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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
We are only 2 competitions into our first season competing so I am still very new. My daughter just turned 8 and is competing as a level 4. Our gym doesn't compete until level 4 and I don't think they are used to having such young gymnasts. We are scheduled to compete at the Gasparilla Classic this weekend and the more I read about the sheer size of this meet the more nervous I get. We did a small meet recently and the gymnasts were behind a partition from the parents seating area for the awards ceremony. I assumed that an adult coach would stay with the gymnasts but when the awards ceremony was over I went to get my child and found her outside the room with only her friend. I am so worried about this next meet. I think I am just used to having my child within arms reach when in such a big crowd. I was kind of voicing my concerns with a few other parents last night at practice (I didn't mention the fact that my child seemed unattended at the recent meet only saying that I was nervous to be in such a big crowd and not have my child within arms reach). One parent kind of patronizingly said something like "well, this is all part of them growing up". Easy for him, his gymnast is 15! Am I being too much of a helicopter mom?

I emailed the coaches this morning (because I feel my only other communication options are text or grabbing them after practice). I tried to approach it as a request for them to help with my nerves and make it more my issue than theirs. I am trying to approch this as graciously as possible but I am in a time crunch and these nerves are getting bad!
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
289
Our coaches don't always go to the award ceremony because they have to coach the next session or have a short break to eat before the next session. The girls always sit in a group together at awards and I can usually see my dd or at least the group. We've never had a meet where the girls were separated by some sort of partition. How many are in her level?
 
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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
Our coaches don't always go to the award ceremony because they have to coach the next session or have a short break to eat before the next session. The girls always sit in a group together at awards and I can usually see my dd or at least the group. We've never had a meet where the girls were separated by some sort of partition. How many are in her level?
4 girls ranging in age from 8-10 or 11. The two older girl's families had gotten to them before us and were close by but my daughter and the other 8 year old were just kind of standing in a crowded hallway looking for their families.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
289
That is a small group. My dd was usually with about 12-17 others when she was young so I didn't worry about it. Could you tell her to stay where she is during awards and you will come to her? Or set up a meeting place ahead of time so she knows where to go when it's over especially if the awards are in a different room from the meet?
 
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PreciousJ

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4 girls ranging in age from 8-10 or 11. The two older girl's families had gotten to them before us and were close by but my daughter and the other 8 year old were just kind of standing in a crowded hallway looking for their families.
This is the type of situation where families need to work together to help out. As mentioned, coaches can't always stay with gymnasts at/after awards. I've been team mom before, with a group that age, and a parent would ALWAYS be with the kids until they were handed off to their families. We've used parent group texts and other messaging services to communicate with one another. Would something like that be a possibility for your team? Or could you work with the other families to have someone wait with the girls? Personally speaking, I'd never have left two littles on their own like that after a meet, even with a group that small. Especially if they were new to the big competition thing.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
This is the type of situation where families need to work together to help out. As mentioned, coaches can't always stay with gymnasts at/after awards. I've been team mom before, with a group that age, and a parent would ALWAYS be with the kids until they were handed off to their families. We've used parent group texts and other messaging services to communicate with one another. Would something like that be a possibility for your team? Or could you work with the other families to have someone wait with the girls? Personally speaking, I'd never have left two littles on their own like that after a meet, even with a group that small. Especially if they were new to the big competition thing.
That is a great idea. I am fairly close to the other parents so I will definetly try to talk to them and organize something.
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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Parent help helps, LOL! Parents on DD's teams have been awesome. Even the older girls could help out. My DD has volunteered to wait with teammates if needed (she's one the oldest on her team).
 
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skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
That is a small group. My dd was usually with about 12-17 others when she was young so I didn't worry about it. Could you tell her to stay where she is during awards and you will come to her? Or set up a meeting place ahead of time so she knows where to go when it's over especially if the awards are in a different room from the meet?
Telling her to wait until I come to her may be our best bet but it still makes me nervous that she was somewhere out of site with no real adult supervision and yet any adult had access to that room. She is a smart girl and I feel I have raised her to be pretty aware but I'm still nervous of the possibilities.
Setting up a meeting place is tricky when its all so unknown, but we could also try this.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
674
I've been there and it is nerve-wracking for sure. My DD did level 4 at age 7 and competed in a session alone due to her age during at least half of the meets (her team had like 18 kids but she often was the only one in her age group and session). Several meets did keep the girls behind the magical curtain during awards while we sat in the audience. I always just told her that she either had to walk out with the team as a group if possible, or if she was alone, then to literally pack up her stuff after awards and STAY RIGHT THERE. Then I would usually have to find an official person working awards to go get her for me since they didn't want parents in that area.

The thing that helped me the most was realizing that if I ran out of the meet right after she did her last event, I could snag a seat up front at awards and essentially get her attention so she would know exactly where to find me. The only time that did not work is when she competed floor last.

Most of the big meets have a ton of people working the meet who are really helpful if she gets lost. Tell her to ask one of the "helpers" from the meet if she gets lost. Important to tell her not to head off to the bathroom, water fountain, etc until she finds you.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
I've been there and it is nerve-wracking for sure. My DD did level 4 at age 7 and competed in a session alone due to her age during at least half of the meets (her team had like 18 kids but she often was the only one in her age group and session). Several meets did keep the girls behind the magical curtain during awards while we sat in the audience. I always just told her that she either had to walk out with the team as a group if possible, or if she was alone, then to literally pack up her stuff after awards and STAY RIGHT THERE. Then I would usually have to find an official person working awards to go get her for me since they didn't want parents in that area.

The thing that helped me the most was realizing that if I ran out of the meet right after she did her last event, I could snag a seat up front at awards and essentially get her attention so she would know exactly where to find me. The only time that did not work is when she competed floor last.

Most of the big meets have a ton of people working the meet who are really helpful if she gets lost. Tell her to ask one of the "helpers" from the meet if she gets lost. Important to tell her not to head off to the bathroom, water fountain, etc until she finds you.
Thank you!! This is very helpful.
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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I've been there and it is nerve-wracking for sure. My DD did level 4 at age 7 and competed in a session alone due to her age during at least half of the meets (her team had like 18 kids but she often was the only one in her age group and session). Several meets did keep the girls behind the magical curtain during awards while we sat in the audience. I always just told her that she either had to walk out with the team as a group if possible, or if she was alone, then to literally pack up her stuff after awards and STAY RIGHT THERE. Then I would usually have to find an official person working awards to go get her for me since they didn't want parents in that area.

The thing that helped me the most was realizing that if I ran out of the meet right after she did her last event, I could snag a seat up front at awards and essentially get her attention so she would know exactly where to find me. The only time that did not work is when she competed floor last.

Most of the big meets have a ton of people working the meet who are really helpful if she gets lost. Tell her to ask one of the "helpers" from the meet if she gets lost. Important to tell her not to head off to the bathroom, water fountain, etc until she finds you.
Yes, sometimes one of our parents would leave immediately after a session to get a visible seat at awards, intercept the girls, etc. And all of our girls know who the parents are, and we'll let them know if XX's mom/dad said to wait for them (or something similar). And seriously, the girls on DD's team stick together like glue anyway, so there's that. It's easy to spot them as a group, LOL.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Yes, sometimes one of our parents would leave immediately after a session to get a visible seat at awards, intercept the girls, etc. And all of our girls know who the parents are, and we'll let them know if XX's mom/dad said to wait for them (or something similar). And seriously, the girls on DD's team stick together like glue anyway, so there's that. It's easy to spot them as a group, LOL.
So at your meets age the awards held in a different place to the actual competition? Where people need to sit in a different area?

I’ve never seen that before. Awards are always held on the competition floor here.

Of course I assume your awards take a long time since they give so many awards and have so many age groups in the US.
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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So at your meets age the awards held in a different place to the actual competition? Where people need to sit in a different area?

I’ve never seen that before. Awards are always held on the competition floor here.

Of course I assume your awards take a long time since they give so many awards and have so many age groups in the US.
My daughter has been competing for 3 years, and over the course of 20 or so meets, maybe 1/4 have had awards on the competition floor. The ones that did were smaller meets (like ones hosted by her gym) or a few during last year (COVID).

And yes, awards can be LONG! I'd fully support awards on the comp floor and streamlined groups, but not likely to happen any time soon.
 
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gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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Unless it has changed, Gasparilla has the girls sit in front of the podium and they get called up as they are announced. So that will hopefully calm your fears a bit. I will say that if my child had gone to Gasparilla as a young one, I would have been nervous too so don't feel back. The place is huge with several gyms on the field, all going on at the same time. Extremely well run though. And really cool to be at the field.

So at your meets age the awards held in a different place to the actual competition? Where people need to sit in a different area?
At small meets the awards usually are done on the floor but larger meets will have sessions run back-to-back and one way to fit more sessions in is to have the awards in a different area so the next session can start sooner. We have been at meets with 800 to over 1000 competitors. Those have several sessions running at the same time, back-to-back for 3-4 days.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
Unless it has changed, Gasparilla has the girls sit in front of the podium and they get called up as they are announced. So that will hopefully calm your fears a bit. I will say that if my child had gone to Gasparilla as a young one, I would have been nervous too so don't feel back. The place is huge with several gyms on the field, all going on at the same time. Extremely well run though. And really cool to be at the field.


At small meets the awards usually are done on the floor but larger meets will have sessions run back-to-back and one way to fit more sessions in is to have the awards in a different area so the next session can start sooner. We have been at meets with 800 to over 1000 competitors. Those have several sessions running at the same time, back-to-back for 3-4 days.
Thank you, that does help!

Our coach says there are something like 6000 gymnasts registered for Gasparilla this year!!
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
311
32
Usually at the end of the meet, the coaches will walk the girls over to the awards room if it’s in a totally random location (happens frequently at big meets), unless the meet ran late and they have to go to the next session urgently. The girls will usually walk as a pack to awards. Usually they sit on the floor infront of the awards podium where the parents are at Florida meets (I’ve never been to a meet where they’ve been behind a curtain).

If you have time - go to the venue ahead of time, find your competition room, find your award room, show your daughter both places, make sure she knows the venue.

Both my husband and I are helicopter parents lol, I feel your nerves. I’ve found my daughter wandering a hallway once or twice but usually the gymnasts all walk together
 

novagymmom

Proud Parent
May 19, 2020
154
50
Assuming its the same set up as when we did Gasparilla, both competition floors and the awards are all on the baseball field. So she won't be going to a separate room. And, as previous poster mentioned, the girls were sitting on the floor (in between the podium and the chairs set up for parents). Have fun - it's a great meet!
 

Pirouette

Proud Parent
Oct 16, 2014
222
51
Gasparilla was a fun meet! DD says the awards were next to the competition area, just separated by a curtain or screen or something. They all run together for me, but I do remember that was a cool meet to see -- so many sessions happening at the same time.
 
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