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Complete gym newbie - any advice?

(15 Posts)
StetsonsAreCool Wed 21-Oct-15 23:18:52

DD is 5, in year 1. We've just had parents evening, and the teacher said she's been put forward for the G&T register for gymnastics. This isn't a stealth boast, I didn't know that was a thing you could get on the register for, and I don't know who or when or how this would have been assessed.

Anyway, the teacher has suggested we look at getting her into a gymnastics club - but I have no idea what I'm looking for, or what I should even be asking for? Gymnastics has never been on our radar!

Do they organise classes by age, or ability? Is it like swimming where you get badges? Or do you just turn up and have fun?

How would I go about choosing a club? What should I be looking for?

DD got really excited when I suggested the idea of doing gymnastics (as in I had to stop her from cartwheeling down the landing) so I think she'd be up for committing to something and trying hard at it. But I don't know where to get started.

Mistigri Thu 22-Oct-15 08:13:30

You need to get hold of a list of local clubs, check them out and if possible talk to parents.

A lot of clubs will have a "recreational" group with one or two weekly sessions, and a competition group where they will train more intensively and regularly. DS has given up now but he was in the boys competition group at our local club and the younger competition gymnasts did 3x 2h sessions per week (older ones a lot more of course).

pygmyangel Thu 22-Oct-15 13:43:59

Where are you Stetson? I would begin by looking for local clubs and what sort of gymnastics is on offer (artistic, acro, rhythmic, tumbling,etc). A good start is the British Gymnastics website that lists BGA approved clubs and what sort of gym they do.

As Mistigri says, most clubs will have recreational classes that are usually an hour long that anyone can join in with. If they show potential, it's usually the coaches decision to move them into a development group. Depending on the type of gymnastics and the club, this would usually be 2 or 3 sessions of 1-2 hours each to begin with and would increase as they progressed.

whojamaflip Thu 22-Oct-15 13:57:11

Hi my dd is also on the G&T register for gymnastics (yr 5) but tbh it doesn't mean anything other than I can take her out of school for training camps etc. also means she is allowed to hand homework etc in late if she hasn't managed to get it done due to training. They also make allowances if she is particularly tired in school.

Currently she is training 22 hours a week, over 4 evenings and all day Saturday so it's good that the school supports her - she's working at National compulsory level.

Dd started at a rec class when she was in reception and was invited to try for the pre-development squad and its escalated from there! Training hours have increased year on year and tbh there are times I wish we'd never gone down this route - life is planned around squad commitments and I seem to be constantly in the car driving her to and from various training venues. However it is all down to dd - I refuse to push her.

In your shoes I would find a good club which has a competition squad and start her in a recreation class - a good club will be constantly on the lookout for potential squad members and take it from there - good luck and have fun! grin

StetsonsAreCool Thu 22-Oct-15 22:25:40

Thanks everyone, that's really helpful.

We're in Shropshire, I understand we've got some very good clubs
locally that I'll need to check out.

I don't even know what the different types of gymnastics are shock

StetsonsAreCool Thu 22-Oct-15 22:29:27

Oops, posted too soon.

At the moment she loves just doing handstands and cartwheels. She's trying to teach herself how to go over from a handstand so she's got her feet on the floor (don't know what that's called). She's nearly got it though. I don't know what sort of gymnastics would suit her, but I guess the club would identify that wouldn't they?

I'll have to have a good look. It's good to know that she might get a bit of leeway at school if this does turn into something.

Feeling quite excited actually, in a way! It's nice when people tell you your child is good at something smile

ReallyTired Thu 22-Oct-15 22:35:27

It sounds like she needs to go to gym to learn to do all the tricks safely.

The British gymnastics website will give you details of the nearest clubs. Bare in mind that many have long waiting lists. If you are lucky you might be able to get her a holiday session if your local gym club does holiday clubs and it's not all booked up.

Brioche201 Sat 31-Oct-15 12:19:28

As an artistic squad coach I am wondering how well placed a teacher is to assess her gymnastics potential.
Anyway, take her along to a competitive club and see what they say.She will not be allowed to take part in proper competitions until the year she turns 8.At 5 at my gym she would start in rec doing an hour a week and if we thought she had talent focus and the right attitude, we might invite her to join the mini-squad which would train 1.5 a week to begin with.

StetsonsAreCool Sun 01-Nov-15 20:58:17

She's now on the waiting list for a club nearby. They're doing a taster day in December for her age group. What sort of thing will they look at?

I don't know how they've assessed Brioche, as it says in my OP. It wasn't her teacher that decided it though - she thought we'd nominated her. PE at her school is done by a sports coaching company, so presumably it was them? And they would know a bit more, as they have lots of coaches that specialise in various areas.

She's been completely taken with the World Championships this week. I've had to stop her turning various bits of furniture into a vault blush

Xantheticus Mon 02-Nov-15 02:46:48

I've been interested to read this thread. At the moment, I'm nervously assessing how I will respond to a 6 year old who is showing a lot of talent and passion for gymnastics.

She is currently only doing recreational classes but looks likely to be invited to join a squad fairly soon. I could cope with a few extra hours but definitely not 20 hours a week. I know I'm getting ahead of myself but don't want to be in a position of having to stop her fulfilling her potential because the financial and time demands are too great.

Whojamaflip, would it have been possible to put limits on how many hours your DD is doing or is it all or nothing?

(StetsonsAre, apologies for hijacking the thread)

StetsonsAreCool Mon 02-Nov-15 20:13:42

Hijack away Xan smile

Brioche201 Tue 03-Nov-15 10:05:42

British Gymnastics do not recommend under 8s training sessions lasting longer than 2 hours.the children are not allowed to compete in 'proper' competitions until the calendar year in which they turn 8, so at 6 she would probably train 1 or 2 sessions of 1.5-2 hours.She may have a conditioning sheet she is expected to do at home too.

Xantheticus Wed 04-Nov-15 11:09:35

Thanks Brioche. I hadn't realised there were recommendations like that. She's doing a 1 hour recreational class now. I think the lowest squad level is 2 x 1 hour classes and at this club it builds up to a max of 3 classes and 7 hrs/week total.

If the girls are really good they go to another club which is 1 hour drive away where the girls do 20 hours/week. That's only for older girls (not sure of the age) but they think so highly of how she's progressing, I'm already stressed at the thought of the hours building up. I absolutely could not manage 20 hours/week. Heaven knows what that would cost.

Though writing all this down, it seems ridiculous that I'm getting so stressed about something that hasn't happened and may not be an issue for a couple more years.

Xantheticus Wed 04-Nov-15 11:11:10

Stetsons, all the best with the tester session - would be great to hear how your DD gets on. She sounds really keen.

Bogburglar99 Wed 04-Nov-15 11:21:27

DD is just 7. She's been doing a recreational class for an hour a week and was recently invited to try out for the artistic squad but didn't quite make it. She is now doing a two hour a week acro class, rising to four hours a week if she gets on well.

Have a check to see whether the club offers just artistic, or also acro and tumbling. I knew NOTHING about gymnastics before DD showed an interest, so it's all new to me. Getting on in artistic is quite challenging as they have to be able to do all the skills - bars, vault etc. Acro offers a different option as it's mostly floor based with dance, balancing and tumbles, and you do it in pairs or a team. Tumbling is (I think) what it says on the tin! So if you can I'd recommend looking for a club with a few progression options.

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