TOPs Under 7 years old?

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

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.
Assuming that your gym is normal size and the pool of rec kids at this young age isn't extraordinarily big, the "specially picked" part seems bogus to me. Unless it's the water, why is that more kids are extra talented in your neck of the woods? As I pointed out before, a selection approach such as this is nothing more than a business tactic to invite parents to spend more money so that they feel good about being a part of an elite group.

Evidence has shown that other than the very few that advance to elite, the end results are very much the same between their TOPS kids and those from a much less aggressive program.

Well, I don't know about anything being in the water. Our group of little girls was the first "crop" of super-young TOPs kids picked in about 3 years. The last group picked is now 7 years old and just starting their testing this year. And as far as more money, our girls pay less tuition monthly than the regular L2's.

My daughter was born with a mild physical disability, which she is overcoming with LOTS of therapy and work. We put her in rec classes upon her doctor's advice. She blossomed and to our surprise she was picked for team and for TOPs. She is a very graceful and flexible kid...although not very strong at all. I have no ideas whatsoever about my daughter becoming an elite athlete. What she has gained from this program is an incredible amount of strength, balance, and most importantly----self-confidence. So I guess I approach the whole thing differently. I don't expect my daughter to do well at TOPs testing when she is 7. I don't expect her to win medals. But I also never expected her to be able to do any of the skills she is doing right now. So, for me, it's all good. She's happy, I'm happy.

I am sure there are one or two parents in our group who might think their girls are headed straight to elite after being chosen for TOPs. But our HC does NOT make this claim about the program either. All it is for us is a way for little ones with talent to advance up the levels faster (TOPs girls can skip levels). is what it is.

Please don't take my response the wrong way. I was just telling like it is as I see it. *foot in month again*

I think it's great that your child overcome her challenge. I would not feel less proud of my child if I was in your shoes.

In my post, I was mainly pointing out how misleading that selection process sometimes is. If you can give it some thought... How is it possible that one can determine the prospect of a 3yo in sports when it's normal that some of these kids are still in diapers? So, is the criteria about mobility alone? What else is there?

I thought hard about this one...:)

I have absolutely no clue how a person would determine anything about a 3-4 yr old's future in sports. I guess I don't see it that way in our particular program. No one really understands our HC's reasoning behind who she picks or doesn't pick for TOPs...we don't understand many things about what she does.;) There are some little girls who seem talented, strong, whatever, and they aren't picked for the TOPs group. And no one knows is one of the great mysteries of the world..:p

Apparently she sees "something" in these girls. If I had to guess based on the girls that are in the program, it seems to be those who are very mature for their age, really well behaved, able to take direction/correction. Natural grace and flexibilty also seem to be a common quality among the girls she has in the little TOPs group. I would say that these are the qualities she "looks for" more than strength, etc (my DD is certainly NOT strong by any means). The other thing is...these girls are expected to work out with the older girls and focus on what they are doing. It becomes very clear quite quickly if a girl is not right for the program...she will be the one running off from the group, playing around, etc. We've had a couple little ones leave because it wasn't the right program for them maturity-wise....or for the parents!

All of the parents in our group that moved up together honestly doubted that our "littles" would be able to handle team and TOPs...but most of them have handled it and are flourishing.

So...I don't know. I don't know if, in our gym, it is about predicting future success so much as it is giving them a unique opportunity to take part in some extra training, etc. I am sure that it could be perceived in the wrong way by parents who have their eyes set on the olympics for their 3 yr olds (and we do have some of those...a couple of which left the program).

I really don't think you can predict future success at 3, 4, 5 yrs old. But I still think you can give extra opportunities to girls who seem to "have it"...whatever that means.;)

Who knows. I don't think you put your foot in your mouth at all. We should all speak our opinions. I am just SO DARN proud of my dd and every time I see her climb a little higher on that rope, lift those legs a little higher, and more than that, stand in a line in her competition leo looking all beautiful...I tear up. Every single time.

I think Notamom's point was that even if they do "pick" your DD for TOPS, it's not a guarantee of future success. My daughter was on the TOPS team and many of the girls who were with her on that team no longer even do gymnastics!! The risk for burn out is huge especially if you overtrain at an early the time they're 12 they feel like they've done nothing else and they want a life so they quit. My daughter always went to regular school (although at times we were "encouraged" to homeschool) , trained only once a day and has done very well (she's a level 10) I think the point is, as a parent, you still need to be your child's advocate, no matter what "dream" the coach feeds you because realistically, only 6 girls go to the Olympics every 4 years so the rest of the thousands in gymnastics need to have parents who see things as they are.
Not open for further replies.