For Parents DD age 14 and level 4

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Hi guys! Recently my daughter has seem to be unmotivated, as she has girls age 7-10 in her group and being the 3rd oldest it makes her feel as if she's not going to level up enough for her to pursue her dreams in university/college gymnastics. She's 14 and a 9th grader, her watching girls age 14 competing level 9 makes her so unmotivated. She started gym at age 6, and quickly got into competition team at age 8. It breaks my heart, as I had to leave to Korea for the military and my wife does not drive long distance, causing her to quit for 1-2 years. She came back age 13 and this is her 3 year competing. She made a huge comeback, from scoring 7.5 on bars to 9.05. Every competition she has scored 9.0+ above, Covid shut down and she started to lose a bit of her skills. Gyms opened back and she has most of her skills back, she is also working on some upgrades but she's always telling me that she feels old to be in her level and that she will never level up. What should I do? As a parent it saddens me because I don't want to see my child feel like a failure, and she just lowers her self esteem all the time. Any tips?
 

GymDadWA

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Does the high school have a team? At our gym a lot of the older girls seem to move to high school team to keep doing gymnastics but at lower hours and with lower pressure, ironically they still train out of our gym but have a high school coach coaching them. Some of the girls on the team have never really done gymnastics before they've done cheer or dance and they train and compete along side the more experienced girls.
 

GYM0M

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Redirect her focus when she begins to talk about ages/levels. Remind her this is HER path, HER dream, HER journey.....HER STORY! I’ll let old school Miley help me out on this one, “It’s not about how fast I get there, not about what’s waiting on the other side.....It’s the Climb.”
 

Tmacs

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I agree with high school! Such great connections and a chance to feel very successful as many will be brand new to the sport.
Is xcel an option? Gold/platinum levels have their own routines choreographed to their strengths and a chance to progress quickly with skills because not as much focus on the compulsory moves. It also caters to girls who start later or just want more fun and flexibility with routines/hours. We had a few girls age 11/12 switch from level 4 to gold and they are thriving!
 
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I agree with high school! Such great connections and a chance to feel very successful as many will be brand new to the sport.
Is xcel an option? Gold/platinum levels have their own routines choreographed to their strengths and a chance to progress quickly with skills because not as much focus on the compulsory moves. It also caters to girls who start later or just want more fun and flexibility with routines/hours. We had a few girls age 11/12 switch from level 4 to gold and they are thriving!
sadly xcel here is not an option, but I believe we are moving soon as we are a military family. She was looking at gyms and did find a gymnastics that offers both!
 
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Does the high school have a team? At our gym a lot of the older girls seem to move to high school team to keep doing gymnastics but at lower hours and with lower pressure, ironically they still train out of our gym but have a high school coach coaching them. Some of the girls on the team have never really done gymnastics before they've done cheer or dance and they train and compete along side the more experienced girls.
Unfortunately not, there are high school girls that come to her gym to train but they all go to the high school out of our town. If we do find a gym that offers it, I will speak with her abou it!
 

MILgymFAM

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I’m not sure I agree with everyone else here, so I will offer my different perspective.

I would personally be talking to her more about finding her own successes and celebrating them, and helping her to stop comparing herself to her teammates. We’ve all heard that comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s absolutely true.

We are also an active duty military family. My daughter started gymnastics at 13- Xcel bronze. Was she a phenom that shot to elite or college gym? Nope. Just a regular gymnast who worked hard through levels, faced some abuse and some disappointments, and graduated still a gymnast with her head held high and some great memories. She competed xcel and JO, T&T and rhythmic.. she competed as a guest of a gym while traveling for school, and learned to keep gym in its proper perspective. In fact, covid aside, she still trains and competes now.

I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to teach my daughter that she’s right.. she is too old or not good enough, and she should find something more suited to her less-than. I would want her to learn that she has every right and reason to be there like every other girl in that gym.
 

katrid11

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If she has a goal, the only way to avoid regret is to work hard for the goal. No one can guarantee a college team will pick her. But she won't get picked if she allows the age of other gym mates and her current skill level to make her feel down. Remind her of her strengths and what she has overcome to get this far already. Help her set mini-goals for skills so she can feel success even if it doesn't say L5 tomorrow KWIM? Mini-goals give a chance to see progress and lift spirits when the next level maybe a few months away.
 
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If she has a goal, the only way to avoid regret is to work hard for the goal. No one can guarantee a college team will pick her. But she won't get picked if she allows the age of other gym mates and her current skill level to make her feel down. Remind her of her strengths and what she has overcome to get this far already. Help her set mini-goals for skills so she can feel success even if it doesn't say L5 tomorrow KWIM? Mini-goals give a chance to see progress and lift spirits when the next level maybe a few months away.
thanks! i'm going to make a list of goals that she wants and see if there are some at home stretches and workouts to help her!
 
D

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I’m not sure I agree with everyone else here, so I will offer my different perspective.

I would personally be talking to her more about finding her own successes and celebrating them, and helping her to stop comparing herself to her teammates. We’ve all heard that comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s absolutely true.

We are also an active duty military family. My daughter started gymnastics at 13- Xcel bronze. Was she a phenom that shot to elite or college gym? Nope. Just a regular gymnast who worked hard through levels, faced some abuse and some disappointments, and graduated still a gymnast with her head held high and some great memories. She competed xcel and JO, T&T and rhythmic.. she competed as a guest of a gym while traveling for school, and learned to keep gym in its proper perspective. In fact, covid aside, she still trains and competes now.

I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to teach my daughter that she’s right.. she is too old or not good enough, and she should find something more suited to her less-than. I would want her to learn that she has every right and reason to be there like every other girl in that gym.
thanks! I'll definitely try to make her enjoy it/know that she belongs there. She has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, so doing some gym scares her. Thank you everyone for the tips!
 
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MILgymFAM

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thanks! I'll definitely try to make her enjoy it/know that she belongs there. She has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, so doing some gym scares her. Thank you everyone for the tips!
I totally understand. My daughter has a severe anxiety disorder as well... and gym just IS scary. They’re not wrong about that. I hope she finds her joy again.
 

NutterButter

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Your daughter sounds pretty amazing to me! Talk about perseverance! My daughter was also an older gymnast when she started competing and has worked through anxiety, fears and mental blocks her entire time in the sport. The worst thing your daughter can do is get wrapped up in the 'shoulda/woulda/coulda' with her involvement in the sport. You need to also check yourself and not feed into or dwell on that too. Don't let on that you feel sad or heartbroken on her gymnastics journey. Gymnastics truly is a hard sport with so many ups and downs but at the end of the day she does it because it brings her joy. Also, try not to be super-focused on a future goal of college gymnastics. This will drive you and her batty because you start thinking in terms of needed skills, levels and scores which takes away from the enjoyment of the now.