Parents Pre-team Transition

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Just curious - for more experienced parents. How did your kids fare on early pre-team versus where they are now? Our girl is struggling a bit and I’m wondering if it’s her age/maturity or if it’s an indicator that it’s not the right thing for her.

Our daughter (age 4.5 - she’ll be 5 in July) just moved to pre-team from rec a few weeks ago. She loves gymnastics, but the time commitment jump, though it seems tiny (from 50 mins to 180 mins per week), has been a big adjustment at her age. She’s already spent from a full day of PK, then a 30 min drive, 90 min practice 2x a week. She’s hanging in there but shy about certain skills (rolling on the big bars) and can’t muster a real cartwheel, though other kids in this group (some older) are much better. I never watch the whole practice, but sometimes I’ll see her just sit out on small portions and later ask what happened. She says, “Mommy, I was too tired.”

I’m curious how others experienced this adjustment and how it ultimately played out. Is there anything I can do to better prepare/support her at this age? Has anyone had a child quit pre-team and rejoin when they’re more mentally/physically ready & be successful? Also, for those who totally quit around this age, how did you make the decision? Thanks in advance!
Some kids aren't ready for the additional time commitment and/or mental stress at that age. Depending on your gym, you may be able to place her back in rec and then try again next year. Some gyms are really strict about their team member ages though. So if you are at one of those gyms, this likely is her only shot to be on team. Of course, you could always find a more flexible gym.

Having said all that, a few weeks is not enough time to really gauge whether she will get over this hump. I would give it 6 weeks minimum and if you are still seeing the same type of fatigue behaviors, then I would act on it. Options to assist the transition could be taking her out of school a couple of hours early to allow her time for a good nap before gym, making sure that she has a good healthy snack before practice, digging a little deeper to see if it's truly fatigue or if she is feeling uncomfortable about her new team and increased expectations, which can cause mental fatigue that young kids can mistake for physical tiredness.
Do you think she is tired or do you think it is a confidence issue? My daughter is also 4.5 and joined the pre-team program in November. The first few weeks she was a little apprehensive about it because all of the other girls were "so much better than she was." I was having intense mom-guilt at this time wondering if I was pushing her too soon, but she LOVED gymnastics and wanted more. I had explained to her that they were all there once too. The skills are a lot different than rec so it is all new, but they pick it up fast! So, I agree with the above that you might need to give it a bit more time to see if it really isn't a fit and then if she isn't ready, then you can ask if she can drop down until she is. My daughter no longer has that fear and is excited to go every time now. She also caught up to the other girls.

If she really is tired, making sure she eats is definitely a big one. I pick her up at prek and make sure she has a good snack on the drive there, then we eat dinner as soon as she gets home. Sometimes she is having the snack only 30 minutes after the last snack at school, but the school snack isn't enough to tide her over through the intense practice.

The key is to make sure she is having fun at this age. It's not about mastering skills, it's about enjoying the process.
Transitions of any sort (beginning of school, end of school, increased hours in gym, new gym schedule during summer, etc) were always rough for my kiddo. We'd give her time to adjust on her terms and support her by making sure she ate healthy food and had lots of rest and downtime as needed (turning down other activities including an occasional practice wasn't off the table). Your DD is young so it's hard to tell if she's still adjusting or if it's too much for her right now. I think it's great she's being allowed to sit out if she's tired as long as she's not being punished for it. I'd do a check in with the coach but otherwise wait it out a few more weeks.

My DD is now finishing up college and still doesn't like transitions!
Last edited:
My daughter started preteam a month before turning 4 and she was definitely the worse one in the group. It was 3 1.5 hour class a week and i seriously wondered why they placed her in this class.

Not even a year later she is doing great. Doing one 1.5 hour tops class and 2, 2 hour preteam classes. She's doing great on a class where the average age range is 6-8. She's 4.

Give it time. A couple of months at least. My daughter always loved the classes but it took time to adjust to length. I let her know she can leave early or skip whenever she wants.

Now if she hates it and cries before class, that's different.
Thank you all for your responses and sharing your experiences! It’s definitely nice to know that other kids go through this transition too. I think you’ve all hit the nail on the head in a few ways. It’s definitely a bit of a comfort level thing (she’s a shy one!) and also a bit of age appropriate fatigue (not napping and/or eating enough at school) with some maturity/readiness mixed in.

She’s definitely not at the point of crying, hating it or not wanting to go. She actually wants to have her birthday party at the gym in a couple months (with a matching leo with her AG Lila doll). ☺️ On days she doesn’t have practice, she plays “gymnastics class” on the mats in our basement.

We’re going to give it more time and I’ll follow your advice about rest and providing heartier well-balanced snacks before practice. She’s started forming positive relationships with her coach and classmates and I think as they strengthen and the schedule becomes more routine, that will make a big difference. We will see and I’ll report back for any other parents in the same boat. Love this forum and thank you so much again! ❤️

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News