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sce

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2014
6,149
With all she's been through, I think a sports psychologist would be a good idea Also, as far as the deadlines etc. Ask her what is the worst that happens? She repeats level 7, right. Then ask her is that so bad? Help her see that this is her thing, there is no one else she will let down. Yes, you now know that some of her previous coaching wasn't the best, (It may have been that coach's best though) but all she can do now is move forward and let the new coaches teach her.

She also needs to know that fears happen. Its okay and she can get past it.
 
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Ali'sMom

Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2014
3,116
Ask her what is the worst that happens? She repeats level 7, right. Then ask her is that so bad?

That's exactly what I asked my daughter when we thought she may repeat L3 (I know, not quite L7...), I said "And if you do have to repeat it, just imagine how much better you will be, and you can kick some booty out there :). And we will make sure you really get a chance to work on L4 skills and be stronger, and maybe move up in January"

If you can get past the past, this is exactly what it breaks down to.
Then work on how to get her moving forward again, dealing with the fears.
One thing I thought of - her fear of getting back on trying again - is that a fear of falling or a fear of failing in front of others? Are there girls there that chide each other when they miss a skill?
 

gracyomalley

Proud Parent
Aug 5, 2013
944
Thanks everyone.

DD and I spoke briefly last evening. She says she can't imagine a life without gymnastics - but she means that in both the "It's so important to me" and the "I haven't had that life since I was 5" way. Processing.

Yes, we BOTH need to let go of the past. I agree. For both of us it all came as a surprise and a dreadful seeping in over the summer (well, that's her dramatic approach) and neither of us are quick to let go of things. Working on that.

She saw a sports/adolescent psychologist briefly when this started - I've told her we will do a few sessions at least again - whether she steps foot back in the gym or not. She realizes that having a new approach to anxiety (other than let if overwhelm me and make me feel bad about myself) will help in life no matter what.

I gave her the analogy of my physics experience: I won the high school physics award (she "won" often as a Level 7 with great basic skills and form), but when I went to college at a very competitive school I ended up in an honors physics class with a bunch of kids who had already completed higher level calculus. I was trying to learn the math FOR physics while trying to learn college physics and struggled, got unsatisfying (but adequate) grades. I didn't know how to ask for help (had never needed it) or how to approach studying something I didn't naturally "get". Asked my mom if I could quit college and come home, I felt so rocked by it. Needless to say, my parents got me to stick it out and I ended up learning enough physics for my career, and eventually getting my confidence back. I had friends who were perfectly fine with their Cs, and friends who were more prepared, and friends who were simply more gifted at physics/math than me - we all had our paths to follow, just as she has friends who are approaching their gymnastics in all the above ways - and have their own paths.

In life, there is always going to be a time we have to face these things. I wish in some ways that gym would always be just plain fun - but actually they wouldn't learn as many life skills if it were. And as I told her - MY Cs/need to slow down went on my college transcript - if she needs to repeat L7 again to learn the "math" to prepare better for higher level gymnastics, then NO ONE will care a bit later in life - if she can learn to ask for help, to break things down, to face fears of failure (and that's what it is - she's adamant that she's not scared of getting hurt - and there are a few "mean girls" but she's getting past that), to take a step back in order to move forward, well that will be a fantastic life lesson.

I sure wish I could be so wise when family crises hit rather than needing to stew so long at first! When she and I both talk about it, its clear that for her to stay in gymnastics (and again, on her path - which really wouldn't include a "just for fun and I don't care" approach, because that's not who she is) she needs to fill in the "math" holes, regain confidence, let go of specific level/competition goals and look more long term - not a high pressure "have to be L10 by 14" approach, but a "lets build and see how far we can go while staying healthy, gaining confidence, and pushing myself to learn in a positive way".

It is very helpful, by the way, to have input from the "greater" gymnastics community. We are such a small area in such a small state/region. To give perspective, at state last year there were less than 20 L9-10s total. The parenting stuff is universal, but nice to hear from others not "in" the situation. But the specifics to gym (as in the help understanding WHY she is suddenly struggling) also helps me explain it to her - she feels better about her fears/struggles knowing that there really are things that work better if done in a certain order, and that there is "something" to be learned by slowing down...she loves and trusts her new coach - but did so with her old one as well so she actually smiled when I told her that "on-line coaches/people" thought it was perfectly normal for her to have to go back a bit and move her vault up, take the time to get the giants without fear, work up to her harder series, etc.... we'll see how she "processes" this weekend...
 

Ali'sMom

Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2014
3,116
I wholeheartedly agree with Profmom, you're definitely handling it very well. I think your math analogy was spot on.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing how the season goes!
 

sce

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2014
6,149
Your college experience really is a similar situation. So great when we can share from our experience to help our kids. The open dialogue you have with her will help her all along the journey.
 
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