L3 or L4

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B

Bella's Mom

Bella had gym last night and the L3 coach asked if we could speak. She told me that the plan is to move Bella up to "team" in March/April after the competition season. She said that she would like for herself as the L3 coach, me as the mom, and the L4 coach to have a meeting to discuss whether it would be better for Bella to go ahead and compete L3 since she now has all the skills or to have her compete L4 because she has most of the skills and could work on her deficiencies during the spring and sumer months.

I'm not really sure why they are asking me to attend since they are the coaches and I'm going to defer to their judgment on this situation. But I would like to at least have an intelligent conversation with them.

So could some of you who have been through these competition levels or had similar situations give me some more information? Or what concerns should I ask about?
 
Our coach often talks with parents about what level their child will compete. You know some things they do not. Can you commit to greater hours, more money and is your child better off in a level where she can do very well or would she thrive in a situation where she might be more of an under dog at the start.

Parental input is important. Imagine if they made a choice and then you complain about the extra 5 hours a week or $200 a month!!! Better this way around eh?

What should you ask? The hours, the costs, and I mean ALL costs. Leos, coaches fess, "special assessments", booster club fees, how many meets, how much do meets cost, how many meets do you have to attend. How many kids will be in the training group, how many coaches will she have? SOme team programmes are ridiculously expensive, better to know the big picture before you say yes!
 
*gulp* Now see, that's the kind of stuff I wouldn't have thought to ask. I didn't even know what some of those fees were! LOL

Thanks Bog!

Bella doesn't do the underdog situation well so that's definitely something to consider. But I'll let them decide about the skill stuff. I'll keep my decision limited to money situations.
 
THey may ask you about how she would feel in certain situations, be as honest as you can and that will help them make the best choice in placing Bella. THey want her to be happy too, not just a good gymnast.
 
At a meet last month our Head Coach made the decision to keep some of the girls in their previous Level rather than move them up, because moving up would have meant a lot more mistakes at the meet, and some spotting may have been required. i.e. the chances of the girls being discouraged by how badly they were doing compared to some of the other teams wasn't worth it. Only one of the girls really shined at the meet and proved that she really couldn't stay at that level any longer, she was just too good. The rest of the girls still had hiccups in their routines - I shudder to think how it would have gone had they attempted to compete their new level!

Some kids don't mind struggling a bit at the beginning of competing a new level; others would be horribly embarrassed or upset by it. I guess the coaches want your input about what group your DD would fall into. They don't want to put her off gymnastics completely by allowing her to compete a level before she's ready.
 
THey may ask you about how she would feel in certain situations, be as honest as you can and that will help them make the best choice in placing Bella. THey want her to be happy too, not just a good gymnast.

When she was younger, it was motivating for her to think she couldn't do something but it's not something that I would still say is true. I think that psychologically she might do better at L3. After all, if she's bored, she could always still uptrain, right?

I don't expect her to stay in the sport into her teen years so I'm not really in a big hurry to get her to a certain level. I don't think she has the personality to make the sacrifices required for serious competitive gymnastics. So in the end, it is exactly like you said: what makes her happy and keeps her enjoying her time at the gym.

The money is the scary part. I'm a single mom....teacher. My ex husband doesn't see the importance of gymnastics "if she isn't going to the Olympics" to quote him. Luckily, my parents said they would help pay for some of her competition fees so I will have some help.
 
I think sitting down with both coaches is a great idea. You can get questions answered on the committment to L4 along with honestly how they think she would do in meets without having all the skills. Sounds at this point like staying with L3 would be the best bet until end of competition season then move her to L4 and let her work on those skills/routines without the pressure of having to compete them right away.
 
Perhaps he would see the investment in gymnastics as valuable if she were thinking ahead to an NCAA scholarship....
 
bad dad ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^:(

Meh. One of our less supportive realities but in the end, Bella has plenty of other support.

I have to admit to not understanding that mentality. After all, she plays soccer and we don't talk about World Cup appearances. LOL
 
This would be for competing in 2011-2012, right? If competition is done in the spring then your state probably starts somewhat later in the school year. If L3 is an option I wouldn't discount it, but skills wise I would expect a child who has a standing BHS, decent RO, and most of the bars skills to be able to do the level 4 routines after 6 months of level 4 training.

But I assume if they compete L3 it's also more of a fast paced environment so if you think she'd be driven by a lot of success and would still be challenged by that group, maybe it's a good fit.

I'd probably ask about the training group then, i.e. will most of the kids in the L4 group have the L4 routines and be training some L5 stuff, or do they plan as a group to be developing these skills? Same with L3 and L4 skills in the L3 group.
 
This would be for competing in 2011-2012, right? If competition is done in the spring then your state probably starts somewhat later in the school year. If L3 is an option I wouldn't discount it, but skills wise I would expect a child who has a standing BHS, decent RO, and most of the bars skills to be able to do the level 4 routines after 6 months of level 4 training.

But I assume if they compete L3 it's also more of a fast paced environment so if you think she'd be driven by a lot of success and would still be challenged by that group, maybe it's a good fit.

I'd probably ask about the training group then, i.e. will most of the kids in the L4 group have the L4 routines and be training some L5 stuff, or do they plan as a group to be developing these skills? Same with L3 and L4 skills in the L3 group.

Yes it would be for 2011-2012. The plan is to move her somewhere at the end of March or early April. Then she would train and start competing in October.

She has her standing BHS on the floor and her ROBHS on tumble trak. She can do all other floor requirements and beam requirements. She would have to get her front hip circle on bars for L4.

I went to YouTube and watched posted videos of all the L3 routines and all the L4 routines. I didn't realize she was already doing all of the L3 routines. So she does know those but of course there is always room to improve any routines.

I don't know if she can get ROBHS and front hip circle plus learn the routines and get them polished for a L4 competition. That would be something the coaches would need to decide. They know about that stuff more than me.
 
Here's what I'd do- I would have her do level 3 and have a blast. My DD's developmental team from last year split into 1/2 competing Level 3 and 1/2 competing Level 4. It appears they put the "younger" (both cronologically and socially/emotionally) in Level 3. Well the Level 3's just dominated their 1st meet while the Level 4's struggled through theirs.

Would she like to experience some early success (for my DD this is very motivating) or will she be bored training and competing skills she has had for a while and enjoy the challenge of competing at a higher level. These young Level 3's really enjoyed medaling and may have been more discouraged if they hadn't placed as young Level 4's.

On the same note at our gym some girls skip and go right from Level 3 to level 5 the next year b/c they had a lot of the skills though uptraining. So- I think most of all at this young age it's a personality thing. What do you think she'd enjoy the most? Because, to me at this age (5,6,7,8) it's all about having fun and enjoying the sport.
 
I see no point in competing a level you are not required to compete for her to continue her progress. I would also not assume she is going to struggle at her current pace of skill aquisition. If you think she is up for the hours of the L4 group, put her in L4. If she is struggling with her routines a few months before the season, you can ask her: would you like to compete L3? Or train another year at L4 and compete only the second year. However kids enter at L4 all the time out of preteam.

Take my opinion with this grain of salt: I am sensitized to the problems of children being successful in sports or other endeavors early. I believe that it is actually demotivating. No matter how much shinier a child is at L3, L4, or L5 compared to another child, there is an excellent chance of that evening out if they both stay with it. I think the child who meets more moderate success in the early years will be more motivated to continue gymnastics, which is no walk in the park for anyone at a certain point, than a child who is used to EFFORT = WIN. Because at some point effort will not equal win.

What I want for my children is for them to quit gymnastics on their own terms, having learned what they wanted to from it and judged it one of many great ways to spend their time that they can't all do.
 
This is like what happened to me this summer. I had all of my level 8 skills (I already did one year of level 8) and some of my level 9 skills. The coaches could not decide wheather I would do level 8 or 9. We all sat down and talked about it. WE decided it would be better to do level 8 again and work on my level 9 skills for the rest of the year, so I would have all of them by the end of the level 8 competing season.

You should ask your daughter what level she would like to do. (she will most likely say 4). But if she has all of her level 4 skills down, I say go for it!!
 
Yes it would be for 2011-2012. The plan is to move her somewhere at the end of March or early April. Then she would train and start competing in October.

She has her standing BHS on the floor and her ROBHS on tumble trak. She can do all other floor requirements and beam requirements. She would have to get her front hip circle on bars for L4.

I went to YouTube and watched posted videos of all the L3 routines and all the L4 routines. I didn't realize she was already doing all of the L3 routines. So she does know those but of course there is always room to improve any routines.

I don't know if she can get ROBHS and front hip circle plus learn the routines and get them polished for a L4 competition. That would be something the coaches would need to decide. They know about that stuff more than me.

Many children start training L4 in the spring for fall competition and do not have a FHC, so from a straight skills perspective I wouldn't be too concerned. RO BHS on floor if they can do standing BHS on floor, RO BHS on track, and have been taught a proper RO is usually not too big of a deal either. However, L4 competition is more competitive generally (from what I've seen, L3 scores somewhat higher. Of course the routines are also easier, but even considerng that). So L4 could be tough because of course she'll also be against girls who may be in their second year of the level. But I wouldn't necessarily discount it. I think 7-8 is a good age to start L4, personally, and I think the routines are fairly low key enough. But I have never worked at a gym where competitive L3 is offered so I can see how it could be a good fit...for example if the girls are more her age in that group vs the level 4 group, I'd take that into account.
 

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