View Full Version : OT Girls gymnastic practices

09-12-2008, 12:04 PM
I know this is off topic but I am hoping that some people can offer some advice to me. My DD is 7 and is currently on our gymnastic team. She just started taking gymnastics last year and has taken to it very quickly and easily. Can anyone offer to me an idea of how long your children practice for a week during the school year with just starting off. She is at the gym now 9 and a half hours a week. If she had her way, we'd be there everyday!:scared1: What is the norm for this age. DD is an excellent student thank goodness and is well rounded.....I just don't have a clue to what is the norm. We are new to all of this. I do know that if they move her up a level later in the year or wait until next Sept, she will be there a few more hours.......Can anyone please be so kind and help. TIA

09-12-2008, 01:47 PM
My DD7 is in Gymnastics also. This is her 3rd year. Where we go they don't have teams at that age, just classes. She goes once a week for 2 hours. She would love to go more but once a week is enough for right now. I want her to have time for homework and just playing with friends. I only allow my kids 1 sport per season. That seems to work well for us otherwise we would be running every night. And the cost can really add up fast too.

09-12-2008, 01:52 PM
I don't have a child in gymnastics, but when I was doing gymnastics competitively (ages 5-9) I was in the gym between 15 and 20 hours a week. I think that is too much commitment for a young child though, and closer to 10 hours is more appropriate

09-12-2008, 02:33 PM
The amount of time you spend per week will vary based on your gym and will increase as she goes up the levels.

My dd age 10 is currently in level 5 and spends about 10 hours per week (2.5 hrs x 4 days) in the gym. This is light for her level. I know other gyms require many many more hours in the gym than ours does. You need to decide what is right for your daughter. Is she getting her homework done? Does she have other interests? Is she so good that she has a shot at the Olympics? If not, is it really necessary or healthy for her to spend all that time at the gym? You really need to decide what is best for her and for your family.

09-12-2008, 02:34 PM
My friend's daughter is in her 4th year and she goes 6 days a week 4 hours a day.

The cost....you don't even want to know.:scared1:

09-12-2008, 03:01 PM
Thank you all for your responses. Homework is always done and school comes easy at this point. As much as I enjoy watching her, I don't want this to ONLY be what she gets to enjoy. At the gym, she came out of no where since she only started last year. The coaches are wonderful and have taken my daughter under their wing because of the potential that they see in her. They keep pushing her to do more/learn more. That's great and all, but as they move up in levels, how do you as a parent figure out what is best? The other team Mom's can be pretty scary and I don't want to be one of "those "Mom's that is making their daughter cry for not doing something right or bribing them if they do a back step out on the beam they can go gt something after practice.....so not cool in my book. They need to write a book for gymnastic Mom's to help get through the whole process. Maybe had my DD been doing this since she was like 2 like the rest of the girls it would make more sense to me. :confused3 Thank you everyone for letting me ramble.

09-12-2008, 03:17 PM
Don't want to scare you, but I have a friend who's daughter is in competitive gymnastics. Between gym time, competition fees, travel expenses, team clothing, etc., she's spending about $1,200/mo:scared1: She and DH only have the one child and my friend works to pay for gymnastics but for me that's a lot of money!

09-12-2008, 03:37 PM
My daughter is not a competitive gymnast. She is a competitive cheerleader. She is currently on two teams and spends about 20 hours per week at the gym. She is there Sunday-Thursday with six hours of practice on Sunday. It is way to much. She will only do one team next year. I also will not talk about the cost! :scared1: She truly loves cheering and I believe it is teaching her wonderful things. However if it ever interferes with her grades she I will have to make her quit. So far she is doing great.

On a side note: My DD just broke her nose and thumb during practice one Wednesday. We are going to be out for a while.

09-12-2008, 04:27 PM
DD17 did competitive gymnastics for 6 years - started out as a 1 hour recreation class at age five, and ended up as a part time job for her at age 11 - over 20 hours a week, 6 days a week. It was a wonderful experience for her, a great coaching staff, beautiful facility, but she just burned out with the time commitment.

She then went on to figure skating, concentrating on synchronized skating, and has 3 sectional medals, and qualified twice for nationals. She was invited to try out for an internationally ranked team this year, but we don't have the $$$ or time for that commitment. But if it wasn't for the lessons she learned in dedication, focus, and commitment from gymnastics, I don't think she would have had as much success or enjoyment from her synchro career.

09-12-2008, 06:21 PM
My daughter isn't very good, so we are only there an hour.....she is however, getting body awareness out of it - which is what we want.

YOU decide how much time and money YOU want to put forward. And that a gym is a business - the more hours they can upsell you on (at least for ours the better your kids is the more hours they encourage you to be there - and charge you for) the better their business does. And kids will often suck up as much as you are willing to put forward.

Be realistic in what this means - the $1200 a month rings true for our gym - and a lot of the gym moms justify it by believing their girls will get scholarships to college - some do, some don't, but $15,000 a year is a lot of money towards a college fund. If you are both enjoying it and can afford it, great. But for the vast majority of participants, its a hobby.

Also watch the health, my sister was a competitive gymnast and at 35 has a lot of issues with nerve damage in her feet, legs and back - probably due to the stress on her body at that time.

(In some ways I like our dojo better - that was a flat fee if you showed up once a month or if you were there ten hours a week. And if you were good and were there an hour a week, that was fine. If you were bad and there ten, that was fine as well).

09-12-2008, 06:31 PM
My DD 14 is also a competitive all star cheerleader. She has been doing it for 5 years now. This year she also joined her High School Varsity Gymnastics team. She trains lightly now for all stars.. about 9 hours a week she also trains about 10 hours a week with the high school team. The overlap between the two helps fill in the gaps. Let me tell you I was loving the High School team.. they handed over everything! warm up suits.. leotards, etc.. I could not believe it! After 5 years of $10K+ doing all star cheer, I could not believe I got the stuff for the sport! Wow!!! lol..

If the amount of time you are spending seems to fit for your child then stick with it. Your child will guide you as to how much she wants to do it. Give her the opportunities to see and/or try out other sports and interests but if this is her true passion then you are stuck! lol.. Even if she does not do gymnastics all through school if she learns some great stuff she can use the skills and make the cross over and cheer at her high school or even do an all star cheer team. Several of the high level girls we have got their start doing gymnastics. Good Luck to you! :)

09-12-2008, 06:33 PM
My daughter is 7.5 and in 2nd grade and Level 3 this year. She is required in the gym 2 times per week 1.5 hours, but has the option to come a 3rd day for 1.5 hours. We only go twice a week because it's 20 minutes from home, so the overall commitment is big. Our gym is great though and specifically say that their goal is to have the girls in the gym less than other gyms. That being said, producing Olympic athletes is not their goal. At Level 3, we pay $105 a month, plus meet, registration and uniform fees. All total, it probably averages to $150 a month total, so not much. But, I know Level 4 starts at $175 a month, so it just goes up from there.

09-12-2008, 08:19 PM
Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses. Never in a million years would I have thought this would be something I had to think about LOL....For now we are a few hundred a month which is bad enough(not counting meet fees into that and uniforms and practice leos which run about 50 a pop):scared: ...... For now I think we will be OK. Like I said before, if my DD had her way we'd be there everyday...that is soooooo NOT happening. She is a little girl and should be able to do little girl things. My wonderful DH and I will support her through this all and hope that all goes well. I guess we have a very long long road ahead of us.......

09-12-2008, 08:48 PM
My step daughter is in competitive gymnastics, level 5. She goes approx 20 hours a week. 4 nights a week at 4 hours and Sat. mornings for 4 hours. IMO it is crazy to expect a child to keep this schedule. For example this morning she left for school at 8am...I picked her up at school at 3:40....drove her home to change, eat dinner, and to the gym by 4pm. (Yes that is approx. 12 mins to change and eat dinner). We did not pick her up from practice until 8pm tonight. So 4 days a week she basically has a 12 hour day with gym and school. On a school night she gets home at 8pm and has to shower, do her homework etc and get to bed by 9:15.

It also seems as they get higher up in level they push the girls harder. It seems like everyday there are kids crying from being pushed to do things that hurt them. I understand in a way where they are coming from though...if you want to compete you have to put the time in; otherwise, you will never measure up to the other gyms that you compete against.

Unfortunately my step daughters mother really pushes her into this...so for now we just have to deal with it...I would imagine as she gets older she is going to burn out...she has been doing this since she was 5 and misses out on a lot of fun activities because she is at gym. She really does not have time to do much of anything else.

09-12-2008, 09:10 PM
At my daughters gym the level 4 girls practice about 10 hours a week, the 5s 12 hours, the 6's 14 hours and the 7/8 girls are at the gym about 20 hours a week. We also have pre team at 6 hours a week and a Prep Opt team at 6 hours a week.

Prices vary between $170 a mo for prep opt and pre team and just under $300 a mo for 7/8 - plus meets ($60-70 each at 8 invitationals plus any sectionals/regionals/state that are qualified for) Leos at $70 every other year for new ones and warm ups $80, bags $10 and team shirts $15. And around here those prices are on the low end.

If your daughter continues to love gymnastics but the time and financial commitment becomes to much, check and see if your gym or one in your area has a Prep Optional team. It's new for our gym this year (my daughter is on regular team) so I'm not 100% on the full details, but the way it was explained when I asked was that it's team gymnastics for girls who don't have the time to commit to a full team experiance but want to compete.

Also don't be afraid to compare gyms and shop around if your gym isn't what you want or if things change to not suit your needs anymore. There are several gyms in my area (5 within 30 minutes - more than double that within an hour drive) with a competitive team and they are definately not all created equal. One is real hard core everyone will be elite hyper extended legs perfection is the only option most expensive gym in the area (their rec program is fabulous though!) - this gym routinely loses girls who burn out. One is real light, laid back easy going, these girls are not getting a real solid program and can't keep girls because of that (when you go to a meet you can see which gyms train well and which don't), another is going through some management and coaching difficulties and has been inconsistant the last few years so has lost most of their girls. The other two, one of which is our gym, fall inbetween the two extremes. The girls are getting solid programs, good training and progressing well - all while not being belittled, pressured, over extended and financially drained. But different strokes for different folks, so don't be afraid to try out different gyms. We evaluated all 5 when we moved and in turn were evaluated by all 5 before making our choice.

09-12-2008, 09:14 PM
I do cheerleading and I'm in the gym 4 days and I'm in the gym 8 hours total.

09-13-2008, 04:58 AM
Well everyone you sure have given me tons to think about with my daughter. I have to say, I think you have scared the hee-ba-gebies out of me LOL!!!:scared1: I don't think my DH has any clue with any of this. When my DH left for Iraq last Aug, our DD wasn't even in gymnastics and would do rolls and some cartwheels in our family room and that was it. DH has been gone now over a year and will be coming home soon to a girl who is doing round off back hand spring back tuck.........honestly, I think DH will pass out. When he came home for his R&R she was doing the back hand springs.....I hope he understands the time commitment that I have had to put in along with my DD!!:rotfl2: For any of you that your DD competted for several years, how did you get your daughter to not burn out? When DD made the team this summer we had a long sit down and I told her that if she took the spot they ere offering, she had to see it through til the end of the season. If she decided that next summer she didn't want to do it, then fine. I just wanted her to realize that the team was counting on her and that she would have taken a spot form some other little girl. If she decided she didn't want to continue then, she could quit. For now, DD would be at the gym every single day if she could............:scared1: I am very very proud of her for giving it her all. She's this sweet sweet child, but when she gets into the gym, she's like this little animal that if she doesn't do it right, she wants to do it over....when the older higher level team girls are doing the harder stuff, she wants to learn how. She is so much more determined then I have ever been LOL........Again everyone.....thank you for your opinions and suggestions.:worship: