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Feb 16, 2022
727
I don’t understand, I never have, why gymnasts who are already good get extra training days offered to them to make them even better, while gymnasts who may be struggling or who could benefit from an extra training day do not get the same offer extended to them. I’m not talking about time wasters or silly girls, I’m talking about the ones who are serious about their training, but could really use an extra day of practice. It only makes the good ones even better while leaving the others farther and farther behind.
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
I think sometimes it is so they can up train more, or to keep a group that is closer to the same skill level. For example, in the summer, our Xcel golds (both rising and repeating) have the option of coming 3 days a week, but only athletes who already have a round off back handspring are able to choose that option. We do this when we have a limited number of coaching resources, to keep the group closer together in terms of range of skills.
 

JBS

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I don’t understand, I never have, why gymnasts who are already good get extra training days offered to them to make them even better, while gymnasts who may be struggling or who could benefit from an extra training day do not get the same offer extended to them. I’m not talking about time wasters or silly girls, I’m talking about the ones who are serious about their training, but could really use an extra day of practice. It only makes the good ones even better while leaving the others farther and farther behind.

This is just an opinion... so go easy on me...

Maybe they are looking for the ones that are more talented. Just a perspective here for you...

It's very easy to move a 7.0 up to a 7.5... but this will not do much for the team. It's very hard to move a 7.0 to a 9.5. Overall... this athlete may just need more time to practice in the regular sense... not more time in a driven and extremely detailed sort of way.

Moving a 9.2 to a 9.5 or a 9.5 to a 9.7 will put one towards the top of the podium.
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
Until an athlete is fundamentally sound spending extra time with them often isn't very productive especially if they want to work on things they are not ready for or expect miracle fixes for things they are struggling on versus a fundamentally sound athlete where this may be the only time you can do things above standard fundamental training. Coaches often have very limited time and it is just human nature to want to do the thing that is more fun/rewarding.
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
Until an athlete is fundamentally sound spending extra time with them often isn't very productive especially if they want to work on things they are not ready for or expect miracle fixes for things they are struggling on versus a fundamentally sound athlete where this may be the only time you can do things above standard fundamental training. Coaches often have very limited time and it is just human nature to want to do the thing that is more fun/rewarding.
But extra training might make a marginal kid into a fundamentally sound one. Right?
 
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Feb 16, 2022
727
At our gym, the extra day was a pure uptraining day and if the girls didn't have their level skills yet, it didn't make sense for them to uptrain. It's similar to more advanced math kids getting a challenge assignment while others are doing regular work. Is it fair? Well, that's the age old debate about tracking which happens in school, sports, everything...
 
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Feb 16, 2022
727
For awhile we had two training groups for the same level because we had so many at those lower levels (levels 3/4) and there was one group that was at 12 hours and one at 16. The "better" kids were in the 16 hour group and my kid was not in that group and it was super frustrating. The 16 hour group did more uptraining and seemed to be "pulling ahead" from my kid and I thought if my kid was JUST in that group she would be scoring better at meets and moving up levels faster. I will say I was completely wrong. Many of the kids in that 16 hour group quit. They found other sports or something got scary and they couldn't get the skill so they stopped gymnastics. My kid powered through as a middle of the pack gymnast and is now at a higher level and scoring higher than 95% of the few kids left from the 16 hour group. The two best from the 16 hour group are still the two best at level 9 with my kid. They are just really talented like that and looking back they deserved the extra day and extra training (even if it frustrated me at the time).

Also as many arguments being made in multiple threads right now there will always be kids that get more hours, have more access, and have more opportunity than your kid. You can only do the best with what you have or make sacrifices to seek out different opportunities. But in the grand scheme of things one extra day of training doesn't make as big a difference as you would think. There are kids at my daughters gym that doe 24-30 hours a week because they homeschool that have been at level 7 for like 3 years and my kid doing 18-20 hours hasn't repeated since coming to optionals and is training level 9 so....

If you trust your coaches trust they are putting your kid in the right group for success. As long as the coaches are giving equal time to kids while in practice it doesn't matter if they have equal practice time (even if it feels very frustrating).
 

JBS

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If you trust your coaches trust they are putting your kid in the right group for success. As long as the coaches are giving equal time to kids while in practice it doesn't matter if they have equal practice time (even if it feels very frustrating).

Great stuff here.

In the long run... the ones that are going to be Level 10's make it there no matter which group they were originally put in. A better athlete that is grouped in a lower group has an opportunity to really stand out and show the coaches that they just don't fit in that group.
 

JPC13

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Mar 25, 2022
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Great stuff here.

In the long run... the ones that are going to be Level 10's make it there no matter which group they were originally put in. A better athlete that is grouped in a lower group has an opportunity to really stand out and show the coaches that they just don't fit in that group.
I think the one counterpoint to that is the athletically talented kid, who is a naturally sloppy dancer, who gets tracked early into the fun “form doesn’t really matter” group. That kid is going to suffer from lower expectations and naturally won’t score well in compulsories — reinforcing the idea that they don’t have “it”.

I agree with you though, in that the number of kids who are talented enough and driven enough to make level 10 seems so small that they are bound to surface eventually.
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
So we have the option to either do evening practice for 18.5 hours a week, or early practice for 22 hours a week. Early group has more time, so more time for upskilling and no distractions from other levels for the coaches. Everything about it sounds better in theory. My kid goes to 2/3 early practices a week.

Yesterday they had to end practice half an hour early, because every single girl in early group has some kind of injury that prevented them from taking more turns.

Evening group has no injuries but moving slower.

Truthfully, maybe your coaches want those top team scores and podium places. Maybe they figure a marginal gymnast needs their foundation first before upskilling. Maybe they plan to have the girls in the extra day group skip a level. Does it suck for your kid? Sure. My kid got to skip several levels as a new gymnast to that gym, while everyone else repeated a level that was already established at the gym. And then she got moved around between “good” group and “bad” group depending on how she did that week. When she was in the “bad” group, I was told it was because of lack of consistency - willing to throw big skills but not doing her actual skills cleanly. If she did everything clean and consistent, she’d move groups.

The extra day might push other kids ahead but it doesn’t change your kids path, there’s probably a reason to it
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
I think the one counterpoint to that is the athletically talented kid, who is a naturally sloppy dancer, who gets tracked early into the fun “form doesn’t really matter” group. That kid is going to suffer from lower expectations and naturally won’t score well in compulsories — reinforcing the idea that they don’t have “it”.

This was basically my kid she definately didn't have the polish in the compulsories to be in the "good" group but luckily the coaches didn't do the lower expectations part, she just didnt get quite as much uptraining in...which looking back she maybe wasnt ready for anyway. It does seem to level out a bit in optionals cause you either are sticking with it or you arent.
 
Feb 16, 2022
727
For awhile we had two training groups for the same level because we had so many at those lower levels (levels 3/4) and there was one group that was at 12 hours and one at 16. The "better" kids were in the 16 hour group and my kid was not in that group and it was super frustrating. The 16 hour group did more uptraining and seemed to be "pulling ahead" from my kid and I thought if my kid was JUST in that group she would be scoring better at meets and moving up levels faster. I will say I was completely wrong. Many of the kids in that 16 hour group quit. They found other sports or something got scary and they couldn't get the skill so they stopped gymnastics. My kid powered through as a middle of the pack gymnast and is now at a higher level and scoring higher than 95% of the few kids left from the 16 hour group. The two best from the 16 hour group are still the two best at level 9 with my kid. They are just really talented like that and looking back they deserved the extra day and extra training (even if it frustrated me at the time).

Also as many arguments being made in multiple threads right now there will always be kids that get more hours, have more access, and have more opportunity than your kid. You can only do the best with what you have or make sacrifices to seek out different opportunities. But in the grand scheme of things one extra day of training doesn't make as big a difference as you would think. There are kids at my daughters gym that doe 24-30 hours a week because they homeschool that have been at level 7 for like 3 years and my kid doing 18-20 hours hasn't repeated since coming to optionals and is training level 9 so....

If you trust your coaches trust they are putting your kid in the right group for success. As long as the coaches are giving equal time to kids while in practice it doesn't matter if they have equal practice time (even if it feels very frustrating).
Great post. I agree that fewer hours can equal less burnout. My daughter chooses not to go the one day that is optional. She does great with one day off and is super prepared for L6. Girls going the extra day are not any better...
 
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Aussie_coach

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More hours can often have the opposite effect in progress.

Kids who are in the gym every single day, for many hours on end can fall into a comfortable routine. Just like brushing their teeth every day. They spend so much time there, that the drive to push themselves to new heights can diminish.

Kids on less hours may be hungrier, more driven. Excited each time they step into the gym, as the place isn’t their whole life.

Kids who are excited to be there tend to have less fear issues get in the way, and more internal desire to achieve new goals.

It’s often natural to assume that more is better, but that’s a real we fall into in many aspects of life. We think people who work super long hours get more done, but usually they don’t. We think kids who do more homework get better grades, but evidence doesn’t support that.

Like most people, when I started coaching I thought, the more hours the better. But then I saw the reality. More often than not I saw kids with less talent, training less hours and surpassing gymnasts doing something much more. In the end it’s not the most talented who win and it’s not the ones who trained the most. It’s the ones who are the most passionate and love every minute they get to spend in the gym.
 
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