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

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MMgym

Gymnast
Nov 17, 2021
8
18
Personally, I would make her finish the season because I think it is important for kids to learn that once you make a commitment (to her coaches, teammates, and financially) you need to follow through. After this season, reevaluate and if she still wants to move on, let her. I left gymnastics years ago on my own terms to pursue other sports. Now that I am getting back into it I do wonder where I would be skill-wise if I had stayed in the sport, but I would not do it differently because of the friendships and new passions I found when I left. There's going to be "what if's" either way but in 10 years all that will matter is if she had fun in whichever sport she picks. Just thought you might want to hear the perspective from someone that went through something similar :)
 

CLgym

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
1,165
I just wanted to share that my DD left gymnastics this past September. She had great success all the way through Level 7, then began having fears/anxiety as an 11 year old Level 8. Frequent breaks due to covid, age/growth and chronic hip pain also negatively impacted things.... In any event, it was nearly two years of angst before she finally said she was done. In my experience, gymnasts don't ask to quit gym lightly. It is part of their identity, and often their best friends are in the gym. It's hard to say good-bye to all of that, so when they say they're ready to go, they're probably ready to go.

It was unexpectedly hard for me to let go of gymnastics. Honestly probably harder for me, then for her. I really just loved watching her....

BUT, she is happy. She's involved in two new sports (competitive climbing and diving). She has her first dive meet (competition?) next month, and is looking forward to diving for her high school next year. She has more time for school friends at a time when peer socialization is very important. She has more time for school work. She sleeps more. She eats better (not in the car). And our mother/daughter relationship is no longer stressed due to gymnastics related conflict (although there is, of course, plenty of normal teen stuff!)

Good luck. It's ok to feel sad (there are so many good memories and friends associated with gymnastics). But you should also feel proud that your daughter is advocating for herself and her needs. (PS - There is enough overlap with cheer and gymnastics, that your daughter could conceivably go back to gym later. Also, she might like a T&T program if there are any in your area?)
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
808
Virginia
We have gone back and forth about quitting a lot in our house. My big thing is if you aren't doing gym what are you going to do? She has never been able to give me an answer to that so I have generally nudged her towards staying at gym. Additionally when we talk about staying verse quitting she has been upset about staying, and dealing with gym issues, but she was even more distraught when I brought up quitting which I took as a sign that while she was frustrated her heart was still with gym. I will also say watching her in practice she is much more "herself" when she is at gym than when she is doing other things such as school so I worry losing the place where she can be herself would be bad for her mentally in the long run.

All that to say for your situation she sounds pretty confident in what she wants, she has another activity she would like to try as well. These are good circumstances to successfully transfer to another activity with minimal regrets. Level 7 and up is where skills get scary and if you arent committed its much easier to get hurt. If it were my kid I would have them finish the season the best they could (to see if anything changes) then give them 1-3 months to try cheer. After the cheer trial period confirm with her if she loves cheer or would like to go back to gym. If its not what she wants she could very easily transition back to gymnastics without missing much of a beat and the time out of gym could even positively impact her mental blocks.
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
808
Virginia
Just to add we have had a girl that quit for like 2 months, tried xcel for like 3 months etc and keeps coming back to the JO team and she has done fine. It doesnt take her long to get back to her skills. She did repeate the level but she is able to easily assimilate back into Level 7 with these "breaks" so now really is a great time for your 10yo to test the waters.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
674
My kiddo quit at age 11, level 8 at the end of this past summer after many mental battles with the beam series. It broke my heart to watch her leave the sport over what I felt was one single thing that I hoped she could conquer. But then she put it to me like this: "Mom, I spend 4.5 hours a day at gym and if beam is last, then I spend the first 3.5 hours miserable and dreading it. It just feels like that is too much time out of my life that I am unhappy." Truth is that this has been going for a while and that she was really just looking for my approval to move on. I did make her give me a list of 5 sports she would try within 2 weeks of stopping gym. She is now happily doing club diving and playing volleyball for her middle school team. On occasion, i still feel a little sad at her "lost potential" in gym because it was so cool to watch. But its even better to watch her being happy every single day.
 

cogymmom2dd

Proud Parent
Feb 9, 2020
193
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?
I have 2 DD’s in optionals and they both have faced mental blocks this season, so I understand your frustration. It has a lot to do with the fact that she’s at the age where hormones are likely starting to play in as a factor. My DD’s both had growth spurts and lost some of their flexibility and made the simplest things difficult and there was a definitive correlation between their spurts and their blocks.
DD1 has struggled with doing flyaways out of her giants. Backwards tumbling on beam. Layouts/fulls on floor, and refuses to flip vaults where she was doing double backs into our elevated pit last year.
There are workarounds and coaches should be able to help modify routines. If she is struggling with giants on bars, scratch the giants and do 2 clear hips, one on low bar, one one high bar. Giants not required for L7. On beam, can she do another flight element such as a cartwheel round off? I am just thinking about the little adjustments we had to do for my DD when she was 11yo L7. And had similar blocks. That mat is fine on the floor it it helps her mindset. There’s no deduction for a mat on the floor. HOWEVER, check with your gym because some gyms wil not modify routines because they have a ‘reputation’ to maintain. They would rather have someone scratch an event than compete a modified routine that to the public may seem less difficult. For example, a local gym requires a giant for mobility from L6 to L7, but USAG does not require them. If the rest of the team is competing giants, they may just have her scratch because of their standards.
For us, our coaches and owner worked things out so that she didn’t have to scratch events and could work through her blocks with her coach. And, they come and go so even if she talks to someone through her issues, they may come back once a newer, more technically difficult skill is obtained. Good luck through your journey but also listen to your kiddo. Let her try cheer if that is what she wants to do.
 
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