Anon Is my child too old for Xcel? Should I look into MAGA? Feeling lost...

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Anonymous (ba4c)

My daughter is 11 years old and returned to club gymnastics just over a year ago. (new club for pricing and distance from home) (Time off d/t COVID and then an injury) She has been in a pre-comp rec class that "feeds" into teams (Xcel) for the majority of that time. In terms of skills that she performs consistently she can do a handstand and cartwheel on beam, working on a back walkover and round-off dismount, on bars she can do a pull over and cast back hip circle, cannot seem to master the jump up to the lower bar to reach the upper bar but is working on it. On floor she is able to do handstands, handstand walks, (everywhere), handstand forward roll, running round-off, standing round off, front handspring, back handspring (light spot on floor, can do it by herself on a crash/sting mat), working towards a round-off back handspring connected, running side aerial, standing side aerial etc. (she is not great at soft work - front and back walk overs but she can do frontovers and backovers not consistent) on the trampoline she can do a back handspring, back tuck, front tuck, whip back, Barani (sp?), and fly spring. I am not sure for vault. But I don't think she is lacking there. Her hardest area is bars and she is not consistent with a CB hip circle. She usually does it once in practice without help but will likely need more help with reps after that. The last two opportunities for teams tryouts she hasn't been selected and she cannot understand why. I am also confused as she is consistently one of the cleaner performers in her group and on an overall skill set seems to have more mastered then her fellow classmates who are younger but being selected for teams (xcel track) It seems to be kids who are under 9 that are consistently getting invited but from a skill point are not as consistent or have as many skills.
I don't know if she is simply too old for this track but she really wants to compete. Very badly and is feeling discouraged and frustrated. I have asked her coach and the teams coach for guidance and feedback and there seems to be little communication between the two, and we are left without an answer or an area to focus on improvement to try to be invited to a team. She is coming home from the gym now telling me how bored she is and that she doesn't get any corrections or compliments. I can feel and validate her frustration. Is she simply too old? Should I look at a MAGA program? I don't know much about either but I don't want to continue to encourage her towards a goal that feels pretty out of reach at this point if it is truly never possible. That almost feels cruel, if it is possible then I will keep encouraging and supporting her, but if it is simply off the table I would like to know so we can realign her expectations.
Looking forward to anyone's thoughts or suggestions.
 
I assume you are from MN/WI? She’s not too old for Xcel but it sounds like she is too old for her gym. It’s frustrating that you can’t get a straight answer. I would for sure look into other options - either MAGA or another USAG program. MAGA feeds into high school programs so this could be a great option for her if age is a barrier at her current gym.
 
She would not be too old for Xcel where we are. We have plenty of girls who are 11 or even older in the lower Xcel levels. Are there other gyms in your area where she could try out? Or could you try to arrange for a private class and evaluation, either with her coach or with the team coach? You might get more individual guidance and feedback that way.
 
I don't know anything about MAGA but if there are other gym options near you, I would look into their Xcel teams. Gyms have different philosophies on age/level so you might be able to find a different one that would be happy to have her on their team.
 
I am not familiar with MAGA, but at my daughter's gym, there are several girls her age and older in the lower xcel level and compulsories. Every gym is different, thought, and the gym you are at may have different philosophies. Any other gyms nearby?
 
I've had kids who started competing in Xcel Silver at 13-15. She's not too old at all!
 
With tryouts it isn't necessarily the skills you can do but the ones they think you could do.

Could be a something like bars is just too hard for her and they don't think they can ever coach her to be even proficient on them.

If there are other options in the area they might feel differently and a fresh start somewhere else might get her a spot. This gym doesn't appear interested and most likely doing more rec won't change their mind.
 
Please look at some other gyms. 11 is actually a great age to be in XCEL in our area. Many of the girls competing XG are 11-12 and then XP is 13-15. My daughter is considering transferring over to XP or XD and at age 11 would be the youngest on the team by a few years at every gym we look at.
 
I have never heard of MAGA as a gymnastics acronym—only the other meaning of MAGA. And when I saw the title of this post, my first response (knowing nothing about the post aside from the title) was, “If you don’t like Xcel, MAGA isn’t the only answer! No need to take such drastic measures!” 😂😂😂
 
As we are looking for a new gym due to relocation the selection/tryout process is on my mind these days. I was told for pre-team/early levels the coaches look for strength, flexibility (splits), fearlessness, and coachability (response to corrections) -- rather than skills. Also if the current team is mostly a certain age then they might not want to add just one older girl for the social aspect of the team. Same would go for not adding just one younger girl. Since competitions are scored within age brackets to do well in an older age bracket often the skills need to be better than at a younger age bracket. But definitely not all gyms are the same so looking around for the right fit seems worth it.
 
Since competitions are scored within age brackets to do well in an older age bracket often the skills need to be better than at a younger age bracket.

My experience with an 'older than average' gymnast was the exact opposite. My DD was always in the oldest age group up until L9. As an older gymnast, her age group was 'less competitive' in that she would frequently win more medals/ribbons with lower scores than her younger teammates (who many times didn't even place despite higher scores). She even made it to Westerns with a lower qualifying score than kids in younger age groups.
 
Since competitions are scored within age brackets to do well in an older age bracket often the skills need to be better than at a younger age bracket.
I would have said the exact opposite, normally the lowest age groups here are the hardest....Child "A" always has some of the best competition.
 
Don't worry about your age! I'm 16 and I competed Platinum this season. I'm in it because I love it. Hopefully competing diamond at 17
 

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