WAG Newbie here, looking for some advise and support on balking

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mkwh

Proud Parent
Feb 3, 2015
47
48
Hi! I am so glad that I found this site. I am the mom of a level 4 gymnast. I have read so much on here and on the head games site. It's very very helpful but I guess I am just looking for some individual advise and support.

Here is the background. DD is 10 and this is her 3rd year competing. She does quite well overall, she was 1st state camp on vault on lvl 2 and 1st place state champ on floor in lvl 3. Her personality is quite shy especially with adults and she holds things in. She had all of her lvl 4 skills great by early summer.

We get to Oct and I find out a week before her first meet that she has "lost" or starting blocking /balking in her RO BHS BHS. She had not mentioned it to me and her coach did not ( assuming it would be short lived and to not make a big deal of it) I found out b/c a friend teammate told her mom who told me. I contacted coach who asked me to just be positive and not even talk about it, so I didn't. We went to the meet without me even letting on that I knew anything. She competed skill with coach standing beside her and only doing hurdle into the BHS BHS .

Not knowing anything about this being a common issue I was really confused on how she could have this skill and lose it but I tried to stay positive. Another meet a few weeks later she did the same thing. I did finally talk to her some. I was just like " you know how to do thirsts, your body knows how to do this" etc. she couldn't explain to me what was wrong or what she was thinking or feeling. 3rd meet comes along she runs and does the whole thing with only the coach coming out and running beside her. Scores a 9.3! Her floor routine is awesome when she does it ( and know in her mind that she can-when is worried about it, it affects her whole routine).

2 weeks after that meet her coach messages me that she did it totally by herself in practice and she told me as well. I was so excited and bragged on her and praised her and praised her for being braves and not giving up. Her team is very supportive and encourages her and cheered her on. A meet comes along in dec. the week before she loses it again. I admit I got frustrated with her that night. Not proud of it, but I am human ;) and it never occurred to me she would regain it and lose it again, I just didn't know. I didn't yell or anything but she knew I was frustrated and stressed about it.

I know that she doesn't understand either and that she is frustrated with it, the time out of the gym over Christmas was great for her. She came back in Jan and did it great. No spotting, no hesitations. Her couch told me she was looking awesome, went to a mid Jan meet and she did it with ease. Couch did not have to go anywhere near her and it it was beautiful. 9.275 and tied for first place. So I again thought "she has now fully competed it and had great success" so I truly assumed we were past it.

The next week was fine then the next ( week before a meet) she loses it and its worse than ever. Will only do 1 BHS even with a spot. She actually cried about it for the first time that night. I know she is confused and frustrated. We get to the meet this past weekend and she will only do one BHS in warm up so her coach scratched her on floor. Still had a great meet, 1st place on beam with a 9.425! DD did not mention the scratch or the tumbling and I did not even mention it either. I praised her on her awesome beam and didn't mention it. I did go crazy starting to research though. I've decided to take the approach of not talking about it what so ever. Even though I was never "hard" on her, I did ask after every practice how it went. I'm stopping that too. I didn't ask or say a word after Monday practice, last night I didn't either but half way home she said " oh, I did 2 floor routines" I said awesome and high fived her but still didnt ask or elaborate. Se went onto say that the couch told her they were going to back back down and that she had done it with a hurdle into the 2 BHS's.

I just said great and then went on another subject. I'm trying to talk as little about gym as I can. We have another meet this Sun and actually 5 in the next six weeks including state. I know I have to be patient but it kills me that when she does do her tumbling, her floor routine is really awesome. I hate that this has happened and cause her so much stress and anxiety. We have done visualization the full 4 months but not sure that helps at all. It's the arch back into the 2nd back handspring that gets her. She has almost all of her skills for next year including her baby giant and her beam back walkover. She does the BHS BT on tumble track ( it doesn't seem to bother her I guess b/c you don't have to arch back into the 2nd part of that combination).

5 meets is a lot but it's al over in just 6 weeks. Do I just take the attitude that we just need to get through these 6 weeks and then not have to worry about this pass and can just focus on next year? I just feel frustrated that I know she could do so well at these meets and state but sigh..... Btw her coach is wonderful, very experienced and very patient. Thank you so much if you read this far!
 
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D

Deleted member D3987

it's vestibular. and they almost never have this problem on a tumbltrak or trampoline because they can "sense" that they can't hit their head. you'll have to click on all the vestibular stuff on this site. it will bring you up to speed with what you need to know. including..."let it go, let it go" when they get "Frozen". :)

and other parents and coaches. notice near the beginning where she states that her daughter can't explain what's wrong or what she "feels". this is significant and consistent across the board.

additionally, take note about the "visualization".
 
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mkwh

Proud Parent
Feb 3, 2015
47
48
Thanks. So would you explain that to your 10 year old? She feels upset that she doesn't know WHY this is happening and I would like for her to feel less upset and embarrassed.
 
D

Deleted member D3987

yes. read and fully understand everything here at this site. it's a condition and part of the brain and nervous system. look it up wherever you look things up.

then sit down with her and 1st explain to her that there is NOTHING wrong with her and that she has NOT DONE ANYTHING WRONG. then explain the vestibular system and explain how it is responsible for all things in balance. without it, or one that has been damaged say due to TBI, a human being would not be able to crawl, creep and crawl, walk or run.

there are many things that affect the vestibular system. and it sounds like her coach has a clue. :)
 

IreneKa

Proud Parent
Fan
Mar 18, 2013
1,687
Hi! No real advice here, just wanted to tell you that we are going through exactly the same right now, so you are not alone.
DD had a back injury during the summer, fully recovered, got all her skills back, including RO2BHS, competed fine in October, then completely lost it in November. Got it back in December, had it for two meets, then lost it again. I was planning to ask the coaches to just let her scratch floor for the remaining of the season, but she got it back and competed it beautifully just this past weekend. Two more meets left this season, I'm praying that it sticks.

And yes, as dunno said, I tried my best to explain to her that it's not her fault, it's her body and brain, and she doesn't have control over this, just try not to worry about it, and it will come back when your body is ready.
Just be patient. Good luck!
 

mkwh

Proud Parent
Feb 3, 2015
47
48
Thanks. We love her coach , very smart, patient, caring and not obsessed with "winning" but does want them to be their best. We trust her completely. I'm just sad and frustrated that it has happened and that her whole level 4 year is soon over without this being fixed and allowing her to reach her full potential. I know I have to "let it go"... Just not easy...
 

SignHere

Proud Parent
Jul 11, 2011
518
Mkwh, talk to your DD. Be patient. If you do a search on CB you will find many posts on vestibular. Dunno has written a nice explanation of it in the past. Take heart... My DD went through this and it lasted for almost 8 months, she wouldn't tumble backward on the floor. If the coach ( or you) push her or stress her too much, it may spill over onto beam, then bars, you get the picture.

My DD gradually improved when the competition season was over and the pressure ( implied or real) was off. She is now tumbling backwards, but will occasionally balk when she feels anxious.

I will say I regret putting DD through a lot of meets while she was scratching events due to balking. It was just so stressful for her. She had nightmares the night before meets. Just doesnt seem worth it now.
 

mkwh

Proud Parent
Feb 3, 2015
47
48
Thanks everyone. A little update from the weekend. On thurs I picked her up from school and she had a 103.7 temp! Want to the dr and it was strep. She missed practice thurs and fri. She went for Sat morning 9-12. Coach texted after to make her rest b/c she seemed weak and exhausted. Meet on Sun evening and she wanted to do it and acted fine. She did quite well! It was a pretty big meet. She got 2nd beam with 9.3, placed 3rd bars and vault. We get to floor for last rotation. She does the routine. When the tumble pass came she hesitated a minute, didn't run into it's just step and hurdle but does both BHS ings!! Coach walked out and stood but didn't have to touch her. 8.85 6th place. So of course it's not like it should be but progress I guess. She got through it and with the size of the age groups she still got a medal on it. Now we have two weeks until the next. I am not Asking her about it anymore, just being patient...
 
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