My gymnasts are no where near college or Olympic bound. We’re at a Y program that allows great flexibility around school, school sports, religious celebrations, music groups, etc. The older shows much more promise in another college sport, and gives credit gymnastics for that. She’s strong physically and mentally, pushes through frustration and doesn’t quit, knows how to be a supportive teammate and able to focus on both the team and her individual roles. She has great time management. All of these are based on being a gymnast first.
What I’m hoping to see is more programs embracing the idea that gymnastics builds these skills and that is more meaningful than any gymnastics skill. It sounds weird to many, but I am so grateful that my girls were not naturally talented, that I didn’t listen to people saying they should be in a “better” program (we’re in a safe, low hours Y program which leads many deem it as “not good”), that their coaches actively encourage the girls to try other things and ask about and come to those events. They see themselves as developing people not just gymnasts.
The gymnasts who started out with my girls whose parents saw gym as skills and didn’t allow anything extra and/or moved them to the “better” program are now out of gymnastics.
I also hope that this disruption will be a chance for Xcel gymnasts to be seen as legitimate gymnasts. I think the JO progression in the compulsory levels is very important for developing the basics including level 5. Due to injuries and fears and mental blocks, my girls have gone back and forth between JO and Xcel as they need once they reached optionals . I think a lot of girls will come back to the gym after all of this with growth spurts, mental blocks, less flexible and strong, etc and need a year or so on an alternative path to JO. Hopefully that will force gyms, coaches, gymnasts, and parents to stop looking down their noses at Xcel.