- Feb 6, 2014
My YDD switched gyms in September because her old coach was breaking her spirit. He ignored her successes and hard work and only cared that she wasn't picking up new skills quick enough for him. He told me he didn't like her and thought she wasn't earning her place in her group. He wanted to move her to the L3-5 training group to make room for kids who "want it more". She was a L6 at the time. They also ignored multiple injuries and belittled her for them, even when directly caused by them.
She switched to her new gym and we love it. The atmosphere is just what she needed. Unfortunately she was again pushed up (to L7) a little quicker than she was ready for (in a much kinder way, at least), and adding the stress of our upcoming cross country move.. and boom. Recipe for a block. She's been battling a block on backwards skills since February. This is especially unfortunate in T&T because almost everything is a backwards skill. She's gone from being pushed through, to scratched, to forced to stand on the tramp in front of judges at a meet shaking and crying, to finally telling her coach NO, she was scratching at states.
She competed states this weekend and was so relieved that she found the courage to scratch. She competed double mini and was a happy camper. She didn't win.. just one of those things. She stuck all her warm ups and then took a step in comp, but she did place second and is happy to be in the off season where she can focus on getting better in her head- her term. That second place medal at states felt like a huge victory in overcoming her anxiousness and desire to skip competing altogether.
T&T is shaking up their levels next season, so who knows where she will shake out. Neither of us care at this point. We are taking her last two months with her gym (we move in June) as a gift of time and just looking to stay in love with the sport.
So, ODD. We pulled her from artistic (L6) in October because the commute was hellish (gym was supposed to move closer in June and didn't. Finally did in February).
She decided to give rhythmic a try and fell in love. She was originally going to compete JO, but she was significantly older than everyone else in the state (at least 6 years older than the next oldest girl of her level) that they decided to try USAG's new Xpress program for her. It's the rhythmic equivalent of Xcel. She has had so much fun and learned so much in her six months on rhythmic team. She is the only Xpress gymnast in California, which could be embarrassing for some other girl, but she's happy to be somewhat of a brand ambassador and hopes that her putting herself out there will let other older girls feel comfortable giving rhythmic a try.
Since the rhythmic team is at my YDDs T&T gym, she decided to give power tumbling a try. That morphed into her fully joining the T&T team as well. She started off her T&T season in last place in all three events. No biggie, she was last place at all but one artistic meet last season- no one could ever say she's in it for the medals! Ha! Anyway, she worked really hard all season and ended her L6 season on Saturday as the double-mini state champion! She medaled on the other two events as well. She never believed she could be a state champion at anything and she was positively beaming. She made friends with all the girls from other teams- her competition- and they were all cheering for each other so loudly at awards. It was amazing and everything I as a parent could hope sportsmanship could be.
Throughout the season she has maintained an hour a week private in artistic with a local gym's HC. She has gotten over her artistic blocks and gained some new skills to boot. She "got" a new bar and beam routine, a new vault, and new floor skills (she adores her previously made floor routine). When we move she is going to try out at two rhythmic gyms, two Xcel gyms, and two T&T gyms. Rather than going to VA with expectations she is going with an open mind. She has figured out that finding a coach that she can connect with, and an environment she can breath in, is more important than which discipline she ends up competing. It will be whichever discipline she feels at home with the coach and team. I am chalking that up to a mark of extreme maturity. She's also going to Italy for a month while we move, and I am pleasantly surprised to say my anxious girl isn't worried about losing skills at all. It's amazing the amount of ease and confidence the rights coaches can help instill.
Finally, a confession. My hubby is that gym parent. The one everyone hates. The one we talk about on here. It flows to my girls, but he's even worse at meets. He picks apart all the girls and derides them. I have tried to kindly explain why he shouldn't. I have pointed out that it would stink for people to talk about our girls (he truly wouldn't care). I have straight out asked him to just be quiet. He's impossible and he's cluelessly rude. For anyone who ever sat by us at a meet- my sincerest apologies. Thank goodness he only makes it to a few meets a year.