Parents Worried Mom

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DD had her first Level 4 practice last night and it was tough. They did an hour and a half of stretching and conditioning and then 2 1/2 hours of skills training. DD did really great and seemed to be keeping up with the other girls but she was completely exhausted by the end of the practice. She didn't complain at all and even learned a new skill (the side handstand with 3/4 turn dismount on beam) but she was very, very tired. I know she'll get used to it and this was just the first night but I can't help worrying. She's so young (age 6) and all the other girls are at least two years older than her. They're very nice and seem to be looking out for her but I still worry about my baby. :eek:
The level 4 practices are 4 hours long? That seems like a long practice for that level. Maybe you could talk to her coach and see if she could just do 3 hour practices instead b/c of her age. That does sound like a lot for a 6 year old. She would probably adjust - but if she gets too tired all the time she also might stop loving gym as much.
I totally understand where you are coming from. My DD recently moved to L4 and it was definitely a change for her. She loves it and hasn't complained, but I wonder sometimes. She doesn't go to school, so she hasn't been tired after practice.

We are lucky in that there are now about 6 young L4s and they group them together because of their skill level as well. 2 are 5, 3 are 6 and 1 is 7. They are together with the older girls for strength and conditioning but are usually by themselves for skills stuff. I think that eventually they will integrate them in with the other L4s and they are with them for some skills training like learning the floor routine.

I worry about it being too much for any little girl. I have struggled so much with the decision to let her move to team. I stayed the first week and now I am only there for about 1 hour of the practice. We have a new parents meeting and first booster club meeting next week, so I will stay until those start and actually see more of the practice again.

The mom of the other 5 year old asked the gym owner about some things and she said to give it a good 2 months and then see. She said it takes awhile to get used to the new schedule and extra conditioning, etc. We were more worried because they all seem to lack the attention span that the older girls have, but she said that is normal and the coaches know how old they were and that they eventually will get better at paying attention.

I think as long as you have good, open communication with your DD, things will be fine. Talk to her about how she is feeling, etc and remind her to tell you if she hurts or has any issues.

Hang in there. I think it is harder for us than it is for them!
Part of the problem is that the transition to this new schedule was May 1st. That means that she practiced on Monday and Wednesday with her old team (2 1/2 hours each day) and then went to the new schedule for last night and tonight (4 hrs last night and 3 hrs tonight). I already told her coach not to expect too much tonight as she's never done 4 nights of practice in one week. Next week should be better as she'll be on the new schedule of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We decided not to plan anything for this weekend to give her a chance to sleep in and relax. Also, she's only got two more weeks of school left. If she can get through these next two weeks, she'll have the summer to adapt to the schedule without worrying about school, too. And, she's not complaining. I'm just the overprotective mom. :eek:
4 hours are definitely long. My DD only goes from 4-7:15pm 2 times a week right now and is doing her old class 1 1/2 hours a week until their show in 2 weeks. She already wants to add the Friday practice, which is 4 hours long, in June, but I am not sure she is ready. She will have had almost 2 months of just 2 days a week by then, but we will wait until the end of the month and go from there.

Do they have a break and a snack? DD has a break at 6pm for about 10 minutes and eats a light snack.
I can see how that would be a lot of practice. If she is too tired after school today, I would think she could skip tonight seeing that she already practiced quite a bit.

Hang in there, mama. It really is harder for us I think. LOL. We think, they just do it and are having fun. Though it is our job to make sure they really are happy there, which I am sure you already know. ;)
Mari- would it be possible for your DD to try the Friday practice for a few weeks and see how she does? She can always drop it again if it's too much.

And yes, they have several breaks when the girls come out for water and a bite or two of a snack. And DD eats in the car both before and after practice :)D). She's only adding one day (going from two to three) per week but the hours increased dramatically. She was doing 5 hours a week and now she'll be doing 11. But, like I said, she doesn't have a problem with it. Even being tired last night, she did not complain about gym or conditioning or anything. In fact, when we got home, she immediately went to her beam to show her daddy her new skill. I just knew she was tired 'cause a mom knows. She was getting weepy, crying when her hair tie got tangled in her hair, crying 'cause she was cold getting out of the shower, etc, but never once crying about practice. And I do know she'll get used to the new schedule, and being out of school will make it easier. I just worry.
I am sure that DD will be fine adding the Friday in by June, but I am not sure if I am ready. LOL. She went from 3 hours a week to 8 hours right now (because of her practice for the show with her old class, though that is pure fun compared to team practice, LOL) and it will be a total of 10.5 hours a week when she goes all 3 days. Her coach is hoping they start the 3 days a week in June as well, so we will see.

Oh I totally know that crying for everything, being tired thing. That is soo my DD. She will cry because the cat looked at her wrong sometimes, LOL.
We just got back from practice tonight and DD is just fine. She doesn't seem overly tired or anything. She even started working front handsprings tonight. I think she's going to be fine. Thanks for everyone's support. I appreciate it. It's nice to have folks to talk to who understand.
I can so understand your worries. I remember our first PT practice DD was 4 and she was exhaused. They did a ton more conditioning and really stepped up the workout. It took her about a month to get into the swing of it and not be so tired. She will adapt to the new workout. I know when we first started this year the girls came out dragging now last night their coach had to "YELL" at the girls "PRE-TEAM GO HOME!!!!!" we all had to laugh. Most of the girls were still doing things 30 minutes after class. I know when we step up to Level 4 practices in July it is going to be killer. We luckily have 20hours leading up to it with camp so the girls will have some transition. Hang in there it will get easier and she will adjust.
I am glad she got to move up to sounds like she was ready skills wise! If the hours seem too much after next week...perhaps you could ask to leave a bit early until school is out. If it is only 2 weeks until her summer could practice just a bit shorter and then once your daughter has a break from school and can get used to the longer gym hours.
You guys are all so nice and so helpful! I appreciate everyone's input. DD actually told me this morning that her favorite part of her new schedule is the stretching and conditioning (They do and hour to and hour and a half)! She likes it because she knows it's making her stronger and because they do it at the beginning of practice rather than at the end. This means time for playing at the end instead. Funny how their minds work, isn't it? And last night the girls were jumping into the pit before practice. DD started off just running and jumping while the older girls were doing front tucks and layouts. By the time practice started, DD was doing front tucks into the pit, too. I LOVE having her with the older, higher level girls. They are being so nice and helping her and it gives her so much to watch and strive for.
Glad to hear she is having fun - just goes to show you - they adjust to change a lot quicker than us old folk ,lol.
Sounds like my dd's practice too. She went from (3) 2 hour practices to 3 (4-5) hour practices and she loves it. Time really flies to be honest with you.
It sounds like she is doing great and was really ready for the move.

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