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Proud Parent
Sep 14, 2014
We are new to gymnastics. Y five year old is on preteam. We are in the gym 5 hours a week. Our gym has just decided to start TOPS. Is it worth the $185 extra a month for another 2.5 hours in the gym? I don't want her to miss out, but I also don't want to burn her out since she just started in June. This would also mean we would have to go on Saturday mornings. She will be 6 in November so we could start next year. Thanks for any input
Well, considering I coach TOPs I may be partial. :)
In truth, the TOPs program is really great for preparing girls for competitive gymnastics. It focuses on strength training/conditioning and form, which are both crucial to be successful in JO.
The girls (at our gym) that spend time in the TOPs program and then go on to JO *all* fare better than the girls who come from the advanced rec classes. Several of our TOPs girls have been able to skip L3 and go straight to L4, which would definitely not be possible for girls from Rec.
Now, the way our program is set up is such that the introductory levels of TOPs only go 4hrs/wk, and that is the only class they take. We use it as sort of a "pre-team". We want the girls to work hard and progress, but not burn out. We are talking about very young kids here, all of them are 5-8 with the majority being 5 or 6. I don't know that I would sign my 5yo up for 8hrs/wk in the gym but there are certainly kids that are ready for that at that age.... Just not very many. :)
So in short.... Big fan of TOPs training, I'm a believer in the program and see many benefits to it. However, it is NOT for everyone and we have girls who quit because it's too hard/strict/boring/intense. They have to be willing to work hard and focus, and not a whole lot of 5-6yos are ready for that. :)
Good luck!!
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Wow! An additional $185 seems like an awful lot! My dd did TOPs training two mornings a week last year (3 hours a week) and the gym charged at extra $40
It bothers me that they do not include TOPS In the hours per week in the gym. I would be paying $282 for 7.5 hours. If you look at our hourly chart it equals 15 hours. I don't know if it's because it's new or what. I'm really struggling because I don't want we to miss out but I also don't want to burn her out at the age of 5.
Tops training is awesome..even if you don't test...but that seems really, really expensive!! For only 2.5 hours more a week?? Crazy!!
I agree with the everyone else. TOPs training is awesome (even without competing). However, that's a lot of extra $$.
DDs training is embedded in her regular hours, with no extra cost.
Our gym recently started TOPs training too, but it's incorporated into their regular practices. Maybe as time for testing gets closer they will have an extra practice, but no extra $$ monthly. That sounds really expensive.
Agreed that it is a wonderful program for all. I wouldn't worry too much if you wait either. My daughter began training TOPS last summer just a few weeks prior to testing when she was 9 (really was 8, but because of her end of the year birthday she has to test one year older, which sucks). So starting that young is not imperative. If she is talented she will catch up quickly. But ours is included in our monthly fees and I don't believe that I would pay that much, especially for a brand new program without proven results.
Agree with all of the above. Our DD started TOPs just before her 6th birthday and it is actually her favorite part of gymnastics. She currently goes 2hrs, once weekly and the charge is $50/month, so as everyone else said your fees seem very high.
I wonder if the monthly fee is a way to pay toward any future testing fees and maybe any special clinics offered? Our TOPs program does not cost anything additional a month. She has Tops right now 3 hrs a week but will go up to 4 next year. But there are several tops clinics held throughout the year which typically are run by outside clinicians that we do pay for usually around 100-125 a pop
My daughter's TOPS training was incorporated into her regular practice. I think $185 is a lot. Your daughter is 5 years old and whatever strength she develops whilst training will need to be ongoing, otherwise she will lose it. So I would wait at least a year if you are planning to do it at all. My daughter trained TOPS less than two months before her very first testing and she was turning 9 years old. At that time, 9 years old was the youngest they invited to the ranch. I would not recommend just training two months. My daughter made nationals testing but two months to train the physical abilities and mere weeks to train the skills was not nearly sufficient.

TOPS is certainly a good training tool and if $185 a month is not a big deal at all for your family, and your daughter wants to spend more time at the gym, then why not? But if that is not the case, I would wait and see how good their TOPS program turns out to be. As you said, they just started the program. There is a thread here long time ago about how many gyms create a TOPS program just to generate more income. In my opinion, a good gym that has its gymnasts success in mind will incorporate this program in their regular practice with no additional cost. Just my opinion.
Thank everyone!! I think we will wait. There are only 2 girls who enrolled, so hopefully they will change things. I will see how things go and maybe enroll her later I just don't know if $185 is worth it, is we are the only gym in out city.
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