Here is our TOPs story:
Haven was invited into the program at 7 yrs old. She started the program in April, a mth after turning 7. By July, she was a nervous wreck about the testing and the intense workouts. We feared she wanted to quit. We thought a less intense program would behoove her. So we switched gyms.
Haven did her FIRST level 5 year at a gym about 40 minutes away (old gym was 5 minutes away!) and had ZERO pressure. She had a good year. 2nd in states. After turning 8, Haven was trying to do some upskills on her own at practice. She was told that they do not focus on upskills. They work on their assigned level. Haven became bored within 2 mths. We went BACK to the old gym.
Haven went back into the TOPs program. She LOVED it. She just FLEW through the new skills. By November, she had all of her lvl 7 skills except the giants (our gym won't let the TOPs girls move up without the giant). Haven asked if she could move to half days at school. After much consideration, we agreed. She excelled even more. The TOPs skills she was working on were amazing in their transformation. When she began in July, she had 1 press handstand. By January, she had 10. In july she could not even come close to a cast handstand, but by January she had 5. She asked to move to home schooling. Since I did not like her teacher and my mom was a 3rd grade teacher for 30 years, i said we would give it a try.
A year after our return to our original gym, Haven made it to national testing in Houston. In October, she made the TOPs A Team. She was on cloud nine.
I guess my point here (about time I get to it huh?) is that for Haven, as a new 7 yr old, the TOPS program was way too intense. The move to the mild gym was good for her. I am glad we did it. HOWEVER. I am MORE glad that we returned to our original gym and to TOPs. The TOPs program and the awesome coaching there really made her blossom. Her strength is amazing and her balance and flexibility have vastly improved.
Haven loved her experience both times she was in Houston and is so excited at the chance to go again. I know if she had to choose, she would def choose TOPs training. If your gym offers it, I would say ABSOLUTELY DO IT. It really does make a difference.
Phew. ok I am done.