For Parents What sport did you gymnast do in HS if there isn't a gymnastics team?

tkmom

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Sep 13, 2021
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I would love for my daughter to participate in a school sport, but our HS doesn't have a gymnastics team. I was wondering what sports your kids did if they were in a similar situation. She is 11, Level 5 (started gymnastics at age 8). I know we are a couple of years a way, but many of our HS teams have cuts, so we would have to dabble in other things now for her to be able to make the team.

She has shown to be fairly ineffective at any sport requiring catching or throwing of balls :). I was thinking of swimming (which is what her older brother does), but am not sure if it would be too late for her at this point to start. I did have my son's swim coach give her a few private lessons to teach her the fly and breaststroke just so she could participate in summer swim team next year. She had no working knowledge of it before she started, and she could do a fully legal and fairly fast fly in 2 lessons (her brother is still struggling with it after 3 years of team practice). But she would still be behind most of the girls her age who swim year round. We also though about pole vault, but the only pole vault place near us moved to a location that is too far for us to logistically attend.

Would love to hear other recommendations (open to ball sports other than baseball, soccer, and basketball).
 

MuggleMom

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I did gymnastics through level 5 (many a year ago) then in middle school did field hockey and cheerleading. HS I did field hockey for a bit then stopped and continued with gymnastics and cheering. I would say though your kid may not need to dabble now to do other sports later. Gymnstics have crazy body awareness and are very coachable. Most HS coaches will take a newbie gymnast for their team any day due to their strength and work ethic. Other possibilities I have seen are swiming, diving, rowing (some HS do this some not), Pole vault or just general track and field stuff. I know someone who made a college swim team after swimming for like a year, her mechanics were horrible but she was fast. She was never going to be an Olympian but she did just fine against the year round swimmers that had always done swimming.
 
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novagymmom

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I think that diving, pole vault and track tend to be pretty natural sports for gymnasts to take up. I wouldn't worry too much about not having pole vaulting experience before HS as I don't think many people at ALL experience that before HS. Then gymnastics provides the speed, strength and body awareness that's required.

My daughter recently switched from L9 to Xcel Diamond, so now has the time to try a HS sport. She decided to try field hockey - another sport that very few have experience in before HS. She is absolutely LOVING it. One of her most interesting comments to me was that she was nervous to play in the game until she got out there. She realized that you could make a mistake and actually recover and still do great. In gymnastics (at least in meets) it's all about trying to be perfect. So the idea that you can make mistakes without it being a big deal was so foreign (and refreshing) to her.
 

MUTigerMom

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Not sure if you have it in your area, but water polo is a great option. My daughter retired from gymnastics due to a back injury. She picked up water polo quickly. Her core strength and coachability really helped.
 

ldw4mlo

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Mine does Lacrosse and gymnastics. If these weren’t an option she would
Iikely do track.
 

Tmacs

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Swimming is a great sport for gymnasts… also golf. The muscle memory is perfect for golf. Long jump, hurdles and high jump are great track and field events.
 
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Mommysunshine

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My daughter has done quite well with track (hurdles, triple jump and discuss) and wrestling. Our state has girls only wrestling league. Wrestling coaches state gymnasts almost always make great wrestlers - they are crazy strong and have amazing body spatial awareness.

Really gymnasts transition into most sports quite well.
 
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3cats

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My daughter isn't in hs yet, but she plans to continue cheer and golf there. Both things she took up after stopping artistic gymnastics. She also does T&T.
 

Madden3

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Hi my sons (who were gymnasts for many years) are at a very large high school and some of the teams are very competitive. Here is their experience:

My oldest son left gymnastics the summer before starting high school. His other love at the time was basketball and he was always quite good but being a gymnast he had never had time to consistently play. Once he made the decision to leave gymnastics, he trained hard with private coaches hoping to make the HS team, but while he got great feedback he fell short of making the team. Most of the kids at the tryouts had already played for the HS coaches all through middle school (or even since 4th grade) in feeder programs.

So freshman year he ran cross country in the fall, he had a lot of promise but the coach was a controlling jerk so my son switched to track and field that spring and never went back to cross. Started as a jumper (long and triple jump) then got fast enough to transition to sprints which he preferred. Covid shutdown in sophomore year and a hamstring injury junior year badly interrupted his competitive seasons, but hopefully this year the season will happen.

Younger son left gymnastics during the shut down and started playing football in the winter of 8th grade. Because of the continuing shutdown it was a very limited introduction with just a few games but the coach was great and helped build my son's confidence. He is now a starting defensive lineman for the freshman team and could not be happier, once again he has great coaches.

Basically in our experience, it is not the sport itself that would be any problem for someone who is already a strong athlete and willing to work hard, but rather the competitiveness of that particular sport at that particular school. Also, most important is that the kid really likes the sport - and the coaches. We talk a lot about gym coaches here on the forum, but there are good and bad coaches in every sport. And in HS, there is no way to switch to another coach without either switching sports or switching schools! Since you have plenty of time, I would suggest ask around about the sports/coaching at her high school, go to games or meets, watch coaches in action, and find out if there are any 'feeder' programs for that sport for her prospective high school.
 

PreciousJ

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Also, most important is that the kid really likes the sport - and the coaches. We talk a lot about gym coaches here on the forum, but there are good and bad coaches in every sport. And in HS, there is no way to switch to another coach without either switching sports or switching schools! Since you have plenty of time, I would suggest ask around about the sports/coaching at her high school, go to games or meets, watch coaches in action, and find out if there are any 'feeder' programs for that sport for her prospective high school.
This. While my kids aren't in HS yet, they've had a quite the mix of coaches in their non-gymnastics sports. My DD, the gymnast, played rec basketball one year and had the most supportive, kind coach. She didn't exactly love the sport, LOL, but the coach was great. DS has played football and basketball for county parks & recreation and middle school teams, and the variation in coaching has been astounding. As discussed here many times, coaches can truly make or break an athlete's success in a sport, so it's definitely something to pay attention to at the HS level.
 

raenndrops

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One girl went on to do soccer in high school. She is now in college. She is on the Soccer team. Also, the college added a Women's Club Lacrosse team this year. She is on their JV Lacrosse team with 0 experience with lacrosse.
 

Gym Parent

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At my daughters high school, they have a gymnastic team but they also have a lot of other sports that the gymnasts participate in. I know a lot of the girls love dive, track, and tennis which are all sports that are easier to start later in life.
 

Pirouette

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My daughter did pole vault and XC in high school, in addition to club gymnastics.

Her former teammates who left the sport transitioned to diving, volleyball, pole vault/hurdles, cheerleading, competitive dance, and softball.

It's important to note that some of these athletes became very successful in their new sports, while others just enjoyed the challenges and new teammates. They weren't in the new sport to be super competitive or to do it only if they were winning. Some made their high school teams and some stuck to club when they didn't make the HS team. All of them seem pretty satisfied with their situations.
 

Aussie_coach

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I’m impressed that so many of your kids actually do sport in High School.

Around here, most high schoolers get their exersice carrying their school bags and picking up and putting down their phones.

Even those who are very active, tend to shy away from school sports, as it’s not considered particularly cool.
 

Gymx2

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I’m impressed that so many of your kids actually do sport in High School.

Around here, most high schoolers get their exersice carrying their school bags and picking up and putting down their phones.

Even those who are very active, tend to shy away from school sports, as it’s not considered particularly cool.
This surprises me, I guess because I have some stereotype in my head that all Australians are always out surfing, or paddleboarding, hiking, or wrestling crocodiles. :D
 

mommyof1

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I’m impressed that so many of your kids actually do sport in High School.

Around here, most high schoolers get their exersice carrying their school bags and picking up and putting down their phones.

Even those who are very active, tend to shy away from school sports, as it’s not considered particularly cool.

It is the opposite here--social status in high school is based heavily on sports achievement. At my high school it was essential to have a varsity letter jacket. Gymnastics is an outlier in that in many areas serious club gymnasts tend not to compete for their high schools. In the ball sports, club athletes dominate the high school teams.
 
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rjb123

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track (we know several girls who have gone on to be highly successful pole vaulters and sprinters- D1 college rides!), diving, cheer, cross country (generally this is a no cut sport around here at least).
 

Aussie_coach

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This surprises me, I guess because I have some stereotype in my head that all Australians are always out surfing, or paddleboarding, hiking, or wrestling crocodiles. :D
Hehehehe, wrestling crocodile, I love it!

A lot of people do surf, paddle board, hike etc (not wrestle crocs though). But for many doing these activities is fine, but representing your school can be considered much less cool.

Possibly because High a school teams don’t tend to be that good (except if they have a really specialist focus). They might train once a week during their lunch break and play one game a week.

Club teams tend to be far better.
 

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