For Parents Parents of high level gymnasts

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kris

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Jul 25, 2013
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I would add that, even though my DD is only level 8, I wish I had started DD at a gym that had a deep focus on basics for the early levels. I had her at a "fun" gym that didn't really focus on the details, and now she has some bad habits to try and correct to get the skills to move to the next level. I mean it should definitely be fun, but fun and a solid foundation would be ideal. :) Also, I love the advice to always keep them wanting more when they are little. My DD would have lived at the gym when she was little, but if we had let her do that she might not still want to be there now at 12.
 

Texasmomof3

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Dec 29, 2015
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Mine isn't high level yet, but after 5 seasons of competition, I wish I had questioned coaches sooner and changed gyms the first time I realized there were issues. I knew too little about the sport to trust my gut, so I left my daughter too long.
 
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flipnastic

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Mine isn't high level yet, but after 5 seasons of competition, I wish I had questioned coaches sooner and changed gyms the first time I realized there were issues. I knew too little about the sport to trust my gut, so I left my daughter too long.
I actually just switched my daughter to another gym, which was a really difficult decision… After one week, I know it was the right decision! I want her to be at the gym that emphasizes fun more than anything, but still takes pride in the quality of gymnastics… With the former gym, competition was heavily emphasized, but the quality of gymnastics was not great. I liked it because of the location, but I definitely think the extra 15 minute commute is totally worth it… My daughter's face glows every time she leaves her gym! I am also from Texas… DFW area, so there are a ton of Gyms to choose from, which is nice!
 
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wgymmom

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Aug 21, 2013
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Mine is not high level, but I wish I had put her into a competitive program years before I actually did. If I had, she might be a high level by now.
 

gymgal

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I think for me, it is all of the above, and to trust and allow them to build the needed relationship with their coach. They have to be able to trust this person all the time with what they are doing. They have to feel comfortable going to them when they have issues. Without that, they won't get very far.
OH! this is SO true! Gymnasts literally have to trust their coaches with their lives on some of those big skills. This trust doesn't develop overnight. It is *years* in the making and any negativity from a parent toward a coach (or talking to a child about said negativity) will hinder the development of that trust. Your child will sulk in that car on the way home, telling you just how mean her coaches are. First, you make sure it's not true (because unfortunately some times it is true that emotional/physical abuse is going on) and this is not the result of wanting to quit or out of frustration for having a tough time on a skill (so it looks like she is not trying her best when it really is she is afraid of a skill). Then you help your dd understand the 'whys' for the coaches' behaviors/reactions and teach dd how to deal with it: teach her to communicate with her coaches, help her understand that she may be misinterpreting the intentions, etc.
 

Committed

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DD is "just" a L7, but one of the HCs told her group something that I LOVE. They were told to focus on learning HOW to compete. Her group is pretty young and are learning how to shake off bad events and not letting nerves get to them. They're figuring out how to "sell" routines and put big smiles on their faces. DD is always so concerned about letting other people down with off-performances. It was great for her to hear that her every routine isn't scrutinized.
 

MILgymFAM

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I like to keep in mind that for my daughter the joy in gymnastics is what is done in the gym every day. She loves competing but that's only a few days of the year compared to 100+ days training. Scores and medals are nice but the real accomplishment is making and perfecting the skill in the gym and its very personal for her. I try to keep this in mind at meets because she is not the best competitor but she is an amazing gymnast nonetheless!


Thank you. This really puts it into perspective. I read what you wrote and my mind starting tallying and I realized at her current schedule DD will be in the gym right around 300 days this year. 300 days. Competitions? 6 days, 7 if she's lucky enough to qualify for states. She is choosing to spend approximately 1,250 hours this year training, for probably a combined total of 3 hours warming up and competing. After all that, whatever scores she gets are so hard won that they couldn't be anything but celebrated.
 

needcoffee

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Jan 21, 2015
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I hate competitions. I really really do. They train SO hard all year and then it all comes down to whether they are having a good day or a bad day or a tired day or whatever kind of day they are having in one particular moment. A perfect routine yesterday may be completely crap today yet that's the one that counts? A state champion who may have been middle of the pack all year is now suddenly state champion because she had a really good day at states? I hate it.

Oops. That was a bit ranty. Sorry.
 

JoyAvenueMom

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Aug 24, 2012
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I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry for Kipper to do more hours! She wanted more, so I wanted it for her. Now that she is in the gym 20+ hours per week, I wish I had focused more on the time we had together in those earlier years. I also wish I had encouraged her to try a few more things. She did a little bit of soccer, cheer, and piano, but nothing else. When the time comes to hand up the grips, it will be nice if she is looking forward to doing something else she loves. There's just no time to try other things at this point.
 
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