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What to expect

Discussion in 'Parent Forum' started by klv8, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. My very competitive daughter is facing her very first meet (usag level 1). Because of her competitive nature, we have discussed having fun and working to do her personal best - not focusing on who got what score. She seems to get it, but she's also really worried about her beam score, in particular. She still has to use her hands to stand up at the beginning, and there's likely to be one fall as well as some form deductions. I know absolutely nothing and do not plan to share this info with her in detail - but can anyone help me out a little bit as far as deductions/point values? She's sure to ask me a lot of questions about it afterwards, if not before.
  2. Can't really help you with scores as scoring is different in NZ (we score out of 15.000 and our smallest deduction is 0.003) but good luck! First meets always bring nerves but are lots of fun! :)
  3. Instead of worrying about her scores (something she can't control), work with her to set goals she can control. (Ex. Brief touch of the hands on the mount, pointing her toes, etc) Something she is capable of 75% of the time. We never set score goals since scoring varies widely from meet to meet. A 9.1 at meet A won 2nd place, a 9.4 at Meet B got nothing. Tell her these first scores are her baseline. Also, video her. My daughter loves watching those first meets when she is struggling with something. It helps her see how far she has come and helps her feel less down .
  4. How old is she? Gosh, please do not worry about level 1. It means nothing. My youngest daughter competed level 1 in kindergarten. She is also very competitive and focused. Her first meet, she had no clue or idea about scores/deductions and had the meet of her life. As soon as she understood that she could get deductions for this or that, she got anxious and her performance actually declined for a few of the meets until she stopped worrying so much. My other daughter also competed level 1 and was about 6. Totally different personality. She could have cared less about her scores. She was actually a terrible level 1 on everything but the bars because her feet would move all over the place. I will tell you that not one child in her age group at the level 1 state meet is doing gymnastics now. I know this advice isn't terribly helpful in the short term, but I'm just hoping it gives some perspective.
    sce, SMH and FlippinLilysMom like this.
  5. It's possible that the meet will award participation ribbons for awards as it takes some pressure off the littles in the lower levels. I would encourage you to leave the deductions conversation to the coach. You have no control over scores. Instead emphasize how much you enjoy watching your DD compete and how happy it makes you.
    PinPin and LJL07 like this.
  6. I will second this! One of my DD's early goals was to smile during her floor routine. I recommend you make every effort to steer conversations away from scores (both before and after the meet), although I know that can be tricky sometimes.

    I am not a judge or coach -- just a parent -- but here is what little I know about deductions. Falls are a 0.50 deduction. Most "form" deductions have a range (e.g., up to 0.20 or 0.30) and will therefore be variable. There are also potential "text" deductions in compulsory routines when a gymnast does not follow the exactly prescribed routine -- but I seem to recall there is a max deduction per routine for these types of errors (maybe up to 0.40?). Really you don't need to know much more than that. Leave the details and corrections to the coaches. I will share from personal experience that it is easy to fall into the trap of "coaching" in these early years (I mean, what's so bad about reminding her to point her toes?); but now that my DD is a little older, I am personally seeing the negative impact that this type of parent/gymnast dynamic can lead to over time. Girls who are literally crying after practice that their moms will be mad. Or who are watching training videos at the direction of parents. This type of parental involvement is definitely not helping their gymnastics. Just be a soft place for her to land on the hard days, and a cheerleader during meets. Anyway, I digress....

    Have fun at your first meet! Definitely video record (or ask another mom to do it for you if you prefer to watch live). And let us know how it goes.

    PS -- When you do want to talk about scores, skills, deductions, a rough meet, etc. (and there will be those moments), I recommend finding a good gym-mom friend who you can totally trust; or venting here! A spouse will work too -- although my husband has a very low threshold for detailed gymnastics discussions before his eyes start to glaze over.
    Really likes this.
  7. How old is she?

    For the record, we too never focus on scores. We can not control those. We are fans of the Serenity thing.

    Accept the things you can't control, and control what you can. Important life lesson.

    So we too focus on what she can control. Improvement on skills, clean routines, stuck landings. Improving from last performance.

    When we say good bye before she heads out to the floor, its have fun, do your best, love you......

    After its we love watching you do gymnastics. And we focus on what she did well.

    Age matters. She didn't get age groups and things like that when she 6-7. If she got some medals she was happy. And the first time they don't its hard and upsetting but that is also an important life lesson. We bring it around to again, what went well, what can you work on.....

    Now that she is older (and they all understand this as they get older and the skills get harder). Scores become to a degree a measure of improve, but they know it doesn't tell the whole story. At States last year my kid had the second highest AA score of her whole team. And yet everyone on the team at least medal-ed except her. She pretty got the toughest age group score wise. Yep nearly best of her team. 0 medals. She gets it, her coach got it. And she had a great meet. Clean routines, connections made, stuck landings. Scores don't tell the whole story. But that comes with age.
    PinPin, M2Abi, Rebel and 1 other person like this.
  8. This is a tough one for me. Much good advice has been given. I guess the thing that rings most true for me is that while the lower levels of gymnastics are fun exciting and are the impetus for the love our athletes have for this sport it means so very little. You can so easily be fooled into thinking you have the next great gymnast on your hands, look out Olympics. When in reality this sport is so hard, so demanding, so scary, and so nearly impossible. I watched my daughter proceed through this sport winning at an alarming rate. My eyes grew wide and I had crazy thoughts go through my pea brain. Then Level 8 season starts things are harder I see her teammates experiencing blocks and fears. Refusing to vault and some losing back tumbling. So even though you read it here that these things can happen until you see them sometimes it is hard to beleive. The gymnasts that make it to level ten are a rare breed of athletic ability and superhuman anatomy. Please do not focus on scores or placement but instead focus on the smile on our child's face. Enjoy the meets and the time they allow you and your athlete to spend together. They will be memories you can share.
    PinPin, Lisbeth, amlfbaba and 4 others like this.
  9. Good advice, and similar to what I've been telling her! :) I
    I'm certainly not worried about scores. In fact, I haven't talked to her about scores or deductions, and don't plan to. But somehow, my 6 year old DOES know about them, and has set goals for herself (which she just told me about a day or two ago). My question was really just trying to understand how it all works, not to coach... I have no idea if her personal goal is attainable and want to be careful to say the right things to encourage her. So I just wanted some information about what to expect going in. I know level 1 means nothing, as you said, but to my little girl, (and to some extent, to us) level 1 is everything right now. We're not in this with our sights set on level 10, or even optionals. Just trying to be a good parent right in this moment.
    PinPin, Rebel and John like this.
  10. Sorry, the first "good advice" part at the top of my previous post ended up in the wrong spot. :) I appreciate everything that has been said here. I've certainly been redirecting her focus away from scores and towards just doing her personal best and having fun with the experience. I just wanted to have some clue what's going on at the meet when scores are given.
    PinPin and CLgym like this.
  11. Have never seen the level 1 routines, so had to look. That stand up on the beam is hard for that level! If you are just generally curios about scoring, a fall is 0.5. Grabbing the beam to avoid falling is 0.3. Depends how much she is relying on the hand push off the beam to stand up but likely losing 0.3. Wobbles are up to 0.3, so 0.05 to 0.3 depending on severity. Same with all the form deductions. Most are up to 0.3, so 0.05 to 0.3 depending how severe. 0.05 for slight leg bend, 0.3 for worst bent leg you've ever seen, etc. As everyone has said, don't obsess about the scoring, but I understand being curious about what to expect!
    PinPin and John like this.
  12. Thank you! This is exactly what I'm looking for! :) I totally get what others have said about not giving this info to my daughter, and didn't plan to... I just want to have some idea what's going on. :)
  13. My kid is L7/8 and I'd still like some idea of whats going on. o_O
    PinPin and FlippinPrincess like this.
  14. I think that introducing your child to deductions and how meets work is actually an important part of the process. I just wish I knew when the correct time to do so? They all learn about them and some do not seem to care (those kids seem to be into skills and levels) and then other athletes care so much they get sick and upset prior to competition. Mine used to be a skill girl but is slowly turning towards wanting her success validated with scores and that makes me a little sad.
  15. I would just explain to her that the scores don't matter because sometimes different judges see different things - and that it is good to have goals that are within your control. She's so little but she sounds very bright so maybe using the SMART goal setting in your explanation to her (in a way she can understand it).
    After the conversation I would talk about SMART goals and have her shift her focus on things like: smiling during the routine, or pointing her toes (things she can control) like others have suggested.
    Musicmama and stillhoping like this.
  16. As long as you aren't worried! :) I did worry, and it was for nothing! Too bad I can't go back in time. Ha! Yes, rather than making her goals score focused, setting tangible goals for each meet is reasonable (e.g., stay tight on beam, point toes, etc.). The other thing is that scores vary a bit from meet to meet, so what might score a 9.5 at one meet will get a 9.2 at the next depending on judges and other factors. You can drive yourself nuts trying to analyze that. I think a judge already gave you some of the bigger deductions, so that should help. And lastly, just to share a funny story: my youngest who is very type A, had set a goal at one meet of really trying to improve her beam and specifically her mount. Apparently, she was dissatisfied with her mount right off the bat, and she deliberately hopped down and started over. Oops. That was a pretty big deduction. :D:D
    Flipfloppy, NY Dad, PinPin and 2 others like this.
  17. My daughter's coaches do discuss deductions with them (in terms of why it's important to do a or b or c, when it's worth repeating a skill on beam if they fall, etc.). I don't think that's my job as a parent to teach that, but rather the coaches.

    There definitely is a big variance in scores from meet to meet depending on the judges. As you watch enough meets, you'll start to catch on to where the girls tend to fall score wise. I can usually tell if the scores are trending high or low for any event. It's kind of like when teachers grade on a curve.
    M2Abi likes this.
  18. My OG is probably permanently retired from gymnastics because OTHERS focused on her scores AND her skills - expecting her to do skills she was blocked on and not being happy enough with her scores in Old L6 due to blocks (and old L6 was notorious for lower scores) ... then she took 4 months off and came back to compete Xcel Gold because she missed it ... and they still weren't happy with her not throwing the blocked skills and her "low" scores ... it was the year before Xcel went National. The next year, she scored better because she learned less is more. She got over 1 of her blocks (it only took 18 months) ... but they still wanted MORE from her. So she took time off. It ended up being a 2 year break. She came back to do L6 with only 1 month of training before competing. She still had one of her fears (flyaway), but was able to get her other skills back for the most part. Since she went from Xcel Gold to L6, her scores suffered (especially bars). They wanted her to do better. She retired before Y Nationals that season because THEY decided that even though she qualified and I paid for it, they would have a better vacation if they didn't go. The day before that happened, she had told me that her goal for Nationals was to have her bar routine completely connected (and in her grips) and she was working on a new beam mount that was a B skill that she wanted to put in her routine. She had said she wanted to come back, but she didn't think she would be good enough. I told her there is no such thing as her being "not good enough" because I love watching her do gymnastics. Now, she is too busy with school ... she is in a nursing program at the local JVS and it requires her to do clinical rotations PLUS all of her academic classes.
    John likes this.
  19. Just enjoy watching your little one perform. If she has questions about deduction etc, direct her to her coach. If you have questions about what it is you are watching, feel free to come here and ask. Basically, small mistakes are .1 to .3, falls are .5. each elvel's routines have specific requirements for how the moves are to be performed, if those are to met, there is a range of deductions are taken as well. I do not know what the specific requirements are for level 1 though.

    Know though that for littles esp. at level 1 the victory is in going out, performing, remembering the routine etc. There is a long journey of gymnastics ahead. Before the meet just tell her to have fun, that you are proud of her hard work and excited that she gets to show it off.
    Jard.the.gymnast likes this.
  20. Thanks, everyone, for your insight and help! My daughter did amazing. My proudest moment was hearing her cheer on her teammates, honestly. :) That was awesome. She also scored higher than she thought she would on everything. In the excitement of awards, I don't think she really heard her scores. She knows she placed well, but that's it. If she asks I'll probably tell her, but she hasn't yet. :)
    Gigi, Musicmama, CLgym and 1 other person like this.
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