MAG Distracted During Class

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Men's Artistic Gymnastics

ArmyAshley

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
10
39
Hello! My son is 7 and has been doing gymnastics for about a year. He LOVES gymnastics and has the strength for it. He is currently in the beginner class for rec gymnastics, but he really wants to move up and his coach talked to us about a month ago, saying he was keeping his eye on our kiddo to potentially move him into pre-team because he can do all of the skills they are working on. The problem is that our son get SUPER distracted during class. He's always playing with the edge of the mat or just completely not paying attention to something being demonstrated. It seems to be worse when there are other distracted boys in the group, they feed off of each other. We've talked to him about it, saying it's great to have fun but he needs to pay attention when his coach is talking or demonstrating just like he would to his teachers in school. He listens and understands, but it all goes out the window in class. Any ideas to help him focus a bit better? I totally get that he's 7 and a boy, but he wants to move up so bad and his coach tells him he still gets too distracted.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,569
Does he have these issues in school? If so, how does the teacher handle it? Possibly using a similar method for the class might help or a home based reward system. It is good that his coach is relaying that he needs to focus better to be considered for pre-team because that likely is going to have the biggest impact on his attention, if he really wants to go to the next level.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sce

skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,185
Region 9
Attention in class is important and I had one of those easily distracted boys as well :) He just needed to be busy all the time. He did eventually get better, but still fidgets a lot!!

As gymgal said, do you see this at school or home? If not, maybe just explain what he needs to do. And not just that he needs to be more focused, but what that looks like. For example, watching the coach, sitting still during instruction, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kecks and txgymfan

ArmyAshley

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
10
39
Does he have these issues in school? If so, how does the teacher handle it? Possibly using a similar method for the class might help or a home based reward system. It is good that his coach is relaying that he needs to focus better to be considered for pre-team because that likely is going to have the biggest impact on his attention, if he really wants to go to the next level.
He started out the school year having some troubles but has been doing great for months. He just has to be moving 24/7 and his impulse control is still developing. We may try a reward chart for home, we do that for his piano practicing and it helps a lot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gymgal

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,569
And not just that he needs to be more focused, but what that looks like. For example, watching the coach, sitting still during instruction, etc.
Good point. Kids at this age don't always think of words the same as we do. He may think he is focused b/c he is listening and understanding but they coach may be interpreting the excess fidgeting as a sign that he is not listening and/or can't sit still
 

Madden3

Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
819
49
A boy of 7 not being "focused" at all times sounds pretty normal to me. Is he being somehow unsafe or regularly distracting to others? Is he generally capable of following directions or not?

In my observation, rec classes are typically slower moving and less challenging with more distracting kids in them than a preteam practice for boys. The gym may have MAG coaches who understand how to hold the attention of - and instill better discipline in - a group of young active boys.

Have you had a chance to observe a preteam practice to make a judgement about whether your son might do better there, mentally? If after such an observation you think yes, maybe discuss with the coach exactly how it works to get onto preteam and what steps he would need to make to get there sooner rather than later. If you would be willing to pay for this, you could ask if your son could have some privates to prepare him for preteam.

You could also ask the coach if a different rec class (the same level but a different day or time) might be better for your son.

Also maybe consider having your son take two rec classes a week? He might catch on to how to exert appropriate self control at the gym if he has the opportunity to practice this more often.
 

ArmyAshley

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
10
39
A boy of 7 not being "focused" at all times sounds pretty normal to me. Is he being somehow unsafe or regularly distracting to others? Is he generally capable of following directions or not?

In my observation, rec classes are typically slower moving and less challenging with more distracting kids in them than a preteam practice for boys. The gym may have MAG coaches who understand how to hold the attention of - and instill better discipline in - a group of young active boys.

Have you had a chance to observe a preteam practice to make a judgement about whether your son might do better there, mentally? If after such an observation you think yes, maybe discuss with the coach exactly how it works to get onto preteam and what steps he would need to make to get there sooner rather than later. If you would be willing to pay for this, you could ask if your son could have some privates to prepare him for preteam.

You could also ask the coach if a different rec class (the same level but a different day or time) might be better for your son.

Also maybe consider having your son take two rec classes a week? He might catch on to how to exert appropriate self control at the gym if he has the opportunity to practice this more often.
These are great ideas and I’ve already decided that if he doesn’t get moved after this session I will sign him up for twice a week. I think part of the problem is he’s a little bored, but I also completely understand that the coach needs to ensure he can pay attention for safety reasons.
 

sce

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2014
6,149
Ask to talk to the coach with your son. Explain to the coach that your son wants to improve and move up. Have the coach explain what he needs to do - your son needs specifics though- For example: stay on task at each station, keep his eyes on the coach and listen when the coach is explaining/demonstrating, stay in line, keep his hands to himself etc. Kids that age don’t know how to apply “stay focused”, or “stop being distracted”. That in fact is the nature of distraction. I had a coach tell my daughter she had to be less silly. What? That is a personality trait- give specifics on what behaviors to change
 

ArmyAshley

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
10
39
Ask to talk to the coach with your son. Explain to the coach that your son wants to improve and move up. Have the coach explain what he needs to do - your son needs specifics though- For example: stay on task at each station, keep his eyes on the coach and listen when the coach is explaining/demonstrating, stay in line, keep his hands to himself etc. Kids that age don’t know how to apply “stay focused”, or “stop being distracted”. That in fact is the nature of distraction. I had a coach tell my daughter she had to be less silly. What? That is a personality trait- give specifics on what behaviors to change
There are only 2 classes left in this session so I am planning to have a sit-down with him and get input on what specifically we can work on. Honestly the biggest problem I see my kiddo having is when the coach is working hands-on with another child and the rest are sitting around...he starts watching other things or getting distracted by stuff around him. I've been reminding him a lot the past couple of weeks to look at the coach when he is talking or demonstrating and that seems to be helping...
 

skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,185
Region 9
Just wanted to give an update, my son is being moved into the pre-team group. The coach said “he still gets distracted but I think I can handle him lol! So now we will see how it goes!
That is great news! I hope that being challenged a bit more will help him focus better. KEep us updated!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ArmyAshley

ArmyAshley

New Member
Apr 15, 2022
10
39
That is great news! I hope that being challenged a bit more will help him focus better. KEep us updated!
I definitely will! His coach wants him to start next week, but he’s in summer camp at the gymnastics gym every day for 7 hours and I think adding on to that will be a bit much. So we will start him in August!
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

New Posts