For Parents Encouragement during adolescence

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A's Mom

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2018
My gymnast is 12 and level 6. She's made a remarkable recovery from a broken elbow and loves gymnastics more than ever. She's also growing like a weed for the first time in her life and dealing with all the joy adolescence brings. She's been getting down on herself because she feels behind. She IS "behind" - she was on track to compete level 7 before she broke her elbow and while skills are coming back quickly, it'll be a struggle to "catch up" and be competing level 8 skills in a year. This - which includes consistently scoring lower than she's used to - is breaking her heart. She needs a win. Any parents who have been through the puberty/injury wringer who have encouragement to offer, we're all ears!
Strength... get her pumped on strength. Non-gymnastics style regular strength training with someone else. One day per week can do wonders.

When their bodies change... they sometimes need massive strength gain. This is just not something that can be done with typical "TOPs / National Team" style strength (leg lifts / presses / straight body casts / etc). One major reason why it fails is because many of them can't even really do these exercises.

It's also not the focus that we as coaches have during season... massive strength gain would go in the off season... not during season. The thing is... kids growing and changing don't follow gymnastics season either... sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

Weight lifting / strength building through a good trainer is fun and rewarding... their really is no failure. A good trainer will build them up... it's just positive.

Here is just a random place from online... something like this...

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Same age, same level here. We've been through some minor injuries and set backs and I understand that feeling that she is "behind" if wanting to do college gym. However, I really think being 12 at L6/7 is a good age for steady progression and less burn out. They know their body; they are old enough to have great control and work ethic. If the continue, they will spend fewer years at at L10 which may keep the joy alive longer. Encourage her that gymnastics is a marathon... it's long and not a straight path. It's very rare for someone to go all the way to L10 without an injury or a mental block or a repeat level. If she can just keep focusing on how she's growing in the sport and not where she thinks she should be, that will benefit. I feel lucky that we are at a small gym with a wide range of ages at each level and no favoritism towards the young/high level ones. Thst really helps her NOT feel like she's in a race to get to each level/skill.
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Strength! That's so interesting to think about. Thanks for that. Now how to fit in and afford a trainer with school and 21 hrs/wk of gymnastics...