For Parents First Year On Team, First Meet… At Her Old Gym

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MickeyDGym

Proud Parent
Mar 21, 2017
62
47
I was in the same situation of going to the old gym for a meet. I didn't make a big deal of it for her. She treated it like any other meet. For me it was a big awkward but everyone was professional. DD ended up placing on all events and getting second AA.

Just don't transfers your fears to her and she will do great
 
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jillc

Proud Parent
Apr 1, 2016
171
42
I won’t make a big deal about this in front of my dd, but she is a worrier. Usually it's at last minute (for example I envision it happening as she’s getting ready for the meet or on the way there). I like the idea of asking her if she has any concerns and taking it from there. However, I also want to prepare her for different scenarios so she’s ready if anyone approaches her.

I get this. My DD is a natural worrier too, so In the past I too have tried to prepare her in advance to help her be less worried. However, it pretty much backfired -- and I think I made it worse rather than better.

Even just asking if she has concerns could backfire as it could make her start thinking about what things she could be concerned about.

So I have switched to not bringing it up all -- but thinking about what she might be worried about and have answers ready in case she does bring them up on her own. I think you have a pretty good start for this!

She just did her first meet today -- and she never asked any of those questions I was prepared to answer. And guess what -- she seemed less nervous for this than she has for some in house meets and evaluations. Like I said, I asked her about those (if she was nervous and what she was nervous about) and I think I made it worse.

I didn't even mention the word nervous at all this time! And she only brought it up once, but really casually-- like "I am a little nervous, but also really excited". And I didn't dig, I just let it go because she didn't direct the conversation further.

I also had to pretend that I wasn't s nervous!! That was hard!
 
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LindyHopper

Proud Parent
May 25, 2016
813
I didn't even mention the word nervous at all this time! And she only brought it up once, but really casually-- like "I am a little nervous, but also really excited"
I love this. We call it "nervcited".

Short Stack handles it much better now, but we would often talk about how the body reacts almost identically to nervousness and excitement. Nervous is negative and excitement is positive. When you feel nervous, don't feed into it, tell yourself that you're super excited.

I totally agree about letting her come to you. If she is a natural worrier, she will tell you what she is worried about. Don't help her find things to worry about.

And as for beam, possibly give coach a heads-up that this gym was where her injury occurred. Let coach handle it at the meet. If worse comes to worse, she scratches beam. Lots more meets in her future with lots more beam routines.
 
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amiandjim

Proud Parent
Apr 18, 2015
1,653
45
Awww...DD also calls it nervcited!!

OP, my DD is a worrier and just really dwells on stuff like this. It always ends up being fine. She gets really nervous for meets, but has always done well despite her nerves. At state last year, she did her floor routine when tears in her eyes, scored a 9.55 and placed second to a 9.575. Why did she have tears you ask?? She was randomly chosen to go first, didn't know it was random, and thought it meant her coach chose her to go first because "I'm the worst gymnast on floor." This coming from a child who placed 1st or 2nd on floor all year.

I have learned to just not bring anything up at all about things, encourage her when she gets stressed, and not let her dwell on negative things.
 

duyetanh

Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2015
4,111
One other concern I didn’t mention is the balance beam that she fell from when she broke her elbow. At her old gym, her coaches let her avoid that beam (for months) until the actual team evaluation (the one and only time she was on that particular beam since her accident) She said she was very nervous about being up there again (although she said she thought she did well). Maybe I should mention the beam concern to her current coach? Will her coach have any control over which beam she will use at the meet?
No. Her coach will not have any control. And (sorry, I know it will sound harsh, even though I am trying not to be this way) there really is no reason to mention it. Forgive me, but I am going to go a bit deep here (blame the wine at dinner, lol). If she continues with this sport, believe me when I say she is going to have MANY moments where she has to suck it up and deal with stressful situations during competitions. Yes, be there for her when she voices insecurities, and help her learn how to deal with them and get through them, but don't bring them to the plate for her, so to speak. This sport teaches life lessons, and we can't protect them from them or teach them to avoid them. I won't lie. It's a brutal sport. Those who get too mental end up struggling to stay in it. Fear only amplifies as the levels increase and the skills get harder. As a parent, when I think about what my own kid hopes to compete in terms of skills this year, it makes me physically ill, which I would NEVER share with her! The lighter I keep things, the better. I have found this to be the case even back in the days of level 2 yore. My daughter now thanks me; she said she never realized before how lucky she was, and how grateful she is that I am not one of the overbearing parents, because she would have quit. Yes, she has voiced this! As irritated as she gets with me for still muddling leaps and jumps (will someone out there please help me with this!) and having no idea what all the skills are she is working on, she is so relieved I have no desire to obsess over her sport and know everything that is going on, deductions, etc. Don't get me wrong-she loves having me at meets, and always chooses where she would like me to sit, just so she knows where I am. But she doesn't need me to live through her with the sport.

I am saying this kindly: the sport, with its successes and failures, has to be hers. I am not saying we as parents don't intervene in particular situations should the need arise, but you really have to find the balance, and trust and believe in both your child and the coaches. This is very hard for many parents to do, but it is important for their overall success in the sport...I am sure you will get there! Your dd has come SO far; be proud! I am sure she will end up competing this year, and do amazing, and surprise both herself and you with her successes. :)
 

Sasha

Proud Parent
May 15, 2013
1,583
@ the OP, I totally get your concern. My boy gymnast can be an over-analytic worrier.

My personal approach would be (repeating lots of others' points here...):
- don't bring it up at all until after she is 100% for sure going to compete (passes skills test)
- Not sure if she already knows or not (?), but either way, when she is officially on team, go over the meet schedule (again?) together - copy the meets onto a calendar together, whatever makes sense for you to "formally prepare" (along with figuring out the hair style, buying the bun pins or curlers or whatever you will need to do...).
- Look for any signs of concerns about the location of the meet when you go over the schedule as a whole. If she has zero reaction (or a positive one), let it go. Don't say anything or even suggest there would be reason for concern.
- If she does show any sign of concern, try to play the nonchalant "Oh yes, this is very common. Athletes change gyms all the time, and nearly always compete at old gyms. Very normal thing and all the coaches are quite used to it. " If she doesn't "buy it" (still concerned), then go into the positives mentioned previously. Of course, thank her for expressing her honest feelings to you and tell her you understand why she is feeling [insert feeling]. Assure her that her new coaches will watch out for her, and that most likely, she will not even be thinking about the other team / coaches (whatever her concerns were). Follow the lots of great advice by others about addressing specific "Scenarios" IF she is leading the conversation and asking you. If not, try to keep it shallow and light, and just paint the picture that this is very common, and her coach(es) will take care of her and make her feel comfortable.
- Tell her that whatever happens at the meet, whatever she ends up feeling that day, that how she feels is the very most important thing to you, and to make sure to tell you about it afterwards.

About the specific beam and all, I'd not even mention that unless she specifically brings it up (doubt she will). I agree she may not even remember which one it is. In the unlikely event your DD does bring up an issue with the evil beam in question, assure her that her coach will take care of her, to trust her coach, and she can always express any feelings she has to her coach. Essentially, all your convos regarding worries about gymnastics should be toward her putting her trust in the coaches, and that the coaches will make sure she is OK (unless coaches are an issue, in that case, you have much different problems). She needs to learn this independence and separation from you regarding meets. She needs to build that bond and trust in the team to own her meet experience. So assuming you actually do trust them, keep pushing that mantra and help her see that she is in good hands.

(And yes, you are probably overthinking, but I do the same)
 

NY Dad

Proud Parent
Sep 2, 2016
1,101
New York
Thanks for the info, opinions and sharing your personal experiences. I feel like I’ve got a solid plan now:
1. Wait until she passes all her tests (hopefully just a formality but I won’t take anything for granted)
2. Once she’s definitely competing walk her through the competition schedule
3. Do nothing unless she has specific questions or wants to discuss (see below)

In the past I too have tried to prepare her in advance to help her be less worried. However, it pretty much backfired -- and I think I made it worse rather than better.
Your post reminded me of something that had happened several months ago that I had forgotten about.

On the drive to my dd’s evaluation at her previous gym I had planned to give her a pep-talk and I was ready to answer any questions/concerns that she might have had. As planned, I met up with my DW to swap kids (I would take YDD to her evaluation and my DW would take ODD somewhere else.) We were in a parking lot for the exchange when my YDD casually mentioned that she wanted my DW to take her instead of me. We were baffled (including my ODD). My YDD usually prefers to be with her mom except when it comes to sports related activities. When she wants someone in the room when she’s conditioning at home, or she wants to talk about a new skill or to vent about something that happened at the gym, (not that any of these things happen often) it’s almost always with me. When she had a private at her old gym, she wanted me to take her and to watch.

When asked why she wanted my DW to take her to the evaluation instead of me she told my DW that she would be nervous if I took her (she didn’t say it in front of me). I gave my DD a hug & kiss and told her to have fun. There was no time for a pep talk.

My wife was not “prepared” ;)she’s pretty sure that gymnastics didn’t come up in their conversation on the way to the gym. As my DD headed in, my DW told her to have fun and gave her a hug & kiss. After her evaluation, my DD felt confident and said that she had done her best. (Despite having been nervous about being up on the evil beam again for the first time).

I don’t think that I have previously or would have done anything to make her nervous but this seems like an indication that, if nothing else, she wasn’t looking for my “words of wisdom” and that anything I might have said wouldn’t have helped.

So thanks, I’m feeling very comfortable about not saying anything (though I’ll be ready with vague responses if she brings anything up). To let her know that her feelings are normal (If she says she’s nervous I’ll steal the line: nervous + excited = “nervsited” (that’s great), gym switches happen all the time and coaches are used to it, that her coaches will be there looking out for her and that she should tell them about her concerns.

Don't help her find things to worry about.
help her learn how to deal with them and get through them, but don't bring them to the plate for her, so to speak
Preaching to the choir. ;):) I’m on board!
 

John

Proud Parent
May 5, 2017
1,592
54
Good attitude, a great plan I will take this away.

I know as a dad I have very few jobs when it comes to gymnastics.

1. Feed her.
2. Praise hard work.
3. Be a soft landing spot.
4. Transportation.
5. Pay the bill.
 

munchkin3

Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
Amazing how much us parents can relay over to our child.......(just did it last night by accident)

Stop stressing- forget ALL about the meets....just take your kid and focus on the weather.

If you need to find a friend to take all your stress and nervousness, then find one......your kid should see the Dalai Lama in you for a meet....

you will be surprised at what your kid is capable of.
 

munchkin3

Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
On the drive to my dd’s evaluation at her previous gym I had planned to give her a pep-talk and I was ready to answer any questions/concerns that she might have had. As planned, I met up with my DW to swap kids (I would take YDD to her evaluation and my DW would take ODD somewhere else.) We were in a parking lot for the exchange when my YDD casually mentioned that she wanted my DW to take her instead of me. We were baffled (including my ODD). My YDD usually prefers to be with her mom except when it comes to sports related activities. When she wants someone in the room when she’s conditioning at home, or she wants to talk about a new skill or to vent about something that happened at the gym, (not that any of these things happen often) it’s almost always with me. When she had a private at her old gym, she wanted me to take her and to watch.

When asked why she wanted my DW to take her to the evaluation instead of me she told my DW that she would be nervous if I took her (she didn’t say it in front of me). I gave my DD a hug & kiss and told her to have fun. There was no time for a pep talk.
+*******************************
I still dont know how to quote.
She knows gymnastics stresses you out- she already knows you have unintended expectations..
 
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Flyaway

Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2014
1,380
NY Dad, you've reached some very introspective conclusions - good job! I believe that you have interpreted your dd's request to have your wife take her to the evaluation correctly. She already subconsciously (if not consciously) can feel the stress that gymnastics causes you and she knows what she needs, and she asked for it. I really think you can turn this around. Keep at it. (just don't overthink about not overthinking. ;) LOL)
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,440
62
I don’t think that I have previously or would have done anything to make her nervous but this seems like an indication that, if nothing else, she wasn’t looking for my “words of wisdom” and that anything I might have said wouldn’t have helped.
!

Kids pick up on our vibes. And our style. Our nerves and concerns
She didn't want your pep talk and chat.... it probably makes her nervous.
She told you, without telling you. She's trying not to hurt your feelings and disappoint you.

Evals and meets are different then chatting about practice, conditioning and skills. It's normal to be nervous, she doesn't need to carry your nerves too.

She told how she wants it to go..... do that.

Seriously. Give her a kiss, tell her you love her, do her best and have fun.
 

Seeker

Proud Parent
Aug 30, 2012
6,687
USA
On the drive to my dd’s evaluation at her previous gym I had planned to give her a pep-talk and I was ready to answer any questions/concerns that she might have had. As planned, I met up with my DW to swap kids (I would take YDD to her evaluation and my DW would take ODD somewhere else.) We were in a parking lot for the exchange when my YDD casually mentioned that she wanted my DW to take her instead of me. We were baffled (including my ODD). My YDD usually prefers to be with her mom except when it comes to sports related activities. When she wants someone in the room when she’s conditioning at home, or she wants to talk about a new skill or to vent about something that happened at the gym, (not that any of these things happen often) it’s almost always with me. When she had a private at her old gym, she wanted me to take her and to watch.

When asked why she wanted my DW to take her to the evaluation instead of me she told my DW that she would be nervous if I took her (she didn’t say it in front of me). I gave my DD a hug & kiss and told her to have fun. There was no time for a pep talk.
+*******************************
I still dont know how to quote.
She knows gymnastics stresses you out- she already knows you have unintended expectations..
In order to quote an entire post, just hit Reply under the post you want to quote.

The Quote button is used when you want to quote multiple bits of different posts.
 
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