Parents Motivating kids who hate conditioning?

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LJL07

Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
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How are you keeping your kids motivated to condition? I have a 10 and 13 year old. They love gymnastics, and if I tell them to keep up with their skills, they will do that all day, but conditioning is a big no thanks. We are doing it and powering through--using @coachp 's pretty challenging abs, arms, legs. They are also begrudgingly doing presses and leg lifts, but they aren't nearly as cheerful as all of these youngsters on instagram. Are most of you still in contact with your gyms? I wonder if our team had some sort of zoom interaction or daily challenge if that would make it better?? Are your kids doing this first thing in the morning? Or in the evening? I'm just looking for ideas.
 
I am having a tough time getting my kid to do any conditioning. Her gym sent out a list that looks inadequate to me, and I sent her the Dave Tilley 6-day program and the Gotham Gymnastics Quaranteam workouts on YouTube. She rejected all of it. She is doing some halfhearted stretching and playing around on the treadmill, but that's it.

She is 13, so anything I say (such as "You need to come up with and stick to SOME kind of conditioning program if you want to be able to get back in the gym when it reopens") is automatically wrong. She won't work out with me, and comes in and makes fun of me when I do Les Mills and yoga videos. It doesn't help that her dad already wanted her to be done with gymnastics and is hoping she doesn't go back. It is maddening.
 
I am having a tough time getting my kid to do any conditioning. Her gym sent out a list that looks inadequate to me, and I sent her the Dave Tilley 6-day program and the Gotham Gymnastics Quaranteam workouts on YouTube. She rejected all of it. She is doing some halfhearted stretching and playing around on the treadmill, but that's it.

She is 13, so anything I say (such as "You need to come up with and stick to SOME kind of conditioning program if you want to be able to get back in the gym when it reopens") is automatically wrong. She won't work out with me, and comes in and makes fun of me when I do Les Mills and yoga videos. It doesn't help that her dad already wanted her to be done with gymnastics and is hoping she doesn't go back. It is maddening.
Ah yes. 13 is such a fun age. Yes, I am literally hounding that one in particular to condition, and I can't keep that up for weeks. Oh well.
 
I have a different perspective. Gymnastics is an optional activity, so I am not going to monitor conditioning the way I monitor school work. I asked my 13 year old whether she plans to continue with gymnastics when this is over. She said yes, so I shared some resources with her, and I asked if she had everything she needs to condition and stay in shape. She said yes, so I just told her to let me know if she needs anything. Beyond that, I am not monitoring anything. There are natural consequences that she will receive for not conditioning, and she knows what they are. The rest is up to her.
 
I agree that gymnastics is optional and that the child should be taking initiative to condition, but 13-year-olds tend to have trouble reconciling their immediate wants (lounging around playing video games) with their very real long-term goals and desires (to continue with gymnastics). As a parent I feel like it's my responsibility to provide at least some encouragement to overcome inertia and pursue those bigger goals.

I'm not a tiger mom, though, and there's only so hard I can push. On more than one occasion she's flat-out refused to take advantage of opportunities she's been offered to work towards long-term goals, then been very disappointed by the results. She's even asked, "Why didn't you push me harder?" :rolleyes:
 
Could you email the gym and ask, if they would be willing to receive practice diaries from the team gymnasts every week and give some feedback? And I would also ask for specific conditioning that they want her to do. I bet that every gym wants their team gymnasts to do something! Try to be nice and understanding and don't blame them for not sending anything yet, just ask if there is something specific that they want your daughter to work on and if they would be willing to see what she's working on weekly.

That's what I'm doing with my gymnasts. They have a conditioning program and they write all of their activity down in a notebook. Then they take a picture and send it to me every Sunday. I give them feedback and encouragement. My girls, even the ones who never really worked on conditioning voluntary before, have been very good at completing their daily assignement. I told the families that this is not vacation.
I think that the girls are much more motivated to complete their daily conditioning when they have to write it down every day. If they cheat, I will notice that when we are back in the gym. The girls know this.
 
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Our gym sends out a messsge from the coach for conditioning. They also are in a group chat or zoom to talk about it. I don’t really make him do it, but I have seen him doing v ups and handstand push-ups so I guess he’s doing some. He can’t really practice skills at home. So the best outcome when he starts again is that he’s not sore for
weeks. They are all going to lose skills and have to essentially lose a year when practice resumes. It will be hard for a lot of boys because we have upper age limits in our optional level, so by having to repeat, many might age out, and I don’t know how MAG will deal with that.
 
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I have a different perspective. Gymnastics is an optional activity, so I am not going to monitor conditioning the way I monitor school work. I asked my 13 year old whether she plans to continue with gymnastics when this is over. She said yes, so I shared some resources with her, and I asked if she had everything she needs to condition and stay in shape. She said yes, so I just told her to let me know if she needs anything. Beyond that, I am not monitoring anything. There are natural consequences that she will receive for not conditioning, and she knows what they are. The rest is up to her.
I agree with this, which is why they are on their own 99% of the time. We have been down that road of being encouraged to do extra stuff at home conditioning/rehab/stretching, and I'm just not forcing that. Unfortunately, these are extenuating circumstances, and I don't think I can leave a 10 year old and really I am sad to say not the 13 year old either to their own devices. I don't think they have the planning ability at their age to understand that sitting on their butts all day will significantly affect a return to gym. Shoot. My 16 year old is barely motivated to go for a jog herself, and I have to reallllly force myself to get out there some days and run and I'm a grown up. There are some totally overboard mothers on instagram with full gym facilities in their garage, and I think that is completely absurd. But unfortunately, I don't think I can just give them exercises and expect them to be totally self-sufficient. Need a happy medium.
 
Could you email the gym and ask, if they would be willing to receive practice diaries from the team gymnasts every week and give some feedback? And I would also ask for specific conditioning that they want her to do. I bet that every gym wants their team gymnasts to do something! Try to be nice and understanding and don't blame them for not sending anything yet, just ask if there is something specific that they want your daughter to work on and if they would be willing to see what she's working on weekly.

That's what I'm doing with my gymnasts. They have a conditioning program and they write all of their activity down in a notebook. Then they take a picture and send it to me every Sunday. I give them feedback and encouragement. My girls, even the ones who never really worked on conditioning voluntary before, have been very good at completing their daily assignement. I told the families that this is not vacation.
I think that the girls are much more motivated to complete their daily conditioning when they have to write it down every day. If they cheat, I will notice that when we are back in the gym. The girls know this.
I love this. I think the gym is just as thrown for a loop as we are-- I don't fault them. Our state is an "epicenter," we are going to be out a long time I think. I just think it would be nice to come up with a plan at some point.
 
Sure gymnastics is optional, but staying physically fit and active at this time is more important than almost everything they do at the moment. The way a gymnast chooses to do that is through gymnastics, I would insist that if they are not going to do the work sent home from the gym, they do need to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

We can always tie technology use to completing their daily requirements. So if they want to sit on Netflix, phones etc for hours that’s fine but all the essentials like exercise, school work, showers etc done first.

You could even come up with your own awards system. Maybe you can award them points for completing certain tasks, which they can exchange for rewards. You just need to know what your teen loves, every teen has their currency. They may roll their eyes at first at the idea of a points system, but when they see they can get those things they want, it may be a different story.
 
First, don't believe all those "cheerful" instagymmies. They don't show the rolled eyes, under the breath mumbling and huffy behavior on purpose!

Second, I fall in the middle between trying to force my gymmie to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING and giving up and not caring if she loses her splits. Thankfully, our gym started sending out conditioning daily, and she's much more motivated to do anything her coach asks her to do than her mom. (insert eye rolls here).

Hang in there. Do the best you can and let the rest go.
 
How are you keeping your kids motivated to condition? I have a 10 and 13 year old. They love gymnastics, and if I tell them to keep up with their skills, they will do that all day, but conditioning is a big no thanks. We are doing it and powering through--using @coachp 's pretty challenging abs, arms, legs. They are also begrudgingly doing presses and leg lifts, but they aren't nearly as cheerful as all of these youngsters on instagram. Are most of you still in contact with your gyms? I wonder if our team had some sort of zoom interaction or daily challenge if that would make it better?? Are your kids doing this first thing in the morning? Or in the evening? I'm just looking for ideas.

We've been doing the Instagram workouts with Gotham Gymnastics. Yesterday's was lead by Katelyn Ohashi. The videos are later posted to YouTube and their Facebook page. I also do the workouts with her which definitely helps her.
 
My DD16 has been doing a group FaceTime with her group of 5 to complete their normal warmups together. It's about the only thing that will make her try. There was also an Instagram workout with a former elite? maybe? who did some awesome stretching thing for an hour. She and my exchange student did that together and were both sore afterward.
 
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