For Parents pre meet jitters

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My dd has pre meet anxiety and excitement. Today at practice she kept messing up her floor routine. I am nervous that this is an indicator of how she will do sunday. She has nailed the routines in the past. She read this book tonight about this penguin who was nervous before competing in this cheering contest and she said he is nervous like me. I have decided not to talk about the meet unless she brings it up. She has an extra practice this week. I am putting her to bed earlier all week. She is also recovering from a bad cold. Any advice???????


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
My dd gets nervous too. She tells us she is scared because people are watching. She has only done 3 meets so hopefully this will get better w/ time. She usually feels better once the first event is done.

We just tell her that it is supposed to be fun and to try her best and that we love her no matter how she does, first or last. We also tell her that everyone makes mistakes so not to worry.

Our gym does a mock meet the Friday prior to competition. they run through each event just as in a meet and the coach gives them some helpful hints.

Hope this helps - please keep posted on how she does. I am sure that once she gets that first event over with she will feel much better.
Nov 9, 2007
This is my dd's 4th year of competition and the day before she is still a nervous wreck. But by the time she gets to the meet(I make sure we always get there early), and meets with her friends everything is alright. I think it's just scary when they have too much time to think. Once the competition starts she has a blast, thank goodness.

Just take one day at a time, let her know you will always be proud, and set mini goals for the meet. Don't fall on beam, improve aa score by .5, etc., be sure to set several. Then after the meet you can admire a goal met, even if the meet goes badly. She can walk away with the pride of accomplishing a goal.

Every meet, make up new goals, and make sure that some can be reached, and you will have a happy gymnast. This has worked for us, and I hope it will work for you.

Good luck!


Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
This was my DD's (6) first year of competiton and she would get nervous too. We try to leave gym "talk" at the gym unless she has questions. We try to get a good night's sleep the night before and get to the meet 15 minutes early. It helps if you are not rushing around, have everything packed and ready to go the night before. We also tell DD to just do her best and that everyone has to start sometime doing meets and she would get used to people watching. I also told her that because there are so many things going on at once (4 events) that most people were looking for their own DD and weren't paying any attention to her, LOL

She has a harder time when the people are seated close to events, a lot more distraction & sometimes loses focus when she is looking for us in the crowds. I've told her many times to not worry, we can see HER and to not try to look for us.

And, if it helps at daughter had the worst week of practice before her State Championship. She couldn't get her mill circle on bars or do vault. She got 4th on the vault at States to everyone's surprise and didn't fall off bars.

I think everyone goes thru their own pre-meet jitters. As one mom said, sometimes after that first event is done it gets much easier. My DD has come a long way since September so they do get used to it.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
I agree with Blackie. Every girl that steps out on the competition floor goes through some kind of nerves/excitement----whatever you want to call it. I think its wise not to talk up the meet at home---she's getting plenty of that at the gym. If you do talk about it, tell her being a little nervous is good, it shows she cares about her gymnastics.

As a L2 don't get into any scores--just make it a special day for her and tell her you're there to watch all the neat things she's learned. This is her day to show off!!!

Of course, we'll want detailed reports!!!

BTW--I've learned not to put too much weight on how my gymie looks in practice the week of a meet(unless she's totally bombing everything)---better to get the mistakes out in practice.


Thanks everyone..her coach said she did awsome today..i missed it all...they are doing a mock meet friday...she settled down tonight she says she feels better...


BTW--I've learned not to put too much weight on how my gymie looks in practice the week of a meet(unless she's totally bombing everything)---better to get the mistakes out in practice.

LOL - yeah - the worse my dd does in practice the day before a meet - the better she does at the meet - now I actually get nervous if she does too good at practice before a meet, lol.
Jan 21, 2008
These are great suggestions---I especially like the ones about setting goals for each meet. I think I'll do this with my daughter. She's 5 & level 2 (will be 6 on 2/10), but she's already saying that she likes the 1st place better. I'm sure this is because she has 4 older brothers who love to make comments about the scores and who got 1st, etc. I'm sure if she didn't hear all of this, then she wouldn't even care. I've told the boys (they are very competitve boys) to keep the talk about scores to a minimum. The last meet she was in, I told her to try really hard to get her handstand up all the way and hold it (floor exercise), and she did it! She placed 4th, and we were so proud of her. This was her 3rd meet and it was her highest score for floor so far. I'll have to come up with something for her before Sunday! Again, thanks for the great suggestions!

la gym mom


The key is to embrace it. Nervousness means you care about what you are doing and that this is where you want to be. Tell her to remember that if she is NOT nervous there is something wrong! Nerves = focus. On the other hand, I think being worried or scared is a whole different thing and is definitely not good. But preparation gets rid of that and she is definitely prepared!


My dd just had her mock meet....she did great..she got her pullover finally and her mount on the beam without a spot...her mock scores were v-9.0 beam 8.8 f-8.4 no score for bars the coach was busy spoting the girls...she was so happy she said it was her best gymnastics day ever.
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