All-Star understanding the age gird and taking time off

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Anonymous

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I've read up on ages and levels and I'm confused about ages. My daughter is 5 and she'll turn 6 in June. She was the youngest on her team, which was a level 1 prep team. The other kids were 6-7 and some turned 8 during the season. If I'm reading correctly, they could have competed as tiny, mini, or youth? Are there advantages/disadvantages to being in a higher or lower age bracket? Or is it about the number of athletes a gym has or the height/weight of the girls?

Second question...Last year my daughters (5 and 7 years old) were on prep teams. They want to be on travel teams, and I want this for them as well. Being on a prep team was a really good experience. I really don't have any complaints, other than we didn't get to travel. Has anyone taken time off to focus on tumbling and dance? I keep hearing they can always go back to cheer. Also having two girls on two different prep teams was stressful for me, as I felt I always had to be in two places at one time. Would taking a break from cheer until they could both make a youth team be a bad idea?
 
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Anonymous

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Most successful teams try to be as old as legally possible in the chosen bracket. If the top age of the division is 12, I would want as many 11-12 year olds as possible. I want my bell curve to trend older and more experienced, especially in the younger divisions.

If your children were older, I would advise against taking a year off, unless they were burned out. I've seen so many kids take time off to work on tumbling. That's great, but when they come back, they are almost always behind their peers on everything else....especially stunting. However, since they are so young, I don't see it as a big deal.

There's no guarantee your kids will both be on a youth team at the same time. Age eligibility doesn't necessarily dictate that, since they would both be eligible for different aged teams at the same time. Not to mention, that they both may acquire different skills at different paces, so while they may be age eligible, their skills will determine where they land. With 2 kids in the sport, you will most likely have to be in two places at the same time for a lot of their career.
 
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