How many hours a week should prep opt rookies be practicing?

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5pomolos

Hello :) I am new here and will just go ahead and jump in with a questions for those of you familiar with the world of prep opt gymnastics. My daughter has competed as a rookie for one year. She loves it and it has been the best thing for her self-esteem and confidence. We initially thought she may go on the level route after a year of preteam, but the gym she is at is VERY competitive and she was too old (8 at the time) along with "not good enough" to go to level 4, which is where they start. Most of the level 4 girls are between 5-7 It was advised that she go to prep opt rookie and she is doing pretty good, but not as good as she wants to be. I just feel that she isn't getting enough practice. She loves being at the gym, works very, very hard and even conditions on her own at home. What kind of workout/practice schedule do other gyms have for their prep opt rookies? I am told there that two, two hour practices a week are enough and "if they don't 'get it' with that amount of practice that they just aren't going to get it. However, my daughter has been taking weekly private lessons ($$$yikes) and IS getting skills that she doesn't have enough time to do in 4 hours a week. Anyone have any input?
 
Hi Welcome to Chalkbucket. I'm sorry I don't know too much about prep-op. I know there are a lot of people on here who do though. I just wanted to tell you how bad I feel for your dd. She sounds like she wants to put in the time, and isnt being allowed to do so. I find it sad that an 8 year old is being told she is "too old" for level 4. There are younger kids who compete level 4, but not all of them are that young. My own dd did not compete level 4 until she was 10, and is now a 16 year old level 9. I know this is not always the case, but I still feel the sport should encourage, not discourage--especially at the young age of 8!

Again, welcome and I hope you can find some answers to your questions here.
 
Our prep op program is structured differently and we do not have a rookie designation. That said, our lowest competitive group practices 6 hrs. per week. My personal opinion is that 4 hrs is not enough for any competitive level.

I also agree with the above poster. You may want to look around at other gyms in your area. A lot of gyms would be happy to have an 8 yr old pre-teamer who works hard and loves to be in the gym. 9 is probably the most competitive age at level 4 in my state, so an 8 yr old pre-teamer would be right in the mix here.
 
I don't have a daughter in prep-op but my level 3 practices 5 hours a week and she is 5. It seems feasible to me that an 8 year old would learn faster and be able to handle more hours than the gym is allowing her to do. We are an extremely competitive gym and one of our girls didn't walk in the door until she was 8 1/2. She placed at regionals this year as a twelve year old level 8 so maybe your gym isn't a good fit for what your daughter needs. Can you go to a gym that has coaches with a more open mind regarding your daughter?
 
The team that my dd is on is comparable to the Pre-Op program. The team used to practice 7 hours and week (split between 2 days a week) but then mid season last year they upped it to 10 hours a week. I agree that 4 hours is not enough training between 4 events. I would talk to the coaches and see if they are willing to add more hours.
 
Thanks for the input. I have spoken to the coaches (they quit often, though, super high turnover) and owners. I think we need to go elsewhere for sure. I really think with more practice she will improve (and really wants to!)
 

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