Parents Making the decision to try for elite....

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Faith

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
This isn't actually gymnastics, but you lot are the only ones I can think of to sound this out on...

DD has been offered a place on an elite training scheme. The plan is to have her competing nationally/internationally in 4 or 5 years. Top international coach, top club, and I have no doubt they mean what they say.

But she has to cut back on gymnastics. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. She is in a very good club, although it is small, but they have produced one or two junior elites recently. She will cut her hours from 15 to 11 a week. Currently she is 9, competing around (US old) level 5/6, and is strong on bars, but weak on flexibility. I have asked the coach what her ultimate aspirations might be, but haven't had a direct answer, perhaps understandably. It has taken her a lot of work and commitment to get this far, and isn't even very successful in regional competitions. She's not even close to the elite pathway kids her age.

WWYD if it was your DD or DS?

I don't know what my actual point is, for some reason I'm just not sure about this. People say we should grab the opportunity offered, and I do agree (and DD wants to do whichever sport takes her furthest, ultimately, so it should be a no brainer even though she loves gym). Will she lose skills or fall drastically behind cutting her hours? Her club is very good with progressions, and everything is mapped out for her peer group. There is no other club around quite the same standard,, but I don't know whether it might be more beneficial to see if there's a lower hour program somewhere....

Although if the other sport takes off she may have to drop gym altogether in a year or so..
 
Can you commit to giving the other sport a really good try for one year?? That way she will not lose much ground really with reduced hours.
 
If she's dropping her gym hours for another sport, I can't really see that the coaches who want her to go the "elite" path would be happy about it...and I'm kind of surprised that you'd be approached to "try elite" when , as you say, she "isn't even very successful in regional competitions" and is 9 yrs old and only a level 5/6...and these same coaches are going to have her competing internationally in 4-5 years?! They might "mean what they say" but with the results they've had so far in moving her along, I'm not seeing it. I'd be very wary moving forward with this plan...
 
Go for it Faith, any sport will increase her condition and as Bog says you can try for 12 months - good luck to her.

Sent from my CnM Touchpad 9.7 using ChalkBucket mobile app
 
My understanding was that the elite path was in the other sport, not gymnastics?

this is correct :). It's not gymnastics.

Bog I think that is our plan. Give it try for 6 months. Because our club is so tiny though there are no other training groups- if we had something like excel that would be ideal, she could go have fun in the gym. She's just not ready to quit quite yet.

bookworm- sorry of I wasn't clear but thanks, your post put the gymnastics into perspective a bit. I guess if she were capable of as much she'd be much further along by now.

I think I'm just feeling for the coaches who have worked so hard with dd. But I'm sure if they had a child come along, say with a dancing or ice skating background who they thought had elite potential, they'd soon be encouraging them to reduce their dance hours in favour of gymnastics!
 
this is correct :). It's not gymnastics.

Bog I think that is our plan. Give it try for 6 months. Because our club is so tiny though there are no other training groups- if we had something like excel that would be ideal, she could go have fun in the gym. She's just not ready to quit quite yet.

bookworm- sorry of I wasn't clear but thanks, your post put the gymnastics into perspective a bit. I guess if she were capable of as much she'd be much further along by now.

I think I'm just feeling for the coaches who have worked so hard with dd. But I'm sure if they had a child come along, say with a dancing or ice skating background who they thought had elite potential, they'd soon be encouraging them to reduce their dance hours in favour of gymnastics!
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Well,,, whats the other sport? :)
 
I think it would depend on the other sport. Without knowing what it is it is difficult to say. Sometimes it is the gymnastics training which makes the child successful at another sport and if they cut back on gymnastics they begin to look less strong at the other sport.
 
Well you've said your daughter wants to do which ever sport will take her furthest.. . and you've also said that they are confident they can have your daughter competing nationally/internationally in a few short years. If your daughter can live with the decision that committing to this other sport might mean giving up gym somewhere down the line and she still wants to give it a shot, then it seems a no brainer to me. 11 hours a week is still a lot of gymnastics. I think we can lose perspective very quickly as our dd's get sucked into the gym, lol. Many gyms have girls train to a good level and compete well (no not elite, but regionally) on those hours, so I can't see that she'd fall back too far. I definitely say go for it! let her see how she gets on for six months or a year. 11 hours a week will keep her gym training up (and she'll still be getting conditioning in the other sport I guess?) so it would definitely be possible to go back and still do well in gym. Sounds exciting and I hope you'll let us know how she's getting on :)
 
OP, talk to your DDs coaches. Tell them her opportunity. If they truly have her best interest at heart, then they will make allowances for her and wish her well. Especially if they train elite gymnasts, and she does not truly have elite potential in gymnastics. And she wishes to continue to train with them for as many hours as her schedule allows. Realize , though, that limiting her hours is going to limit her ability to progress safely. 11 hours is adequate for compulsories, but I think you would find it difficult to find a club that trains optional gymnasts in 11 hours a week.
 
==
Well,,, whats the other sport? :)

I'm deliberately not saying on a public forum :p- she's already had some national success even on her low hours schedule and would be really easy to google knowing her age group.

11 hours a week is still a lot of gymnastics. I think we can lose perspective very quickly as our dd's get sucked into the gym, lol. Many gyms have girls train to a good level and compete well (no not elite, but regionally) on those hours, so I can't see that she'd fall back too far.

Perspective went a long while back :lol:. I know she's good at gymnastics, but it's mainly her work ethic that has taken her past her (probably more talented) peers. She has worked so hard to get to where she is, it's the combination of that and good coaching. She's never been that kid who can just do stuff.

OP, talk to your DDs coaches. Tell them her opportunity. If they truly have her best interest at heart, then they will make allowances for her and wish her well. Especially if they train elite gymnasts, and she does not truly have elite potential in gymnastics. And she wishes to continue to train with them for as many hours as her schedule allows. Realize , though, that limiting her hours is going to limit her ability to progress safely. 11 hours is adequate for compulsories, but I think you would find it difficult to find a club that trains optional gymnasts in 11 hours a week.

Thanks. I have talked to them and kept them as informed as best I can. We started both sports once a week when she was nearly 7, and they've both sort of grown organically until we've got to this point. I did think about options a while back, but at our gym the only other track is floor and vault only, and she loves bars, so we stuck with the WAG programme. I'm not sure they get *how* good she is at her other sport, or if they just think of course she's going to be good, anyone who does gymnastics at team level is going to be outstanding at everything else ;). I feel very CGM telling them that the plan is international competition, it sounds insane. I can understand them thinking I've gone mad thinking my child is super special listening to people filling us with unrealistic goals.

The reality is she/we can't do both any more. The gym will up her hours to 20 per week soon anyway, so other sport would have to go.
 
I'm deliberately not saying on a public forum :p- she's already had some national success even on her low hours schedule and would be really easy to google knowing her age group.
That's a pretty rare opportunity - give it a shot.
 
I'm deliberately not saying on a public forum :p- she's already had some national success even on her low hours schedule and would be really easy to google knowing her age group.
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oh,, well,,,, thats annoying.... get us all curious and then shut us down! :D
 
I agree with Bog give it a shot and see where it goes after a year.

I totally understand not wanting to out her other sport it's ok. This is a public place and protecting our kids is important.

Gymnasts make great athletes they learn to work hard and depend on themselves for strength.

Best wishes to you let us know how things go for her!
 
i just hope it's not hockey...(Dunno is just joking, Dunno knows his joke could be considered blasphemy up Canuck way) :)
 
I'd look at the injury potential in gymnastics vs focusing on the other sport. Gymnasts your daughter's age are prone to severs, elbow issues and osgoods - NONE of which can be helpful in the other sport regardless of what it is.

Congrats for the "other" sport opportunity. Very exciting!
 
Thank you for the replies. Unfortunately it looks as though the gym won't be able to accommodate DD if she chooses to continue with the other sport and won't consider a reduction in hours. So. A choice must be made, which I feel pretty crappy about and DD will be heartbroken.

Pros and cons of "other sport"
Top club, top coaches. They haven't had a senior in a while but they have a few national squad members and some top juniors. DD will be working directly with said top coach. I have everybody involved all telling me she is probably one of the most talented kids they've ever seen, which while I'm a bit :beady:, seems to be backed up by her competition results. Plus there are other kids her age and standard so some good training partners.
Major pro is they're actually very relaxed- OK about going on holiday, time off for school events etc. Initially the training hours will be less intense at this age, so she'll have some time to do other stuff. Also (hopefully!) a bit less likely to injure.

Gym:
It has been mentioned that a child can move across to the elite pathway when they're older, but although I know there are no guarantees, I can't get the coaches to say that is a plan for DD and within her reach if all goes well. Even if it is, I've been sat researching results from the last few years, and while some have qualified elite as a junior/senior, none have reached international ranks. The only one to do this is Ruby Harrold- and from what I can dig up, she was very successful at national grades before testing out as a first year espoir (so the year she turned 12). Plus she was at one of the UK's top high performance clubs, with olympians. Everyone else has come up through the elite pathway from age 10 or 11. Our gym has never qualified anyone through the challenge path, has never had a senior elite, and only one or two juniors. I have no idea whether DD is talented enough to reach elite even, if hard work alone could get her there ....

So it looks as though we are quitting our gym :(. Any advice on how to tell DD? I don't know whether to tell her we're taking a break for a while, then sign her up for some summer tryouts at other gyms who can accommodate lower hours, or tell her she's quitting. She really doesn't want to, and from her perspective I can see why, she's progressing well and safely, and she loves everyone there. I don't know whether to do it now, or wait until I have plans for another gym in place. Fortunately all I have read here seems to indicate they do get over it eventually...

Thank you for letting me sound things out here.
 
So sorry Faith, I would sit her down and talk to her - my instinct would be to go with the new sport as the gym world is so small and so risky. It doesn't mean you have to stop gym. Pink and Fluffy was heartbroken when we left her old club - now she like her new club so much more - she has moved on and you daughter will too. If you go to a lower profile gym he will still be able to compete with reduced hours and do both sports, then as she excels in the "mystery sport" ;) she will grow to love it more. Good luck with whatever you do and please stick around here ! xxxx
 

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