For Parents Mental block, is it time to move on

Gymdadsoccer

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Gymnastics dad here, my daughter has had a mental block on ROBH for 18 months now. She will most likely have to do a 3rd year of level 4 because of this. I have had her do rec soccer and I coach her as it was my sport growing up. She scored over half our teams goals with very little technical soccer skills, all just because of being faster and stronger than all the other girls. I think she would be an amazing player if she focused on it. I would love for her to do a year of Excel and tryout for travel soccer but she feels like I don’t believe in her when I suggest this. Any advice is welcomed as its 3 in the morning and this is weighing on my mind.
 

katrid11

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18mths is a long time for a mental block. Did she ever have her ROBHS? Did she have a bad fall or someone make nasty comments?

Personally if it were my DD and facing a 3rd year of L4 I would try a sports psychologist to see about how to get her healthy support so she can conquer the ROBHS.

If she can have a successful year competing at XCEL where maybe she can do more front passes than back, she can use the year to conquer her mental block and maybe test out L4 in the late spring (if coaches allow it). She needs to know that is not you saying "well you aren't up to this" but more of a "I want to help you find the best path for you at gymnastics".
 

mommyof1

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What does your daughter want? She might be the world's most talented soccer player, but if she wants to be a gymnast and not a soccer player she'll be miserable in soccer. It can also be very challenging to parent an athlete in a sport that you have played and/or coached. You have to be able to take off your coach hat and play the parent role, which is not the easiest thing to do. In general I don't think it's healthy for parents to teach or coach their own children, as kids need space to grow as individuals apart from their parents.

If she truly wants to continue with gymnastics, I'd try to avoid a third year at the same compulsory level. I don't think I'd invest in a sports psychologist for Level 4 gymnastics, but a move to Xcel could allow her to make progress while taking the pressure off the ROBHS.

It's difficult to watch a child "throw away" a talent. My daughter is incredibly talented at a particular activity but gave it up when it began to require actual work and now refuses to have anything to do with it. It's heartbreaking because I also did this activity at a high level for many years and know just how far she could go if she wanted to, but it's ultimately her choice. For whatever reason she chose gymnastics even though it's been a struggle the whole way, so that's what we support.
 

Gymdadsoccer

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She did have it, and was probably the most powerful on one the team. This has always been an issue. She didn’t do it her first meet in 3 and lost it a month before meet season in 2019. She just is scared to connect it. She has a standing backhand spring on the low beam, standing back tuck on the floor and trampoline. She has all the skills necessary for 5 and some 6 but is scared to connect the skills. She has a blast at soccer and was super competitive, didn’t want me to take her out. She could do so well in Xcel, her front handspring front tuck is beautiful.
 

mommyof1

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In that case I'd try to sell her on Xcel by hyping up the fact that she could compete her FHS-FT. (Assuming that's permitted at the level she'd be competing--I don't know anything about Xcel requirements.)
 

pt coach

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If she loves gymnastics I would try to sell her on Xcel. Sometimes being able to compete other skills successfully (like focusing on front tumbling) on floor can really help with mental blocks on other skills. I like to think of it as giving your brain a vacation from worrying about the problem skill.
 
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NutterButter

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You didn't mention her age and if she's in the midst of growth spurts that could be throwing off her ability to feel like she can connect the skill. You also didn't mention how her coaches are treating the block. Negative coaching feedback can really do a disservice on kiddos with blocks and prolong the 'recovery'. You also speak with a lot of superlatives about your DD - her soccer skills, having the 'most powerful' ROBHS on the team. And you don't mention what SHE wants. Careful with that, kiddos who are susceptible to the mental aspect can really get hung up on needing to be 'the best' and not disappointing their parents or coaches and this can prevent them from moving forward.

What does your DD want? What are her coaches saying?
 

Gymdadsoccer

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She is 10, I am waiting to discuss with coaches after July 30th, which is when we will know if she is 4 or 5. She loves gymnastics, past that I am not sure what she wants.
 

IreneKa

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What I don't get is, if she is missing ROBHS, how is she competing L4? Isn't it a required skill in L4? And if they are allowing her to compete 4 with a missing skill, why won't they allow her to compete 5 with the same missing skill? Assuming she has all other L5 skills, theoretically she could even score out of 5 (like get a 7 on floor and 9s on all other events) and go to L6, where she would be able to substitute it with other skills.
Just an idea, if the gym/coach is open to suggestions.
 

ldw4mlo

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Assuming she has all other L5 skills, theoretically she could even score out of 5 (like get a 7 on floor and 9s on all other events) and go to L6, where she would be able to substitute it with other skills.
Just an idea, if the gym/coach is open to suggestions.
or this
 

Gymdadsoccer

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Thanks for all the suggestions. We will see what the coaches say if she is only missing the back tumbling skills due to the block. We actually did NGA this year so that’s why she was ok. She replaced the ROBHS with FHS step out cartwheel and was low 9s. NGA was great for her. Side topic - I didn’t miss the JO floor music and routine the girls were able to show some personality. It was like a college meet where all the girls new everyones routine and did it on the side. First year L4 was stressful though, as she lost the BHS less than a month before the first meet. She scratched floor most of the meets and esssentially did a RO and two standing BHS and got low 7 in a 2 meets just to qualify for state which didn’t even happen due to Covid. She still wants to do rec soccer, and I will coach so I can pick the days we play. A lot of this also comes from me not liking this one sport specialization so young. Gymnastics just happened, we had no idea what we were getting into. There is no right answer, just need to keep her active and smiling.
 

GYM0M

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So maybe it’s this power that she has that is the problem. She’s young but sounds talented so heightened body awareness but doesn’t feel like she can control her power. My gymmie went through something similar around that age. She had to quit running and literally walk before her power hurdle into the tumbling pass.
 
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Gymdadsoccer

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Oh yes, she is afraid of the power. She won’t run into it, she does one step power hurdle in practice with a four inch mat.
 

Tmacs

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So maybe it’s this power that she has that is the problem. She’s young but sounds talented so heightened body awareness but doesn’t feel like she can control her power. My gymmie went through something similar around that age. She had to quit running and literally walk before her power hurdle into the tumbling pass.
My daughter couldn’t run at all into her pass... literally a small hurdle into her double BH.., that was after half a year of a mental block on the pass.
 
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cmg

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Speaking from experience with my daughter, and mind you every kid is a little different, I think you need to back off and let her make the decisions. My daughter has a mental block on backward tumbling. It is really hard on parents watching when you know they can do it. She did two years of 4 and just didn't connect the back handsprings and just took the deductions. At level 5 she just stopped before the back tuck and took the deductions. She was scoring high 8's with these deductions, Level 6 she did front tumbling and got mid 9's. She is training L10 now and still has these limitations but she is creative and has made things work for her. There are college girls (not very many, but a few) that don't do back tumbling.

My concern here is that soccer is your sport, not your daughter's. You need to let her figure out a way to make things work for her. You should stay out of that process. Yes she could be a great soccer player, but if she loves gymnastics she will resent you for a very long time if you subconsciously make her move to soccer. I ran in high school and college and my daughter could be a great runner and sometimes I wish that she just ran track so she would have to deal with these mental blocks, but I have not pushed running on her and now she enjoys but just as a mode to get in shape. I figure that once she retires from gymnastics should could take up running.

It sounds like the NGA is a great solution. My advice is to leave it be. If she plays rec soccer and then develops a love of soccer it should be her choice, not yours. I get that it is hard to be the parent of "that kid who can't do...." what ever skill and takes the deductions, but it really is not your problem it is your daughter's and she needs to figure it out. Good luck and just be supportive with what ever decision she makes.
 
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JulietTheGymnast

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Gymnastics dad here, my daughter has had a mental block on ROBH for 18 months now. She will most likely have to do a 3rd year of level 4 because of this. I have had her do rec soccer and I coach her as it was my sport growing up. She scored over half our teams goals with very little technical soccer skills, all just because of being faster and stronger than all the other girls. I think she would be an amazing player if she focused on it. I would love for her to do a year of Excel and tryout for travel soccer but she feels like I don’t believe in her when I suggest this. Any advice is welcomed as its 3 in the morning and this is weighing on my mind.
So i had a very big mental block on my ROBHS as well. I had to do 2 years of bronze and 2 years of silver before I got it. So as long as she is progressing somewhere and enjoying the sport aside from the block, I thinks it's fine if shes stay! However, it's her decision if she wants to move onto a different sport. Hope this helps!
 

Carly

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There was a girl at dd's gym that did not do much back tumbling. They were able to make it work for her after compulsories and she is now competing at a d1 college. So if your dd can test out of 5 and go to 6 that might work well so that she can have options for her routines.
If it were me, I would definitely not want my dd to do a 3rd year of level 4. I would switch to Xcel for a year to get custom routines if level 6 is not an option.
 
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