Quick question: Should my DD compete one L3 meet?

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Hi again! I have a quick question. DD switched gyms last month, to a group of girls who all just competed L3 in fall. DD's former gym did not compete their 3's, so she has never competed anything, ever.

The entire group of girls is competing in one final L3 meet in a few months. It is a big, national invitational that is held locally. As states have already passed, it doesn't "count" for anything. It's "just" for experience and fun.

DD's coach asked if DD would be interested in competing. She has all of her L3 skills (well, still cleaning up that mil circle!), and her coach even taught her the L3 bar routine the other day just to see if she could pick it up quickly. DD apparently did (I was there but not watching). We'd have to do her registrations and order the leo NOW (thankfully, it's an in-stock GK leo!), so we have to move quickly on it if we choose to let her compete.

Now, the money for all these required items aside, my DD is by nature extremely competitive. I have some reservation about letting her compete a level when all of the girls learned the routine nearly a year ago now, and have already competed in a half-dozen meets. I am scared that if my DD does not do well, that she will be extremely frustrated with herself. I am scared of what that'll mean for her come Level 4. I'm scared about her confidence come level 4 (this is something we're still rebuilding since leaving the "old gym") if, say, she forgets a routine or has a couple of falls. Based on my past experiences with her, I think this is a reasonable concern.

Her coach "is not at all worried about it". She thinks DD will do OK. On the flipside, I think DD having the chance to wear her matching leo and compete with her new teammates would be fun for her, and I think that NOT doing it may hurt as well ("Am I not good enough, mom?"). Also, if she does fairly well, it may be a huge boost to her confidence.

So, I have to decide this week whether to pay the USAG fees (will need to obviously be repaid for L4 in fall), a $60 leo (again, L4's leo is different), and the meet entry fee (rather expensive, but all spectators are free apparently, so in the end I think it'll even itself out).

When I asked DD, she simply asked if she got to wear the leo (one of the girls had it on the other day at practice). I said yes. She then said "awesome, I want to do it!".

So, what would you do? I guess I am leaning toward letting her do it, but am nervous about it. If only I could find my crystal ball, so I knew the outcome!
I would let her do it, if the money is not too big of an issue. Like you said, it will be a good experience for her. I would not worry about her forgetting her routines...L3 routines are very simple and short. You said she is extremely competitive, so maybe talk with her beforehand about how this is her first meet and not to get too upset if she has a fall, etc., and to just enjoy herself. It sounds like a low-key way to introduce her to competition before L4.
Thanks Dunno and Kate. Money isn't really that big of an issue, was mostly concerned about her competitiveness. But knowing I'll have to buy it all again so soon for L4 does sort of stink! lol. At least she'll wear the leo for practice, etc.

Think I'll let her do it. :) Though I may have to close my eyes at the comp. Maybe the real issue is that I'm not ready! Haha.

And I suppose this is peanuts compared to what is to come!
I would let her do it if she wanted to. At the very least it will be a good experience before competing L4. And I think she will feel more left out when she knows that all the other girls are competing and she is not. Plus she gets a new leo out of it :)
If the money isn't a problem, go for it. Even though she hasn't competed the skills, she's probably still been training them for the same amount of time as the competitors and if the coach thinks she's ready, I'm sure she's looking good. Coaches don't typically suggest an unprepared athlete compete at a big invitational. Just help her make reasonable, achievable goals not based on scores and placements, and it should be a good learning experience to help her prepare for meets as a level 4- that way she won't be totally clueless when she shows up at her first level 4 meet with a whole team who has been there and done that before. Keep us posted on how it goes!
Do it- my DD competed L3 and we had some girls be moved up to L3 team a few weeks before the 1st meet. Thus my DD and all many teammates had more time to learn the routines. By the 1st meet you could not tell who was "new" and who had been working on the routines for 6 mos. The L3 routines aren't that hard and DD had a blast competing. Very fun. My DD sounds a lot like your DD- competitive and wanted the team leo- for my DD competing L3 was an incredible experience for her akin to first seasons and experiences in many other sports/activities- first soccer game, first dance recital, etc. it's just so darn exciting and still recreational enough to be fun for ALL the girls at L3. If she wants to do it I'd have her do it.
Absolutely do it. It will be fun...she will be part of the team...leotard and all. They get caught up in the newness of the first meet and that in and of itself is a reward!
you might well get the bulk of the leotard money back by selling it one of next years level threes - worn once, handwashed inside out... if you can get her to part with it! The promise of a brand new L4 one would help there I think :)
I would say go for it. Don't get into scores, placements or awards---just tell her she'll have fun wearing the new leo and being with her team. You might ask the coach to go over what to expect(march in etc) closer to the meet date.

Go and have fun
Oh YES have her compete and pay the money!! She will have a blast and it will give her a sense of being part of the team and have that 1st meet jitters out of the way. Make a big deal of being part of the team, wearing the team leo, but most of all having fun with the team at a meet. If its a big invitational bring extra money as there are always vendors there selling all kinds of gymnastic stuff, leos, t-shirts/sweatshirts, hair bows, etc. She will want something to take home ( a t-shirt with the event on it is always a good one)

Have fun.
Thanks again, everyone! I am excited for my DD. While she has never competed before, she watch some L4's at the meet her former gym hosted last fall, so she at least knows what a meet looks like (at least, a smaller one!).

I've already started sort-of preparing her for the potential to not take first place. ;) While anything can certainly happen, I've got no illusions about it, either! After her coach asked us, DD was a little nervous/excited about the idea. Asked a lot of questions: "What if I ... (insert every possible negative experience here)". I explained that many of the other girls have had a lot of practice with the routines, and already did states, and that if we do it, we're doing it for the fun experience - no exceptions. When she prodded, I explained that if she falls, forgets the routine, comes in last place, etc, that we'll still love her and still cheer for her. I explained that the scores don't matter. That the point of it was to have fun, get some experience and hang out with her new teammates. Emphasis is on the fun, not her scores!

Of course, I plan to promise her a keepsake from the meet and ice cream afterwards. Will double-check with her tonight, and if she still wants to do it, we'll go for it! Thanks for the encouragement, everyone, and I'll definitely keep you all updated.
Glad you made the decision to let her do the meet :) As PP said, they really do get caught up in the excitement of the first meet. I was shocked when my DD didn't give a lick about falling off the beam or the bars at her first meet. She was beaming all day because she had the best time with her teammates and she couldn't wait to do it again. It's great that you are keeping the emphasis on fun, it totally rubs off on the kids. Good luck to her and let us know how it goes!
Yay! Glad you decided to let her do it--that would have been my vote too. Hope she has a blast--can't wait for the pictures.
My dd was in the exact same situation last year. We left a gym that did not compete L3 last Dec. and went to a gym that did. They had one meet left and and dd had to learn all the routines quickly. Luckily she was able to borrow a team leo and warm-ups because they cost over $200!

It really made her feel part of the team and was great for her. She ended up taking 2nd on bars in her age group that day but did not place on anything else.

She'll have a blast!
Let her go, it will give her a taste of competition and keep her motivated! She will have so much fun, she will probably not even notice her scores!
Ask her what she wants. If she wants to compete, make sure she knows the other girls have been competing longer and just do her best. What ever happends, she'll get'em next time.

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Such a cool transition! 🤩

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