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peginer

Proud Parent
Feb 15, 2014
60
I'm feeling really discouraged. My DD in JO5 has been in gymnastics pretty much since she could walk, started pre-competitive at age 4 and competitive at age 5. What's so disheartening is that it seems that no matter how hard she works she's always at the bottom of her group at competitions. She will train amazingly, have a phenomenal warm up, and then completely bomb when she competes. It happened again today on bars and beam and it just breaks my heart to see it keep on happening. Amazingly, she earned gold on beam at her last meet and she was over the moon(that's her best event by far, and she's the only girl in her group that actually competes the back handspring wonderfully and the others do the back walk over). Her vault is her weakest event, and for some reason her floor rarely scores well even though to me it looks as good if not or better than some of the others that score higher. I will never understand these compulsory levels. She rarely earns anything in the top eight, and she's always the last girl overall in her training group. It's so hard to see because most of her teammates aren't better than her per se, but they just are very capable and composed at competitions. My daughter never seems to be flustered or nervous, but I feel like she has this track record and she can't seem to dig herself out of this slump. She was grouped with the JO4's and JO5's tonight and in her session there were probably 140 athletes competing! They did the JO4 awards first (100+ athletes) and finally got to the JO5's after an hour and a half. And then after she realized she didn't place in anything, which is so devastating to see your child so disappointed. It wouldn't be so heartbreaking if I knew that she had done what she's capable of doing, but she always seems to choke and not perform to what she is capable of. Sorry for my rant, I just needed to have somewhere to vent and it's hard because the parents of the girls in my daughter's group can't relate because their girls always end up with at least a medal and some ribbons to show for what they've done at competitions, and they all seem to always stick every single routine. Thanks for taking the time to read this if you've made it this far.
 

Mrs. Puma

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Sep 23, 2014
2,896
46
Syracuse, NY
First of all, I'm sorry! Hugs! I've been there...Its a little different because Puma Jr was the kid who would frustrate her coaches by being sloppy in practice then magically pulling it together for meets, but still, it's all relative. She still went all of L4 and L5 (7 meets each) with only placing ONCE. It's so hard to see your kid disappointed over and over again. I'm sure we both know that it's not all about medals, but it does get disheartening after awhile. This was one of the reasons we switched Puma Jr to USAIGC 2&1/2 weeks ago. Her first meet was only 7 days after choreography and she still walked away with 4 medals, two of them second place. The talent pool just isn't as deep. Hopefully she'll be the big fish in a little pond. For us it was the right decision (so far) but other kids may want the challenge of JO even if they'll never be consistantly placing. Maybe your DD will be a better optional? Or maybe something will click over the summer? You never know! It's so hard to know if sticking with it and dealing with frustration/disappointment short term is worth it. It's all about her being happy more than not. Good luck!!! Vent away!!! :)
 

LindyHopper

Proud Parent
May 25, 2016
813
How does your daughter feel? Has she talked to you about it? What does she value more: practice and learning new skills or meets and medals?

The meets Short Stack has walked away with no medals are more than a few. It's hard. But she'd rather be at practice. I often have to put aside my own disappointment and sadness, because she is simply excited that she connected both halves of her bar routine at a meet.

It's hard. Hugs. Find out what she loves about the sport and keep the focus on that for both of you.
 

peginer

Proud Parent
Feb 15, 2014
60
First of all, I'm sorry! Hugs! I've been there...Its a little different because Puma Jr was the kid who would frustrate her coaches by being sloppy in practice then magically pulling it together for meets, but still, it's all relative. She still went all of L4 and L5 (7 meets each) with only placing ONCE. It's so hard to see your kid disappointed over and over again. I'm sure we both know that it's not all about medals, but it does get disheartening after awhile. This was one of the reasons we switched Puma Jr to USAIGC 2&1/2 weeks ago. Her first meet was only 7 days after choreography and she still walked away with 4 medals, two of them second place. The talent pool just isn't as deep. Hopefully she'll be the big fish in a little pond. For us it was the right decision (so far) but other kids may want the challenge of JO even if they'll never be consistantly placing. Maybe your DD will be a better optional? Or maybe something will click over the summer? You never know! It's so hard to know if sticking with it and dealing with frustration/disappointment short term is worth it. It's all about her being happy more than not. Good luck!!! Vent away!!! :)

Thank you for your kind words Mrs. Puma. I've followed your story over the last year or so with your daughter and it definitely comes to my mind when I'm feeling frustrated with how things are going. The thing is, we are in Canada and other than going with the JO program it would be very recreational and my daughter loves her gymnastics and is actually very good at it. It's just at competition she can't seem to pull things together. She's doing a lot of upgraded skills and hopefully next year will go into JO7. She's very talented on beam (she's doing BWO BHS on the highbeam, BHS BT dismount) and actually has a ROBH layout and ROBH full on floor. She's also really good at the yurchenko drills that they've been doing so far and hopefully she will be able to compete that. It's only been in the last couple of years that we switched to the JO program and I'm a little bit frustrated with it right now. Before we had a competitive optional program for all competitive girls and in some ways it would've fit better with my youngest DD. She's 9 and when my oldest DD was her age she was sweeping the podium with less skills than what my youngest is able to do. I know that this season is one that we just have to get through. Thankfully our gym does not require athletes to score out of a level. They would like them to perform to their best and continue to upgrade skills and then they make decisions in the summer for what level they will do the next competition season. Anyways, thanks for your kind words and fingers crossed for next competition we will see all events come together.
 

peginer

Proud Parent
Feb 15, 2014
60
How does your daughter feel? Has she talked to you about it? What does she value more: practice and learning new skills or meets and medals?

The meets Short Stack has walked away with no medals are more than a few. It's hard. But she'd rather be at practice. I often have to put aside my own disappointment and sadness, because she is simply excited that she connected both halves of her bar routine at a meet.

It's hard. Hugs. Find out what she loves about the sport and keep the focus on that for both of you.

Believe me, last night I was ready to pull my DD out of the rest of her competitions for the season. Unfortunately, I don't think that would be looked upon very positively from her coaches. She likes to compete, and is not showing any nerves or fears leading up to competitions. However, this past season, there have been a few tears afterwards because she sees that her other teammates are succeeding and earning spots on the podium. That's the part that kills me the most. Also, before Canada switched to the JO program, they were very clearly defined age groups. It's really hard because she always seems to be placed with the older aged girls as well. However, last night would've been her opportunity because she was on the top end of the age group. I know that she absolutely thrives when she gets to try new skills. This is partly why I'm not so excited about the JO compulsory levels. Being in a compulsory level, I think that since she's been doing the same routines since the summer that it's losing its exciting aspect and even though I don't think that's why she's not performing well, I do know that she thrives on learning new things. It was the same scenario with my DS. When he was in a compulsory level for the second year because he was too young to move into the next level, he actually performed worse the second year than the first because I think it was sheer boredom of having to do the same routines over and over. The following year when he went into an optional level he ended up provincial champion. I'm hoping that will be the case with my DD next year when she moves into the optional levels. Thankfully we don't have to score out to move up, but it is more skill-based. Her coaches knew that she was capable of competing JO5 and it was a compliment to her abilities, but unfortunately it's also been a very disheartening year so far.
 

Flyaway

Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2014
1,380
You dd sounds exactly like mine. Strong on beam, weak on vault and inexplicably low scores on floor despite completing all skills. Always middle of the pack or lower. And yet she presses on. My dd is my hero. It takes a tough kiddo to go to the gym day after day knowing that the external rewards are few. Keep on encouraging her and know that she's not alone.
 

Mommyo2az

Coach
Proud Parent
Judge
Mar 2, 2015
225
Arizona
You dd sounds exactly like mine. Strong on beam, weak on vault and inexplicably low scores on floor despite completing all skills. Always middle of the pack or lower. And yet she presses on. My dd is my hero. It takes a tough kiddo to go to the gym day after day knowing that the external rewards are few. Keep on encouraging her and know that she's not alone.

This is a great take away! My DD has placed at one meet this entire season, she always seems to be one place away from getting a medal. Yes, there have been tears, yes there has been disappointment. But you know what, every day she is back in that gym with a smile on her face working as hard as she can. That is what it really is about! All girls will have their ups and down, will be strong one season, and maybe not so great another. You never know what the future will bring!
 

MomIdidit!

Proud Parent
Aug 4, 2014
331
51
Hugs your way and to your dd. My DD coach once told me more meets equals more confidence.

I hope dd has a good rest of the season.
 
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peginer

Proud Parent
Feb 15, 2014
60
Thank you so much for all your encouraging words. I had my older DD compete tonight and she had the best bars of her season and the most amazing beam of her life and then when her floor and vault came, which are her two fairly strong and very consistent events, she completely bombed and it means that she did not earn a spot to Western Canadian championships. It also means that the first of her two scores to try and make it to nationals is a bit lower than she had hoped it would be going into the second trials. Ugh!! This sport of gymnastics… It's given me many, many gray hairs!! [emoji70]
 

gracyomalley

Proud Parent
Aug 5, 2013
944
Ah the parental grey hairs!!!

My youngest grew 6 inches last summer and lost most of his skills, gained them back and was 2.5 points above the regional qualifying score at his last meet, then the week before state was sick all week, had a less than spectacular meet and was 0.5 below the cut off for regionals....

My oldest was stuck moving to L10 after one year of L8 due to his birthday being 29 days too early - and due to school and music can't really train the 25 hours a week he'd need to make that jump - so sat out of competition this year, but isn't ready to be done...

My middle kid quit at age 12 due to puberty and coaching changes and middle school girl junk at the gym...and now at 14 is trying to come back at a smaller, more flexible gym with more consistant coaching and none of the girl junk, with the hope of doing the sport she loves through high school, and moving through upper optionals as she is able without the pressure she couldn't deal with as an 11 year old L8...

As a parent I am mostly done with all this stuff -

...but the boys have a fantastic coach who can not only train them well and safely, but hasn't made my gangly 12 year old feel bad about his long legs and big feet that arrived this summer, and has supported my high school sophomore continuing to be on the team and train when he can. My daughter will figure out her own path and is lucky enough to have had coaches who really tried to work with her in the past and new ones who seem to understand where she is coming from now.

I just tell them to work hard, be respectful and do their best - and keep thinking there will come a day soon when I will no longer be paying for and traveling because of this sport!!! But hoping that as long as the kids want to do it their coaches will support them doing so...
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,976
Believe me, last night I was ready to pull my DD out of the rest of her competitions for the season. Unfortunately, I don't think that would be looked upon very positively from her coaches. She likes to compete, and is not showing any nerves or fears leading up to competitions. However, this past season, there have been a few tears afterwards because she sees that her other teammates are succeeding and earning spots on the podium. That's the part that kills me the most. Also, before Canada switched to the JO program, they were very clearly defined age groups. It's really hard because she always seems to be placed with the older aged girls as well. However, last night would've been her opportunity because she was on the top end of the age group. I know that she absolutely thrives when she gets to try new skills. This is partly why I'm not so excited about the JO compulsory levels. Being in a compulsory level, I think that since she's been doing the same routines since the summer that it's losing its exciting aspect and even though I don't think that's why she's not performing well, I do know that she thrives on learning new things. It was the same scenario with my DS. When he was in a compulsory level for the second year because he was too young to move into the next level, he actually performed worse the second year than the first because I think it was sheer boredom of having to do the same routines over and over. The following year when he went into an optional level he ended up provincial champion. I'm hoping that will be the case with my DD next year when she moves into the optional levels. Thankfully we don't have to score out to move up, but it is more skill-based. Her coaches knew that she was capable of competing JO5 and it was a compliment to her abilities, but unfortunately it's also been a very disheartening year so far.
I'm just curious, but if you are following the complete JO program, you do need a qualifying score to move up starting at level 4. It's only a 31.00 AA, so I assume she has scored that. I understand how you feel. My dd was always amazing at practice but was not spectacular at meets. She often placed top 3, winning an event now and then, but rarely won AA. Meanwhile, her teammate that hated practice and tried to get out of it, or was just a mess at practice, would come to meets and dazzle everyone and win, win, win. It is very frustrating, and I don't have any solution for you, because we never could figure it out either. Maybe optionals will be her thing. Lets hope so!
 

GymLife

Proud Parent
Judge
Mar 8, 2017
74
43
My DD is the same way. She nails every routine at practice, is a shoe in to be first on her team in everything ( except vault) then we get to the meet and something just does not click. She spent most of this season coming up last or close to last. Most of her meets she didn't place. I will never understand it. Her coach chalks it up to confidence and immaturity. She just competed state this weekend and for the first time all season she looked exactly how I always envisioned her looking. Something just clicked. She looked incredible. She scored her best scores on everything except floor, she over rotated her front tuck, but it was still beautiful. She went from a crying mess at every meet to owning her routines.
Compulsories are hard. Some girls excel at it. DD was xcel gold last season and after a 6 month break tested out of level 4 and 5 in October and was placed in level 6. I would have loved to keep her in 5 for a whole season after realizing that it really is a level that would have made level 6 so much easier.

So maybe this struggle this season will help her for level 6! Hang in there!
 

peginer

Proud Parent
Feb 15, 2014
60
I'm just curious, but if you are following the complete JO program, you do need a qualifying score to move up starting at level 4. It's only a 31.00 AA, so I assume she has scored that. I understand how you feel. My dd was always amazing at practice but was not spectacular at meets. She often placed top 3, winning an event now and then, but rarely won AA. Meanwhile, her teammate that hated practice and tried to get out of it, or was just a mess at practice, would come to meets and dazzle everyone and win, win, win. It is very frustrating, and I don't have any solution for you, because we never could figure it out either. Maybe optionals will be her thing. Lets hope so!

As far as I understood the qualifying score was a 35. That might just be a few of the local gyms' personal requirement and that's all I've ever heard. Yes my DD has always scored over 31 in level four and five so based on that she has qualified. On another note, our provincials competition is coming up next month and the top 48 JO 5's qualified. I just found out today my daughter was number 49. She's the first reserve so we will see hopefully in the next few days when they confirm registration whether or not she will be going. Oh the luck she has!! [emoji12]
 
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