WAG How to know when to quit gymnastics?

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Gym_Dog

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Jan 23, 2013
11
I have been doing gymnastics for 10 years, I feel like its always been my life. Last year in January, I started having back tumbling problems due to mental blocks. It was terrible and hung over me the whole season, causing me to compete mod-op instead of 7. I wanted to quit, but somehow, I was able to get past the fear and gymnastics was fun again. That is, until the beginning of summer this year. Once we started up our summer practices, I began to dread going to practice more and more. I just told myself that I had to make it until July, because that's when 10 teammates, me, and my coach were going to Karolyi Camp for 2 weeks. It was beyond fun and really made me enjoy gymnastics again. I able to move up to level 8. But when we got back to the gym, and mostly around the time school started, I found myself dreading practice again. My coach noticed my lack of enthusiasm at gym, and I finally told her that for about a month, I was thinking about quitting. I told her it was just not fun anymore, and I felt like I was getting behind everyone, and that I was starting to get more scared of skills. We talked and decided to give it til the end of September to really make a decision. But now I'm just so confused about what I should do. I feel like sometimes I just hate going to practice, and I think about it all day at school and how much I don't want to go. And when i get to gym, I feel frustrated and like I dont want to be there. It feels more like a chore than a sport. Other reasons i want to quit is because since I'm getting older, I have so much less energy, like when conditioning and running longer bar routines, and it makes it so much harder. Also, I'm starting to get scared of skills like back-handspring x2 on beam, and just beam in general ( which really surprises everyone because I've been literally "beam-queen" at my gym forever and now I despise it).
But despite all the reasons I want to quit, i feel like if I did, i would regret it and miss it. It's the only sport ive ever done and sometimes I still love it, like on good practice days where everything goes great, or after I do a great skill or routine. I'm would miss it so much and my teammates, but I still think about quitting at literally every practice. But I also want to go back to Karolyi camp next year. Someone please give me insight and advice cuz I'm so lost and indecisive. Thank you so much!
 
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Gym_Dog

New Member
Jan 23, 2013
11
Also, if it helps anyone, my coach has suggested maybe switching gyms( she said that she believes I have great potential, and even though no one would want me to switch gyms and leave the gym I've been at since I started gymnastics, if it would keep me doing gymnastics, it might be what I need) But I don't want to train at a new gym.
 

kandkfunk

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Aug 7, 2012
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You really are the only one that knows what's in your heart. We can only tell you our experiences and offer advice, but ultimately, you have to make the decision. Here was my daughter's story and how she finally ended up quitting.

My daughter did gymnastics for 12 years, 8 of them competitively. This sport was very hard for her. She was not built for it and learned skills at a very slow pace. After seven years of competing, she was a two time level 7 that had never scored real high at level 7. She wanted to quit. She was afraid of many skills (went from a two time compulsory beam state champion to being afraid of her BHS on beam after already competing it for two seasons). She also went through periods of being afraid of backward tumbling on floor and bars were painfully difficult for her. After talking to her after her second level 7 season, she decided to compete one more season. She competed as an 8 without all the necessary skills (mainly on bars). It was hard at times and the season was challenging. But, I think she's glad she did it. After season, we talked and she was still on the fence. Ultimately, she decided that she was done. In reality, the hardest part is making the decision. Once you make a decision about how you want to proceed (whether it's to quit or stay) you can form a plan. Being in limbo means you can't make any plans for your future and can cause a lot of anxiety on it's own.

You talked about developing a lot of fears. Unless you work to address and overcome those fears, they will likely persist and possibly worsen. I would say that if you decide you want to stay with the sport, you need to be able to give 100% to it, which will mean working on your fears. My daughter couldn't bring herself to confront her fears, so they didn't get better over time. They started to consume more and more of her thoughts, even when she was out of the gym, which lead to dreading practice and the sport.

If you decide that you are done, please know that there is life after gymnastics. As a well conditioned athlete, there are many other sports that you will likely succeed at and that won't require you to give up your social life. My daughter is now a cheerleader for her high school and is hoping to get a shot at competing Acrobatics and Tumbling at our nearby University. She is really enjoying being part of a school activity and feeling like she is part of her school.

Good luck to you!
 

MILgymFAM

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Feb 6, 2014
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I am not sure how old you are, but you sound high school aged? Have you talked to your parents or even your best friend about this? Someone who knows you through and through would be the person to give you the best advice.

What I can tell you is this. You have put a lot of time, effort, and sweat into this sport. You sound more like you are disappointed in yourself than that you dislike gymnastics. There can be more to gymnastics than bigger, harder skills and winning competitions. If you really feel that you do not want to, or cannot, overcome your fears and blocks, then maybe stepping back is for the best. You could still be a gymnast without moving up the JO ranks, however. Have you thought of perhaps trying an alternate path?

Ultimately, it's up to you and deep in your heart you know what you want and need. I hope you figure it out and find your happy place again soon.
 

Gym_Dog

New Member
Jan 23, 2013
11
You really are the only one that knows what's in your heart. We can only tell you our experiences and offer advice, but ultimately, you have to make the decision. Here was my daughter's story and how she finally ended up quitting.

My daughter did gymnastics for 12 years, 8 of them competitively. This sport was very hard for her. She was not built for it and learned skills at a very slow pace. After seven years of competing, she was a two time level 7 that had never scored real high at level 7. She wanted to quit. She was afraid of many skills (went from a two time compulsory beam state champion to being afraid of her BHS on beam after already competing it for two seasons). She also went through periods of being afraid of backward tumbling on floor and bars were painfully difficult for her. After talking to her after her second level 7 season, she decided to compete one more season. She competed as an 8 without all the necessary skills (mainly on bars). It was hard at times and the season was challenging. But, I think she's glad she did it. After season, we talked and she was still on the fence. Ultimately, she decided that she was done. In reality, the hardest part is making the decision. Once you make a decision about how you want to proceed (whether it's to quit or stay) you can form a plan. Being in limbo means you can't make any plans for your future and can cause a lot of anxiety on it's own.

You talked about developing a lot of fears. Unless you work to address and overcome those fears, they will likely persist and possibly worsen. I would say that if you decide you want to stay with the sport, you need to be able to give 100% to it, which will mean working on your fears. My daughter couldn't bring herself to confront her fears, so they didn't get better over time. They started to consume more and more of her thoughts, even when she was out of the gym, which lead to dreading practice and the sport.

If you decide that you are done, please know that there is life after gymnastics. As a well conditioned athlete, there are many other sports that you will likely succeed at and that won't require you to give up your social life. My daughter is now a cheerleader for her high school and is hoping to get a shot at competing Acrobatics and Tumbling at our nearby University. She is really enjoying being part of a school activity and feeling like she is part of her school.

Good luck to you!

Thank you so much for replying and sharing your daughters story! I was thinking that if I did quit,I would try out for cheerleading and do tumbling at my gym.
 

Gym_Dog

New Member
Jan 23, 2013
11
I am not sure how old you are, but you sound high school aged? Have you talked to your parents or even your best friend about this? Someone who knows you through and through would be the person to give you the best advice.

What I can tell you is this. You have put a lot of time, effort, and sweat into this sport. You sound more like you are disappointed in yourself than that you dislike gymnastics. There can be more to gymnastics than bigger, harder skills and winning competitions. If you really feel that you do not want to, or cannot, overcome your fears and blocks, then maybe stepping back is for the best. You could still be a gymnast without moving up the JO ranks, however. Have you thought of perhaps trying an alternate path?

Ultimately, it's up to you and deep in your heart you know what you want and need. I hope you figure it out and find your happy place again soon.
Thank you for replying! Yes, I am in high school and I have talked to my parents about it. They were understanding, but my mom has been biased towards me continuing gymnastics, by dropping little hints like" you know if you quit gymnastics, you wont ever wear a leotard again, or go see Bela Karolyi and his ranch" Haha
 

MILgymFAM

Well-Known Member
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Feb 6, 2014
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Thank you for replying! Yes, I am in high school and I have talked to my parents about it. They were understanding, but my mom has been biased towards me continuing gymnastics, by dropping little hints like" you know if you quit gymnastics, you wont ever wear a leotard again, or go see Bela Karolyi and his ranch" Haha

Gotcha. I can understand how parents could get attached to their kids gymnatics- after all, they have put a lot into it also. At the end of the day you are the one who has to truly want it though. Could you maybe drop to xcel or a teen rec class, or even try t&t and see if something a little lower pressure might respark your love of gymnastics?
 
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