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bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
I don't understand why so many people are poo pooing her dreams. I


I would suggest you talk to her coaches and maybe even get the opinions of some elite coaches. Good luck in your decision!

People are not poo pooing her dreams , they are just answering honestly to a question the OP has asked about her 11 yo daughter who will be repeating Level 8 this year about the feasibility of elite ....she still needs to get through Levels 9 and 10 and then elite (because elite is beyond level 10 and not just level 11) . She very well may get there but the OP was talking about moving and such and I think people who have been in the sport a while were just trying to give some insight on the long road that is gymnastics....

To the second point I highlighted "maybe get the opinions of some elite coaches" ...we were in a gym with elites and National team members and my personal experience is that these "elite coaches" only want to deal with their own elites ...they barely have time for the rest of the girls in their own gym, never mind people coming in looking for their kid to get looked at ...so if the OP wanted that , I would approach that on a coach to coach basis initially (have OP's coach contact elite coach to see how to proceed) versus just showing up at a gym and thinking the coach is going to evaluate her...
 
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lhmom

Proud Parent
Jul 22, 2010
1,596
Region 8
DD's HC has always made it clear that they would not do an elite program and that girls would have to go elsewhere if that was their goal. There is a girl that used to train at her gym who is now competing junior elite at a well known gym. However, her parents had already planned a move before that for job reasons. Best of both worlds-she gets to train at the elite level but without the pressure (must succeed because she "uprooted" her family). Hopefully, you can get some answers from her coaches about the best route for her. Hope that it all works out!
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
Yes she can do a layout step out on high with no pads and several other acro skills on beam.

Okay, well that tells a different story than "11 year old repeating level 8." It would be helpful if we knew the skills she could do and what is her background in the sport (i.e. started team 5 years ago? two years ago?). If you're in a JO track gym there's no incentive to move an 11 year old to level 9, so that's not something I get stuck when I read something like this. In the JO gym scenario, I fully support NOT moving an 11 year old to level 9 because there's no reason to.

But still, it's not about just having the skills, but also range/ease of movement, her ability to compete under pressure, body type (as much as I hate to bring that last factor up, it is somewhat of a factor). There's really no way to say through a message board "yes, you should consider moving so your daughter can try elite gymnastics." It's a big proposition. I can say if I were you, I would only do it if I was sure my daughter couldn't just make it, but was extremely gifted. And there's no way to begin making any sort of plan without having someone who can observe her practice and abilities comment on whether it's realistic or not.
 

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Okay, well that tells a different story than "11 year old repeating level 8." It would be helpful if we knew the skills she could do and what is her background in the sport (i.e. started team 5 years ago? two years ago?). If you're in a JO track gym there's no incentive to move an 11 year old to level 9, so that's not something I get stuck when I read something like this. In the JO gym scenario, I fully support NOT moving an 11 year old to level 9 because there's no reason to.

But still, it's not about just having the skills, but also range/ease of movement, her ability to compete under pressure, body type (as much as I hate to bring that last factor up, it is somewhat of a factor). There's really no way to say through a message board "yes, you should consider moving so your daughter can try elite gymnastics." It's a big proposition. I can say if I were you, I would only do it if I was sure my daughter couldn't just make it, but was extremely gifted. And there's no way to begin making any sort of plan without having someone who can observe her practice and abilities comment on whether it's realistic or not.

Other things that would be helpful in answering the OP's query would also be how successful has she been so far...was she on a TOPS team or even TOPS trained? has she been winning her meets at level 8 ( or even events...does she go to meets and win beam every time)? does she compete well at her meets around the country or has she mostly competed locally in smaller meets?
Did she make regionals? If she's done really well as an 8, then that would be a better predictor going forward...
 

cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
3,007
Other things that would be helpful in answering the OP's query would also be how successful has she been so far...was she on a TOPS team or even TOPS trained?

Hang on..... Isn't it Dunno or someone else who's in the know that has repeatedly stated that there are many successful elites who never went through TOPS? Or says something like there has never been an Olympian who went through TOPS? Am I mis-remembering?
 
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Seeker

Proud Parent
Aug 30, 2012
6,687
USA
No....I remember him (or IWC?) say that as well. I think that there are many factors and 'cosmic' events that result in one making an Olympic team, but going Elite doesn't necessarily mean "Olympian". I am curious as to what Dunno has to say...he's been on hiatus for a while though...I hope he's on vacation!
 

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Hang on..... Isn't it Dunno or someone else who's in the know that has repeatedly stated that there are many successful elites who never went through TOPS? Or says something like there has never been an Olympian who went through TOPS? Am I mis-remembering?

You are correct that you do not need TOPS to be elite or go to the Olympics but I was just asking it as a gauge of where she is/has been and where her gym is/has been in terms of training...it wasn't the only question to be asked but just one in trying to see how successful she has been so far...for example, if she HAS been on a TOPS team , chances are she has been to the Ranch and her coaches have been exposed to the whole TOPS/HOPES system. The question wasn't meant to define her but more to see what she's already done and how she could use that going forward.
 

leotardmakermum

Proud Parent
Nov 6, 2012
333
Australia
I think the best thing you can do is talk to her coach. At age 7, our daughter decided she wanted to go to the Olympics as a gymnast. We had no idea if there was any likelihood of that happening, so we talked to her coaches. They said that yes, they could see that with her natural abilities and her hard work ethic, that there was an excellent chance of her doing that. They were unable to support her training at their gym, so with their blessing we moved her to a gym which does IDP (Australian international stream). Her current head coach also tells us she has very special abilities and a very special body and their plan is very much for her to be competing at the Olympics.

As parents, we have no idea about these things. When she went to her first comp, we told her just to have fun, and she won it. We were shocked. We remain shocked. But my point is that we as parents think our daughter is wonderful, and amazing and all that, but honestly we have/had no idea whether she is/was any good. So we defer to the opinions of experienced coaches who we respect (one of whom was previously a national coach, so he knows elite!).

My advice is ask the coach. :)
 
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momof5

Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
Let's see if I can answer some questions. She also has an side aerial on high beam, back tuck on high beam, layout stepout series. She can connect several c leaps and jumps on beam. She has a double back on rod but has never tried it on floor. Coach says she doesn't need to practice it on floor yet since he won't put in in her routine till level 10. She also has several c leaps on floor and a C turn. She has a front layout to front pike pass. She does not yet have her 1 1/2 connected to a tuck. This is the big reason she will not do 9. On bars she has on overshoot but not yet connected to the piroutte. She does beautiful pirouttes, clear hip to handstands, really nice straight giants, a double back dismount, and front giants and can piroutte out of them and connect them to giants. She can do 10 press handstands.

She placed top 3 at states and regionals with only a 9.8 start value vault. In local meets she generally places top 3. She placed in the top half in her age group at states and regionals and that was with a fall on beam at both meets. She generally competes quite well minus beam. She gets nervous on beam but it gets better for her every year. Level 4 and 5 beam was a mess. She did 6 months at level 4, a year at level 5. Skipped 6 and moved to 7 for a year and then did level 8 last year.

I agree that I should probably talk to her coach but I am trying to figure out a few things first. He is like what someone else said he doesn't want to invest the time and energy in doing a JO and elite program combine. The girls were talking out elite in general after the Olympics and this is what he said according to my DD. His goal is to have a good JO program.

I hope I have given a little more background information.
 

SignHere

Proud Parent
Jul 11, 2011
518
There have been several Olympians who have been TOPS athletes. Also, OPs daughter is interested in elite track and National team, specifically, which is a different goal (and more realistic, i might add, than, Olympics).

TOPs is a good question, because if the gym has TOPs kids, or trains TOPs, then there are a few different scenarios that could be occurring:

1. Everyone trains TOPs, but no one tests. OPs DD would not have had the opportunity to test and go to the ranch for camp, but would be used to that type of conditioning workout, which is based on National Team workout.

2. Only select girls train TOPs and either test or not. OPs DD was chosen to train.
- in this situation , we know the coaches believe that DD has potential and are willing to invest more time in her.

3. Only select girls train TOPs and either test or not. OPs DD was NOT chosen to train.
- in this situation, we know the coaches believe that, while DD is a talented gymnast, she is lacking strength and flexibility, discipline, coachableness, or mental toughness required of an athlete in their gym's TOPs program WHATEVER THAT CONSTITUTES.

So, the presence of a TOPs program, in some gyms, is a moneymaker (you pay your money and your kid can train and test, regardless of likelihood of success at the test), but at some gyms, is an invitation-only program . At those gyms, you could realistically use your DD's involvement and success in TOPs at age 7,8,9 and 10 as an indicator of possible success in going elite. The reason why there are Olympians AND elite gymnasts who have not participated in TOPs is that the program is designed for gymnasts who are not at National Training Center gyms. So there aren't going to be any WOGA and Chow's gymnasts participating in TOPs, right?

So, I figured that if OPs DD had gone to TOPs camp, she would have mentioned it in her post. (i.e., "DD went to TOPs A camp 3 years in a row and was so impressive that Bela himself just loved her, yadda, yadda, yadda").

I suppose the whole TOPs question is really a shorthand way of saying, "Can she do press handstands? how many? Can she climb the rope in the gym with her legs piked to the side using only her arms to 12 feet? How fast? Can she hold a handstand perfectly straight for 30 seconds? Can she do 20 half leg lifts with perfectly straight legs without stopping? Can she go into over splits on both good and bad legs perfectly square without supporting herself with her hands? Can she do 10 perfectly straight cast handstands?

Yes? Now she needs do all her skills perfectly too.
 

momof5

Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
Her gym does not do tops. I think she can do all the TOPs condtioning stuff. Not sure if she could do 10 perfect straight cast handstands as her gym mostly straddles. She however can straight body cast and is one of the few in her gym that can.
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
Is this an indicator of something?

That she isn't a level 8 on beam.

Sounds like she hasn't been in gymnastics that long then, the progress is good. But there's no way for us to say for sure, again, I recommend you speak to the coaches and look into an evaluation. What level she is competing this year doesn't matter as long as she keeps progressing, but you would need to get the ball rolling soon.
 

wallflower

Proud Parent
May 16, 2012
2,362
CA
You have already had great answers. Just a few things I'd like to add and ask. I would encourage your DD and support her in any way you can. If that means moving gyms, go for it. I'd also take the time to introduce to her the many paths to high level gymnastics. Maybe take her to a college meet. Show her what a high level some of these teams perform at. Maybe take her to see a team that is full of elites and some Olympians/world team members. Not to encourage her to give up the dream of being an elite, but to show her that if she does make elite, but perhaps isn't Olympic team material, there are great options.

I'm curious myself what age is appropriate to start thinking about elite or asking questions. Is level 8 too early? Is it age or level that you want to look at? I certainly don't think 11 is too young to have a chance at elite and if that is really what she wants it's probably better to start looking and asking sooner rather than later.
 
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leotardmakermum

Proud Parent
Nov 6, 2012
333
Australia
I'm curious myself what age is appropriate to start thinking about elite or asking questions. Is level 8 too early? Is it age or level that you want to look at? I certainly don't think 11 is too young to have a chance at elite and if that is really what she wants it's probably better to start looking and asking sooner rather than later.

Here in Australia you pretty much have to be in the international stream by age 8 or 9 or it is seen as "too late". There would be exceptions, but not often. Obviously things are quite different in the US, but I would think that the earlier you're working towards your goal, the better. Just my personal opinion. :)

Also keep in mind the US has produced many more medalling gymnasts than Australia ever has... ;-)
 
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JessLW

Proud Parent
Apr 30, 2011
271
Beijing
That she isn't a level 8 on beam.

Sounds like she hasn't been in gymnastics that long then, the progress is good. But there's no way for us to say for sure, again, I recommend you speak to the coaches and look into an evaluation. What level she is competing this year doesn't matter as long as she keeps progressing, but you would need to get the ball rolling soon.

I was going to say this as well. Don't put it off too long. If she wants to go elite, she needs to start training at an elite facility soon.

I would try my best to find a gym that trains elites, even baby-elites (that is, not necessarily national team members or Olympians) or is willing to try, and go from there. You don't have to move to another city or have her go live with another family somewhere (there might come a time when that's necessary, but it isn't now), but she needs to be in a program that is willing to train her to elite standards. It sounds like her current gym is not willing, even if they are able. Do some research. This site can be an excellent resource and there are probably members who would be willing to privately steer you in the right direction as far as local gyms go.

I don't think it is too late at all, but you also don't really want to leave it much longer if this is what she really wants, and what you all, as a family, decide is best.
 
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exgymnastmomx3

Proud Parent
Jul 17, 2009
140
In regards to asking the coach if a gymnast has what it takes to be an elite, I personally believe that there just isn't a crystal ball for this sport-too much can happen as most of us know. Yes, a coach can tell you that your dd ISN'T elite material, but TO ME it's really only a guess at best. I had 4 different coaches tell me my dd was elite material and I knew in my heart that she wasn't. She had the talent, the drive, the work ethic, the skills, our support, but she didn't have the mental toughness. For elite gymnastics, a gymnast has to be the entire package and that's very difficult to predict, IMO. The coaches input is still very important, but it's not written in stone.
 

wallinbl

Proud Parent
Jan 30, 2012
1,708
I'm curious myself what age is appropriate to start thinking about elite or asking questions. Is level 8 too early? Is it age or level that you want to look at? I certainly don't think 11 is too young to have a chance at elite and if that is really what she wants it's probably better to start looking and asking sooner rather than later.
I've been told my daughter can make elite. I didn't believe her current coaches (I figured it was something to say to butter parents up), but when we were looking at switching gyms recently, I was told that by some well known/respected coaches as well. As far as decision making, I try to leave the door open, but I also don't pursue it in any particular way. One of her coaches has had girls in the top 15 in the AA finals at the Olympics, so I'm not urgently in need of switching to keep that path open.

She can do 10 press handstands.
I believe I read somewhere that Jordyn Wieber's training had her doing 8 in a row, which is what DD has used as a goal. She does them daily, but only stops if she gets a set of 8 without touching back down.

He is like what someone else said he doesn't want to invest the time and energy in doing a JO and elite program combine.
I've been told that elite is rather taxing on the coach and many very good coaches don't think it is worth it and have stopped pursuing it. There is one local gym that turns out excellent level 10's and college gymnasts and has a coach you'd probably know the name of, and they'll send girls to other gyms if they think they can make elite. I have little doubt they have the coaching chops for elite; they're simply not interested.
 
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