Anon Should we stay…or should we go?

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Some teams want a kip before they can compete level 3 that skill takes awhile for most kids to develop.
 
Some teams want a kip before they can compete level 3 that skill takes awhile for most kids to develop.
But it would help if they trained kips if that is a requirement to move to level 3.
I think OP said that her daughter got to practice kips for the first time at the new gym.
 
But it would help if they trained kips if that is a requirement to move to level 3.
I think OP said that her daughter got to practice kips for the first time at the new gym.
Op here: you are correct. Her current gym does not uptrain currently. So im sure that was not the requirement for advancement.
 
A gym that requires a kip before competing 3 would seem to be a gym that is having kids compete lower than the skills they already have just to beat all the other teams. Known as sandbagging.
 
So, situation: My daughter is currently at a gym she loves but they would like for her to repeat Level 2.

Backstory: She has been doing gymnastics for 5 years (started at rec and spent 2 years on pre-team at another gym). She joined her current gym team this year at 7yrs old and competed Level 2 this season. This was her first year competing and upon joining the new gym her forms was really bad and it took a few months to get her to the level of the other girls in strength.

She just completed states and her coach just informed me that she would have to repeat level 2 due to her form on bars. Throughout the season, she’s placed above 9s in every event and was consistently around a 36/37 AA. To be fair, she is not perfect and has areas of opportunity with her shaping in all events. At every meet she was pretty middle of the crowd at awards (always between 5-6th place AA). Repeating is pretty common at her gym and the coach believes if she repeats L2 her form will improve and she will build more confidence from higher L2 scores. 3 girls on her current team have repeated and this has been the case. All of them typically placing 1st or 2nd with 38+ AA. She has been up training and already have a clean ROBHS and all level 3 requirements.

My concern is, she is in the second grade, has just turned 8yrs old and I fear she will be held back from progressing with her age group (She is currently one of the older girls on the L2 team and will be even older next year). The gym is known for putting “older girls” in Xcel and not being open to them ever moving to optional from there.
Her gym is the only gym within an hour drive that has a track record of producing college athletes but I am willing to travel to get my daughter the best training for her potential. I just don’t want to fail her by staying in a situation too long where she is not growing. (I did that at her last gym and truly regret it). i don’t want her goals of higher level gymnastics being shattered. I asked what she would like to do and she said “stay and show that she is good enough” but as a mom I’m not sure they haven’t wrote her off already. Her dad wants her to quit all together (but that’s another story lol)so he is no help …I am just so confused. She loves gymnastics and I just want to set her up for long term success.

Question: should I explore other gyms in the area to evaluate her skills and possibly move or should I allow her to repeat level 2?
Hello, I have 30 years experience as a coach and former gym owner. Here is my suggestion. I do not believe keeping a child in L2 for more than a year is necessary. L2 isn’t even necessary in my opinion. L3 is the general first level of competition for boys and girls and totally adequate place for most gymnasts as their FIRST year of competition. If she has mastered all the skills in L2 then that should be good enough to move up. She could potentially be a L3 for two years. I do believe in seeing quality in performance as a measure to have gymnasts move up, combined with the scores. Does this gym have super large teams? How many girls are on the L3 Team? Could it be that they have so many kids on L3 they just don’t have room for another?
I would suggest you get your child evaluated at 1-2 different gyms. Even if you don’t think you will move it would be nice to hear the opinion of other professionals. If the other gym(s) say they would place your daughter on L3 that could be good info for you to take back. There are gyms that are known for “sandbagging” puposely holding kids back just for the sake of winning.
 
There is no reason to expect perfection in form at this age. I don't think it is healthy emotionally. Striving for perfection at anything at 7 yo is a burden. I am not saying she should not be motivated to improve but she also should not feel like she is letting herself or anyone else down. On the physical side, bones grow at different rates, and so do muscles. Many kids experience form issues on and off through their gymnastics careers based on bone growth and how long it takes the muscles to grow/stretch to new bone lengths. Boredom is also not great. If she was my child I would encourage her to continue to grow and challenge herself in a new level.
 
Does this gym have super large teams? How many girls are on the L3 Team? Could it be that they have so many kids on L3 they just don’t have room for another?
I would suggest you get your child evaluated at 1-2 different gyms.
Op here: We had our first practice of the year last week and I realized that out of 15 girls on the previous L3 team, 10 are repeating. I think the gym overall was not happy with their scoring this past season and kept back almost the entire L3 squad. I believe that may be a reason for “less space” and promotion. Only the top scoring girls on my daughters L2 team moved up. Which has the L3 team at above 20+ girls.

So I believe they just may not have the space. My daughter was a little defeated in practice and felt “left behind”. I tried to encourage her by saying she has the chance to be a improve her form and be a team leader. But she’s so young that I don’t think she understands. Our current gym is known for holding girls back in compulsory but the girls who are held back typically have better scores in the upper levels.
Although the other gym we tried wants to start her at L3, they do not have a great track record at meets (girls at all levels typically bottom of pack) and no girls over L7. I feel like she will have more fun there but I worry about her long term growth. The only other gym to try in the area is over an hour drive and I don’t know if I’m willing to do that for her age.

I really appreciate everyone’s advice. This has really been a tough decision for me.
 

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