WAG Summer + Low-hours Competitive Gymnastics

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I am taking an informal poll to get a sense for what is typical of low-hours competitive gymnastics programs. Let’s assume an XCEL bronze/silver/gold program that requires a time commitment of 6 hours per week during the season. What are your gym’s summer training options for athletes in this type of program? Do training hours increase or decrease? Is training mandatory or optional? Is tuition fixed or prorated? Are long vacations discouraged or permitted?
 
My daughter does Xcel silver and trains 6 hours per week (3 hours twice a week; hours for higher Xcel levels are the same). Summer training for our Xcel team is entirely optional and somewhat encouraged. The last two summers they offered practices in the late afternoon/evening (something like 4:30-7 or 5-8?), four times a week (Monday through Thursday). Gymnasts could sign up by the week and could pick which days they wanted to do in each week, with a minimum of two days if you do sign up. So each gymnast decides whether she wants her hours to increase (by training 3 or 4 days), stays the same (2 days), or decrease (not training in a week at all). Tuition is based on how many days you pick. I don't yet know the details for this summer but expect it to be similar.

I really like this approach because it is so flexible. It allows gymnasts to go on vacations and skip those weeks of training, without having to pay for them. They can also do other camps during the day before training and avoid evening conflicts by only signing up for the days when they're available.

With that said, I have no idea how many girls actually train during the summer and how much, as we typically spend most of the summer away. My daughter trains at a gym where we stay during the summer for about a month, and then takes a few weeks off when we go elsewhere without a good gym option. She has only done the last week of the summer Xcel training at her gym and enjoyed it.
 
Gym hours a week are the same as comp season and summer practices (3 hours for preteam, 6 hours for level 2, 9 hours for 3,4, and xcel, 12 hours for optionals), however, practices are more in the middle of the day instead of late nights on school days and early mornings on saturdays.

Practices were never mandatory during any part of the year (yet, it is encouraged if you are not seriously injured.)

Tuition is due for the entire year before the first summer practice

As for vacations, I am going on a vacation for 1 week next week, plus 1.5 week vacation in the beginning of June (along with the gym's one week break before summer practices), and getting back RIGHT before nationals (I only will have a few practices after almost a month off of practicing 😅), so they don't really care if you go on vacation or not.
 
Our excel-equivalent teams have a complete break during the holidays (all holidays), although they might start back a bit earlier than the recreational groups. The DP-equivalent teams train year-round except three weeks during summer when they also have a complete break. You can have additional time off as well, but no reduction in tuition fees if you do (no tuition when the gym closes for holidays). There is no difference in the number of hours per week, that remains the same throughout the year
 
I'm xcel platinum going diamond and I train 16 hours a week (M-Th) during the school year. During summer, nothing changes (same practice time and hours). Personally, I am wanting to come more but am already coming the max amount of days with my coach offered at this level. My coach has been working with me to try and convince me to come with the optionals on Friday afternoons (adding 4 hours!!!), but I'm scared...

Last summer at another gym, I did 25 hours a week, plus a 5 hour pit practice. (Training xcel platinum)

Our silvers still come their normal hours (7 1/2-11), at their normal time. We have a full gym break in the middle of the summer (4th of July week) and our coach wants us to take breaks in summer whether it be for a vacation or just for rest.
 
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Our gym has bronze at 7hrs/2 days, silvers at 7hrs/2days (optional 10.5hrs/3 days), gold and plat 10.5hrs/3 days for the school year. Our summer changes slightly by choice and bronze/silvers must train 2 days minimum with the option of increasing to 4 days (14hrs). The gold/plat are expected to train 3 days minimum with the option of increasing to 4 days. The summer session can be done multiple ways with the need to agree to 20/30/40 sessions and again can be fulfilled in a way that works for all families. Lots of girls go on multiple vacations and/or camps!
 
This is great information! From what I’ve observed (small sample size) there seems to be two training philosophies with low-hours summer programs. The “traditional” philosophy (year-round commitment, full tuition) and the “flexible” philosophy (optional attendance, prorated tuition).

I’m personally a traditionalist. The problem with flexible summer hours is that is stunts the progress of gymnasts who take long breaks. Are there safety concerns for kids who take long breaks? With inconsistent training, doesn’t that increase the risk of injury?
 
This is great information! From what I’ve observed (small sample size) there seems to be two training philosophies with low-hours summer programs. The “traditional” philosophy (year-round commitment, full tuition) and the “flexible” philosophy (optional attendance, prorated tuition).

I’m personally a traditionalist. The problem with flexible summer hours is that is stunts the progress of gymnasts who take long breaks. Are there safety concerns for kids who take long breaks? With inconsistent training, doesn’t that increase the risk of injury?
I have often seen the opposite - vacations/break of a couple weeks or so often work to heal trouble issues and reduce inury. My gym didn't see any increase in injuries with athletes after a month or so off for COVID closure. My gymnast often comes back stronger after a break. We usually take 2-3 vacations a year where she is out of the gym for a week or two. My gym has regular hours over the summer (other than a full day camp week) but offers extra hours if wanted. They are very understanding of vacations/etc throughout the year, we just let them know when we won't be there.
 
The problem with flexible summer hours is that is stunts the progress of gymnasts who take long breaks. Are there safety concerns for kids who take long breaks? With inconsistent training, doesn’t that increase the risk of injury?
I agree, that's a valid point, and that's why my daughter continues training at another gym while we relocate for the summer.
Her coaches usually spend the first few weeks back focusing on a lot of conditioning and getting back skills that girls may have lost during the summer. And then they only decide their competitive levels about two months after regular training starts.

I have often seen the opposite - vacations/break of a couple weeks or so often work to heal trouble issues and reduce inury. My gym didn't see any increase in injuries with athletes after a month or so off for COVID closure. My gymnast often comes back stronger after a break. We usually take 2-3 vacations a year where she is out of the gym for a week or two. My gym has regular hours over the summer (other than a full day camp week) but offers extra hours if wanted. They are very understanding of vacations/etc throughout the year, we just let them know when we won't be there.
I see your point as well, recovery is important. But I think there is a difference between taking a break for a week or two (which we do as well), and not training at all for 2-2.5 months.
 
Our gym has summer practice, and it is highly encouraged! Increased hours (I know for platinums its 3days/4 hours during school year and 4 days/4 hours during the summer). They do not reduce tuition at all, even if you let them know in advance that you will be out for vacation which sucks. We do have 1 week off at the end of may/start of june and one week off for fourth of july week. I'd love to train all summer but vacations/other plans do interfere sometimes.
 

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