For Parents Loss of skills

cogymmom2dd

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Is it normal for gymnasts to have difficulty with the most basic skills once they start to progress upwards?
My DD1 is L7 and having issues with her squat-on to high bar. She can’t do a normal cast to squat-on. In order to get to the high bar, she has to do a toe circle to a squat-on, which I feel is much harder than a cast to squat-on. She said she needs to do that in order to get the momentum to get her giant once she gets to the high bar, but she is the only one who does that on her team. Also, she has her toe hecht to the high bar and has been working on pirouettes, so she is already working on L8 skills but there are still L8’s that have a cast to squat on in their routines.
Is this just a normal progression or should I be concerned? I figured if the coaches haven’t said anything, then I shouldn’t worry but I also am concerned because if she continues to progress with her skills, her skill set will outgrow our gym and we will need to look elsewhere, as our gym doesn’t have a strong L9/10 program. I don’t want her to go to another gym to try out a year from now and not even be able to make a cast to squat on.
 

ausnat83

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I think you're overanalyzing this. No gym is going to reject a strong L8/9/10 prospect over a squat-on.

Has she grown recently? I know squat-ons look easy and are learned young, but longer legs & a shifting center of gravity can actually make them a lot harder. I can absolutely see a gymnast with a strong toe-circle feeling more comfortable with that option. It's not uncommon for growing gymnasts to find previously mastered skills to start feeling harder at time.

And if it's just a mental block then that's no big deal either - cast squat-ons aren't building to anything. Don't sweat it.
 
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Flopsygymnast

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It sounds like the issue is not with the squat on, its getting momentum for the giant. If she has to do a toe-circle to get momentum and she doesnt find that difficult good for her! Every girl finds different things work differently for her! My sis found a piked yurchenko really difficult but has no problem with a layout yurchenko! My next sister couldn't do a tucked flyaway only a layout! Every kid is different!
If the coaches are trustworthy they will let you know if theres a problem!
 

gymgal

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not an issue. both are acceptable ways to get on the low bar. And no, the toe circle is not necessarily harder for certain girls. It's all in what they feel comfortable with
 

LJL07

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On level 8, my daughter has done the toe circle at several meets coming out of her pirouette to transition to the high bar. There is nothing wrong with a toe circle!
 
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CLgym

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My repeat L8 daughter (age 12.5 and growing) has had a weird mix of lost skills. I can’t even keep track anymore!! I wouldn’t worry about it.
 
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gymjunkie

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Is her kip weak? A lot of girls can only toe circle because they don't complete their kip with enough lean to make a squat on. Once you actually learn a toe-circle, it's the easier of the 2 skills because you can get away with a weak lean on your kip. I personally don't let kids do it consistently because "cheating your kip" becomes a bad habit.
 

cogymmom2dd

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Is her kip weak? A lot of girls can only toe circle because they don't complete their kip with enough lean to make a squat on. Once you actually learn a toe-circle, it's the easier of the 2 skills because you can get away with a weak lean on your kip. I personally don't let kids do it consistently because "cheating your kip" becomes a bad habit.
I don’t think she has a weak kip. She’s had/competed her kip since she was 7. The toe circles didn’t start until she got her giants consistently. She does most of her skills on the low bar (kip, cast to handstand, clear hip, kip). Her only high bar skills are kip and giants. She said the motion of the toe circle gets her prepared for her giants better.
 

gymjunkie

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I don’t think she has a weak kip. She’s had/competed her kip since she was 7. The toe circles didn’t start until she got her giants consistently. She does most of her skills on the low bar (kip, cast to handstand, clear hip, kip). Her only high bar skills are kip and giants. She said the motion of the toe circle gets her prepared for her giants better.
But you originally said she can’t make a squat on, so I was going off that. For either scenario I hope her coaches are not ignoring that she can’t do a squat on because if she can make a toe-circle but not a squat, that suggests she is not leaning on her squat. If you’d like to post or PM a video I can tell you for sure.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I'm going to make a wild guess that she's somewhere in the 11-14 age range, and thus probably growing?

Don't worry, it's totally normal for athletes to become inconsistent with certain basic skills as they grow. She'll get it back. (And even if she doesn't, there are relatively easy workarounds for a lack of squat-on at level 9/10
 

cogymmom2dd

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I'm going to make a wild guess that she's somewhere in the 11-14 age range, and thus probably growing?

Don't worry, it's totally normal for athletes to become inconsistent with certain basic skills as they grow. She'll get it back. (And even if she doesn't, there are relatively easy workarounds for a lack of squat-on at level 9/10
Yes, she is in this age range and has grown significantly in the last year or so compared to growth at any other point of her childhood. Granted, she’s still pretty tiny, like 5th percentile for her age but growing.
 

gymjunkie

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Growth spurts definitely cause temporary set-backs. Can you describe what goes wrong when she tries a squat on?
Yes, she is in this age range and has grown significantly in the last year or so compared to growth at any other point of her childhood. Granted, she’s still pretty tiny, like 5th percentile for her age but growing.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Growth spurts definitely cause temporary set-backs. Can you describe what goes wrong when she tries a squat on?

Wait, lemme take a blind guess at this one, too.

She has trouble getting her feet on the bar smoothly, and tends to drop back off the bar rather than being able to properly stand up and jump towards the bar in front of her.

She also has more trouble keeping her legs straight in a number of skills which she previously had with clean form.

How are my guesses?
 

cogymmom2dd

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Wait, lemme take a blind guess at this one, too.

She has trouble getting her feet on the bar smoothly, and tends to drop back off the bar rather than being able to properly stand up and jump towards the bar in front of her.

She also has more trouble keeping her legs straight in a number of skills which she previously had with clean form.

How are my guesses?
Yes, absolutely. She can get her feet on the bar after her 2nd Kip/cast but then starts to fall back but is able to do a toe circle(s) to be able to get to an upright position so she can kip on the high bar and get to her giants. And, Loss of flexibility has been rough on her this year, especially with leap passes on floor and beam. A bit of loss of back flexibility that has really only effected backwards tumbling on beam, mental block developed and worked through with this and all seems well.
 

gymjunkie

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Yes, absolutely. She can get her feet on the bar after her 2nd Kip/cast but then starts to fall back but is able to do a toe circle(s) to be able to get to an upright position so she can kip on the high bar and get to her giants. And, Loss of flexibility has been rough on her this year, especially with leap passes on floor and beam. A bit of loss of back flexibility that has really only effected backwards tumbling on beam, mental block developed and worked through with this and all seems well.
I had a L7 who could only toe circle and part of it was tight hamstrings, but the rest was her incomplete lean on her kip. For the hamstrings, I would have her stand with her back to one of the support poles of the bar and stretch out her hamstrings a little extra while she was in line by grabbing the pole near her ankles and falling forward away from the pole. It also helped her have straighter legs. She had done all L6 with a toe circle at another gym and essentially lost her squat on, but she got it back and her bars improved. It may seem like a small thing, but I didn't like the bad habit it was causing with her kip. I also prefer pike-ons vs. squat ons and she was initially not able to do a pike on, which was how the rest of team got to the HB. Kids do lose basic skills when us coaches stop emphasizing them. Stalder presses are a biggie. Lot's of L10s have lost them, but that's not intended and can be reversed by keeping them in the workout.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Yes, very normal.

When they do a squat on they jump to the high bar at higher angle.

When they do the circle, they can jump before they have reached the position when they are standing back on the bar, so they are coming in from a different angle.

For a taller gymnasts it’s easier to get into the correct shape from there.
 
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LJL07

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Yes, absolutely. She can get her feet on the bar after her 2nd Kip/cast but then starts to fall back but is able to do a toe circle(s) to be able to get to an upright position so she can kip on the high bar and get to her giants. And, Loss of flexibility has been rough on her this year, especially with leap passes on floor and beam. A bit of loss of back flexibility that has really only effected backwards tumbling on beam, mental block developed and worked through with this and all seems well.
This is the problem my (also growing) daughter sometimes has too, and the toe circle has been a great “save” at a few meets. Also, our gym sets the bars on the widest setting, so I wondered if that had anything to do with squat on difficulties, although I’m now thinking it’s more as you describe—getting to the right upright position. And interestingly, on level 7, my daughter had an easier time with the pike on for some reason. I hadn’t thought about stalder presses helping either. She used to knock out a bunch of them but after her wrist fractures we really laid off of those. I still don’t think you should worry too much, although I’m not a coach. :)