WAG Cleaning up Floor Routine

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Finaille

Proud Parent
Apr 15, 2019
12
Minnesota
My 8 year old daughter is having a great first season competing XB! She loves it and is managing solid 35s AA.

Her biggest challenge area is general sloppiness and performance appearance. Especially on floor. Her arms flap around, she takes lots of extra hops, and she struggles to smile/look like she is having fun. Her coach says this is really hurting her scores.

I can tell she is trying, but in competition these continue to be barriers.

What can I do to encourage/help her clean up her skills? Does it come with maturity? Dance? Help!
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
Does it come with maturity? Dance? Help!
Yes to both. However, the biggest improvement comes from practicing correctly 100% of the time. If she's flopping around doing her routines at the gym then it's on her coach to stop her and make her try her best to fix it. If that's not happening, then that's the problem and the errors become muscle memory.

In my experience, whatever errors my daughter makes in practice she often makes more egregiously during a competition. It makes sense -- nerves are hard to deal with for a little kid.
 

Finaille

Proud Parent
Apr 15, 2019
12
Minnesota
Yes to both. However, the biggest improvement comes from practicing correctly 100% of the time. If she's flopping around doing her routines at the gym then it's on her coach to stop her and make her try her best to fix it. If that's not happening, then that's the problem and the errors become muscle memory.

In my experience, whatever errors my daughter makes in practice she often makes more egregiously during a competition. It makes sense -- nerves are hard to deal with for a little kid.

I really appreciate it. Her coach swears up and down it is more with competitions- she performs better during practices.

When she practices at home I have been starting to video her in slow motion so she can see what her arms are doing when she’s practicing her moves. I actually don’t tell her to practice, she is mostly practicing on her own.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
I really appreciate it. Her coach swears up and down it is more with competitions- she performs better during practices.

When she practices at home I have been starting to video her in slow motion so she can see what her arms are doing when she’s practicing her moves. I actually don’t tell her to practice, she is mostly practicing on her own.
Some kids like the videos. My daughter hates it.

If your daughter's routines look clean at home/gym and then fall apart at competitions, then it's probably just nervousness. Some kids get more nervous than others, and those ones hopefully just need more time on task (e.g., more comps) to show what they can really do.

This is a big reason why I'm not a fan of forecasting potential based on low level meet scores. Some kids perform better than others, but it's a teachable skill for all but the most nervous types.
 
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Finaille

Proud Parent
Apr 15, 2019
12
Minnesota
Some kids like the videos. My daughter hates it.

If your daughter's routines look clean at home/gym and then fall apart at competitions, then it's probably just nervousness. Some kids get more nervous than others, and those ones hopefully just need more time on task (e.g., more comps) to show what they can really do.

This is a big reason why I'm not a fan of forecasting potential based on low level meet scores. Some kids perform better than others, but it's a teachable skill for all but the most nervous types.
And she is still getting 35AA…

She does like the videos as she misses stuff unless she can review it. Her gym does a lot of videos too but not for competitions.

Hopefully training more once meets are done will help solidify the skills! Thank you!
 
Feb 2, 2022
78
44
I think this is common for beginners, they will eventually learn how to tighten up. One small thing that helped my daughter was reminders for pointing toes - really pointing, not a little half point. It makes a huge difference in things looking more clean.
 
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CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
694
This was definitely my younger kid. She is 10.5 and has been competing since for the past 5 years and she just started to get it about a year ago. I can tell you that pretty and tight form does NOT come naturally to her AT ALL, but with age and experience, she has definitely become more aware of it and she is capable of good form if she can make herself truly focus on every single move.

One of her coaches is huge on the "feeling" of holding shapes properly. She'll have the girls sit with their legs together, straight, and toes perfectly pointed to feel it right before they do a skill. Or she'll have them keep their arms straight without looking and then turns them to a mirror to see what their version of "straight" actually looks like to a judge, and then to make the correction to fully straighten the arms visually. Then she asks them to really focus on what that feels like. I think that what many kids feel is straight or pointed or together is not actually what looks straight or pointed or together. My kid benefitted from really focusing on the way the proper form feels when it looks nice vs when it does not. It's still a work in progress but keep the faith! This kid went from 35s to reaching 38+ several times in one year.
 
Oct 30, 2022
16
Dancing doesn't come naturally - I can say that for sure. Especially since she's a beginner. Taking dance classes does help a lot, I did dance as a beginner gymnast (recreational classes) during the pandemic and I did online class integrated dance (acro, lyrical, jazz, etc.). To this day I still have strong turns and leaps. But only do it if your daughter wants to, I'll really only recommend it if she really wants to place higher/switch to USAG. If she's doing it just for fun, it will take time and practice to get good arm control through gymnastics.
 

Canadian Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Jun 22, 2018
34
I am a dancer, so I've been bugging my daughter about artistic details ever since she was a tiny gymnast! I only started really bugging her when she started competing at age 9. She didn't like it, so I tried to hold my thoughts in! When she was 10, she started to become more artistic naturally. She would often just improvise dance at home. And now 11, she asks me to work with her and that makes me so happy lol!! She now appreciates that those corrections help her a lot and notices the other gymnasts who don't work on their artistry. She constantly works at her floor routine at home because she wants it to be perfect and loves dancing. So, yes I do think maturity is a big factor and yes, practicing at home the artistic parts of her routines will help, but it will be easier when the motivation comes from her. Dance classes would be good, but only beneficial if she is into it!