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Flyaway mental block

Discussion in 'Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)' started by Perlma, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    How do I help my 10yo DD deal with a major mental block on her giant-flyway? She's been very frustrated and her mental state is getting worse after each practice. She competed cast- flyaway all season last year and then had giant-flyaway for about 3 months. She's lost everything now and won't even go for the flyaway with a spot. Coach has been working with her on the basics - she only goes for the pushaway-flyaway and only from the low bar. I realize that there's not much I can do as a parent besides listening to her, supporting her etc. but maybe someone can share their story or useful advice? Thank you!
     

  2. reluctant

    reluctant Member Proud Parent

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    Patience. A team mate of my daughter competed flyaway in levels 5,6,7, and then in 8 she forgot how to do it. She couldn't compete bars for 2 meets, but then she got it back.
     
  3. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    You say nothing unless she brings it up.

    Then you say I’m sure it’s frustrating. It will come back. And give a hug.

    And then since the coach seems to be handling it right, by stepping her back. Say just listen to coach, it will come back.
     
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  4. coachp

    coachp Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Parent

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    yes stay out of it. Sounds like your coach is dong what needs to be done. you cannot rush the recovery or a setback will emerge.
     

  5. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    That's exactly what I've been doing. I didn't even know that there was a problem until about two weeks ago when she started coming out in tears after each practice. She's been stressing out more now because her 1st meet is in a few weeks and she's too embarrassed to scratch bars (her own words). She literally brings it up now after each practice - I keep telling her to be patient, take time, listen to her coach etc
     
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  6. gymdoc

    gymdoc Member Proud Parent

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    YDD is the queen of mental blocks. For her, she does have some underlying anxiety issues so it helps for us to talk about what other things in her life might be impacting her gymnastics - tests at school, conflict with a friend, nervous about upcoming meet, etc. We also do some relaxation and breathing exercises, use lavender essential oil, take a long bath, etc to help with stress.

    Visualization is a great tool as well. Have her watch some bar routines of herself to remind her brain that she can do those skills. YDD would also say out loud the steps that she is going through - jump to high bar, kip to cast handstand, what she is doing with her body during those steps - hollow, opening shoulders, etc. with her coach before each routine to reconnect her muscle memory and her brain, so the "block" response wouldn't just take over. Hope that makes sense.
     
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  7. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    If she keeps bringing up I would explain it like an injury to her and tell her she needs to her "brain" time to heal.

    And then do as gymdoc suggests, relaxation, deep breathing and de-stressing things as part of the healing.
     
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  8. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    Crud edit timed out.

    I would also make sure she understands that this is “normal” as in it can happen to anyone. And it gets better.
     
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  9. Dee243

    Dee243 New Member Proud Parent

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    It coincided with another visit for another reason but my DD ended up talking to a therapist the last time she got stuck. It was such a good thing to talk to someone that wasn’t coach or parent. It totally gave her some coping tricks and has become a resource for us. A little tricky to get them there without making it seem like you are trying to fix them- like I said we stumbled into it -but it was a game changer for us. In just one visit- she really just wanted someone to talk it out with.
     
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  10. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    I think comparing it to a physical injury is a good strategy. Thank you.
     
  11. GymFan96

    GymFan96 Member Former Gymnast

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    OP will she do it into the pit? And since you say she'll do it from the lowbar, maybe she could stack 8 inchers under the high bar to make it feel lower and get over the fear that way.
     
  12. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    She won't do it into the pit :-( Lowbar only with a spot
     
  13. John

    John Active Member Proud Parent

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    We had a Level 8 mental block on the flyaway for the lasts two weeks, she is now back. Coaches used a spotting belt and had her do it over and over and over from the pit bar. This was done during conditioning and warmups. Just a thought.
     
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  14. MILgymFAM

    MILgymFAM Well-Known Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    Ah, I feel you! My DD competed L6 once with a block on her flyaway and here we are again in the almost the same exact situation- after she had it (and her flyaway 1/2) all last year. Her gym has no pit and no solid spotters, so hers is gone until she gets the courage to simply let go on her own again. She had only ever done it out of tap swings, so changing it to cast flyaway and then clear hip flyaway within a month was too much for her. I know it’s frustrating as a parent, but it’s just one of those things we have to silently endure. It will come back when she’s ready. At least she’s going on low bar- it’s a start!
     
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  15. LGnyc

    LGnyc Member Proud Parent

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    Your DD is mine. And it sounds like a lot of others out there. I think it's important to let her know that this is normal and okay and it happens, but that she's also allowed to be upset about it. Sometimes when kids hear, "oh this is normal" or "you'll get over it," they hear that it's no big deal when to them it's a HUGE deal. So let her vent and listen and don't try to fix it when she's upset.

    Every coaching advice I've heard says that you have to step back to go forward, to relearn the skill and retrain your brain to move forward. But what I've found has worked for all of my DD's balks is for her to engage in the solution. If the coach just hands her a set of drills and expects her to move forward, she can't do it. But if she talks to the coach and they work out a solution together, she has buy in. She says, I can do this, I can't do that, and they work to find a path forward. It just makes them more invested in the the process as well as the outcome. She's having a private in the next couple of days to do just this - come up with a solution and work it forward with her coach. Crossing my fingers for your DD - and mine. Meet in two weeks.
     
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  16. munchkin3

    munchkin3 Active Member Proud Parent

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    Make it a non issue- if she brings it up and is stressing about 'having to compete' tell her she doesn't have to compete it and can omit the skill.
    I've seen kids do a great routine and omit a problem skill......no biggie.....we have a girl who competed L7 without it. She has a huge block- she does a BEAUTIFUL L7 bar routine and then just 1/2 turns off.......
    (she did go for it at states and nailed it. But it was fine either way) shes training L8 now and still wont let go of that bar.
    The less of a deal it is, the faster she will recover.
     
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  17. GymFan96

    GymFan96 Member Former Gymnast

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    It's so hard for me to picture being able to do giants, but scared to flyaway. It's obviously not a fear of going upside down. Have y'all asked them what exactly they're scared of: underrotating, coming too close to the bar, or something else?
     
  18. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    Her biggest stress right now is the upcoming competition. The ironic thing is that bars has always been her strongest event. She's the only L7 in her gym who has cast-handstand/freehip/giant-giant connected and the routine looks beautiful. Not sure if I should talk to the coach about the plan for the competition. I'll just probably wait and see what happens in a couple of weeks.
     
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  19. Perlma

    Perlma New Member Proud Parent

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    Dd scared of hitting her feet on the bar. She also says that she's coming very fast out of the giant
     
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  20. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    No one suggested "get over it". The suggestions have been...... it will come back. These are 2 different things

    Its normal because it happens and she is not the only one. The child is not the only one this has happened too. They need to know this. They need to know it happens and it comes back.

    No one has suggested that it is not a big deal to the child.

    What was suggested is to not buy into their big deal so it therefore becomes an even bigger deal.

    Rather like the toddler learning to walk. They fall, they look to parent. Parent makes a big deal OMG, poor darling, are you OK, they burst into tears. Parent goes oops you fell, well get up keep at it. And they get up and boggle on. Wow Mom/Dad is upset so this must be an even bigger deal then I thought.

    You lead with I'm sure its frustrating (you acknowledge the stress of it and be done). Then you reassure, it will come back. And if more is needed from as the parent is listen and brainstorm for problem solving. Listen to your coach, step back, time to heal, reduce stress.

    No one said to tell a child they will "get over it".

    Personally, JMO I would have a meeting with my kids coach so I know their plan and I would suggest they engage the child in the plan. Everyone young and old deals better when they buy into the plan. But as a parent. Nope no gym advice. Empathy, overall patience and practice give it time stuff.
     

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