Parents Nervous about DD's first meet!

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Jan 16, 2012
My daughter is 7 years old and just joined the gymnastics team at her gym. She was on "pre-team" and was asked to work out with the team, and before I knew it she was asked to compete in the upcoming meet and is now a member of the team. The gym owner recommended that she participate in the upcoming meet this Friday bc it would be a good meet for her to start. I think most of the girls are doing prep opt. DD is a rookie.

I'm so nervous bc we just got the time for the meet, which is 6:15 - 9:45 pm. My daughter is normally asleep in bed by 8:30! She also told me she's the last one to compete on our team bc she is the shortest. I told the coach I am concerned about her doing a beam routine at a time when she would normally be sleeping. She will have a full day of school beforehand and my husband will not let her skip school. She has 3 practices this week and will be up later than usual most of the week to practice, and then she has the meet so late in the evening. She is so positive and says she'll be fine, but I know she will be worn out by then.

Has anyone else had this situation when their girls were young? I told my daughter she should stay in bed in the mornings as late as possible and I would wake her with enough time to get ready for school. I can't think of what else we can do. She's just tired in the evenings and still has a relatively early bedtime. I guess I have to cross my fingers!

Thanks! I just found this forum and am so happy to have other parents to contact.
You will always be nervous. I don't think it gets any easier! As for the meet time, she'll be hopped up on adrenaline and will most likely be fine. Just be prepared for the crash afterwards! At least with a Friday night meet she has the whole weekend to recover (and you do too).

Welcome to Chalk Bucket. It's a great place to learn about gymnastics (and get some free therapy when you need it too... And trust me, if your daughter is in gymnastics for any length of time, you'll need it)!
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Welcome! My DD is also 7. My advice would be to see if she could take a nap after school before the meet. My DD is usually in bed between 8-9pm every night too. Many days she takes a nap in the car on the way to gym after school and this helps her re-charge. She'll probably be so excited that she won't be too tired at all :). Good luck!!!
Thank you both so much for your support! I wish she could nap on the way to the meet but her 2 brothers will be in the car and one of them never stops talking no matter what! Also, bc of the timing, I have to feed the kids dinner in the car. She usually has a small appetite, but I will try to give her a big snack after school and then a bite to eat on the drive bc she will essentially be missing dinner. What a crazy time for a meet!

You're right, she will be excited and will most likely crash when she gets in the car afterwards. The hardest part will be getting her twin brother not to wake her up on Saturday morning as he usually does!

Thanks again!
My daughter just had her first meet as well, and let me tell you I was a wreck of nerves. You will both be fine and like the others said, she will recover over the weekend. We didn't go late like you, but we had to be up before 6am to be at the meet on time and no one in my house has seen before 7 in years. But, just like a big vacation or event, we popped right out of bed ready to roll. And by the second event, I was calm and chatting with the other moms, all of us cheering on the girls. The adrenalin will carry her through the meet, don't worry. It will be great!

Good luck to you both and welcome to the Chalkbucket.
welcome to CB. don't be concerned about the time. she'll be so ramped up due to the environment that her 'normal' sleep clock will be on pause. she'll be hungry right after the meet so feed her. then she will crash...
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Welcome to the CB. She will be fine. Keep her hydrated and give her light snacks.The crash after is inevitable,, tho. I hate lateu meet, But just try to enjoy and take it all in. Meets are really fun if you just go along with the flow. Good luck to her, and let us know what happens!
The hardest part will be getting her twin brother not to wake her up on Saturday morning as he usually does!

Thanks again!

My kids are fraternal twins too, but they're both girls. Only 1 is in gymnastics, which is a mixed blessing. They don't have to compete against each other, which would be hard, I think, but keeping track of 2 sets of activities is not easy either. They'll be turning 11 next month.
I also hate late meets! DD had several this season. At the first one, by the time she got to the beam rotation she was yawning. Not something I wanted to see before she got on beam, LOL! For the 2nd one when we got in the car, I actually gave her my iPod with earphones and said to just listen to music with eyes closed. Got a power nap in before that one and she did fine (state meet). Good luck to your daughter!
Those evening session times on a school day aren't great, but you'll see more of them if she stays with competitive gymnastics. I agree with the other posters in that she'll be "wired" getting ready and going to the meet. She might start to wind down during awards since they usually have the girls sitting out on the floor mat. Make sure you pack something for her to eat after the meet---I guarantee she'll be starved. I also used to throw in a pair of pjs and let my gymmie change right into them on the way home. That way if she was asleep(or almost) just had to throw her in bed.
Ugh. The late night meet :( My ds has had one every year. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive to the meet, and that starts at 5. The awards start at 9:30! He usually does great during the meet, but as others have said, be prepared fro the after meet crash. DS usually loses it afterward....over nothing! Last year it was because he didn't want to eat, but he was starving. When we stopped to watch, it was really comical, but at the time, it was really tough.

We do pull him out of school that day. His school goes from 7:55-3:45 every day. He has to get up at 6:15 to get to school. His teachers have all been great about it, so it hasn't been an issue for us. Add on the 2 1/2 hour drive with a kiddo who gets carsick, and we really have to leave at noon to get to the town, check into a hotel, and then have him have some downtime.

Good luck!
Best of luck. I agree, your little one will be so pumped that she probably won't notice the time--until awards. Can they take a snack in their bag onto the gym floor? I generally pack a small bottle of water and a resealable bag with cheese crackers, nuts, or a trail mix. None of it is messy and it's in the bag if she needs it--but I do know that some gyms do not let the girls have things to eat. Pack her pjs in the car and don't worry about a bath. She will crash. Enjoy your time watching her!
Welcome to the wonderful world of competitive gymnastics.
First sit down take a deep breath, sip a glass of wine and relax.
I know my DD has been doing gymnastics since she was 1 1/2 with the mom and me. Went to pre team at 3 and started competing at 6 she is now 14 and I'm still nervous everytime she has a meet. I try not to let her know that so she won't be. When my Dd was a L5 at 7yo she too had a late meet and her bed time was 8:30 well she had bars last and she was next to last. Well they were waiting and waiting and when it was her turn the coach had to wake her up. Talk about nervous mom!! She did her routine came in 5th. Went through awards and slept all the way home. over all she was fine (no school the next day so she could sleep in). My 14yo goes to bed about 9:30 - 10:00 and the late night meets are still ones where she gets tired at the end of the meet. this season though we have the opposite issue where she has the first meet of the day at 7 or 8am. She isn't a morning person at all and that first event you know she won't be at her best. Her best meets are the ones that start anywhere from 10 am - 4pm meets. Its all part of being in gymnastics. the girls get use to the meets and the schedules they have to perform in. She won't be the only one wanting to go to bed.

So try not to stress out. One or two meets a year at that time won't be a big deal.
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It'll be ok. It is just part of team gymnastics unfortunately. Sometimes you get the cruddy start times. I hate the late night meets too...especially on school days. UGH. We have one of those coming up in a couple weeks, not looking forward to it and we just had one last weekend. Like others have said, the adrenaline will get her through. My younger DD fell asleep sitting on the floor at awards at one meet when she was a 5 yr old L2. It was priceless...her head was bobbing and finally she just fell over.

Good luck to your DD!!!!
Thank you all so much for your advice and support! She competed last night and all went well. Much better than expected, actually. She competed in the Rookie level of Prep Opt and won 1st place in beam and floor exercise, and 3rd place in vault and bars, and came in 1st in all around! We couldn't believe it. As we were leaving, she said she didn't know how she won!

She was the only girl not to fall off the beam in her level. I think the meet was the first time she made it through her beam routine without falling. She also did the best she's ever done, so she really came through. Best of all, she had fun and didn't get hurt, even though yes, she had to do the beam last, after her bedtime. It was such a fun experience.

I had to explain to her that bc the girls are competing only against other girls in their level, there were girls from her gym who didn't win any awards but who are still better than her. It's just that they competed against other girls who were better than them. She understood but it was still confusing for her to win something in every category when girls who did much more complicated routines at higher levels didn't win at all. Definitely a learning experience!

Her twin brother survived the 4 hours as well. He played his iTouch for the first 2 hours and then watched some 3 Stooges episodes that I downloaded for him. It was pretty funny - I'd tell him to look up, his sister is up, and he said mom, I"m watching the 3 Stooges! The people around us were laughing.

Thanks again for all the support!
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