DS 7 yo doing gymnastics 6 hours a week - acro - in 3 months the coach woudl like to increase to 8...what abouit other sports?

(16 Posts)
schooling123 Tue 19-Jul-16 20:52:40

I do not want my DS to miss out on experiencing other sports... He has been doing gymanstics since 3 and now in acro squad - 6 hours a week but would like to introduce him to other sports...how possible is this? Can I ask the coach not to increase? can I keep DS trying other sports so that he experiences a variety?

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 19-Jul-16 23:27:04

well you can always say no to any increase in hours of training but you do have to consider what the impact of that could be. He could quite possibly be removed from the squad, unable to make the progress or commitment of the others, if he is in a 4 then if the others could do more hours than him they would need to replace him. I think you really need to discuss with your son and other family members what he wants to do and what you feel the commitment from all of you can realistically be. If he wants to take it seriously then costs and training will always increase. If he wants to try new things then you could say no but he needs to be aware of the potential consequences of that. If HE doesn't want to try other sports then I personally think it would be unfair to make him.

My girls love dancing, they do a lot of it. we have talked about them branching out and trying other things instead but they don't want to.

snowy508601 Tue 19-Jul-16 23:47:08

I don't think 6 or 8 hours a week is really that much. You realise it will continue to increase ?
You need to discuss with the coach what the impact ofhim doing fewer hours will be. If he were a girl there would be dozens happt to take his place, but boys are more of a rarity and they may not want to lose him.

Moonlightceleste Wed 20-Jul-16 01:47:30

8 hours is nothing in gymnastics terms. I would increase the hours for now, if he decides later on he wants to try something else, most sports can be picked up at a decent level later in life, especially with a sporting background. Drop gymnastics at this point (especially if he's squad good) and he will never get back to where he could have been if he comes back to it in 10 years time. Same goes with not increasing hours, gymnastics hours are often much higher from his age. They have to be to develop the skills and flexibility needed. You are keeping his options open far more by increasing the gymnastics hours than you are by cutting them in favour of something else age 7.

backinthebox Wed 20-Jul-16 02:32:31

From what I have seen (straw pole of 2 other children at DCs' school) there is a relentless ramping up of hours practice required in gymnastics which could either result in becoming national champion or total burnout and rejection of the sport (as I said, sample of 2.) Watching other sports, it would seem that at primary school age it is possible to have a well-rounded childhood and experience a number of different sports and hobbies - or you can do gymnastics. Tempting though it is when you see those strong and bendy athletes, I can't help thinking that the sheer number of hours of repetitive practice are not good for a young child's brain or body.

It's a well-proven fact that early specialisation in one sort is not good for the long term development of an athlete. Obviously, if you want your child to specialise in gymnastics, then you have to take the chance and risk early burnout and injury - but that is the only way to stay at the top of this sport. It is also why I have chosen to actively dissuade my kids from any interest in it.

backinthebox Wed 20-Jul-16 02:32:58

Not good to specialise early

snowy508601 Wed 20-Jul-16 08:08:16

Gymnastics will set a child up well for any sport he wants to transfer into later on.

schooling123 Wed 20-Jul-16 21:25:44

moonlight - what do you mean by "you are keeping his options open far more by increasing the gymnastics hours than you are by cutting them in favour of something else age 7."

also, what do you mean by " not good to specialise early"?

RandomMess Wed 20-Jul-16 21:33:11

I have to say I didn't let my DC do gymnastics because of the pushiness of a child who is good. I don't know an ex gymnast that doesn't have a hosts of painful injuries in their adult hood.

backinthebox Fri 22-Jul-16 13:08:24

Schooling123 - what do you mean by " not good to specialise early"?

Well, you could click on the link and read the article! That would give you a clue!

smellyboot Sat 23-Jul-16 00:04:57

There are some very good articles about regarding the huge hours that squad gymnasts put in and how many actually make it. My then just 6 year old was asked to do 7 hours in the development squad and luckily she said no. It would have moved to 9 hours then more...and not allowed to skip class ever. She's very very sporty but not amazing at gym imo. . She wanted to keep doing the other sports she does. Her passion is a different sport which I was glad about really.

snowy508601 Sat 23-Jul-16 18:40:23

That gym is silly and short termist smellyboot. Children are not evn allowed to compete until the year they turn 8 so there is little point in them doing more than say 2 x 2 hour sessions a week and a very real danger they will soon lose interest.,

smellyboot Sat 23-Jul-16 23:50:36

All the proper gym clubs near us train 6-7 hours at age 5/6 if the DC are in developments squads. By 9 they are doing 12 hours ish a week.
My DD does that amount a week but different sports

backinthebox Sun 24-Jul-16 11:34:25

A girl in my DD's school moved schools to be closer to the gym as at 10 she was 'on the squad' and therefore needed to up her training 3 hours per evening, every evening and was competing away most weekends for the whole weekend. At 11 she gave up gymnastics.

My DD does Pony Club, which is considered to be a time consuming hobby. Yet at 8 she does not put more than about 5 hours a week into riding and pony care (which means she can have time for music lessons and go to Brownies too and generally have a childhood) and the Pony Club does not encourage kids to either specialise or compete at anything more than mini level until they are 12. DD wanted to do gymnastics as well, and I am so glad I persuaded her to just stick with 'everything else!'

snowy508601 Tue 26-Jul-16 21:19:01

The hours they train generally depends on the level more than their age.
More recently clubs are recognising that it is counter-productive to do too many hours too young because you will lose them ! Also BG best practice is that under 8s should not do sessions longer than 2 hours.

altik Tue 26-Jul-16 23:09:39

Agreed with the others... If you want to progress in gym, you have to rack up the hours.

My DD trained 18+ hours a week, but only got as far as taking her national grades. She was never top flight. However, she has since diversified into other sports, and after giving up for a while has returned and now only does county level comps and trains 5-8 hours a week. It's only level 5, so no longer anything significant.

IME, if he wants to progress you have to do the hours, otherwise they do get left behind their team mates.

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