helpful/constructive criticism?

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I was curious on what the best way to offer advice to my dd is, so it doesn't come out like I'm nit-picking. A lot of the time when she's doing her floor skills she gets all floppy and looks like a ragdoll. Every now and then she'll focus and do the skill properly, so I know she can do it. I tease her that she looks like a wet noodle and we laugh, but how much goofing is too much? I haven't said anything because again, I don't want to nit-pick. But I'd like to see her do her best also. :confused:
Do her coaches nag her about it? As a gymnast some of my teammates were always floppy and loose when they knew how to be tight, and my coaches nagged them about it. Being that I don't know your daughter all I can really say is reassure her that you're "nagging" her because you know that she can do it correctly. This is a typical situation, some gymnasts choose to change and some don't--it all depends on the personality of the gymnast.
Dazed, I don't think it is bad to once in a while remind her to stay tight or arms straight etc, but for us what works best is to let the coaches nit pick all of the details. Coaches have to be especially careful with the younger ones as it is. Picking on everything constantly is a great way to get someone to give it up... a good coach will choose their battles or take a progression a little slower just to be sure the skill is being done correctly and not just being done to do it - even then only time (practice) and maturity will perfect a skill .... :D we get the great mommy job of telling our kids - my 14 & 12 yr old need this just as much as my 5 yr old :princess: - what a great job they are doing.... or instead of mentioning something sloppy or floppy, you can say "hey your x looked especially great today"... my dd is hard on herself at times so I am especially positive for her and try to write on the calendar something extra great that day in practice - just give it time and you are sure to see the results of a great coach:)
Dazed---as I recall your daughter is about 6? Does she do floor last at practice? Is it her favorite event? Do they seem to do the same skills in the same order at every practice? There can be many reasons why she looks "floppy" on floor--you didn't mention this being a problem with beam, bars or vault. She may be bored or tired by the time they get to it. Maybe she just doesn't like it as much as something else. Also if she is able to do the skill and her form isn't that great, she may just think, "I can do it---what's the big deal?"

Being as young as she is, she may not be making the connection between being tight/good form and moving on to more advanced skills. You could just mention this casually to her coach---is this typical for her age and is there any reason to be concerned? That might be enough for them to watch her just a little bit more and encourage her to show them the skill done with better form more consistently.
Hi. I would definately focus on the positive, but I think its ok to gently remind them to stay tight, lets say if they do something even a simple cartwheel or walkover, she likes to show me stuff so that's when i gently say oh I can see your ears that makes her straighten her arms etc, or with her splits her coach said to tell her that cars are going under her knee unless she sqeezes her leg tight, she finds that funny. my daughter just turned 5 and her skills level is way beyond her age maturity. What I usually ask her (even though I just watched lol) is what did you do soooo good today that you got high fives from your coach. Then I always say something like wow that's wonderful you must have had your arms really straight and squeezed your legs to get a high five! then she'll talk about it and you can see how proud she is. I hope by the time she is 6 and can compete (they are training level 4 but can't compete till she is age 6) that the tightness is automatic all the time. I think that is common in the younger ones from what I see because they are less mature. so my opinion is to focus on the positive but remind in a fun way that is age appropriate about staying tight :p
Hey Beckie, playing games can be fun for the little ones as well. Those are cute ideas... I read that all experts for gymnastics, and I was wondering if you were the mom posting about your little one getting her press handstand? if so congrats to her... I think it is an amazing skill at any age:) we should start a press handstand club lol.. this would make 4, 5 year olds that I am aware of that have this.
Yep that's us lol. too funny I love asking questions over there:) It is definately an amazing thing at any age. I'm glad she got it now though cuz I think the older they get the harder it is to get. Poor thing though she wanted to get it before she turned 5 but ended up 3 weeks after:) She is very determined though and loves to get the skills first and will do it till she does lol. there were times I had to say Stop! Her next mission is the front walkover, she's pretty close.
how funny is that :D ??? I enjoy reading those questions & answers as well

The press handstand is actually easier to learn while they are younger... something to do with their center of gravity and the length of their bones and a few other factors… that said, it still impresses me. My dd is the youngest on her team and actually had hers first, then another 5 year old got it a few months after - that 2nd little one just turned 6. They are still the only ones that can do it, but some of the girls are really close. Meg's 5 yr old dd has it as well... and actually I think I read of another little one having it so that brings the number to 5.... I would love to hear from more who's children got this at an early age:) ... too cute...

the front walk over is a little trickier to not just do, but to do correctly & with ease at this age - it is actually easier when you are older, more developed... my dd had no problem doing it originally but she would immediately bring her leg down instead of kicking up, now she has it beautifully on her good leg & is close to perfection on her bad, but she has been practicing for months. Make sure your dd practices her front limber with arms coming up by her ears not out to the side and she will have it down in no time - good luck :)
Hi all, I just saw this topic. LGCM, there do seem to be quite a few 5 yos who have gotten their press hs. A little girl at our gym (turned 6 in Feb) got hers when she was 5. She just won L4 States last weekend. I didn't realize it was easier when they are younger. L is getting better at coming down out of the HS too and is looking much tighter in it. Rebecca, your DD sounds really talented. I'm sure she'll get the front walkover soon. My DD is also 5 but turns 6 in October. She has her front walkover on her good side really nicely now and I do think that mastering the front limber really helped. Getting the front walkover has helped her with the front handspring too. It's counterintuitive for them to keep their heads back but that is what they need to do.

For Dazed, I agree with Rebecca about gentle reminders. I usually tell my DD to point her toes or keep her feet together if she is doing handstands or cartwheels at home and that helps her remember to stay tight. It's hard to have pointed toes and not be tight. At gym, the coaches should be reminding her. Our coaches spend a lot of time correcting the girls' posture, their arms (up by ears) and their overall tightness. One other thing I've noticed is that all the girls stay tighter on floor when they start their forward skills in releve. That might work for handstands, handstand forward rolls and handstand bridge kickovers. Best of luck to your DD!

Thank you all for the great advice. Please forgive my ignorance....what's a "press" handstand?
Stalter press or press to handstand. Hands flat on floor or beam. Assume straddle with butt and legs off surface so all weight is supported by hands. Now press backside up in pike and then take legs up to handstand without touching floor. From handstand you can return to straddle support and repeat as often as possible/desired.

If you want to learn it, have someone stand facing you, then reach over and guide your hips as you press them up. They can guide them down as well so that you don't bounce down and hurt your tail bone.
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