For Parents Working on routines vs. skills in practice

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I have a question for more experienced gymnastics parents. I am the mother of a level 4 gymnast in her first year of competing. She is doing really well this year. At the start of the competitive season, she was finishing in the top three in most events and all-around. Now she has slipped to finishing around 6th or 7th in most events and all-around. She is still doing well but is disappointed not to be finishing as well as she did at the beginning of the season (her all-around scores have stayed about 36.500 but other gymnasts have gone up so her placings have gone down).

I have watched her practices and noticed that they do not really practice the routines before meets. The coach has them practice individual skills but not the whole routine. At the gym she used to be at, all they did was practice the routines. All of the girls on her old team are beating her at meets now.

I haven't done this before, so I don't know which is the "right" way to practice (or if there is a "right" way). At this gym, they mostly do strength exercises, drills, and skills. They only work on the routines a small amount. At the other gym, all they did was work on the routines. Nothing else.

My daughter's AA score is not going up, and her goal is to have it over a 37 for states. She also wants to get her floor score up to 9.7 (she's getting about 9.4 now). I don't think she can reach her goals without more work on the routines in practice. I worried about saying something to the coach because I don't want her to feel like I'm questioning her coaching. What should I do?
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Jan 8, 2006
Ahwahnee, CA
We've been to 3 gyms so far , gymbabi is level 7. The tiny gym we started at practiced full routines a lot. The kids were rarely in the top 3. The biggest gym we went to mainly practiced skills, and at compulsory levels, that seemed to work best. They worked on the individual elements of the routine (skills and dance) honing them till they were as close to perfect as they could be, then maybe had 1 or 2 full routines right before the meets. Our current gym does both. I think it has more to do with the quality of the coaching rather than the method.

PS> Sounds like your daughter is doing an awesome job!
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