For Parents How long after growth spurt

GymDadWA

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My DD had at least a three inch growth spurt over the summer and just recently started to have mental blocks on skills she was previously very comfortable with like BH on beam. I don't think this is unusual and patience is probably all she needs, but just curious how long it typically takes until they feel comfortable again or is there no normal length of time?

As a parent is there anything we should or shouldn't say? I know it's probably best to make sure we don't add pressure by asking "how did xyz go today" but she seems to translate us not asking into "mom and dad think I'll never do a skill because they stopped asking about it".
 

MuggleMom

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I probably go against the grain and talk about it with my kid I ask how things went what did you work on etc. And I oh and ah in the right places and say I'm sure its not that bad in the right places as well. I also take her lead on it if she doesnt want to talk about or talking about it seems to make her more upset I change the subject. But since I have always done that (when things are going well and when things arent) I don't think talking adds any pressure. I think if a parent goes from never asking about skills to asking about one specific one all the time it can highlight the perceived problem they are having. I think the other key is to not only ask about the "problem skill" I also watch practice sometimes so if shes like ugh my backhandspring was horrible today I will sometimes counter with ya but bars was amazing etc. I talk up her good events a lot because she is already really good at focusing on her weaknesses lol.

I don't know if your daughter is in optionals yet but that has helped me address stuff too. If she says I will never have X skill I will remind her she is in OPTIONALS so she has OPTIONS and she rolls her eyes but it does seem to relax her a bit. Luckily our gym is flexible with routines and stuff so if something isn't working they will try a different skill or let you do (at least temporarily) a lower scoring routine.

Other than all that patience is the key and reminding your kiddo that you love em no matter what. I always joke what happens if you fall of beam...am I going to kick you out of the house? hit you? beat you with chains? Thats it let me get the chains. I say the same things about the coaches cause she thinks they are "mad" at her. I ask did they beat you with chains today? throw things at you? Im going to call the coach and tell them to start beating you with chains. She rolls her eyes at me but laughs and it always lightens the mood.
 
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CLgym

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My daughter has been growing and struggling for more than a year, but it morphed into a big mental thing for her. She is nowhere near out of the woods yet (and might never get there). Initially I think I asked way too many questions, and it only fed the mental beast! My daughter hates to talk about gymnastics now, so I really try to bite my tongue. Ultimately, the "best" communication is going to be very child dependent, and you will probably need to read your daughter's responses to questions/comments and adjust accordingly. Follow her lead.

Regarding how long it will last.... that really depends. If mental blocks, fears, anxiety and embarrassment become a problem, then there is really no telling. But for girls who are able to keep a healthy perspective, my anecdotal observation is that the "how long?" depends on the speed/length of the growth spurt. Some girls grow/mature slowly and others more quickly, but it seems that things really start to get better once they come out of the back end of puberty. Three inches in three months is some serious growing, so I am not surprised there are big adjustments that need to take place!
 

PeanutsMom

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My daughter grew 5 inches in 2020 (from 4'4 to 4'9). She found that it helped on vault, but was difficult on beam (BHS for her too). She also had a lot of growth related pain in her legs (Sever's specifically) and in the arches of her feet. She also needed to move from FIG to the wider setting on bars (which she didn't do because the high bar seemed too high and it was scarier doing her giants). The environment we were in did not really give her any help, leeway with adjusting to growth and it happened to more gymnasts than just my DD. It seems during the COVID closure of 4 months, EVERYONE shot up. There are several girls who lost their bar skills because they came back taller, heavier, and with hips and breasts that change how their bodies did skills. Those girls tended to be ignored by the coaches. I will say that with our gym change, all her skills are back, she is working new skills, and patience by the coaches, baby steps on progressions she is fearful of doing, lots of praise by the coaches, has worked wonders for my gymnast. She would not be progressing the same way in a different environment.
 
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Tigtimes

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We are more than 10 years in this sport. There is no time line or exact path, we have seen some kids who never recover from puberty growth spurt and some who have no disruption at all. Bars and beam take the biggest hit with growth in my opinion but on the flip side vault benefits from added weight and strength.

As a parent best you can do is explain to your child how the brain takes time to adjust to growth. After a few spells of growth they learn the drill. If you talk about it or not depends on your child really, when mine was younger I didn’t say much and let her and coaches work it through. With age we can kind of joke about it and she rode out hopefully her final (very late compared to others) big growth spurt with a good sense of humor..…. I think ”dead squirrel“ was used for a few weeks to describe face plant dismount fails !
 

doublestrike

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I've always ignored it, if she can't get over mental blocks on her own, I can't do the flips for her. She now goes to beam right from the start after any time off and works her series first because she says she has to if she's going to do gym.
 

rlm's mom

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Did your daughter have mental blocks / lose skills during or after puberty?
DD1 literally shot up from one day to the next and had to rework a lot of her skills. She just laughed it off and was happy when I asked her about progress. DD2 grew more gradually and it didnt really have any effect on her skills at first. She began having mental blocks a few months later and coupled with an injury preventing her from competing at regionals she was extremely grumpy and didn't like to be asked anything about gym. So I guess it depends on the kid and circumstances! And humour helps :)
 
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Aussie_coach

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It is so individual. It will depend on the child and the coach and the program.

In general after a big growth sport we see skills come back in a few months, but that is very dependent on level, obviously faster for lower levels and slower for higher levels.

You need a coach who is prepared to modify and work through it, but also one that can instill faith in the gymnast that the skills will come back. Because if she is persistent it will.

The biggest issue is generally self belief. Teens often get frustrated that things get a little harder and they aren't learning skills at the pace they did when they were 10, or get upset that their skill level may feel like its lower than it was when they were younger. This can start a cycle of not trying too hard because of frustration and the problem getting worth.

Hence the incredible importance of a coach who believes in her.
 

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