Parents how to handle

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Hi -

while asking about the summer schedule for practice @ gym I was told that the L3 schedule would stay the same for the summer. Another team mom asked if she (head coach) was going to have any L4's next season and she said "No" :confused: This would mean that DD is not moving from L3 to L4. I can't see her skipping L4 at all.

I know that I am not a coach and that the decision to move girls is the coaches. A packet that was handed out states that they need to have ALL of their skills to move to a level. Which is fine w/ me. However, she also said that there would have only been one L4 so instead she is going to train her L5 (would have been her 2nd yr L4) - she does not have all her L5 skills yet. To me this is inconsistent. My DD has most of her L4 skills and with the entire summer to work on the few she needs and learning routines I don't see why she would not be ready.

The only thing I can think of holding her back is that she is not very 'tight' a lot of the time.

I am concerned she will be very discouraged doing L3 again. She already complains that she is bored w/ some of the skills. Also, she takes things very personally. Recently another girl in her group got her squat on jump to the high bar and she did not. Everyone was congratulating her and now my DD thinks that all the coaches think that she sucks :(. They do not but that is how she truly feels. I am afraid that she will take repeating L3 as the nail in the coffin that she does indeed suck. And she does not.

While I don't want her moved up before she is ready, I don't see why she could not be by September. And if the rule is you need all your skills to move, why is someone else moving w/o them?

Rant is over. Appreciate any advise. Maybe I am just a bitter mom who thinks her kid is better than she is :eek:
I am sorry you are dealing with this, and I truly hope your little one does not get discouraged! You never can tell who is going to get what skills over the summer.

Alot of things change over the summer and what a coach may say now may not be what they actually decide. We had the reverse problem last year. My oldest and her Level 6 teammates were all told they were moving to Level 7 (at the end of L6 season). THREE WEEKS before the first meet, 4 of the 5 girls (including my DD) were told they were going to remain as Level 6's. Not because they didn't have their skills, but because the coach thought this would "light a fire under them" to do better. It did nothing but cause alot of friction between the girls, and uncomfortable feelings for the 5th girl. The girls decided they would rather not compete the season than to repeat 6. Well, a month later, the tune changed and they were "allowed" to be 7's. They all qualified for Sectionals the first meet and had a fine season. Now this year, the "rumor" was that that ALL girls would remain a second yr at their current level, however, the coach recently announced that the L7 girls are training L8!
There is still some time to get her skills.My DD got bored one time,although did not compete,was in a rec op group.I talked to the coaches who moved her up and even though the other kids in her group were a little ahead of her it inspired her to work hard and eventually she got her skills too.
I know exactly wherre you are coming from. My DD is facing the same situation right now. She is right on the border for who will move up to l4 and who will repeat preteam. She is missing 3 skills but at our gym you don't have to have all the skills to move up. Move ups to the first competion is 6 months so I guess the coachs feel that's enough time to get the remaining skills. My DD has been talking about competing L4 for a whole year. I don't know what she will do if she dosen't go to level 4. I think she will be very disappointed. I am not sure how to help her through that. If I were you I would talk to the coach about your daughter's situation and ask if she thinks that she will be ready to move up. I would also ask her if your DD gets the skills at a later date this summer if she can move up then. I hope she gets to move up.
Level 4 is a lot more competitive than level 3, I am sure the coaches have the gymnasts best interests at heart and just don't want the girls to feel totally out of their depth. Having the skills is one thing but to be able to do them without a mass of deductions is another. Your daughter may take it hard, but the fact that no one is moving up and the whole squad will be repeating level 3 will make it easier. She will not feel like she is being singled out as not being good enough.

If your coaches are good your daughter should not get bored at training. If these girls are doing their second year of level 3, their training should consist of mainly working level 4 skills while practising their level 3 routines. If it doesnt work out that way, talk to the coahces let them know you are worried about her being bored.
I would definitely recommend talking to the coach. She may have been having a bad day and couldn't think about moving anyone up right then. Or maybe that parent's daughter isn't moving up but the coach didn't want to open that can of worms right then. Or maybe she isn't aware of how much your DD wants to progress. In any case, I think you should set up a time to meet with the coach and discuss her plans for your daughter.
I doubt very much you're just a bitter mom.

What your coach is doing with the second year 4 doesn't seem inconsistent or unfair to me. It's most likely an exception that needs to be made to keep from having a one person level 4 team. I do not see this girl being favored or getting special treatment. I see a team decision being made and this child being affected by it. Trust me, competing alone is not good for a little kid, and I would not want this little girl to have to do it.

As for the getting bored, well, that's a challenge for the coach. A good coach, like a good teacher, can work with a fairly broad range of skills and keep everybody hopping. During the training season (as opposed to the competition season), don't they all up-train anyway? Dd2 is currently working front giants. I didn't see anybody compete these last year in level 8, yet I imagine a fair number of the girls can do them as they look to level 9.

The attitude, I'm afraid, is your and you dd's issue to work out. Hey, my dd1 is EXACTLY the same way, so I know what you mean about the negativity. Bad news (for us anyway), we didn't overcome it and make a happy-go-lucky person out of her. Good news, dd1 can use it to push herself. I've heard "I suck" more times than I care to remember. Talking the kid out of it was pointless and I got to the point where I'd do the "Sorry you feel that way. If you're not happy here, though, you are free to quit any time." She never took me up on it.
Hi -while asking about the summer schedule for practice @ gym I was told that the L3 schedule would stay the same for the summer. Another team mom asked if she (head coach) was going to have any L4's next season and she said "No" :confused: This would mean that DD is not moving from L3 to L4. I can't see her skipping L4 at all.

ugh! First off I am a second hand information HATER! If I were you I would make sure that this information another team mom gave you is accurate. :p

If the info is in fact true, I would not approach the situation with "how come she gets to, and we don't?" Or with anger for that matter. Some coaches/gyms have seperate short term & long term goals for gymnasts. They are all different and should be treated so. Writing down your reasons of why a move-up would benefit your daughter & then maybe just asking the coach or owner (or gym manager) a question of "what are the plans you have for my daughter (short term & long term)?" may suffice. Soak in the info they give you, without getting emotional (sometimes this is tough for us parents, but the outcome is always better). Then you can calmly address your concerns with how your little one feels & how you feel. If it has to do with skills or staying tight, maybe they can suggest a couple of exercises to work on at home to address their move-up concerns. If it is because they just don't want a level 4 team, well that is just silly & would be an entirely different issue.
I agree that the 1st step is speaking privately with the coach. Set up a time when she's not between classes and you're not rushed to talk. If you understood correctly, then none of the L3s will move up and that may have "forced their hand"somewhat with the 1 L4 in moving her to L5. I would have some concern that girls spent a year(?) as L3s and none had all their skills to move to L4?

Many gyms(ours included) do have a cutoff point for moving up especially if your compulsory season starts in Sept. Our new compulsory teams have all been set over the last 2 weeks. They don't like to be teaching required skills during the summer---would rather use the time for increased conditioning and getting complete routines down and then fine tuned, so when Sept rolls around the girls are ready.

I guess 1 question you have to ask yourself is after a year as a L3, should your dd be further ahead(sorry I forget her age and if she competed). Did the gym do too many meets and not focus enough on training for the next level? Are the groups too big and individual weaknesses are not easily seen? Coach to gymnast ratio? Is this the gym you feel will be able to train your dd so she will succeed and be happy? Aussie coach is correct in that you don't want her at a level where she just gets major deductions on every event----that can lead to a miserable year.
Thank you all for your input.

I am going to speak w/ the coach once we are done with the Recital that is the 31rst. The gym is closed the week after the recital, so I will set a time to talk with her once she reopens.

To answer some of the ?'s that were asked in the posts.

DD is 7, will turn 8 over the summer. She did 5 or 6 meets since October. She scored between 31 & 35 AA in her meets. Frustration is that the last two months they have been working mainly on recital routines and fun things ( these are skills that they don't need anytime soon but see the big girls do - squat on, jump to high bar, cartwheel & BWO on beam). DD can do cartwheel pretty well and can do BWO well w/ just a hand under her back (not touching - just there). Why she has not been working as much on what she needs for L4 I am not sure.

I was standing there when the coach said there would be no L4's, so unfortunately it was not heresay. I wish it were.

Here is what she has for L4: beam dismount, mill circle, ROBHS, full split, BWO. I am not sure on vault - have not seen them work on it a lot.

She basically needs the beam mount (don't see this as being a problem as it is not a lot different from L3 and she had no problem w/ that. to be honest she has never tried it). turns on beam etc again, has never tried them so I don't know. Front hip circle, she is working on this ( also working on her kip). I am pretty certain she could do the floor routine w/ o a problem.

I do plan on asking what she needs to work on and why she feels she won't be able to get the few skills she needs by Sept. meet season. DD works hard. Just about 3 weeks ago same coach told her if she kept working that hard she would make L4 (this made her very excited). She has even sent her to work out w/ the L4's before while the other 3's were working in skills that she has.

It is just confusing and frustrating. Seems to be mixed signals. There are a couple L3's (not just DD) who do not need a whole lot of skills to have all their L4's.

I do not want her to move up and have a zillion deductions, but after talk of moving up (back in Feb we were told that she and another L3 would likely complete a L4 meet in May - then it was decided that our gym would not go to that meet so they could continue to work on recital only - not sure why in Feb or even less than a month ago there was talk of L4 for a couple L3's an now there will just be no L4's. I guess only she can answer these ?'s.

Anyway - Thanks again.
That's frustrating. I can't say whether it's appropriate to keep her level 3 or not, but the part that seems really inappropriate is giving her so many mixed messages. Kids like to know what's going to happen and what to expect. I think it's really unfair to tell her she's going to compete level 4 in the spring, then no she's not.

Is this a very small gym? It seems really unusual to me to have no level 4 team. Level 4 is usually the biggest group in the gyms I've seen.
I would talk to the coach about your concerns. My daughter is your daughters age and she competed level four last year and she had basically none of her skills prior to competeing. It took a while but she was able to get them. I was not even sure she was gone to get on the team. After having finished our first competition year I am trying to step back and let the coaches and owner decide where she should be. This is very difficult and I can sympathize with you ecspecailly when your daughter is getting frustrated. It really sounds like your daughter has alot of her skills and maybe they are going to move her up to level 5 in the fall since she is working on her kip and squat on. My daughter is also working on these but I am not sure what she will be competing in the fall level 4 or 5. Alot of gyms around us skip level 4. I think by talking directly with the coachs about your concerns will help alleviate some of the anxiety and make you and your daughter feel better. Be sure to tell them that how this is affecting your daughter they might be more likely to hear what you have to say and not just hear you as a complaining parent. Maybe the coaches can talk directly with your daughter to make her feel better about their decisions. Good Luck
By the sounds of it your gym is frequently changing their mind on what to do with these girls. Unfortunatly that is actually quite a common issue in gyms. Kids are often told one thing and get their hopes up and then another thing happens. It tends to go with the nature of the sport. Gymnastics is not one of those sports where kids progress at a steady rate. So many factors can affect their development.

Kids get skills one week and can lose them the next. They can know skills for years and then lose them for no known reason. They can all of a sudden grow too much and then have to relearn how to do many things, they can all of a sudden develop fear they never had before. They go through stages of fast development where they seem to be getting better and better every day and then they go through periods of time where they seem to be staying the same or even going backwards. As a result it is very difficult to predict what stage gymnasts will be at in even a few months, but some predicting needs to be done in order to plan for the furture of the girls. Inevitably they do get it wrong at times.

But they can get it wrong both ways, the girls may surprise the coaches over the summer and a new plan will be put together for the new competition season.
After hearing your response, it does seem quite inconsistent to me as well. These types of mixed signals only seem to confuse the gymnasts, and make them work less hard.

Why a gym would want/make a gymnast repeat L3 is way beyond me... will they not have a level 4 team at all? I know you answered that, but it just does not make any sense :eek: Hopefully, they are just trying to light a fire under the girls (if true, I don't agree with how they are going about it) or just trying to keep it all a big secret in true gymnastics fashion LOL. I just feel it is a waste of time and money especially if your dd has so many of the skills and does them well, to repeat level 3. Hopefully you will have a chance to clarify & it will all work out. wishing the best to your little one. Tell her HAVE FUN at her recital:D
I also think repeating L3 is crazy My dd's gym does not believe in repeating comp.levels but most of the gyms around us do.That means dd is compt. against girls that have been at the same L 1-2years sometimes 3 our girls still hold there own and do very well
oops I accidently pushed a button,any way The mixed messages sound crazy and I do not see why they can not move to L4 and have them compete when they are ready.My dd's gym does not notfiy us till about a month in advance of any major changes and they do not discuss them with the girls.I would defintly be talking to the owner.
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Sounds like the gym can't make up its mind whether these levels are more rec or competitive. All that time spent on practicing for a rectial could have been put to use working on L4 skills with the recital as fun, but not such a production(as I recall you were spending alot on costumes?). For our pre-teamers(there is no L4), they spend from Jan to May fine tuning their L5 skills and have skills testing. Then the move up is made in mid May for those that have the skills.

It does seem odd to have a competitive L3 team, no L4 and then pick it up again at L5. I agree the very mixed signals only confuse and frustrate girls and parents. L3(and L4 for that matter) are still considered rec/introductory levels by USAG. If the coach doesn't feel the girls are ready, she could move them into a L4 pre-team and get all the L4 skills down plus work on L5.

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