WAG TOPs preperation time? My DD (and me!) is frustrated!

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


Hello all you moms, gymnasts and coaches!

I am so happy to finally found a forum where I could share my thoughts, fears and experience!

I want to know: In what amount of time is it possible to get the required skills for TOPs testing?

I know the girls are between age 7-10, but if a fit person, starting with very little strength (maybe just 1 pull up and a few full leg raises) puts in a lot of work and works together with a specialist, could this person do it in 10-12 months?

Hope someone can help, I ask because my dd had to quit gymnastics for 2 years due to a grwoth plate problem, but is now back. Coach said she is so good in tumbling she could do it but has a huge lack in strength.

Looking forwad to getting any tips and all those tears will dry soon!
Not sure I know for certain the answer. I feel inclined to say, anyone can develop the strength to do the TOPS skills. I'd like to think if anyone puts their heart and soul into something, they will achieve it. But my limited and personal experience dictates otherwise. My daughter trained with the TOPS team in her old gym. They all trained the same amount of hours, but in the end, 99% was not able to do 70% of the skills. She has practiced with several gyms that use TOPS conditioning in their daily practice. Despite the daily practice (and these girls are L9s and L10s and have been doing these drills for years) many could still not hold a handstand for a minute, do 10 press to handstands, etc. They are all mighty strong but it seems some skills need a natural ability to do them. I also know there are gyms that train TOPS for years and still cannot get all their TOPS athletes to qualify even to national testing. Maybe a coach here will give you better news and say I am wrong.

Is it your daughter's goal to make it to the TOPS team or does she just want to improve her strength? She certainly can develop great strength.
Wow! Lots to think about here. First question - you have designated your country as UK. However, I assume that is a mistake and you realize that TOPS is a US program????? Second, how old is your DD? If 7 then focusing on strength and flexibility is all you need to worry about for this summer. If she is older then you also need to look at skills. Remember, TOPS age is as of December 31 of the testing year. Even if (for example) she doesn't turn 10 until December 30, 2014 she is considered 10 for TOPS at this Summer's testing.

A comment from your coach that your DD is good at tumbling but not very strong doesn't really seem to fit with the TOPS program. TOPS is about strength, flexibility, and advanced skills. Honestly, the tumbling piece of it is the easiest for our girls. Bars seems to be the killer (which would be tough for someone who you says has a huge lack of strength).

Not saying impossible, but certainly lots of work if your DD wants to make National Testing or National Team. I would strongly suggest that you take a look at the USA Gymnastics website under TOPS and check out the info there. It will give you a better idea of what she will need for success in the program.

Best of Luck!
I'll say this much about going from zero to sixty in a hurry. A great deal of progress can be made with the right strength and flexibility training program. A six month span with an optimized program should get her to about 85 to 90 percent of her potential. The next 5-8 percent can be covered in the following 6 months. The gap between 90/95 percent can take two years or more as the child constantly cathces up to their growing body. I can't tell if or when she'll be ready for tops because that's up to her and her coach.
  • Like
Reactions: Jenny
I don't know an answer but I can share one of my experience.

In October a 13 year old gymnasts entered my group. She had been off gymnastics for almost 2 years. I wasn't her coach before she quit but I had some test results from years back in my hands and they told me she had passed 5 perfect pull-ups test and over 3 hanging leg lifts, over 10 second pike press etc before she quit. When she came back she wasn't able to do any pull ups and only 5 leg lifts.

Well it has been three months and she has gained strength like crazy. Before Christmas we had physical ability tests and she was able to perform 7 pull ups and 15 leg lifts! Now it has been a month from that tests and yesterday I watched her doing her conditioning... She did 10 hanging pull overs with perfect form. A kid who wasn't able to do ONE when she started again three months back. And after all she only trains 4 times a week, 2-2,5 hours.

So I'd like to tell you if your daughter has had her strength level high before she can get it back if she works hard!
Anything is possible! I think it will mostly depend on the child's age. It is also important to mention that while strength is important for the physical abilities, form is also tested. My DD 'maxed out' the skills for 7 year olds, but she did not 'max out' the scores! Lol! If she's home schooled and can devote more time to the gym, that would help, if her age is appropriate.
well, i know that mom should not be frustrated ("me too"). and there is no way to predict what you are asking. not even a little. gymnastics is a process and the hardest thing that your children will ever endeavor.
  • Like
Reactions: gymdog
well, i know that mom should not be frustrated ("me too"). and there is no way to predict what you are asking. not even a little. gymnastics is a process and the hardest thing that your children will ever endeavor.

I agree. I'm not quite sure if OP is asking about actually participating in the TOPs program or if it's possible to get strength "like that" in a short amount of time. The answer is extremely individual, particularly the requirements like Stalder press handstands for which the acquisition varies depending on natural body shape and flexibility. I have seen five year olds watch an older girl and say "I can do that!" (and do it), and I've seen kids work for two years to get it and finally master it and then quickly get 3 in a row.
Not open for further replies.