For Parents growing over fear ??

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trampolinemom

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So I know probably none of you has a chrystal ball to predict the future for my DS but what are your stories of your gymnasts who have encountered fear and blocks do they get over them once they are past growth spurts? Where do they end up after years? Do they quit or continue?

DS is my 12 year old who learned skills really fast and got to FIG youth elite level trampolining at 10. His first year went great but then he started having blocks and fears on double somersaults at 11. He also grew very fast during this period, so I guess some of it is growth related. He did get into World Age Group Competitions despite this in fall 2017 and did well there. He then spend most of 2018 out of competition injured with severe Severs and ankle overuse problems.

In september after being out with this injury (he did continue strength training all the time) he started trampoline training again, very very slowly with just a few turns on trampoline each week. He is not near his regular hours yet, he does full strength training but only half of the trampoline training.

He started of quite well after his break but just recently his fear was triggered again by a replacement coach who asked him to do rudi out, the skill he didn't do in nearly a year now and the one that first started his fears and blocks. So he tried, didn't go and after that he started being scared again. And it went quickly spreading to other skills, all double somersaults, and even all single backward somersaults.

So his regular coach put him back to basics and he is now struggeling through simple salto-barani combinations. DS is still confident that he will get back at his former level and will get through this (compliments for his coach for instilling this confidence on him) but I sometimes wonder if all this will ever be a thing of the past or that he is doomed to be troubled with fear all his trampolining career.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Fear in pre teens and young teens is often more to do with mental growth than physical growth.

As a child the mind thinks in a concrete way and considers mainly immediate information. I’m the pre teen/early teen years the ability to think in the abstract becomes a lot stronger. Kids start to really consider a variety of possible outcomes for every scenario. When doing a skill they I,shine falling, breaking so,etching, hurting themselves etc even if they have never hurt themselves doing the skill or seen anyone hurt themselves doing the skill before.

This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing and it is a VERY important part of mental development. As adults we need to be able to think like this and consider a variety of possible scenarios to each of our actions in order to successfully care for ourselves, not die, not get arrested etc.

But as pre teens and young teens this mental skill is very new, so it is hard to control and manage. Just like any skill they learn it will take time to develop the ability to manage it. As adults we can consider a scenario. And the possible outcomes and recognise how likely each possible scenario is, and whether it is a serious concern or not. Kids not so much.

In most cases these fear issues do improve with age, because as the ability to think in the abstract develops the kids will be able to say to themselves “sure there is a chance I might hurt myself, but my coach thinks I’m ready, or I feel prepared” etc.

But, some people never grow out of this, we all know some over thinkers. And others may drive themselves from the sport before they learn to manage their self talk.
 

Noideaaboutgym

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I am so sorry he is struggling with blocks now after his injuries. I have enjoyed seeing how well he did so I hope he can stick with it and get through.
I have no idea about getting through it as I have just read this and a light bulb exploded in my head as my 12 yo DD trampolinist decided to quit a few weeks ago as everything was either too scary or boring, she grew 5 inches in the last 12 months so I guess that has a big bearing on it! It was her second sport so I wasn’t overly concerned but I am now wondering whether I should have tried to help her through it...
Good luck to both of you.
 

trampolinemom

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So sorry to hear that Noideaaboutgym. I hope she finds another passion or even returns to it someday.

Sometimes I wish DS never got this good. Because the stuff he does or is supposed to do is downright scary, like 6 double and 4 single different somersaults in a 10 jump routine and a girl he knows did get hurt for life breaking her neck while doing it in competition. What amazes me about him is that on a whole injured, in pain and with fears and blocks while being the youngest boy by nearly 5 years in his training group, so training is not much of a social thing either. I mean they do get along well but no besties there, he is still determined to continue.
 
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Noideaaboutgym

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He clearly loves it. The fact he wants to continue hopefully means he will be able to work through the issues and come out the other side able to do all his moves again.

I understand how you feel though, DD was lucky that there was another girl her age but the next in age was 16 so they were doing it for the love not socially. DD is concentrating on her main sport now adding back in a session she couldn’t attend and school clubs twice a week. She says she doesn’t miss it but I don’t think there has been time to with Christmas holidays, we shall see in the coming weeks/ months.
 
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momnipotent

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I have a story to share and some commiseration.
The story: My older son has a similar problem with almost all twisting skills. At the beginning, every time he would try a barani, he would do one just fine, then lose the barani and his front flip. He would eventually get the front flip back, try another barani, and repeat the cycle. This lasted for about 9 months. He also had a block on his back full and a repeat with his rudi-had a beautiful rudi, then one day couldn’t do it and lost his barani. Fortunately he never seemed to lose his barani for as long as he lost his front tuck, but again, I think it took him at least a good 6-9 months to get the rudi back. Fortunately he now has a great looking rudi and his coach is being extra cautious with keeping him in the belt for a long time on his half out as he has had some issues with that as well. He still loves the sport and has come through both extended blocks well (so while I know it’s lower level skills, there’s a personal experience of a tween/young teen facing long term blocks and overcoming them.)
The commiseration: my younger son is going through the same thing. While not as accomplished as your son, he had his double back at 9 and his half out in June. Since then he has lost both doubles and his rudi. I’m hoping that he will follow in my older sons footsteps and time combined with patience and lack of pressure from everyone will see him getting his skills back.
 

trampolinemom

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Amazing story momnipotent. Huge compliments for your eldest for hanging in there and fingers crossed for your youngest, hard to see them struggle.
 
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