is it time to stop??

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hi im Rachelle.... i have been doing gymnastics since i was ten and im in level 5, australia level...... i used to love gymnastics, i was obssesed and excited for it.... but lately i have been feeling horrible... for the past few months.... my mum thinks its because i have competitions coming up and im getting stressed, but im not! i go to gym for four hours..we do strength for an hour and flexibility for like 20 minutes, and im strong but not flexible, all the other girls in my group are sooo flexible! even the lower level girls are more flexible than me! i can barely do the splits and im not even close to doing a backwards walkover...when i was 5 i went to gymnastics for like half a year but i hurt my back and pulled out of it. about 5 years later, we moved house and then when i saw there was a gymnastics club where i lived .i was soooo happy it took me a while to get mum to enrole me in it. i was great at it, wel unless the rest of my group was crap..... my back didnt seem to hurt me and i loved gymnastics. but now this yr i have had lots of trouble, my fears have been blocking me with the most simple things!! like just yesterday i cracked up into tears i just couldnt do anything.....this has happenend so much lately that no one cares about me being upset anymore. and like the other week i couldnt do a roundoff backflip and my mind jump kept stopping me do it! and i told my friend what had happened and then all the sudden she called me a big sook and i asked her y? and she said that i sook over the littlest things and that i only do it to get attention and then she told me to quit!!!!!

and in almost every apparatus i get vault i do...on beam my cartwheels....on bars flyaways (which we dont need to do but i should learn but im nt doing it) .....floor roundoff backflip

and in almost everything its hurts my back, im going to the chiropracter ...and my flexibility is stopping me too!!! its not fun anymore...but i dont know if i want to quit or not! my room is full of gymnastics stuff, i have my own beam and mats....for gymnastics.....i dont want to quit but i do! i told my coach about this and she called me a sook too. she said "grow some balls and get over it!"

please help! :( :( :( :(


Is there anyway you could take a break for a bit, see what your life would be like without it? I know that it can be a really frustrating sport and sometimes you just need to clear your mind. I thought about quitting too (this summer) but then I competed at nationals and remembered how much I like getting out on the floor, and decided to stay with it for my senior year. Best of luck to you!
Mar 5, 2008
North America
You may also see about taking a yoga class. They have them at YMCA's (I'm not sure about in Australia). Yoga is good because it does require strength (what you have) but it also helps your flexibility and better yet, it helps you to relax your mind and relieves stress. Flexibility takes a lot of time to develop and with your back hurting, you don't want to injure yourself any further. Yoga is slow and controlled also so it is very good for people that have weak backs.

Good luck and chin up!!
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Jan 4, 2008
I think it is normal in any sport to go through a phase where you just aren't enjoying it anymore. But I would not reccomend you quit while you are in one of these phases. You are just going through a stage where you feel like you aren't progressing and things are going backwards and that is normal in gymnastics. In fact people tend to go through these stages right before a huge jump in ability. If you quit now you are quitting for the wrong reasons. Wait until a day when you have had a really good training session and learned new things and then ask yourself "would I miss this?". You may think that means you will never quit but the day will come when you say to yourself "I am happy and loving it, but I love something else more". Thats the day to quit. Not when you are going through a down phase.

If you are unhappy with your flexibility you can make a huge difference with is by streching at home. Work out a program and start streching at home every second day, and once you stop feeling sore the next day after streching move it up to everyday, Finbd ways to enjoy your streching. make yourself a reward chart and give yourself a star every time you do your streches, have a reward for yourself when you reach 10 then 20 and so on. Try putting on a favorite DVD or video and strech in front of that.

But don't worry too much about your flexibility. You can get away with less flexibillity in the higher gymnastics levelks that you can with strength. You can make sure you do skills that require more strength than flexibility. Work flics on beam instead of backwalkovers. Try leaps that dont require flexibility, like catleap full twist. The higher you get in the levels the more you can choose skills to suit your own abilities.


Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
What a great response! I'm saving this for my own DD to read. Thanks Aussie Coach... we can always count on your for great advice.
Aug 30, 2008
gymnastrachelle001, its OK! i went through the same exact thing. i was getting worse instead of improving, and losing skills! so i decided to quit and didnt plan on returning until 7 mnths ltr saw
y friends meet and realized missed it! so i went back but to mdl which is a lower stres team and now, 7 mnths ltr, i mback on usag and loving it! ithink that u sometmes need to take some time off o realize how much u love it! anyway, good luck!:D


Hey - hang in there. Only you can decide what you want to do. As far as the flexibility thing - my dd has issues with that as well. She does stretch every day at home though which helps tremendously. Her coaches have taught me how to safely stretch her back and shoulders which are the tightest. She is going through a tough time right now herself due to injury and a bit of burn out I think. She asked me this morning if she could still love gymnastics even if she decides to not go back. I told her of course she can. Nothing can take away what she has accomplished and the part it has played in her life. The same goes for you. Gymnastics will always be a part of who you are whether you choose to continue or not. Good luck :)
Aug 30, 2008
gymstrachelle, it is ok about not being the most flexible person. i have been doing gymnastics for 10 yrs and only had my right leg down. i have NEVER had my straddle or left leg all the way down
Aug 26, 2008
It's ok to feel this way. You might need to take just a break or if that's not possible just hang in there. I had the same thing happen to me where you feel like your doing worst instead of better. But I think you're friend is the "sook" if she thinks you're doing this just for attention.


It's ok rachelle, most of us know what you're going through!
Did you know that shawn jhonson isn't very flexible if you watch her split leaps, they aren't to full split! And just look at the level of competition she's competing at. Aussie Coach is right: It is easier to get away with less flexibility than less strength.

P.S.We still luv u!
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