Repeating level 3?

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A

agymmom

Hi all-I've been lurking here for a while and could really use some advice.

My dd's(6) coach told me she wants my dd to repeat level 3 next year. I don't really see the point in this, but I don't know what to do. Dd has done 1 competition this year and is still missing a few of her skills (mostly the mill circle, but also is 50/50 with staying on the beam during the handstand and doing the whip up correctly). She scored a 30.6 AA in her first meet, but she is a shy kid and I know she scored lower than she could have due to the fact that she doesn't have a natural stage presence and it shows.

I don't think my dd will be ready for level 4 by the fall 2011 since I doubt they will start working new skills until spring, but I don't want her spending another year working the level 3 routines....so where does that leave her? I don't know how to approach her coach about this, or if it's even my place to do so. FWIW, it's a very small gym and they might be willing to work something out for her, but I think it might put her in an awkward situation being the only one doing something different.

I've been thinking about having her evaluated by another local gym where I think they might put her on their level 4 pre-team so that she would spend a year working on skills and she could compete level 4 in the fall of 2012. So, the outcome would be the same, but what is the better way to get there? As for dd, I think she would end up happy in either place, but she says she doesn't want to repeat level 3 (she is more skills oriented and would rather work the skills than the routines).

Any suggestions? I'm not looking to push my kid, but I don't want her sitting idle, either. Also, at what AA score would you consider it completely unnecessary to repeat this level?

Thanks for any advice!
 
We don't compete L3 in my state really so the kids move up when they have the L4 routines down. I would generally want to see potential to score at least around an 8.0 on each event. That would be to compete the level at the first meet (again I have only coached where there is competitive L4 and up, no L3) ...to move to the next level they would probably need to improve that to at least 35 in general to show the strength in the previous skills to do harder skills. But she's only done one meet so it's hard to judge from just the first meet, that is always a little rough.

How much does the L3 team work on L4 skills? the summer training might be more geared to the level 4 skills...I would say do the evaluation at the other gym and observe or try a practice and then compare it. If she doesn't care about competing a general preteam training program might just be better now. She's only 6 so that wouldn't be uncommon in my experience. It is usually more difficult for kids that young to pick up the routines compared to girls who are 8-10. In another year or even six months she could have matured a lot and the routines will seem easier.
 
kids should not be competing at these instructional levels of gymnastics. and i question even level 4. gymnastics is not soccer...

and i wanted to add something after reading yet another post about kids wanting to quit, etc; in gymnastics, the younger you start competing=a greater chance that the child will quit at a younger age.

think...why is our country now competing down at these instructional levels?

answer: because it's thinning out at the upper levels and the industry can not operate financially. AND it is much easier for a gym to compete 305484975849302457689 level 1, 2's, 3's, etc; than it is to coach/have 1 level 10 or elite.

hopefully, and what is occurring nationwide, parents will be more mindful about what is healthy overall and long term for their children. there are parents that are beginning to see what is going on and are saying NO! to being on teams and competing when their children are just fresh out of the womb. parents may be gymnastics stupid but they are NOT life stupid...
 
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Thank you for your replies.

As of right now, they do no L4 work at all (she only goes 2 x week for a total of 2 3/4 hrs) - that is why I don't think she would possibly get all of her skills. I do wonder what the summer would bring at the current gym. However, I also know that she has a lot of L2's who will be moving to do L3 work and I'm worried that my dd and a few of the other current L3's will be grouped with these girls and the chance for learning new skills will be minimal.

dunno, I don't totally disagree with you. However, the meet that my dd did and the one she will do next month are achievment meets where the kids are not ranked or grouped in any way - the entire goal of the meet is self improvment and learning what a gymnastics meet is like.
 
dunno, I just saw your added text. I do agree that it is important to be mindful of what is best for the kids and that is why this is bothering me so much! I guess I view doing a year of pre-team and competing as an 8 year old makes a lot more sense for my dd, it's just a matter of trying to make that happen at her current gym or if I just need to start looking for other options entirely.
 
Repeating a level, any level - L3 or L8 does not mean your gymmie will fall behind in gymnastics. Thinking about what score gets your dd to the next level is putting you on a slippery slope toward becoming pushy. I'm not saying you are or you will be a pushy parent. I'm saying that this is not the way to think about gymnastics progression. Gymnastics progression is about being physically, mentally and emotionally ready move forward.

All little gymmies want to learn new skills. But gymnastics is skills and routines. If she is not ready to compete routines, then she's not ready to compete.

Finally, you should talk to your dd's coaches. Find out what they are thinking and what their long term plans are for dd. You may find that they have her best interest at heart; that they are not just holding her back on a whim. (just read you responses to dunno, and before you start looking around, I really feel you should talk to the coaches. The biggest indicator to me that it is time to move gyms is if they will not communicate with you or their communication is too general, not specific to your dd's situations and your concerns.)
 
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I agree you should sit down and talk to the coaches. The one thing you said that jumps out at me when you say your daughter is shy and lacks confidence. If I was her coach, this would weigh quite heavily in the decision making. Another year in L3 will help her become more confident. The majority of coaches do know what they are doing and make decisions for the best interest of the child. Moving her to the next level without confidence in the previous level (regardless of scores, but scores should reflect a basic mastery of the level- which a AA of 30 something does not really show...)

Whether its level 3 or 4, its all training in very BASIC gymnastics skills- which she will use again in the future. Be patient!
 
My daughter started competing level 3 when she was 6. She wasn't "ready" really... she didn't even compete all 4 events until her last (3rd) meet of the season. She repeated level 3 again the next year, which I thought was reasonable. I have no complaints that she started competing at level 3, or even that she started competing before she was "ready." She LOVED going to the meets. She had no clue about scoring or placing or anything like that. She loved being there and she loved getting her participation medal and being the center of our attention and doing something special. I think that, even though now (as a 9 yo level 5) she understands scoring and placing and WINNING, that love of going to meets has stuck with her. She didn't know enough to be nervous back then. I think she must feel some nerves now, but you'd never know it to look at her. Her first level 5 meet was not a good one, but when I asked her the next day how she felt about it she said, "I wish I was back there right now!"
If your daughter lacks confidence, the coaches may think that a second year of level 3 will allow her some time to stand on that podium and feel like a superstar! If you talk to the coaches, let them know that, if your DD is going to repeat level 3, you hope that she'll be doing some uptraining so that she won't get bored and so that she can hit the ground running when she gets to level 4.
A cautionary tale... a little girl was a level 3 on my dd's team last year. The parents pulled her out and sent her to another gym because the other gym evaluated her and said they thought she was ready for level 5 (she would have been a level 4 if she had stayed on my dd's team). As I have considered that gym for my dd too, I was curious how she was doing and pulled up the scores from their last meet... she was scoring between a 4.5 and a 6.5 in every event. I have to wonder how the parents are feeling now. Are they happy because their little 7-year-old is a level 5? Or are they wishing that they had left her where she was and that she was having a solid level 4 season? She'll clearly have to repeat level 5 next year and then she'll end up being back on the same "track" she would have been on at the gym she left. I know that your goal is not to move her up as quickly as possible... it's to keep her challenged and interested. But think about it carefully. And do talk to the coaches. The parents of the little girl I'm talking about told the coaches at our gym that she was just "taking a little break from gymnastics" so that, if she didn't like the new gym, they could bring her back without anyone knowing that they had gone to the other gym. The end result was that the coaches found out 2nd hand and were, needless to say, NOT happy. I think, if the parents did want to bring her back to our gym, it would not be easy.
Good luck!
 
My dd is also 6 and L3. She will only do one meet (in Feb.) as she just changed gyms. She will only have 6 weeks to learn all the L3 routines and even though she has all the skills I know she will lack presentation etc. At her age she seems to think that just doing the routines should gain her a perfect 10 and I've been trying to gently remind her of the technicality of it all...she also will be very nervous!

Anyways....with that being said I'd have no problems with her repeating L3 if her coaches say it is best. I think she will really shine next year and gain a ton of confidence if she does! I'm actually hoping that even if she gets her BHS soon that they won't put her on L4.
 
I guess you have to do what you think is best. I wonder if you might ask if she can train level 4 without competing it? Honestly the skills are not wildly different from 3-4, vault is the same, bars still has a mill circle, and beam still has a hand stand. So if she has not mastered these skills yet and only stays on the beam half the time it might not be a terrible idea to keep training rather than worrying about level 4. Maybe the other gym might be better if the focus is on training rather than competing at her level.

I totally agree with Dunno. I have no idea why we put our kids in comp so early. I have experienced a few gyms approaches and the ones that start at level 4 or even 5 seem to have sharper skilled more disciplined gymnast that seem to want to be there. The gyms that compete level 2 and 3's seem to have a high drop out rate, kids that are bored and seem to not want to be there. I have to wonder considering most level 2 or 3 kids are so young at that age who are they competing for anyways? And wouldn’t it be more fun to work on skill building rather than routine after routine?
 
Thank you for all the replies! I have to say I got a lot of replies that I wasn't necessarily expecting, but I am taking everything to heart. No, I don't want to be the pushy parent or force my dd ahead when she's not ready, but I also feel like I need to be her advocate. I guess I have no choice but to approach her coach, though I think I will wait until after their next meet to do that.
 
WOW I believe a 6 year old would have to be extremely precocious to be competent in the level 3 routine in under 3 hours a week. The gyms around here do compete the lower levels but they don't try to compete anything in 3 hours a week. The close gyms, I think the level 2's all go about 6 hours. At L3 the range is 6-8 hours. At L4 it's 9-12 hours except the Y is stuck at 6-7 hours due to facility constraints. The gym that does not compete until L4, the pre-team girls at about L3 go 4.5 or 5 hours a week.

I'm not sure that gym is realistic about the conditioning and practice it will take many kids to do the L3 routines.

There is no shame in repeating any level. But there's no reason a 7 year old who loves gymnastics needs to be handicapped by a program that gives her under 3 hours a week in the gym. (Of course, there's also no reason a 7 year old who wants 3 hours a week only should be pushed.)
 
kids should not be competing at these instructional levels of gymnastics. and i question even level 4. gymnastics is not soccer...

and i wanted to add something after reading yet another post about kids wanting to quit, etc; in gymnastics, the younger you start competing=a greater chance that the child will quit at a younger age.

think...why is our country now competing down at these instructional levels?

answer: because it's thinning out at the upper levels and the industry can not operate financially. AND it is much easier for a gym to compete 305484975849302457689 level 1, 2's, 3's, etc; than it is to coach/have 1 level 10 or elite.

hopefully, and what is occurring nationwide, parents will be more mindful about what is healthy overall and long term for their children. there are parents that are beginning to see what is going on and are saying NO! to being on teams and competing when their children are just fresh out of the womb. parents may be gymnastics stupid but they are NOT life stupid...

Is it ok for a 14 yo to be a level 1,2,3 then? haha :D
 

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