Coaches Training hours (from parents' section)

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Geoffrey Taucer

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As many of you know, I'm fairly new to the gymnastics game. To be a supportive and enthusiastic parent, I'm spending a great deal of my time learning more about the sport.

In my virtual travels, here in Parents, upstairs in the Gymnasts board, as well as many other Internet gymnastic sources and articles, I'm seeing young athletes aged 8-12, who claim to be training 20+ hours a week - and are in L4-7.

I can understand that much time being needed for L8 and up, but L4-7??? Something doesn't sound right to me.

To my under-educated mind, this much time ‘training’ sends up red flags that there may be either a quality, or efficiency issue with the coach or gym itself. How much of that time is devoted to actual training vs. downtime or "waiting" time?

When I combine these training claims with the USAG stats that most kids stop training (i.e. quit) around 12-13 yo; I'm wondering if this rapid decline in "interest" is really due to sheer burnout more then the more popular excuses of hormones, other school interests, boys, etc. After all... how many of you could train 20 hours a week - and carry a full or part-time job? I certainly couldnt.

So that all said, I have to ask:
How much time does your gymnast train, how old are they, and what level are they?

Also, for those that do train many hours a week -- When do they do homework? Play? Relax?

Again, please don’t take this post the wrong way. I'm not complaining, I'm just trying to get a better understand of what's truly normal and typical.

I'd also be interested in contrasting sports that require a large time commitment-- such as school Football, etc. I know they train quite a bit too. How does that compare to Gymnastics?

Coaches, how much do your gymnasts train at each level? Here's the (approximate) breakdown at my gym:

Boys:
Level 4: 6 hours
Level 5: 9 hours
Level 6+: 12 hours

I only have one optional guy (Level 9, 16 years old) right now, and in addition to his 12 scheduled hours, he has an open invitation to come in and work conditioning and basics on his own anytime as long as I'm in the gym -- which I am any time the gym's open. I haven't decided yet what I'll do when I have more optional guys, but that won't be an issue until at least next season.

I don't know how many hours the girls practice off the top of my head.
 
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At my last gym this was the approx schedule:

Level 3: 6 hours
Level 4: 9-12 hours
Level 5: 12-15 hours
Level 6 and Up: 15-16 hours (We only have 4 optional girls at our gym)

We give the parents what we hope for as in terms of levels for each day but we are very open to if a schedule doesn't work for a family. The biggest concern for us is that the girls get at least the minimum time in the gym for her level that week. So if one of our gymnasts has a lot of homework we encourage them to come on a different day. As coaches our number one priority is that the girls do well in school, and the girls and the parents know this. We have held girls out of meets before if we hear that their grades are falling.
 
Thanks for the Crosspost GT.
Specifically to coaches:

There seems to be a WIDE spectrum in the number of hours each level is required to train, based on each clubs policy.

Why?

Are the objectives of each level different between schools? I was under the understanding that USAG has a fairly set curriculum.

It also begs the question: Are schools with the least amount of hours more efficient at training it's athletes?

I did a little online comparison today with local schools that have published meet results. It seems that the schools in the Eastern MO area that have a high number of training hours perform equally as well as those with the a lower number of hours. This leads me to think there may be a point-of-no-residual-return in the number of hours of training for these lower levels.

If this is the case, wouldn't it be better from a sport & business perspective to train athletes towards an objective, (in the least amount of time), and retain the athletes for a longer time period rather then burn them out midway though the program?

Logically, if it takes 10 seconds to walk from point A to point B (on average), why would anyone choose a route that takes 20 seconds?
 
Our level 4s train 6hrs a week
level 5s train 12 hrs
level6s train 14hrs
level7,8 and 9s train 18 hrs
We train a lot less hours than the other 4 gyms in our area(one has levels 4 and 5 going 18-20 mandatory hours) and hear that often when parents are switching to our gym.. However we are very competitive and have state champs at every level each year. Theres such a tremendous amount of wear and tear on your body and such an early burnout rate that our owner and staff agree we'd rather have them less and wanting more than going more and not enjoying the sport.
 
Thanks for the Crosspost GT.
Specifically to coaches:

There seems to be a WIDE spectrum in the number of hours each level is required to train, based on each clubs policy.

Why?

Are the objectives of each level different between schools? I was under the understanding that USAG has a fairly set curriculum.

It also begs the question: Are schools with the least amount of hours more efficient at training it's athletes?

I did a little online comparison today with local schools that have published meet results. It seems that the schools in the Eastern MO area that have a high number of training hours perform equally as well as those with the a lower number of hours. This leads me to think there may be a point-of-no-residual-return in the number of hours of training for these lower levels.

If this is the case, wouldn't it be better from a sport & business perspective to train athletes towards an objective, (in the least amount of time), and retain the athletes for a longer time period rather then burn them out midway though the program?

Logically, if it takes 10 seconds to walk from point A to point B (on average), why would anyone choose a route that takes 20 seconds?

One thing to keep in mind is that scores are all but useless as an indicator of how effective a gym is. At any level, the kids on top are often the ones that could do the next level, but are don't for whatever reason, and generally the kids at the bottom are the ones for whom that level is a bit of a reach. There are always exceptions, to be sure.

It's completely possible that the kids who train more hours are likely to move up through the levels faster, but don't necessarily do better at each individual level (I'd be very interested to see if there are any statistics on this).

It's equally possible that you're completely right; there may be a point after which additional training simply doesn't help, or even hurts.

I suspect the truth of the matter lies somewhere in between.
 
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At our gym

Level 1 competittive - 4 hours Level 1 rec - 2 hours
Level 2 competitive -6 hours Level 2 rec - 2 1/2 hours
Level 3 competitive - 9 hours Level 3 rec - 3 hours
Level 4 - 14 hours
Levels 5/6 - 16 hours
Level 7-10 - 20 hours


Ours is about the middle of the range compared to other gyms in Australia. Some gyms do less hours and some do more hours. It does seem to woork here that the more hours the kids do the better their gym perform in competittions.
 
Our gym is somewhere in the middle for our area...

Pre Team - 4 hours
New Level 4 - 6 hours
Level 4 - 9 hours
Level 5 - 12 hours
Level 6-7 - 18 hours
Level 8-10 - 22 hours
 
Our gym seems to have the lowest hours.
Level 3: 2-4 hrs.
Level 4: 4h hrs.
Level 5: 6 hrs.
Level 6+: 8-12 hrs.
Our girls still do well at the meets. The key is to keep them working the entire time that they are there to make the most out of every minute.
 
Well I think I'll probably be the lowest but we'll see! Our gym is primarily recreational with a small competition team but I have focused on Quality not Quantity.
Level 2: 2 and a 1/2 hours a week
Level 3-5: 3 hours a week

That is as high as our levels go right now like I said we a new to competing so we are building up our levels. But I am proud of how well they do for our training hours. We had lots of 1st place all arounds last year and everyone scored well. I'm proud of my girls!
Katrina
 

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