In this great discussion in the parent forum GymMama4 asks…
At what point/age/level would you expect there to be some sort of concrete plan or timeline for her to succeed or even qualify to TOPS, HOPES, Elite?
We want to hear what you think.
Read the entire discussion below and leave your thoughts.
Below is GymMama4’s entire post…
Hello! So when we started, we knew nothing about gymnastics. Our 3 year old daughter seemed to be naturally inclined, so we signed her up for gymnastics and she began on preteam. In the next year she excelled and became incredibly passionate about gym. It was obviously exciting watching her rapidly learn new skills. What was more intriguing to us was her ability to watch, understand, and then teach herself how to do skills, choreography, and conditioning that the older girls were doing in the gym. It was and still is incredible to watch her little mind try to work out these skills and to see her completely light up for gymnastics. We felt like, as I’m sure many parents do, that we were watching our daughter find her passion and that she was exceptionally talented. So after doing lots of research, most of it here on CB, we learned about the TOPs program and elite track. We learned that our state does not really produce elite level gymnasts. But after a couple conversations with our gym owner about possibly initiating a TOPS program, our daughter was evaluated by the head coach and moved to the homeschool program to start training TOPS. We were already homeschooling our children, so this worked out great for us. That was a year and a half ago, so she is now 5, and since then she has competed level 2 and is loving gymnastics more every day. She continues to rapidly excel in skill, strength and flexibility. Her coaches have commented more than once on her focus and ability to take corrections. They have told us that she often outworks the entire homeschool group, which includes girls up to level 9. Our head coach is a previous national team coach, and he seems very knowledgeable. But he is the only coach with that level of experience, and there is only 1 other optional coach. I have checked in with the head coach and owner a few times about TOPS and I always get a very vague, let’s wait and see response. I am a big planner, so this is driving me crazy. I worry that when we all look up and she’s finally TOPs eligible, she won’t be competitive. Since our very small gym has no history of elite or TOPS gymnasts, I am having trouble trusting that we are giving her the best opportunity. There are no other gyms in our state that have an elite program though, so there are not any other reasonable options.
So is there anything I can do? A way to communicate with the coaches about this concern without sounding crazy? At what point/age/level would you expect there to be some sort of concrete plan or timeline for her to succeed or even qualify to TOPS, HOPES, Elite? If a coach does not have any recent experience getting gymnasts to the elite level, is that a concern? Am I just completely off my rocker for worrying about these things?
*Disclaimer that obviously the most important thing to our family is that our daughter is happy. If she ever decides that gymnastics does not make her happy, we would wholeheartedly support her trying any other CHEAPER sport out there
My mindset is that if she wants to go elite or be on an NCAA team, I want to make sure I am doing everything in my power to make that possible, so all she has to do is work hard at what she loves and achieve her dreams!