Natural Talent

My big kids’ gymnastics classes have evaluations on the sixth or seventh day of each 8 week session. Today was evaluations. It was the fourth class my kids have gone to. It seems Ani and Cameron view gymnastics in two different ways. For Ani, it is something fun to do with other girls. For Cameron, it is all about the gymnastics itself.

After Cameron’s class his coach spoke to me and said Cameron has natural talent. In fact, today he got on the parallel bars and the rings for the first time ever and still scored a 3 (out of 3) on those skills. His coach told him what to do and he did it. The only things Cameron got 2s on were cartwheels and the two high bar skills. For everything else he got 3s. We were under the impression Cameron was a level 1 (the classes are all lower odd/upper even levels combined), however his coach evaluated him as a level 2 and he still scored that high.

Cameron’s coach said not only is Cameron good, he has excellent listening skills, too. The most important thing, however, is he said Cameron listens to correction and internalizes it and the next time he does it he fixes whatever he did wrong and does it right. The coach said at Cameron’s age that is uncommon to find. The only thing Cameron lacks is the terminology, but that will come in time. After all today was only lesson number 4.

And so we have options. Cameron is free to move up in levels. Unfortunately his current coach only does level 1+2 boys. He’d have to move to a different coach if he went to level 2+3. His current coach also does boys pre-team. He said he handpicks the boys for his pre-team group and he would love to have Cameron move into it if that’s what Cameron wanted to do. That would mean 4 hours of gymnastics a week in two 2 hour blocks and competing starting in a few years. It’s not really the direction we want to go at this time. I’m actually inclined to leave Cameron where he is for now. His coach is meeting him at his level and letting him progress anyway even if he may be a little above a “typical” level 2 at this point and the class “maxes out” at level 2.

I must say I am thrilled for Cameron to even have been invited to join the pre-team. So often Cameron is overshadowed by his sister. They are so close in age as it is and academics come so easily to Ani. Gymnastics is something that allows Cameron to shine.


(Sorry about the quality. It’s hard to get good pictures in the gym since the camera isn’t sure what to focus on with all the equipment everywhere plus where I am allowed to be is so far from where the kids are working out.)

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