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2 DC's doing gymnastics at 2 different clubs, tell me i'm not crackers

(10 Posts)
pygmyangel Thu 16-May-13 12:47:39

DS (10) trains 12 hours a week over 4 sessions at one club doing acrobatic gymnastics. Fortunately, I lift share with someone and only have to drive to 2.
DD (5) has been asked to do a 4 week elite trial at another club. She currently does 2, 1 hour recreational classes a week, one at DS's gym and one at this other club. She goes to a different club as she likes going on the beam and bars and they don't do that at DS's club. This will basically mean going to a gym club 5 weekday nights and on a Sunday for at least the next 4 weeks as she needs to keep up the recreational classes to keep her place on them if she doesn't get through.

Am I mad to even consider it? Anyone else out there who does this for their DC's? I currently don't work but I am a (mature-ish) full-time student (although have just finished my second year and not back until September).

I have thought about just saying no and sticking to recreational for a bit longer but DD seems to spend most of her time in those classes waiting around for her turn and isn't getting an awful lot out of it. Also, she's unlikely to be offered another chance at going on to development training as they like to start early. DH thinks I should just say no, take DD out of the other club at the end of the term and stick with the acro club. It makes sense but I can't help thinking this is something she may well be really good at and I don't want to deprive her of that.

Sorry for the ramble and not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things I know but advice/experiences would be appreciated.

Parajse Thu 16-May-13 16:11:01

Personally I would give it a go, at least for a couple of terms. Although I'm a dance teacher and come from a long line of dancers and gymnasts who failed to make it to the 'top' for various reasons, so possibly a bit biased.

It sounds like you would have a DS at a specialist acro club and a DD doing artistic, is that right? It's been a few years since I was involved in gymnastics but I seem to remember it's easier to switch to rhythmic/acrobatic from artistic than it is the other way round, simply because artistic includes floor work, but the others don't include bars/vault/beam. Quite a few rhythmic Olympians started off in artistic and switched across around the age of 10, don't know so much about acro but I would have thought something similar was true.

The point I'm trying to make (in a very rambly way blush ) is that if you went with it and after a while decided it wasn't working, or DD wanted to switch to acro, that would be a much easier swap than if she went with acro then decided later she wanted to do artistic. I'm by no means an expert though!

The other option is to look around and see if there are any gym clubs offering both near you. Even if it's further afield, if the class times work out it might be easier having them both training at the same time at the same place in their different disciplines.

LadyLech Thu 16-May-13 17:07:31

What do you mean by elite? Are you talking an elite gym or just the 'elite squad' of a normal gym?

I have two DDs doing gymnastics. Both are competitive and in squads (and in the squad in their gym, competing mostly at regional level) but neither are an elite gymnast.

Dd1 is 9 and trains 18 hours a week, split over 5 days a week. She is an artistic gymnast.

DD2 is 6 and trains 7.5 hours a week; 6 hours artistic and 1.5 hours rhythmic (they / we're still deciding what route she'll go down).

From my experience I would anticipate the following issues:

Competitions - how would you manage comps if they are at different clubs? I know my gym often expects you to keep the other daughter at gym even if the one is at a comp. I'm guessing with acro, like rhythmic comps may be further afield and require overnight stays more often. How would you manage the logistics of leaving one behind whilst you went off to the comp? Or would DH be happy staying behind?

Is your son's hours going to increase? If so, by much? 12 hours is manageable, but what if it goes to 18, 20 hours etc...? Would you be able to cope then?

What are you going to do when he is at secondary school? I know my dd who is only in year 4 struggles to cope with her homework, and I dread dd2 doing different days (desperately hoping she sticks to the same days as dd1) because that would really make it difficult to complete her homework, particularly as she gets older and gets more at secondary etc.

Are the clubs close to each other, or on different days? Will they potentially train at the same times? If so, this makes it far more workable.

I don't know about acro, but I know artistic gymnastics hours increases quite dramatically. I sometimes baulk at my daughter doing 18 hours, but really that is nothing. I know one little girl who is a true elite gymnast. She trains over 25 hours a week, has to leave school early to train etc. if your daughter was an elite like this (ie at a big gym club) could you cope with that?

Finally, will this rule out playdates? I know this sounds silly, but sometimes I think this is one of the hardest things my daughters find. As they train 3 days a week after school, have an after school club one day and I work the 5th day, they don't get t do play dates very often. I know they find that hard, and that they sometimes get left out of things (parties, conversations, games etc) because they are never around after school to join in. My girls have it easier because they are friends with the girls at their gym, so we work around gym hours for play dates, but how would you cope? Would your daughter / son mind this?

If I was in your position, I would probably go for it, because I would reason that if I had given those opportunities to Dd1, I couldn't deny them to dd2. But some of the above considerations went through my mind when we were considering whether to let dd2 join the development squad for rhythmic.

Good luck with the decision, whichever way you go!

pygmyangel Fri 17-May-13 08:58:22

Thanks for the replies.
Firstly, the two clubs are quite a distance apart, I live about half way between them but still a half hour drive to each. One is the top artistic gymnastics club in the area, the other is the top acrobatic/tumbling club. (We're in the North East).
I see what you're saying about it being easier to go from artistic to acro and about the training hours. DS's hours aren't likely to increase in the near future as the next class up from his would be elite and he's no where near that yet. DD, if she gets through the trial, would begin with about 6 hours, at least 2 nights after school and 1 weekend day.
The acro club is far more relaxed and seem to get great results by not being overly strict or pushy. The artistic club on the other hand, is very pushy and strict about attendance.
I think for now, we'll let her have the trial and see what happens at the end of the 4 weeks. If she doesn't make it through or we can't cope with the hours, we'll go acro (the acro club are also far more likely to train anyone who has some ability and determination and a little less intensive). If She is asked to do a longer trial or go through to a squad, then we'll see how hours etc will work out then.

Chestnutx3 Fri 17-May-13 11:36:37

We are having to make similar decisions for our DD who is 6. I'm erring on not letting her do more hours of gym, she does around 5 at the moment. I don't want her to spend her childhood in a gymnastics hall. She loves lots of other sports and we have to decide now really if she gives up all other sports and activities to just concentrate on gymnastics.

I also don't want my younger DC to spend his childhood doing car journeys ferrying his sister around, its not fair.

Do the trial then decide its only 4 weeks. Its highly competitive sport, the probability of making it to elite squads and then further are remote and injury is rife. Its hard when coaches say they should do more or trial for an elite team but it is their childhood and your hours in the car and hanging around.

Just another perspective really.

Parajse Fri 17-May-13 15:56:13

As I understand it, artistic training tends to be more full on than acro quite simply because artistic is the better known and most common form of gymnastics. Acro sadly isn't a part of the Olympics at the moment, and less funding goes into acro in most countries, similar situation as with rhythmic only to a greater extreme. Therefore in acro you can afford to be a bit more relaxed about the training and number of hours you do at what age(unless you're going to be a world championship level gymnast) , whereas artistic is so competitive they start them young if they want a hope of getting to the top. That's absolutely not to say that artistic gymnastics is harder or more worthwhile than acro- if acro was the better known and more popular form of gymnastics, it would most likely be the other way round.

RegularVoltaire Mon 27-May-13 00:35:55

I have 2 at an acro club and 1 at an artistic club.

My youngest does the artistic gymnastics and she likes doing beam and vault so has no interest in acro even though she has grown up with it.

I like it this way. They have similar, but different interests and at the moment are all on different days, so it works for us. My eldest 2 do 12 hours of acro a week (over 4 days) and my youngest does 6 hours of artistic (over 2 days).

I agree with others in that it's much easier to move across to acro from artistic than the other way round. It's possible the other way round, but much harder. I'd go for the trial and take it from there to be honest. You can always stick with the acro if the artistic doesn't work out. I love acro btw. Amazing sport and so entertaining smile

xylem8 Sat 01-Jun-13 14:25:14

I think acro is becoming more and more popular though.I have one doing acro and one artistic at clubs about 40 miles apart, so I feel your pain.

xylem8 Sat 01-Jun-13 14:26:04

OP, does your acro club begin with a T

RegularVoltaire Sat 01-Jun-13 21:13:36

I'm going to guess at the acro club beginning with D


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