For Parents Is it time to let her move on? Daughter , level 7 has a new mental block each week.

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daisyb0323

Proud Parent
Sep 10, 2021
10
49
My daughter is a level 7 gymnast, age 10. She was on track to be a level 8 last year but coaches decided to continue level 7 again to give her some added confidence. This season has been like watching someone else's child. Every week she has a new mental block. Two meets ago we were scoring 9.4 on bars and now we are scratching bars for this weekend's meet because she won't even do her giant. Also, now won't do her back layout on floor without a mat. Was known as the beam queen and had two back handsprings on beam two years ago. Now won't connect. She keeps saying she wants to do cheer instead. I have no issue with cheer but I think she is just chasing what the cool kids are doing. I hate to see her give up her talent and regret it. We started with a mental counseling coach last week but we've only had one session. I just am so sad watching this happen. Do you let a 10year old child quit or is she too young to make that call?
 

kecks

Member
Mar 20, 2009
237
"We" don't have mental blocks. Your daughter has those. They are injuries, mental ones. They need to be treated like injuries. I would stop talking to her about the blocks unless she wants to. Then just go like "That sounds really hard. I am sure you can get through this! I love you with connected bankhandsprings or without them just the same." Then change the subject. This is for her, her coaches and her sports psychologist. Your job is to love her unconditionally and to pay the bills.
 

daisyb0323

Proud Parent
Sep 10, 2021
10
49
"We" don't have mental blocks. Your daughter has those. They are injuries, mental ones. They need to be treated like injuries. I would stop talking to her about the blocks unless she wants to. Then just go like "That sounds really hard. I am sure you can get through this! I love you with connected bankhandsprings or without them just the same." Then change the subject. This is for her, her coaches and her sports psychologist. Your job is to love her unconditionally and to pay the bills.
Good points and I agree - this is her not "we". I really just don't know if if is time to let her quit. She seems to want to but I fear she will regret it.
 
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katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
59
46
Well have you considered a trial break? Tell her "how about when the season is over we take a month off from gymnastics and do some other fun stuff instead"
10 yrs old is old enough to know what they want but even 18 yr olds sometimes need a nudge. However nudges are great when there is apprehension or nerves. mental blocks, stress do not relate well to a parent saying "don't quit".

The mental blocks are an injury. If your child had a leg/arm/back injury you would seek out the best support and drs. Do the same here. Get her treated for the rest of the season and realize that scratching an event or even scratching the rest of the season is not failure. If anything it is success - success in knowing ones limits and doing what they need to heal properly.

Maybe your child is really done. Maybe the stress of the blocks is the real issue. Maybe she wants more fun time. Regardless, remind her she is an amazing person that can do gymnastics (or something else). Her life is not defined solely by her ability to do a giant or a BHS-BHS series on beam.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
839
I feel your pain. My kiddo had a lot of blocks on her gymnastics journey.

Make sure she knows, in no uncertain terms, that blocks happen to everyone at some point. Don't dwell on whatever skill isn't going well. Don't dwell on having to scratch a meet. Don't dwell on past success. Remove as much pressure as possible and reassure her that blocks happen and that this too shall pass. Make sure her coaches have a healthy attitude towards blocks and that there is no 'punishment' for not performing at her prior level. It's great that she's working with a sports psych but don't expect her to overcome the block overnight.

As far as quitting, does she want to quit right now or at least finish out the season? At the very least, I would insist that she finish out the season then reevaluate things. You could also suggest that she give it a certain period of time in working with the sports psych before she makes a decision on quitting. You could do a little research w/o telling her and get info on when she could join a cheer club to see what your window is for your DD to make a decision. Try to make sure you aren't talking about quitting in terms of 'giving up on her talent'.
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
113
30
There are also kids who quit for awhile and come back later, possibly in a less intense way - Xcel or even high school gymnastics. I know it's really fun for us to see kids who were miserable in DP (formerly JO) come back a year or two or even several years later and be living their best lives in Xcel. We even had kids just decide they didn't want to compete at all, and take a recreational class, and now have new skills that they were too mentally fried to do before. It is so cool to see kids just find love for the sport.
 

GymDadWA

Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
286
43
Did she or is she going through a growth spurt? Obviously height but even if muscle mass or body shape change it can make them uncomfortable throwing skills.
 
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gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,548
She's telling you she doesn't want to do gymnastics anymore. The best thing you can do is to Listen to her. Let her try cheer. She is now at the levels where a lot of gymnasts decide it just isn't worth it - for their physical, mental, and social health. I assume she is close to the end of the season. That would be a perfect time to take a break and let her try cheer. Talk with the gym to see what options are available if she wants to come back later on.
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
37
I completely agree with the post above. Kids this age can make their own decisions and it sounds like she has lost her passion for the sport and it is becoming a source of stress instead of happiness. Cheer would be a good way to keep up her physical talents and have fun again with everything she has learned in a change of scenery. Katelyn Ohashi walked away from the pinnacle of the sport b/c she was miserable and rediscovered her love of gymnastics by also using a different outlet. People that do this shouldn't be considered as having failed, but rather be celebrated for having the strength to choose the journey that is right for them.
 

mndl

Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2011
50
Does she want to quit to do All Star Cheer like a Pop Warner cheer? I ask because tumbling Is a big part of All Star and if she is having mental blocks in tumbling that could follow her to cheer. Or maybe being in a different environment may be what she needs. My daughter went from gymnastics to All Star cheer several years ago and loves it.
 

Tiffany

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2018
20
42
Hate to disagree with so many on here but I’m not a fan of letting a 10 year old make big decisions. Ever…not just gymnastics. We wouldn’t allow our little ones to eat chocolate for every meal but if given the choice that’s what a child would do. If a child decides to play video games 6 hours a day it’s our job as parents to step in. You ultimately know what’s best for your 10 year old….not usually them. I’m not saying to force her, but I think teaching her that she made a commitment for the year and having her stick to it is an important life lesson. We all want to quit when struggling. When she’s in a better place and things are going ok after meet season, maybe see if her love for the sport sparks again. If things are going well and she’s still completely done then maybe try something else. She’s just now hitting the age where she feels fear and it takes awhile to learn how to deal with that. So much sacrifice and hard work goes into this sport, so to me it’s not as easy as…she’s 10 and wants to cheer so goodbye gym as others are saying. Cheer has that draw where it’s cutesy, more fun, cute crop sets, etc, so I’ve been through that conversation with mine many times lol so I get it. Ultimately mama knows best….go with your gut.❤️
 

kecks

Member
Mar 20, 2009
237
Hate to disagree with so many on here but I’m not a fan of letting a 10 year old make big decisions. Ever…not just gymnastics. We wouldn’t allow our little ones to eat chocolate for every meal but if given the choice that’s what a child would do. If a child decides to play video games 6 hours a day it’s our job as parents to step in. You ultimately know what’s best for your 10 year old….not usually them. I’m not saying to force her, but I think teaching her that she made a commitment for the year and having her stick to it is an important life lesson. We all want to quit when struggling. When she’s in a better place and things are going ok after meet season, maybe see if her love for the sport sparks again. If things are going well and she’s still completely done then maybe try something else. She’s just now hitting the age where she feels fear and it takes awhile to learn how to deal with that. So much sacrifice and hard work goes into this sport, so to me it’s not as easy as…she’s 10 and wants to cheer so goodbye gym as others are saying. Cheer has that draw where it’s cutesy, more fun, cute crop sets, etc, so I’ve been through that conversation with mine many times lol so I get it. Ultimately mama knows best….go with your gut.❤️
Just a question - have you ever experienced a mental block in competitive sports yourself? I did and I would never force this on a little one who just had enough. You can easily (!) create Post traumatic stress disorder and the like (low selfesteem, not knowing where you own limits are setting you up for abuse later in life, depression...) by doing stuff like this. Mental blocks are no joke.
 

Happyfeet

Proud Parent
Mar 2, 2021
11
Allow her to quit. Whether your family wants her to finish the season or not is up to you but personally I'd base it on how much time is left. Also, as much as we say it is competitive gymnastics at 10yrs old the purpose is largely recreational (and life-skill building although these can be learned in almost any sport). Please consider that your child is so stressed out that she is receiving mental coaching at 10yrs old for a sport she no longer wants to do. Life is hard enough... do you really want gymnastics to cause her this much stress.

You mention you worry she will "regret" not doing gymnastics but it doesn't seem you have considered that she will not regret getting to do things she wants to do in life. There are hundreds of sports available for children to do and my guess is she has tried very few due to specialization at a young age. When I was a child (around 11yrs) I quit highly competitive figure skating - did I regret it...never. Would have I regretted not getting to do the things I got to do after skating definitely. Things like baseball, snowboarding lessons, cheerleading, elementary school volleyball, touch football, endurance racing, cross country running, summer camps - not to mention weekends with friends and vacations with family.
 

Happyfeet

Proud Parent
Mar 2, 2021
11
Hate to disagree with so many on here but I’m not a fan of letting a 10 year old make big decisions. Ever…not just gymnastics. We wouldn’t allow our little ones to eat chocolate for every meal but if given the choice that’s what a child would do. If a child decides to play video games 6 hours a day it’s our job as parents to step in. You ultimately know what’s best for your 10 year old….not usually them. I’m not saying to force her, but I think teaching her that she made a commitment for the year and having her stick to it is an important life lesson. We all want to quit when struggling. When she’s in a better place and things are going ok after meet season, maybe see if her love for the sport sparks again. If things are going well and she’s still completely done then maybe try something else. She’s just now hitting the age where she feels fear and it takes awhile to learn how to deal with that. So much sacrifice and hard work goes into this sport, so to me it’s not as easy as…she’s 10 and wants to cheer so goodbye gym as others are saying. Cheer has that draw where it’s cutesy, more fun, cute crop sets, etc, so I’ve been through that conversation with mine many times lol so I get it. Ultimately mama knows best….go with your gut.❤️
When my child's mental or physical health is at risk I make the rules. They can't eat chocolate or play videogames all day. They have to go to school. In this instance gymnastics is the cause of the mental stress. She is going for mental support for a 10yr old's recreational activity. In this scenario gymnastics is causing the risk and the child wants to quit... in my house they'd quit.
 

3cats

Proud Parent
Nov 5, 2018
120
43
My daughter moved on to school cheer and T&T and loves it. And in the end, after a period of (my) transition, I'm so glad she left gymnastics bc she has so much fun in cheer. And gymnastics prepared her really well for Cheer.

Most of her old gymnastics teammates have now retired too, but they waited a couple more years after injuries, and/or burnout and they hate the sport. But my daughter moved on with respect and love for her old sport. So there is something to be said about giving her the power of knowing when to transition.
 
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bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
1 . She keeps saying she wants to do cheer instead. I have no issue with cheer but I think she is just chasing what the cool kids are doing. I hate to see her give up her talent and regret it. We started with a mental counseling coach last week but we've only had one session. I just am so sad watching this happen.

2. Do you let a 10year old child quit or is she too young to make that call?
So your answer to #2 is in #1…. She wants to do cheer , which you claim to have “no issue with” but now have her in mental health counseling to get her to continue with gymnastics….it is/was her sport and she has decided to move on … she got to level 7 , blocks snd all , but has decided to do something different. And even if she wants to be with the “cool kids” , so what? As a former gymnast , she’ll probably be a pretty cool cheerleader.

You answered your own question. She is old enough to decide what leisure activity she wants to do and heck , it’s gotta be less stressful to do cheer without the beam . She’s done, move on to cheer.
 
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Tiffany

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2018
20
42
Just a question - have you ever experienced a mental block in competitive sports yourself? I did and I would never force this on a little one who just had enough. You can easily (!) create Post traumatic stress disorder and the like (low selfesteem, not knowing where you own limits are setting you up for abuse later in life, depression...) by doing stuff like this. Mental blocks are no joke.
Yes I have, and so has my 13 year old daughter that’s a gymnast. It depends on the amount of desire for the sport. If there isn’t a lot than you clearly wouldn’t want to go through the mental ups and downs, but if it’s something you decide to put everything into and are determined to do it in college, there are ways to work through mental blocks. I’m actually in a group that helps give tactics on how to breakthrough and manage it. There’s no one answer for everyone. I’m giving my opinion based on my mental experiences with this sport with my gymnast. For some it is best to do another sport.
 

Tiffany

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2018
20
42
When my child's mental or physical health is at risk I make the rules. They can't eat chocolate or play videogames all day. They have to go to school. In this instance gymnastics is the cause of the mental stress. She is going for mental support for a 10yr old's recreational activity. In this scenario gymnastics is causing the risk and the child wants to quit... in my house they'd quit.
 

Tiffany

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2018
20
42
There is a mom asking a question so that she can get all different opinions. That’s what these threads are for. This sport comes with a lot of difficulties but ALSO many positives and life lessons.
 
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