Parents Going Elite

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Gympops

Proud Parent
Hi there.....this is a little premature for my little girl. However, I'm inquiring to find out, what everyone's opinion is as to when a gymnast should consider going Elite? What considerations should they look at and what kind of scores should they be obtaining to go to the next level?

Currently I have an 11 year old L8 and she just started her meet season and already finding great success....she is a June bday so she is 11 1/2 at this point. I anticipate she would be a L9 next season at 12 and then L10 at 13 so I don't think it would be too late to consider Elite.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Elite requires another level of commitment - both for the gymnast and the family. I would suggest that she should have AT LEAST 2 successful years at Level 10 (with well over the minimum requirements) before she makes the leap... and I would describe successful as 38+ regularly (or 37.5+ at JO Nationals).
 
Are you at a gym or with a coach who has trained elites? What does her coach say? If this is her dream you need to discuss the possibility with her coach sooner rather than later.
 
Thank you very much. We are at a gym with an owner who judges elite/college and is a tremendous Coach.....and also have a head coach that has trained elite although this program is on its way to being implemented but not yet in place. There are many talented kids in this program so many are seeking this path. My daughter is fairly new to that gym, being there only 8 months but she is only in the 37 range at this point....however she has made great strides as at her last gym she was only in the mid-high 34's! So with form corrections and other things she has thrived in a short amount of time. Just want to give her every opportunity she may be looking for, whether it be an elite or college path....or both.
 
If the club she's at now has an experienced elite coach who's made it work for for a handful of kids over the past 5-10 years.......

and the the owner of the club is willing to put together a program the elite coach feels is adequate.......

and you can afford the financial and time sacrifices the elite coach requires......

and you dear daughter wants to commit her heart and soul to the sport with no regrets over missed social opportunities and other activities......

and she has at least above average physical traits and ability......

and she works so hard that even her coaches cringe......

Then she has a chance and a reason to pursue her dream with a few years to spare. The jump from L8 37.00aa to elite is a big one, but if she's just beginning to get good coaching and her scores continue to rapidly improve, the trip from L8 to elite can take anywhere from two years to never. A lot of that depends on injuries and a stable support system at home and the gym.

Another big factor is whether, or how clearly and completely, she views herself, her dreams, and her destiny as an elite. Will alone isn't enough, but a limitless amount of everything will not be enough unless she has that will or vision.
 
All that said, Injuries injuries injuries,,, are you tough enough.... Now add fear.... Level 10 is very hard, Elite is open ended hard.... You should speak with the coach about what they think and then respect the opinion that you get.
 
I can only speak as to our experience. My DD is 13, and a L10. She has been training to qualify elite for the last 3 years. This is her dream. It has to be because it's the hardest thing I've ever seen anyone do. She's at training 35+ hours a week. Yes, it's a full time job. Plus she attends school half time and has homeschooling in the subject she doesn't get in school. She typically has at least an hour of homework a night and she's not in high school yet. She has no time for friends or other activities. She doesn't care.

Elite training is a huge commitment for the entire family. It's expensive, not just the coaching fees but the travel to qualifiers and meets. We had to figure out a way to get her to and from the gym in the middle of the day which was more difficult than you think if you have to be at work. We don't take vacations anymore because she has training 6 days a week year round. She gets a week off after season but that's it. We don't travel at holidays to see family because she only gets Christmas day off. My younger child isn't thrilled that her life revolves around her sister's schedule so I'm constantly trying to accommodate her.

Injuries are a fact of life. You have to count on spending money for doctors and physical therapy. I have good insurance but have spent thousands this year in co-payments for things like physical therapy for growth related injuries. We also had to figure out how to fit her appointments into the mix.

In terms of ability, look at the TOPS testing physical abilities. Can your daughter do most of those? That seems to be the standard that they are looking for. In terms of skills, is she competing routines that meet the bare minimum of the requirements or is she competing skills above her level? Some girls score really well with routines that just meet the requirements. Girls trying to go elite typically push those boundaries. Have her coaches approached you about joining the program?

How mentally strong is she? Elite training is tough, not just physically. Nothing is ever good enough. There's always a harder skill that needs to be more perfectly. It's a lot to throw at a tween/teenager.

I'd sit down with your daughter and discuss this. If she really wants to do this and your family can handle it, then there's no reason not to try.
 
I would see if she even makes it to Level 10 before I'd worry about elite...remember elite is BEYOND Level 10 and as someone says, the difference between 37s as an 8 and elite is huge...

My caveat with elite is to be prepared for her to not want to do it and for you ( the parent) to not show your disappointment if that is her decision...my daughter did a stint in elite and when she decided it wasn't the path she wanted to pursue and she "just" wanted to do Level 10 (which she did successfully for 7 years), her father could never accept that decision and their relationship has never been the same...so unless you would truly be okay with her going back to JO after all the sacrifices that come with elite, I wouldn't even go there ...if you would have one shred of regret, stay with JO...
 
Fantastic advice from you all and thank you! My daughter was a TOPS kid and had the Texas experience. At this point she still attends regular school....because her Mom & I don't want to make these decisions for her in terms of homeschooling, etc. Her gym is an hour away so she is roughly about 28 hours a week including drive time of course. She is so committed but I'm not sure if she is ready for that elite path and I also agree that she needs to compete 9 & 10 before it's a consideration. We will wait and see.....I'm trying hard not to try and push or influence her into something she doesn't want. This sport in particular takes such an investment in money and time that you find yourself feeling like your on this journey with your gymnast. Ultimately we just want her happy and not looking back with regrets.
 
If the club she's at now has an experienced elite coach who's made it work for for a handful of kids over the past 5-10 years.......

and the the owner of the club is willing to put together a program the elite coach feels is adequate.......

and you can afford the financial and time sacrifices the elite coach requires......

and you dear daughter wants to commit her heart and soul to the sport with no regrets over missed social opportunities and other activities......

and she has at least above average physical traits and ability......

and she works so hard that even her coaches cringe......

Then she has a chance and a reason to pursue her dream with a few years to spare. The jump from L8 37.00aa to elite is a big one, but if she's just beginning to get good coaching and her scores continue to rapidly improve, the trip from L8 to elite can take anywhere from two years to never. A lot of that depends on injuries and a stable support system at home and the gym.

Another big factor is whether, or how clearly and completely, she views herself, her dreams, and her destiny as an elite. Will alone isn't enough, but a limitless amount of everything will not be enough unless she has that will or vision.

this is a good post iwannacoach. in fact, the "jump" is so big that it is the equivalent of walking the Walenda tight wire over the Grand Canyon...and without the balance pole and wire.

and dad, let her get her full back on track as you posted in the other thread before your mind starts going down this path. the only event at the Elite level where a full is used is on balance beam. capiche?
 
well, i forgot the "Bardwaj" between the bars. a fly away full catch low bar. :)
 
Gym pops - your daughter and mine are quite similar. My DD wants to be an elite. She is in fifth grade and is a level 8. She is doing quite well since she only started competing three years ago. But I tell her school is most important, and if she gets to the level 10+ where we have to make hard decisions we will! but to enjoy how much progress she has made. Like your daughter she goes many hours at a quality gym and leaves school a bit early each day to get to gym. Many may disagree but I think there is time....
 
Gym pops - your daughter and mine are quite similar. My DD wants to be an elite. She is in fifth grade and is a level 8. She is doing quite well since she only started competing three years ago. But I tell her school is most important, and if she gets to the level 10+ where we have to make hard decisions we will! but to enjoy how much progress she has made. Like your daughter she goes many hours at a quality gym and leaves school a bit early each day to get to gym. Many may disagree but I think there is time....

i think there is time also. :)
 

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