What is the purpose of having a child compete LEVEL 4 because LEVEL 5 KIP is missing!

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LoveForGymnastics

New Member
Aug 2, 2011
8
Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!!

Thank you so much for providing your insight into our situation. Many good points were brought up. Interesting enough the poll is split 50/50 between the two options of competing Level 4 for a 3rd season or just training Level 5 until her she gets her KIP.

I have a meeting set with her coach on Friday night, so I will find out the actual options that she will allow. I know for Level 4 and other levels including 7,8, 9 and 10, girls were scratching at different events for reasons unknown to me. But I have never seen L5 or L6 scratch any event.

I am okay with not letting her compete Level 5 until she has mastered her Kip. Even if she is good at all the other events. But I cannot swallow repeating Level 4 competition. I still don't see the TECHNICAL benefit of it. It also is time consuming and costs money. How is this going to make her a better gymnast when she demonstrates L5 and a little of L6 skills, i.e., RO-BHS-BHS to back tucks, front tucks, backbend walkovers on low beam, and press to handstand, etc?

Getting better scores are not an issue. The kids at our gym are not allowed to look at their scores when competing. That is one of my favorite things about this gym! They are taught early on that it doesn't always matter how the judges scored their performance. That the judges can be fickle and that the scores between two judges watching the same event vary greatly. What matters is if they did their best and how they can better their performance. The girls only know how they did, according to the judges, at the end when given their score cards and awards are given out.

I wish she didn't have a compulsory routine to follow. The idea of demonstrating bonus skills would have made repeating Level 4 easier to swallow and beneficial. If this was an issue of repeating Level 5 or Level 6, I would be okay because they have fundamental skills that need to be mastered to move on successfully. Quality is very important. But doing a L4 leg shoot through on bars is a skill that is never going to help my daughter be a better gymnast at L5, L6 or on.

I will post what happens as a result of our meeting.

Thanks again!
 
C

cher062

Don't forget to ask your DD if she wants to compete this season and if she does would having to compete L4 again be a problem for her. Even though you might not want to stomach it - she might just want to compete and doesn't care what level she does it at.

There is an option of going Pre-Op if your gym offers that program
 

Tumblequeensmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,451
Cher, you're right! Prep Op. would be a FANTASTIC opportunity if the gym allows it. Get out of that L4 "rut", have fun competing and still train for that darned kip!!!

I can't wait to hear about the meeting w/the coach. I hope it's a productive meeting for all.

Also, just a question... how does your coach "not allow" the girls to look at their scores when competing? I mean, the scores are flashed for all to see!
 
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C

cher062

Our team has the same don't look at your scores when competing too. The coach just asks the team not to look and for the most part they don't look. Once they see a score that is lower than what they hoped for it just brings them down. How the heck they just don't look however is a challenge for me I would never not be able to not look I would Just have to know LOL
 
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LoveForGymnastics

New Member
Aug 2, 2011
8
Cher, you're right! Prep Op. would be a FANTASTIC opportunity if the gym allows it. Get out of that L4 "rut", have fun competing and still train for that darned kip!!!

I can't wait to hear about the meeting w/the coach. I hope it's a productive meeting for all.

Also, just a question... how does your coach "not allow" the girls to look at their scores when competing? I mean, the scores are flashed for all to see!

LOL I would have a hard time not looking too! This wasn't hard for the team because this is how it has always been for them from their very first meet. So at first I am sure they complied because they didn't want to get in trouble. Now it is just habit. They are sometimes sat facing away from the electronic scoreboard but most of the time they just don't look. I have never even noticed anyone on the team looking at the scores.

They are also taught to visualize their routine in their head so they are not allowed to watch the teammate who is competing before them. So if they are the next person in line to compete on floor, beam or bars, they are turned around facing away from the floor, beam or bars so they can't watch.

My favorite thing taught is what I call "proper medal etiquette". This was also taught to them at their first meet and they continue to do this without being asked. When they receive a medal on the podium and they come back to sit with their team, they remove the medal from around their neck and put it in their gym knapsack. So if they go back to the podium to win another medal, they have none on except for the one they are about to receive. They may win 5 medals but they will never walk around the meet with 5 medals around their neck. This is done to keep them humble and modest. This is done even if everyone on their teams wins a medal.

I am not sure what pre-op means. I thought it meant pre-optional. I have never heard anyone at the gym talking about this option but I can ask. But the good news is that on Friday, my daughter got her KIP!!!!!! My meeting with her coach took place after her practice. It was definitely a plus!! The coach told me that my daughter did a good job at her kip. The timing just suddenly clicked. That she will have two more months to fine tune her kip and the rest of the events before we compete in October. So if she continues on this path, she will compete L5. I was too excited to even ask if she didn't fine tune everything if she still had to compete L4. She knows that my daughter felt pressure because she didn't want to be left behind. So I am praying that my daughter does her best and that her best is good enough for L5!

Thank you everyone for all your advice and insight. It has truly been so helpful!!!
 
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GymnastJoy

Proud Parent
Nov 5, 2010
1,015
Congrats to your dd!!! What great timing- no pun intended ;). Hopefully she can work towards level 5. And I love your gym's meet mentality. I bet all the girls display great sportsmanship both in and out of the gym.
 
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gymnastbeth

Moderator/Gymnast
Sep 16, 2009
1,005
Also, just a question... how does your coach "not allow" the girls to look at their scores when competing? I mean, the scores are flashed for all to see!

Ever since my first meet, we weren't allowed to look at the scores. If the coach caught us looking, she wouldn't "punish" us, per se, but we were just trained not to look. Before awards, we got our scorecards, and we could see our scores then. It eliminated a lot of potential drama, among other things.

In fact, I still don't see my scores until the end of the meet 90% of the time. (Although now, at level 9, we are "allowed" to look. LOL) I am usually too busy watching my teammates!
 
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LoveForGymnastics

New Member
Aug 2, 2011
8
Congrats to your dd!!! What great timing- no pun intended ;). Hopefully she can work towards level 5. And I love your gym's meet mentality. I bet all the girls display great sportsmanship both in and out of the gym.

Thanks GymnastJoy!!! The girls definitely do.

Ever since my first meet, we weren't allowed to look at the scores. If the coach caught us looking, she wouldn't "punish" us, per se, but we were just trained not to look. Before awards, we got our scorecards, and we could see our scores then. It eliminated a lot of potential drama, among other things.

In fact, I still don't see my scores until the end of the meet 90% of the time. (Although now, at level 9, we are "allowed" to look. LOL) I am usually too busy watching my teammates!

That is awesome. I really think it does alleviate a lot of drama among the team. It is more fun to just watch your teammates and not worry about the scoring. Great job!!!!
 

Gym Mommie

New Member
Aug 20, 2011
12
Is is normal for a gym to still hold back a child from competing Level 5 because their kip isn't "good?" I think not having straight arms or something like that. Should they compete Level 4 because of that?
 

gymnastbeth

Moderator/Gymnast
Sep 16, 2009
1,005
Is is normal for a gym to still hold back a child from competing Level 5 because their kip isn't "good?" I think not having straight arms or something like that. Should they compete Level 4 because of that?

I personally don't think that's a reason to hold someone back, but every gym and coach is different. At a recent meeting my coach was at, a gym owner said that they don't count it as a "real kip" until it has straight arms. (And the coach isn't happy and excited that they got a kip until then) We thought that was wrong, but at that gym it's perfectly normal. It all depends on the gym.
 
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Natasha

Proud Parent
Jan 28, 2011
1,712
Is is normal for a gym to still hold back a child from competing Level 5 because their kip isn't "good?" I think not having straight arms or something like that. Should they compete Level 4 because of that?

It depends on the gym's overall philosophy with what their competition requirements are. The big issue with the kip is that it is fundamental to have a good solid strong kip in order to do almost everything else on the bars. Also, in L4 you do not have to connect any bar skills. In L5 the front hip has to come right out of the kip on the low bar and the cast directly out of the kip on the high bar. In order to do either of those skills directly out of a kip, the kip needs to be done with straight arms. The kip is one of those very important building block skills which is essential not only for a clean routine at L5 but all future levels. It is very different than, for example, not having a clean cartweel on the beam, as that will not affect anything else in the beam. routine.
 

Gym Mommie

New Member
Aug 20, 2011
12
I personally don't think that's a reason to hold someone back, but every gym and coach is different. At a recent meeting my coach was at, a gym owner said that they don't count it as a "real kip" until it has straight arms. (And the coach isn't happy and excited that they got a kip until then) We thought that was wrong, but at that gym it's perfectly normal. It all depends on the gym.

Thanks for the input!
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,788
The 'Wood, Ohio
We use USAG Routines, but are a YMCA gym & in our Region, if you receive a certain score 2x in a season, you HAVE to move up. Some coaches follow the AA score mandate, but neglect that there is also an event mandate score that has to be reached. We affectionately call this a Coach's Mandate. These mandates are higher than the USAG Minimum scores (and to Minimum up, the Region requires the USAG min 2x). I know a gymnast that competed L5 for us last year because she made a coach's mandate, but did not have her kip. Her high score on bars for the entire season was 6.50, with a 28.75 AA high score. She finally got her kip a week after the last meet (a qualifier for Y Nationals). With each kip being worth 0.7 ... plus 0.5 for the fall ... times 2 kips per routine means she was losing 2.4 points JUST ON THE KIPS.
I would suggest having her compete L4 until she gets the kip just so she is back in the swing of competitions. You are right though that the L4 routine has little to do with higher level routines. The FHC and BHC are used in L5, but that is about it.
 

LoveForGymnastics

New Member
Aug 2, 2011
8
It depends on the gym's overall philosophy with what their competition requirements are. The big issue with the kip is that it is fundamental to have a good solid strong kip in order to do almost everything else on the bars. Also, in L4 you do not have to connect any bar skills. In L5 the front hip has to come right out of the kip on the low bar and the cast directly out of the kip on the high bar. In order to do either of those skills directly out of a kip, the kip needs to be done with straight arms. The kip is one of those very important building block skills which is essential not only for a clean routine at L5 but all future levels. It is very different than, for example, not having a clean cartweel on the beam, as that will not affect anything else in the beam. routine.

I agree. But that is why I thought my daughter should have been allowed to train L5 to help practice that skill instead of re-competing at L4. I feel there is not much growth to be obtained via the L4 competition route. Her time should be spent training on L5 basics to make her a better, L6 and L7. Doing L4 would not help her foundation skills in the long run.
 

LizzieLac

Proud Parent
May 4, 2010
1,872
My DD was in the same boat last year - was supposed to complete level 5 after switching from Prep OPT Novice, but the kip was not there. Long (very long) story, she ended up competing level 4 for the season. She worked on her kip by herself one day a week on a day when the level 4s did not practice, and they did work on it "a little" during level 4 practice.

I was as torn as you - maybe more. I think age and overall goals of the gymnast should be considered. For my DD, this meant she was a 10-yr old level 4, a little old in our opinion as she wants very much (at this point) to be an optional gymnast and says she wants to compete in college.

I am not a fan of just training a level and not competing for a season. Nothing can replace competing, regardless of the skills. You can always pick out the experienced competitor, which is a huge factor at this age and level. I could see only training for maybe half of the season in attempts to get a missing skill, but the season isn't just about gaining skills. Being able to rise to the competitive environment is so important. That IS something that will benefit them long term. It forces them to perfect their skills, to focus in front of judges, to calm their nerves. I just don't think you can gain those things in workout alone.

So, a combination of competing level 4 and training level 5 is probably the best solution, but I would not completely avoid competing level 4 if that turns out to be the only option for the season. Good luck!
 
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NGL780309

My DD is competing Level 4 while training Level 5 due to not being old enough to compete level 5. When she practices her level 4 routine she does a kip instead of a glide pullover. She's not losing any practice on her kip by doing this. The front hip circle is next in both routines so again she's getting practice for both levels. She will do a few shoot thrus instead of squat ons. The backhip circle into the underswing dismount has been great practice for her backhip circle underswing on the high bar. So she has been able to do just a little bit of 4 since she's competing that level. I don't feel like she's lost any time on her level 5 skills. But she is actually in the level 5 group as opposed to being with the 4's. I don't know your DD's situation. Just saying that smart coaches should be able to figure out a way to keep her working on those 5's skills if it is necessary for her to compete level 4.
 
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