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MagMomJ

Proud Parent
Feb 2, 2020
9
51
My son has a big competition coming up. He just told me he is worried about failing. His control comps are getting worse instead of better and he seems to be inside his head. I don't want to put pressure on him. I just want him to believe in himself. I need to find the right words to let him know he doesn't have to be perfect or amazing. There's a lot of pressure on him. It's the first big meet since lockdown, since he changed gyms due to an abusive coach. The old club will be there, and the boys from there who have been awful to him. How do I help him get through this? Tbh I am just proud he is even hanging in there and still wanting to do the sport with everything he has had to deal with. I need to give him a people talk. What can I say to make him fell better?
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
448
USA
Wow, my heart goes out to you and your son. It sounds like he's been through a lot, but the fact that he is still doing gymnastics speaks to his resilience. How old is he? I don't know if I have any wise words - I don't even know if mine work on my own kids ;) - but I'm sure some of the other experienced gym parents here can help.

I will say, though, that actions speak louder than words in some cases. Maybe just being there for him, a good hug, will help reassure him?
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,660
Not sure of you son's age so this may not help. But as a teen, sometimes my dd needed to regain perspective thing like she was so much more than a gymnast, that a meet was just one "blip" in a lifetime of experiences and that the outcome of that one meet would not define who she was as a person or gymnast. Not focus on things she couldn't control like coach reactions, judges, equipment, rotations but to focus on controlling her own thoughts, actions, and reactions. Try her best, and make the most of the experience but not to let those few hours cause her to lose perspective of the big picture.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
882
One thing that often resonated with my DD was telling her that the meet is the celebration of all the hard work and training. The idea behind is that by focusing on the 'celebration' instead of the 'competition' you have permission to enjoy the day. (I didn't make this up...some wise gym parent here said it and I found it super helpful).
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
809
Virginia
I always try and lighten the mood with humor (with moderate success). When she says she is worried about falling or something. I would be like why? and she would shrug and I would say "Will I beat you with chains if you mess up? Are the coaches going to beat you with chains at practice (she would usually smile at that) Then I would joke they totally should I will call them and tell them to bring the chains out for beatings. And if you fall definitely going to kick you out of the house...yup its all downhill from here" ... Just be kind of light hearted so they know that there is truly nothing life or death riding on this and everyone will love them still if they get a 6.0 or a 9.0.

As for the jerk other kids and worrying about what they would think/say. I would just point out to their kiddo they are the LUCKY one--they are the kid that gets to enjoy practice now, they dont have to deal with the abusive coach and the pressure and the worry so if those kids look over at him or say anything he can just feel sorry for them and move on with his much happier and metally healthier day. And ya they may get the "higher score" but at the cost of being miserable, and not being a terribly kind person. I would rather be kind and get lower scores than be a miserable jerk that scores well.
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
38
I always remind DD that gymnastics is not who she is, but rather what she chooses to do for enjoyment. I remind her that her identity and self worth is not tied to her meet results. Before every meet I always tell her “it’s just gymnastics.” I remind her how proud I am of her and her continuing hard work and resilience, and that no matter what happens during the meet, I will be proud of her. And no matter if she’s first or last, we are going out to eat after and ordering dessert to celebrate!
 
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MagMomJ

Proud Parent
Feb 2, 2020
9
51
Wow, my heart goes out to you and your son. It sounds like he's been through a lot, but the fact that he is still doing gymnastics speaks to his resilience. How old is he? I don't know if I have any wise words - I don't even know if mine work on my own kids ;) - but I'm sure some of the other experienced gym parents here can help.

I will say, though, that actions speak louder than words in some cases. Maybe just being there for him, a good hug, will help reassure him?
Thank you. I made sure to do a big hug after gym tonight. You are right. That's what it's all about. ❤️
 
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MagMomJ

Proud Parent
Feb 2, 2020
9
51
Not sure of you son's age so this may not help. But as a teen, sometimes my dd needed to regain perspective thing like she was so much more than a gymnast, that a meet was just one "blip" in a lifetime of experiences and that the outcome of that one meet would not define who she was as a person or gymnast. Not focus on things she couldn't control like coach reactions, judges, equipment, rotations but to focus on controlling her own thoughts, actions, and reactions. Try her best, and make the most of the experience but not to let those few hours cause her to lose perspective of the big picture.
Thank you @gymgal. That's a great reminder. There are loads of things we can't control but some we can. Definitely having that chat with him xx
 

MagMomJ

Proud Parent
Feb 2, 2020
9
51
One thing that often resonated with my DD was telling her that the meet is the celebration of all the hard work and training. The idea behind is that by focusing on the 'celebration' instead of the 'competition' you have permission to enjoy the day. (I didn't make this up...some wise gym parent here said it and I found it super helpful).
@NutterButter thats a great idea. thank you. I like this a lot. Xxx
 

MagMomJ

Proud Parent
Feb 2, 2020
9
51
I always try and lighten the mood with humor (with moderate success). When she says she is worried about falling or something. I would be like why? and she would shrug and I would say "Will I beat you with chains if you mess up? Are the coaches going to beat you with chains at practice (she would usually smile at that) Then I would joke they totally should I will call them and tell them to bring the chains out for beatings. And if you fall definitely going to kick you out of the house...yup its all downhill from here" ... Just be kind of light hearted so they know that there is truly nothing life or death riding on this and everyone will love them still if they get a 6.0 or a 9.0.

As for the jerk other kids and worrying about what they would think/say. I would just point out to their kiddo they are the LUCKY one--they are the kid that gets to enjoy practice now, they dont have to deal with the abusive coach and the pressure and the worry so if those kids look over at him or say anything he can just feel sorry for them and move on with his much happier and metally healthier day. And ya they may get the "higher score" but at the cost of being miserable, and not being a terribly kind person. I would rather be kind and get lower scores than be a miserable jerk that scores well.
@MuggleMom haha I love your humour. We do this by saying naughty things about the former coach. It always works. I like the "lucky" idea. You are so right. He IS lucky he is away from it all and they are all still in it. Xxx
 
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