Parents Three years at level 4?

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So, I recently had a conversation with my daughter's coach, and he mentioned that he wanted her to do level 4 again next year. She was the only girl doing level 4 at her gym this year, and they might not have enough gymnasts to field a team for level 5. He said he doesn't want to put pressure on her to do a score out meet to do level 6, and they may not have any girls doing level 6 next season anyhow.

She already did two years of level 4. Her first year was pretty mediocre, scoring in the 32-34 range. I agreed with her repeating level 4 this year since she was so behind on bars. But this year she has a nice kip, is scoring in the 35-36 range, and has been consistently coming home with beam/floor scores in the top 3, and frequently places top 5 in all around.

She missed two competitions and states at the end of the season due to an ongoing ear infection that kept her out of the gym on and off for the past two months. That was a concern for her coach, but up until then she was doing really well, and now the infection is fully cleared.

I think he wants her to have another "full" season at level 4, but she has already had two and is so over it. They also gave her the option of doing XCEL gold for a year, while trying to uptrain for level 6/7 the following year.

I'm thinking XCEL might be the better option for her. She can do all of the required elements for level 7 beam and floor and doesn't want to be held back doing easier level 4 routines just because her coach doesn't want to "rush" her to have bars ready for level 5/6. In XCEL Gold would she be able to do more difficult beam/floor routines while being able to compete a slightly easier bar routine? She's in 4th grade, so we aren't thinking too far ahead, but I don't want her to check out or be unhappy with gymnastics simply because she was stuck doing level 4 for three years, when I'm not so sure it's necessary.

I had her evaluated at another gym, and they said they would have her at level 6. They would need to spend the summer/early fall working on her fly away, but she had everything else needed. I only had her evaluated since there was a possibility that we were moving back to my hometown due to a potential job change, but that fell through and we are staying put. I want her to stay at her current gym, but I'm afraid that they are such a small gym that she might end up on a level that doesn't suit her based on whatever resources the gym has.
If she has scored a 36 twice in level 4, she wouldn't need to do a meet to score out of 5 with the new mobility rules.

Gold would definitely allow her to do some harder skills on some events and easier ones on others. She wouldn't need a flyaway but could add it if she got it mid season. I really would not do a third year of level 4. I love the compulsory program, but it's not the most fun for kids.
Here in Australia 3 years at level 4 is super common! It’s because level 5 is the first level that requires a kip. And the first year going over the vault table.

Lots of kids hit a walk with these skills.

If your coach stagnates her and has her just work skills of that level then that’s a worry, as kids need to learn skills when they are easy. When the door is open it’s time time to learn.

But if your coach upskills her, and uses the fact that she is repeating a level that is easy for her, then it could be brilliant.

She will barely need to spend any time on routines and may be able to skill develop year round!
If it were my kid and changing gyms wasn't a desired option, I'd have her do XCEL. If she's scoring 36s there's no need for another year of Level 4, and I can't imagine how boring a 3rd year of the same compulsory routines would be. I'd do the year of gold and re-evaluate after next season. If current gym still doesn't have a good plan for her then I'd be looking into other gyms.
The reasons to repeat again don't sound great. "not to rush bars" sounds like they didn't uptrain enough during the year. 'May not have enough L5 girls or a L6 team' - not the gymnasts issue and is the gym saying 'we don't want to deal with a small or 1 person level this year'. Did they say anything actually about her bar skills???

The coach should be eager to move her to L5 at the least - so she can learn, grow, and be challenged. The ultimate goal should be for the gymnast to have fun. Sometimes having lower scores but being challenged is more fun than repeating the same level again....

What about starting out the year as a 'training L6' with the hope of competing later in the season? Not sure where you are but our L6 season technically starts in Jan. That is 9 months away. Alot of time to uptrain.
If she choses Xcel, what would her hours be and would she have different coaches?
In many gyms Xcel is considered "low-key" option with less hours and not the most experienced coaching stuff. It may sound like fun, having her own routines and training whichever skills she wants, but in reality with less hours in the gym she might start loosing skills instead of gaining new ones.

Another thing to consider, as previous posters mentioned, if she repeats L4 again, would she be uptraining all year, or stuck doing the same L4 routines over and over again?

TBH, with the information you've given, I would start looking at other options if there are any available.
I would not pay for a 3rd year at L4 as she is more than ready to move on. I would only let her do Xcel if the training she would receive is of the same rigor as what she'd get in your gym's DP track. You would be wasting your $$ and your DD would be wasting her time in L4 for year #3.
It's not nearly as fun going to meets on your own or financially viable for small clubs unless the full cost is passed on to the parent. I don't think repeating is in her best interest. If she is going to be placed in the same training group as the level sixes - then the Xcel option might be the best fit assuming she will have team-mates with her.
Equally will the gym allow her to train and aim to compete six and then scratch events/meets if she is not ready. I would guess given she had time off - she is likely still getting back to speed - and should be given a bit of a grace period to get back to progressing forward.
Thanks everyone for the input.

I was taken aback by this discussion since she had been uptraining for level 5/6 all season and prior to her being out sick, that was the plan according to her coaches.

I think some of this is a business decision - the level 6's they have right now are moving to Platinum or 7. They were trying to sell the fact that she would do really well at level 4 states next year and have more friends/fun if she goes to competitions with a team. It's possible that some girls currently doing XCEL Gold might move to level 5/6, but i doubt it, since they all switched from DP level 4 last year. Unless they have some new girls join the team during spring evaluations or over the summer, my daughter will be the only level 5/6.

The coaching would be the same since XCEL gold trains with levels 4-6, they just have fewer hours of practice. I would probably ask for one of two options - have her compete level 5 since she already met the score minimum, or have her do XCEL Gold, but maintain the same hours she would be doing if she were level 5/6, and we would pay the same tuition as level 5/6.

I'm really happy with the coaching and the environment that she's in, so i'm hoping we can come to a solution that works best for her. I just don't feel comfortable having her level 4 for three years when she already surpassed the score minimum to move on, multiple times.

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