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tryagain

New Member
Feb 16, 2022
8
44
PS: Seems too late to edit, but I wanted to add something. My job now is at a university in a country with a lot of pressure on school exams to get into the "right" university, and I see a lot of kids coming to uni, feeling like they have now made it, and who then try to get through there degrees with minimum effort because, after all their hard work to get in, they feel entitled to an easy ride (or are simply burned out). To me, this is the wrong way around, uni is precisely the time where hard work should start in my opinion...
 
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mom2newgymnast

Proud Parent
Jul 8, 2014
1,278
48
I’m a little confused with some of the responses about school, but I agree with the original poster about this. I believe that gymnastics should not come before school in terms of priority. I’m not saying the gym should enforce good grades or anything like that. But if a parent/gymnast says they need to miss practice because they have a project//test/whatever then I don’t think the gym should give them a hard time, punish them or in anyway imply that gymnastics is more important or needs to be priorized higher. Nope, that wouldn’t fly for me at all. I think that’s what the poster was saying and I agree. And I do think some gyms think gymnastics > school , but I don’t. It’s a sport.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
Unpopular opinion: X,Y and Z’s kids are welcome to train 30+ hours a week! As long as its the kid’s choice and they are in a healthy gym environment, they can do as they wish. I don’t care what education their kids receive (save the top jobs in the area for my kids pls), how much they are paying in gym fees, therapies etc.
And I’m happy for these 30+ hours a week kids who are also competing Hopes, training elite, whatever, to compete against my kids in level 10. It gives my kids a challenge. And life isn’t fair.
These kids work hard and I don’t like it when this forum bashes them for doing what they love.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,856
Unpopular opinion: X,Y and Z’s kids are welcome to train 30+ hours a week! As long as its the kid’s choice and they are in a healthy gym environment, they can do as they wish. I don’t care what education their kids receive (save the top jobs in the area for my kids pls), how much they are paying in gym fees, therapies etc.
And I’m happy for these 30+ hours a week kids who are also competing Hopes, training elite, whatever, to compete against my kids in level 10. It gives my kids a challenge. And life isn’t fair.
These kids work hard and I don’t like it when this forum bashes them for doing what they love.
I don’t see anyone in this forum bashing any kids elite or otherwise for doing what they love. Sure people have differing opinions on the number of hours they would like their kids training, but almost all optional level kids are devoting a lot of hours and time. The question is whether or not is healthy for growing bodies to be training 30+ hours per week. I just have yet to see any data suggesting that those hours are healthy or lead to a great outcome. Families push their kids to do 10,000 hours and specialize at very young ages because the sport is so competitive and historically that has been the best way to get ahead. It is not just happening in gymnastics. I don’t see how wanting better best practice guidelines to keep kids healthy is hating on any kids elite or otherwise. I don’t have strong feelings about privates myself, but if a kid is already training 30+ hours a week, I don’t know why they would routinely need privates, but some kids love them and some parents don’t mind paying for them.
Yeah, I see the point about former elites competing 10.
 

drwho42

Proud Parent
Nov 25, 2018
45
49
I’m a little confused with some of the responses about school, but I agree with the original poster about this. I believe that gymnastics should not come before school in terms of priority. I’m not saying the gym should enforce good grades or anything like that. But if a parent/gymnast says they need to miss practice because they have a project//test/whatever then I don’t think the gym should give them a hard time, punish them or in anyway imply that gymnastics is more important or needs to be priorized higher. Nope, that wouldn’t fly for me at all. I think that’s what the poster was saying and I agree. And I do think some gyms think gymnastics > school , but I don’t. It’s a sport.
Spot on. That was what I was saying.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
678
I’m in agreement with the comment about kids crying.

Unless your injured, don’t cry. I can’t take you seriously if you cry over conditioning, and you make it harder for yourself if you cry over skills. My kid knows that coaches are more likely to take her seriously if she’s crying than some other kids because she’s not a crier - so they assume she’s really hurt.

Totally agree. My ODD went through a crying every practice phase and ultimately I temporarily pulled her from gym. She freaked out about my decision until I told her that it makes me a bad parent to drop her off at a place that makes her cry every day. A lightbulb went off for her.

Really, my bigger issue was more the safety for her and her teammates as she was a distraction to them. And I just don't have a particularly high tolerance for waterworks outside of injury.
 

JessSyd

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2013
323
Sydney Australia
The crying thing is so hard, but my unpopular opinion is that It’s important to have a bit of empathy for the girls who cry. My daughter has a cryer on her team. Sometimes in training, often in competition when she is having a bad day. She becomes inconsolable, and it can put a real dampener on a competition for the rest of the team.

But it isn’t something she is putting on, and it isn’t something she has complete control over yet. This kid has big feelings - when she is sad she’s the saddest kid in the world. When she isn’t sad - everything is delightful because the positive feelings are big too and she is a ray of sunshine and so lovely to be around. She just struggles a lot with self regulation.

Gym is good for her in that regard - she has positive role models in the other gymnasts for coping with her emotions, she has experience of how disappointment is ephemeral, etc. And she is getting better, so as the parent of one of her teammates I would rather see her continue in the gym, developing her self regulation alongside her tumbling, then be pulled out because of what is inherently a maturity issue that she can’t fully control (which isn’t to say it hasn’t crossed my mind that a few sessions with a psychologist would also be helpful to her, but it is not my place to suggest that.)

Gym is a bit different to team sports and many individual sports in the way that competitions can hinge on a single error. It requires children to cope with pressure and public failure really early - earlier than some kids initially have the full maturity for. But on the flipslide, if you are a kid who develops self regulation late, better to face this at the age of ten with something as low stakes as a gymnastic competition, than years later during final exams, or a job search or something like that.

My kid is the complete opposite - she internalises everything. At a quick glance she probably appears to have the perfect persona for a gymnast - no tears ever, no sign of competition nerves ever, no fear ever shown. But this doesn’t come without significant drawbacks either.

In our case, the coach handles it well. A hug, a quick bit of sympathy (as any girl who falls in competition would get), then a reminder that she has to focus on coaching and all the other girls in the team too. So it is not a behaviour that gets positively reinforced and it doesn’t take up too much bandwidth.
 

LasseKjus

Coach
Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 8, 2020
8
49
View attachment 8381

Seasoned gym mom here. 3 gymnasts, oldest is starting her 8th season of competing.

Hindsight is always 20/20. For those seasoned parents, what are some unpopular opinions that you have about gymnastics in general? I’ll go first.

1. Private lessons are a scam. I feel like some gyms use privates as a scare tactic for parents, that their kids won’t make it to the next level without private lessons. Privates should only be used in certain situations (i.e. learning a new routine with a choreographer). If you are getting pressured to have privates, that means that there is an issue that is deeper than your kid. Maybe the teams are too big and not enough coaches to properly work with kids on each event (see this a lot on levels 3-4, as teams are generally bigger). If your kid can’t learn their routines or skills at practice, it is a coach/system issue and not your kid.

2. I wish that wearing shorts at meets was more normalized.

3. USAG organization as a whole is corrupt and I wish there were more gyms that were open to having meets and memberships to other governing bodies. Our gym joined AAU during the whole Nassar debacle and their meets were super fun and well organized. My state is still heavily USAG and it pains me to give them money for our membership each year.
Gym owner (16 years), father of competing kids (three competing, one of which is an elite and multiple-time national champion in T&T and national medalist in DP-level artistic, another who has a college scholarship in a different sport and third who is finishing up hoping to follow her sister's footsteps).

I ... COULDN'T ... AGREE ... MORE!

1) We don't let our team athletes do private lessons. If we can't get it done in the 12-20 hours of practice time a week, either they aren't in the right level or we need to do something differently. I've seen coaches at other gyms make a living on $50/hour private lessons and then basically not coach during team times so their athletes HAD to have private lessons. We also don't want a culture of "who can afford the most private lessons will be the best" at our gym.

2) My club is always very open to wear whatever as long as it's relatively tight fitting (nothing too baggy). Shorts are never questioned and are always allowed. Sports bras also allowed. Whatever the athlete is comfortable in is what we want them to wear.

3) We left USAG for our girls' teams two years ago. We switched to NGA. There are growing pains, but it's been so much better for our us. Our oldest child was a Level 10 in NGA's first year. She won Level 10 nationals (surprisingly there were about 25 Level 10s that first year). Part of her success was NGA. She felt comfortable. The judges were casual and talked to the kids. She said she never felt intimidated by an NGA judge like USAG. Part of why she was her best her senior year (her 7th year of Level 10) was the relaxed nature of NGA meets. She had a no-fall senior season. Prior to senior year, she was wildly inconsistent. (Part of her relaxed nature was that she signed her NLI for acrobatics and tumbling prior to the season and she didn't have to prove anything to college coaches, but NGA also was part of this). We have to stay USAG for our boys' team, acro teams and T&T teams. I wish there were ways around this. My son is elite for T&T and he has to stay USAG for national team and international assignments (he's going to World Age Group Championships this year on Double Mini).

My unpopular opinions:

1) Gymnastics doesn't have to be expensive. Unfortunately, our meet fees have to be a certain level because those meets charge $150 per athlete, so I have to get that money somewhere. But leotards???? Our charge for Leotards this season? $285... that includes: Competition leo, matching competition shorts, warm-up jacket, warm-up pants, backpack and practice leotard FOR $285!!! Our meet fees for the full season are $1,150 this year (for five meets, state and regionals). The next closest gym to us charged $1,650 PER ATHLETE for their kids to go to the regional meet. Our regional meet is included in that $1,150. If I need more money to fund my team to go to meets, I don't charge more, I need to do a better job of budgeting.

2) Not everyone has to do go to college, especially the 13-year old Level 3. Stop doing gymnastics to go to college. Do it for fun. Most every athlete in whatever sport will do youth sports for fun, not for going to college. My 7-year level 10 wanted to go to college, of course, but it wasn't her sole motivation. She really enjoyed the sport. She competes Acrobatics and Tumbling in college and is IN LOVE with the sport (I think she'll end up coaching college A&T in her post college career). She said she would never do A&T in college, but with COVID keeping rosters large and recruiting non-existent her junior and senior year, one Division I A&T coach expressed interest in her. She was wildly inconsistent as a Level 10 her first 6 years, 36s one meet, 31s the next, 35s one meet, 34s the next. Her last year, after signing her NLI, she never was below a 36.5, topping out at a 37.4. She was so happy her senior year to not worry about the recruiting. Her sister, a junior, is a very good acrobatics gymnast and she's an average Level 9. She's all in on A&T for college.

3) Pits are not necessary. I hate pits. I would like one to introduce big skills but after that, I'd rather have an in-ground resi. Pits are a pain and can breed bad habits. We do not have a pit and we have kids do the following in our gym (and in competition): tkatchevs, full in dismounts, double fronts and full ins on floor, tsuk 1 1/2, yurchenko fulls, and triple backs (both tumbling on a tumble track and dismounts off double mini).
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
809
Virginia
Heres my guilty pleasure unpopular opinion: I don't mind other people's drama as long as it doesn't impact me or my kiddo. Sometimes its a bit entertaining to listen to the crazy parents. I do feel bad for their kids but sometimes in the waiting room I'm not really reading my book I am listening to all the low stakes drama around me. I think its not so bad to feel this way because its all been fairly low stakes drama (who gets what skills, move ups, etc).

The best though is the outside gym drama people talk about on speaker phone...I have heard some next level housewife drama before like....wow you really want to talk about that in the parking lot ok.....
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,974
I don’t care about what the thread is. Some of yall need to realize this not doing nothing but offending elite parents. You want more hours ask and pay for more hours and stop complaining about a competition. Nothing in life is fair people making a thread about hours, privates, homeschooling, who has an advantage is ridiculous
Its called "Unpopular Opinions" for a reason. You also can skip the thread and not get offended because you wouldn't be reading it. These more recent posts arent even about elites, its about those training elite or former elites. And if you don't realize that homeschooling and training 10+ more hours a week doesn't give an advantage, then you haven't been around the sport very long.
 
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gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
365
53
Its called "Unpopular Opinions" for a reason. You also can skip the thread and not get offended because you wouldn't be reading it. These more recent posts arent even about elites, its about those training elite or former elites. And if you don't realize that homeschooling and training 10+ more hours a week doesn't give an advantage, then you haven't been around the sport very long.
I think you have missed the whole back story context of these "unpopular" comments. A very robust discussion on a previous thread about elite versus non-elite. I would go so far as to say the unpopular opinion on this board is that elite and the required training for elite is a good thing. I love how one posts on this thread, that "No one is bashing anyone for being elite" but then goes on and on throwing shade at people who do elite. It comes across more like jealousy than a rational policy position. In the other thread some were suggesting that people who have trained or are training elite but haven't qualified should not be allowed to drop back to L10 because "it just isn't fair". All these girls work hard, some have more opportunities than others. Some people are born in rural locations some are born in suburban. Some parents can afford to give their child a BMW while others can scrape together a 15 yo beater car. Doesnt make either parent better. That's the free world we live in. Focus on the variables you can control and try and maximize your situation that fits for your child and family.
 

Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
510
40
I think you have missed the whole back story context of these "unpopular" comments. A very robust discussion on a previous thread about elite versus non-elite. I would go so far as to say the unpopular opinion on this board is that elite and the required training for elite is a good thing. I love how one posts on this thread, that "No one is bashing anyone for being elite" but then goes on and on throwing shade at people who do elite. It comes across more like jealousy than a rational policy position. In the other thread some were suggesting that people who have trained or are training elite but haven't qualified should not be allowed to drop back to L10 because "it just isn't fair". All these girls work hard, some have more opportunities than others. Some people are born in rural locations some are born in suburban. Some parents can afford to give their child a BMW while others can scrape together a 15 yo beater car. Doesnt make either parent better. That's the free world we live in. Focus on the variables you can control and try and maximize your situation that fits for your child and family.
Exactly
 
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LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,856
I think you have missed the whole back story context of these "unpopular" comments. A very robust discussion on a previous thread about elite versus non-elite. I would go so far as to say the unpopular opinion on this board is that elite and the required training for elite is a good thing. I love how one posts on this thread, that "No one is bashing anyone for being elite" but then goes on and on throwing shade at people who do elite. It comes across more like jealousy than a rational policy position. In the other thread some were suggesting that people who have trained or are training elite but haven't qualified should not be allowed to drop back to L10 because "it just isn't fair". All these girls work hard, some have more opportunities than others. Some people are born in rural locations some are born in suburban. Some parents can afford to give their child a BMW while others can scrape together a 15 yo beater car. Doesnt make either parent better. That's the free world we live in. Focus on the variables you can control and try and maximize your situation that fits for your child and family.
Since this is directed at me, heck yes, I’m jealous. We don’t have the gyms here, yet Ty‘s Dad helpfully and ridiculously stated in that other thread that “our kids all have the same hours in the day.” That is an Incredibly myopic and false statement. It is also totally possible for me to feel jealous and lament lack of opportunity AND think that the lengths parents will go through and the number of training hours young children are subjected to in pursuit of elite training is not necessarily healthy. We personally do not wish for our entire family’s life to revolve around gymnastics, so we have chosen to stay in an area with limited gymnastics opportunity for the overall good of our family. That’s great that the two of you are fortunate to have great gyms in your area.
 

LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,856
Both of your kids are very successful as elites and doing very well, so I actually don’t know why in the heck either of you care about what other “non-elite“ parents have to say. If you are both happy with your daughters’ training , gym, and progress, my opinion and anyone else’s really shouldn‘t matter.
 

Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
510
40
Since this is directed at me, heck yes, I’m jealous. We don’t have the gyms here, yet Ty‘s Dad helpfully and ridiculously stated in that other thread that “our kids all have the same hours in the day.” That is an Incredibly myopic and false statement. It is also totally possible for me to feel jealous and lament lack of opportunity AND think that the lengths parents will go through and the number of training hours young children are subjected to in pursuit of elite training is not necessarily healthy. We personally do not wish for our entire family’s life to revolve around gymnastics, so we have chosen to stay in an area with limited gymnastics opportunity for the overall good of our family. That’s great that the two of you are fortunate to have great gyms in your area.
So if YOU didn’t want your daughter/family to go the elite route why complain about hours and opportunities if you’re doing anything about it. Yes I said everyone has the same 24 hours in a day because it’s the truth we all do. This is the life my daughter wanted to do, I ask her all the time if she still wants to peruse the elite route and it always is a yes. If your kid wanted to go that route and you didn’t switch gyms or switch states that’s on you and your family. I’m just saying don’t come on here complaining about the people that did go the elite route
 

RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
862
People can complain about whatever they want. Other people can take issue with those complaints if they want.

There’s some weird energy in this thread. I don’t get it. It’s like an episode of dance moms or something. This sport brings the weird out of parents.
Like dance moms but with dads.

"Unpopular opinions" would seem to seem to suggest someone might share an opinion they know will not be popular without being jumped on. But...dance dads...
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
324
Like dance moms but with dads.

"Unpopular opinions" would seem to seem to suggest someone might share an opinion they know will not be popular without being jumped on. But...dance dads...
I’m a gym dad and most of us that I meet are pretty chill about things. I’m not emo though.
 
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