For Parents Just Made Team, Any Advice or Tips?

skygirlpc

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Good Morning -
My 7.5yr old just got invited to team at her gym. Our gym does JO and doesn't do team until level 4 so she will be competing at level 4 starting in January. We are all very excited and nervous to take this next step. Do you all have any advice or tips for a newbie just starting the competition side?
 

mommyof1

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My honest advice is to say no. If I could go back and do it over, I would have turned down the invitation to the team track at age 5. I am not kidding.
 

skygirlpc

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My honest advice is to say no. If I could go back and do it over, I would have turned down the invitation to the team track at age 5. I am not kidding.
Could you tell me why and what you would have done instead? Your comment is very intense yet has no real information.
 

MuggleMom

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  • Try and enjoy the early days the sport gets intense fast so don't worry about rushing through the compulsory levels.
  • Don't get caught up in the who got what skill and who is moving up when game it sucks the joy out of the strides your kid makes even if they are small.
  • Don't be afraid to make friends with the other gym moms. There are a group of us moms that have gotten close over the years and having a ride home or a mom watching your kid when youre running late is a God send! Even if you dont want to be besties with everyone make sure you have a few phone numbers of moms you can text in a pinch.
  • You will grow to hate the floor music because you will here it 10,000 times at meets.
  • Meets are 4 hours of sitting around to watch your kid for a combined total of 5 minutes or less. Be sure anyone coming is aware of that they aren't for the faint of heart!
  • Teach your kid to focus on improvement not specific scores or meet placements. Have them pick a few non score victories for each meet that you can focus on. Also make any special treat or gift for a meet based on being a good sport etc not on placement.
 

PreciousJ

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Connect with other, more experienced, parents at the gym, they can help with spei questions about how levels and meets are organized for your gym. Each gym is different! And I echo the above advice about meets. They can be LONG. Make sure your DD eats a good, wholesome meal before and has a snack stashed in her bag. The kids may get fidgety waiting for their rotation, so she'll have to get used to that. I like getting the opportunity to chat with parents from other gyms during meets. Great way to meet new folks and realize that you're not alone in your crazy, LOL.
 
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GymDadWA

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Enjoy the ride and don't compare her journey to anyone else's. Seriously, don't worry about who got what skills when, who scored what, who is in what levels, who got to do x thing first, how much time you get to spend with the coach, who did a private lesson, etc.

Things happen differently for each gymnast and getting stressed out about things outside of your control will make you go crazy.
 

ProudGymnast

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Well, my advice to you, as a gymnast with amazingly supportive parents, is make sure that meets are always a positive thing. Not a go and win every event or else, but about personal progress and having fun. This year, I have been stressed about competition, and after gym when I had just gotten our new comp leos that I was showing my parents, my father told me how excited he was to see me compete again and that made me want to compete too.

Also, keep gymnastics and home separate. If she wants to talk then that's great, but gym can be way more stressful if your parent is always bringing up why you don't have x skill, or why you are not in x level.

Also, I would make an effort to connect with the team moms, and keep her connected with her teammates. Gymnastics life is so much easier with community.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Also, keep gymnastics and home separate. If she wants to talk then that's great, but gym can be way more stressful if your parent is always bringing up why you don't have x skill, or why you are not in x level.
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

I'm not a parent, but in my experience as a coach, the most common mistake I see parents making is inadvertently putting pressure on them outside the gym. Let your kid talk about gymnastics with you if/when they feel like it. Let home be a space to retreat and recharge, not to rehash.
 

gymgal

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- Enjoy the ride. Take video of those cute routines and leos. We never know how long our athletes will stay in a sport. Could be a season, could be 10.

- learn the skill names and the levels so that you know what your gymnast is talking about but be careful not to coach from the sidelines. No practice at home, no asking "why" she doesn't have ___ yet or what happened to her ___. Skills come and go when they are first learning them, sometimes after they have had them for a while too.

- Have her focus on her own progression, especially during meet season. Worry less about scores/placement and encourage goals that she has more control over - pointing her toes, sticking a landing, calming her nerves, at meets.

- learn the phrase "you will get it when your body/mind is ready". This will come in handy a lot during those times when she might be struggling with a skill. These times can be very frustrating, especially if she is feeling pressure from coaches and teammates to get a skill. Letting her know you care, will listen, and providing her reassurance is important during these times.

- I know some parents say to let the child lead on whether they want to talk about practice but when my d was little, on the ride home from practice, I had her tell me one positive aspect of practice so that she left the gym thinking more positive. Often times she would expand on her practice but if she didn't, that was ok too.
 

ldw4mlo

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Keep gym in gym including practice for your child

You stay out of practice, except the occasional pop in.

Make sure she has other friends and interests besides gym. Kids who have multiple things going on, are less susceptible to relational aggression. And when one area of their life is not going well, it’s not their
”whole world”.

Don’t let anyone tell you they can’t miss practice for things like a birthday party, a school concert. And if you need proof, one word Covid.

Do not measure success by

Someone else’s ruler.
Medals
Scores
Levels

It’s skills, hard work and are they improving.

Don‘t let folks tell you or your kid they are behind. Everyone has their own line. And sometimes that means they take some steps back before going forward.

Keep the focus and any rewards on the work and skills. Gee that BHS is so much better then last month. Don’t worry you’ll get xyz. Gosh you have been working so hard this week. How about going out for ice cream.

When sending them into a meet.….
Have fun.
I love you.
 

Carly

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Could you tell me why and what you would have done instead? Your comment is very intense yet has no real information.
I think that you have received some wonderful advice here.

I did not write the post that said to just say no but my guess would be that they said that for a variety of reasons. Not trying to discourage you in any way but just be aware that the sport does get expensive very quickly (tuition, leotards, warm ups, meet fees, coaches fees, competitions, travel costs, etc.) It is also a big time commitment and can be even more challenging if you have other children. I would look into the costs and time commitment just to make sure that it will work for your family.
 

skygirlpc

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I think that you have received some wonderful advice here.

I did not write the post that said to just say no but my guess would be that they said that for a variety of reasons. Not trying to discourage you in any way but just be aware that the sport does get expensive very quickly (tuition, leotards, warm ups, meet fees, coaches fees, competitions, travel costs, etc.) It is also a big time commitment and can be even more challenging if you have other children. I would look into the costs and time commitment just to make sure that it will work for your family.
I agree but from what I have seen most sports are pretty serious financial and time commitments now.

I just think it was odd to come on here and make such a harsh comment with no reasoning with it.

I do appreciate those that took the time to give their thoughts and tips though, Thank you!
 

bunnyfly

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Congratulations - that's exciting! We were in your shoes just a few years ago. Here are a few things based on my limited experience so far!
1. Make sure your daughter knows that how hard she works and how much she loves the sport is what's most important, not her score.
2. Don't get caught up in her teammates journey and resist the urge to compare - they all develop at their own pace! I cannot emphasize this enough!!
3. Make friends with the other parents but disengage from the inevitable gossip that goes around ESPECIALLY if a child is involved.
4. Don't take it too seriously and make sure you celebrate the work they put into the meet, not the result they achieved.
5. I've found that coaches genuinely want the best for your kiddo - if you have concerns, ask a lot of questions but take time to learn WHY a coach decides what they do and don't jump to conclusions.
6. Start budgeting for meets, leos, travel long before you need to. Gymnastics is an expensive sport but it's manageable if you take the time to plan many months before. Things to consider will be gas costs, hotel rooms, meals out when traveling, clinics, eventually camp (some gyms require this and others do not) and choreography. Hopefully, your gym will provide an estimate of most of these costs before the season starts but ask them if they don't.
7. Most of all, have fun! As the parent, you will set the tone for your daughter's impression of gymnastics. If you have fun and stay above the fray, then she will too!
 
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GYM0M

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Could you tell me why and what you would have done instead? Your comment is very intense yet has no real information.
I’m not the one that posted ‘no’ either, and while I don’t know their exact reasons, I can try to elaborate from my experience. You, as a parent, can never breathe. Even if you’re able to side step all the drama that comes with team and focus on the positive and the journey, competitive gymnastics is still gut-wrenching. It’s about watching your child attempt an impossible sport that even when they are ‘successful’, they cannot be content. There’s always the ‘next’ thing. It’s exhausting….It’s never easy and only gets harder. And by the time she makes it to upper levels, you’re over all the sacrifices and compromises that you’ve made to help get her there, but to take it away after all the effort, would just be cruel. This is MY PARENT prerogative. My DD has been in the sport for well over 12 years and is still in love with the sport.
 

mommyof1

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GYMOM sums it up pretty well, and what she describes is really the best-case scenario. My child has been nowhere near as successful as hers, but the sport still pretty much took over our lives. It has limited my career and been a constant source of stress to our entire family. I am only just now, years later, finding out how much harm what we truly believed was positive coaching did to my child's self-confidence. The other interests she gave up in favor of gymnastics were activities that she could have continued to pursue in adulthood, but gymnastics will inevitably end within the next couple of years. I supported gymnastics because I thought it would bring her joy and teach her grit and resilience, but it has been 99% heartache and maybe 1% joy. It would have been so easy to cut it off back when she was 5 and let her choose from among her other interests and talents. Once we realized that we'd made a mistake, we were in too deep and didn't want to take it away.
 

skygirlpc

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GYMOM sums it up pretty well, and what she describes is really the best-case scenario. My child has been nowhere near as successful as hers, but the sport still pretty much took over our lives. It has limited my career and been a constant source of stress to our entire family. I am only just now, years later, finding out how much harm what we truly believed was positive coaching did to my child's self-confidence. The other interests she gave up in favor of gymnastics were activities that she could have continued to pursue in adulthood, but gymnastics will inevitably end within the next couple of years. I supported gymnastics because I thought it would bring her joy and teach her grit and resilience, but it has been 99% heartache and maybe 1% joy. It would have been so easy to cut it off back when she was 5 and let her choose from among her other interests and talents. Once we realized that we'd made a mistake, we were in too deep and didn't want to take it away.
I am sorry that you and GYMOM have had such a bad experience. Thank you for sharing your experience.
 
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raenndrops

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One thing to add what others have said ... Be a SOFT, SAFE place for her to land. If she has a bad day, a hug (and "it will be ok") may be just what she needs. IF she has a great day, a hug may be just what she needs too. I got really good at hugs in my 14 years (so far) on the team track.
 

GYM0M

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I am sorry that you and GYMOM have had such a bad experience. Thank you for sharing your experience.
My experience has not been bad at all. I was just trying to explain how hindsight is 20/20 in this sport. Those are the emotions and things that you feel as a parent as you go through this journey. Your dd will more than likely have a completely different perspective, but prepare yourself. I was not prepared for the rollercoaster of emotions that I was going to experience. We were all once starry-eyed, optimistic parents. I remember the feeling so I apologize. I did not mean to rain on your parade. Congrats to your kiddo.
 

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