Anon Ever have an entire team have a bad year?

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I’m wondering if this is normal or if I should be worried about our coaches and gym. After a couple of strong years (consistently getting everyone into 1st-4th places in AA at States in their age groups), my daughter’s gym and coaches seem to be struggling to hold everything together. They have strict policies on hitting routines the week before the meet. 1/3rd of the girls in my daughter’s level are scratching events. Even their worst versions of skills for scratched events would have scored higher than many girls who we see compete. It’s possible that half the level won’t qualify for states just because they don’t have AA scores yet (in spite of consistent 9s and above when they do compete). There are multiple injuries that have taken girls out for the entire season. And at practices this week and yesterday’s last meet, multiple girls were sent home sick before it was over-if you’re sick the week of the meet, you’re scratched entirely. And so many girls currently have mental blocks in this level and the next one. The girls are getting all the blame but it’s a lot to put on 9-10 year olds.

Maybe it’s coincidence, but I’m wondering if something else is happening. We’ve never had a season like this!
 
Sorry, but I'm going to be very harsh because this just doesn't sit well with me.

This doesn't sound like a very good environment to me. Some people may disagree, but in my opinion a coach should know what their gymnast is capable of, and the gymnast being sick or having one off day the week before shouldn't get them banned from competing.

In my opinion, this policy is putting the gym's reputation before the girls' wellbeing and fun. They're putting needless pressure on the girls because they have to fight every meet to just be allowed to compete. Of course a gym with an attitude like that creates mental blocks. And of course they have always placed their girls very high: they're not letting girls compete if they aren't 100% sure it'll contribute to the gyms high scoring records.

"The girls are getting all the blame" especially doesn't sit well with me. There shouldn't be any blame unless they're just goofing off, which it doesn't sound like they are.
 
What level? Does your gym have a track record of getting home grown gymnasts to upper levels? If not, there’s your answer. Are the competition-readiness policies new this season? If so, you will have to decide if this is acceptable for your gymnast going forward.

Regardless, the gym situation you describe sounds not good and I would be questioning whether a gym change is needed.
 
The policies about scratching and testing before meets intensified this season. These are compulsory athletes- 4s and 5s. The gym doesn’t have truly homegrown optional athletes because it’s only in its 3rd year (new owners took over and existing gym that closed during the pandemic- the existing girls had already scattered to other gyms so they started over). All of its athletes save for my daughter’s group started their competitive careers elsewhere. Her level is the first group that came up through preteam at this gym. Notably the 2 highest scorers in her group who don’t have blocks and remain consistent and uninjured transferred this year from other gyms.
 
How much coaching changes happened with the gym closure/start up?

I personally don't see a big issue with gym's setting standards and requirements IF they are provided the training and environment where they can be achieved with relative ease.

It sounds like these requirements have been put in place to create success, maybe because a lot of successful gyms do have them. The requirements are not why those gyms are successful - it's the training.

I think for the most part mental blocks are avoidable at the low levels with good training and progressions to create confident athletes with great air awareness. This is a red flag to me as a coach.

A high number of injuries is a red flag. Those kids going home sick - It sounds like the gym culture is extremely stressful and may be contributing to kids feeling too unwell to train - another potential red flag. I hope kids are not going home in tears.
 

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