnastics.
 
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