For Parents Switch gyms to be a part of a bigger team?

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Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2022
My daughter just turned 8 and is finishing up her first year of competitive gymnastics. She competed Xcel Bronze, with three other girls on her Bronze team. One of the girls is age 9 and the other two are age 12, so in middle school and much "cooler" than the younger girls. At our gym, Xcel Bronze and Silver (for a total of 7 girls) are in a rotation together. They practice at the same time as the JO level 2 (9 girls) and level 3 (12 girls) girls. They have the same coaches and do all of their line ups, warm-up and conditioning together at the beginning and end of practice. It doesn't seem that any of the girls treat each other differently because they are JO or Xcel, and my daughter has a lot of friends at the gym. She also really enjoys the Silver girls she practices with.

However, at the competitions this past year, I was disappointed at how small her team was at meets. There were meets that it would just be my daughter and one other Bronze girl. It definitely lacked the team feel the JO girls have when they go to meets. I asked her coaches if they would consider moving her to JO for next year (for the team aspect) and they said they think she will be most successful as a Silver. Also, my daughter enjoys the Xcel program because she likes the freedom and creativity in the floor routine. Because of this, I am torn between wanting her to have a more supportive team versus just letting her enjoy it. She loves gymnastics and she loves going to practice and I don't want that to change.

There is another gym in our town that only does Xcel for compulsories and therefore the group is bigger. Their Silver group next year will be about 12 girls. My daughter would like to stay at her current gym where she is comfortable but I'm just not sure it's the best fit for her. Should I encourage her to try out the other gym and see if it could be a better situation, or should I just let her enjoy it and have fun? We have no aspirations of gymnastics being a path for her other than for learning life lessons. Advice?


Staff member
Gold Membership
Sep 4, 2008
There are so few meets a year and many more practice days. It sounds like both of you are happy with the coaching , the friendships and the gym in general. Another thing to consider is that team sizes change every year and you never know how many girls will be on her team next year in either location. I would leave her at her current gym.


Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
She is happy at the gym and her training teammates. You are happy with the program and coaching. Don't fix what isn't broken. If there comes a time where she is asking for a larger team, then you could explore.

WV Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2022
Team size can change at smaller gyms every year, so I would not go by that. Also, you said your daughter is happy and likes the coaches and her friends. Sounds like she wants to stay, and honestly, I would keep her at her gym. My daughter's practice group is a mix of 3s and Silvers, and some of her best friends are Silvers this year. So I've worked to be able to take her to watch her friends at their competition times and cheer them on. Next year as everyone progresses at their own pace, these groups will get shuffled. Some will be 4, some Gold, some may stay Silver, but they are all still the same "team".


Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
Just to give you something to compare your situation to... My daughter turned 8 in January and competed as a level 4. Our gym only does JO/DP so we don't have any xcel girls. We have 4 level 4 girls, two 8 year olds, a 10 year old and an 11 year old. Those 4 girls are very close despite the age difference. This was our first competition season and I was surprised by the size of some of the teams. I am thankful for our small gym because my daughter gets very individualized attention that I don't think would be possible in a larger gym. I can understand your thinking but I would challenge you to weigh out the pros and cons and be careful not to have a "grass is always greener" idea.


Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2022
My daughter is part of a really small XS team, and there's a huge Xcel team in town near us that takes up a lot of space at meets. They seemed like an unbeatable wall!
What we discovered is that though the big gym won a lot of awards--which can seem daunting--when you really broke it down, they had a larger percentage of girls who didn't place at all. That made them seem less like a juggernaut and more like a group of normal gymnasts wearing the same uniform :)


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
One of the problems with a bog team with a lot of good gymnasts, is you then need to always compete against those gymnasts at your competitions.
Apr 15, 2022
Most of the time is spent at practice and if she is happy where she is, practicing with the girls she’s with and the coaches she has, I also would lean toward keeping a good situation. There are some gyms where larger teams have bullying issues and you don’t want to walk into a problem you aren’t thinking of to fix one that isn’t bothering your daughter.
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