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MaryA

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Jul 22, 2010
4,444
Someone "liked" a really old post of mine and it prompted me to go back and read the thread. As so many of the best CB threads do, it touched on a bunch of different topics, one of them being quitting. In it, dunno stated something along the lines of gymnasts quitting 3476234 times during their careers, and that parents shouldn't take it too seriously and our children will thank us later for not letting them quit,

We just went through our first quitting "scare." DD (13-year-old level 8) sent me an email from school saying that she wanted to quit and listing the reasons (wants to spend more time outside, tired of being sore, wants to play volleyball, wants to spend more time with her pets, etc.). Well, I thought that was it. We were done. But she kept going to practice, had a meeting with her coaches, and eventually told me I could go ahead and pay her fees for floor music/choreography/leo/warm ups because she was committing to another year.

I have to say I was pretty floored and more than a little upset that she was quitting, though I tried very hard not to let it show. It was really hard to know what was the right thing to do. I did fear, as dunno suggested, that she would regret it if she quit. But I also didn't want her to stay in the sport just because it was what I wanted her to do. She spends way too much time in the gym to be there for any other reason than her loving it.

So how DO you (or how did your daughter or son) know that it is time to quit?

Oh, and as an aside... I did suggest Xcel, and even though the other girls in Xcel are great and the coach is amazing, DD had (and has) zero interest. I don't understand the "all or nothing" mentality. Why have to decide between doing 20 hours a week and zero hours a week when there's a perfectly good 10 hours a week option? I think there is just a stigma associated with Xcel that I just don't understand.
 

wrzos

Proud Parent
Dec 13, 2012
93
Metro Atlanta
We had a quitting scare earlier this year. Then she found out she was going to advance levels after all (she had an injury last season, and was originally supposed to repeat levels) and suddenly was all in again. *eyeroll* I'm sure this won't be the last time the topic comes up. My ds has waffled so often that I've delayed on paying his competition fees this summer, trying to get a sense of whether he will actually commit...
 
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emilykatherine

Gymnast
Jun 6, 2013
632
Sorry it keeps sending without me wanting it to

Anyway, I think when you know, you know. When it's time personally you'll have the reasons and you'll be ready to leave. If your lucky you'll have some great teammates and coaches to help you through it. And hopefully you won't have a doubt that you've done what you've wanted and you got all out of the sport that you wanted.
 
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ShesAMonkey

Proud Parent
Jan 20, 2014
296
As you know from our discussion on the L8/9 social group, we have just been exactly there. I think I could have written your post. I think the scariest thing was trying to say the right things: encourage her to be making the decision and helping her through that process, but not trying to let on too much what my opinion is. I think Level 8 is a VERY common time to be seeing girls dropping like flies. We have had quite a few girls leave from our gym alone--and I don't think our gym is unusual.

My daughter is even younger than your daughter (mine is almost 11) and I feared that she would regret it if she quit.

And yet, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking about all that money that would be in my pocketbook if she did indeed quit... :p
 
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D

Deleted member D3987

Someone "liked" a really old post of mine and it prompted me to go back and read the thread. As so many of the best CB threads do, it touched on a bunch of different topics, one of them being quitting. In it, dunno stated something along the lines of gymnasts quitting 3476234 times during their careers, and that parents shouldn't take it too seriously and our children will thank us later for not letting them quit,

We just went through our first quitting "scare." DD (13-year-old level 8) sent me an email from school saying that she wanted to quit and listing the reasons (wants to spend more time outside, tired of being sore, wants to play volleyball, wants to spend more time with her pets, etc.). Well, I thought that was it. We were done. But she kept going to practice, had a meeting with her coaches, and eventually told me I could go ahead and pay her fees for floor music/choreography/leo/warm ups because she was committing to another year.

I have to say I was pretty floored and more than a little upset that she was quitting, though I tried very hard not to let it show. It was really hard to know what was the right thing to do. I did fear, as dunno suggested, that she would regret it if she quit. But I also didn't want her to stay in the sport just because it was what I wanted her to do. She spends way too much time in the gym to be there for any other reason than her loving it.

So how DO you (or how did your daughter or son) know that it is time to quit?


Oh, and as an aside... I did suggest Xcel, and even though the other girls in Xcel are great and the coach is amazing, DD had (and has) zero interest. I don't understand the "all or nothing" mentality. Why have to decide between doing 20 hours a week and zero hours a week when there's a perfectly good 10 hours a week option? I think there is just a stigma associated with Xcel that I just don't understand.


13 and 3476233 more times to go. sounds normal to me. :):):)
 

kandkfunk

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2012
431
Over the years, my DD and I had many talks about continuing vs. quitting. When she finally decided to quit, the discussion felt different. She had thought about it for awhile. It wasn't a spur of the moment decision and it wasn't in reaction to anything in particular. She was old enough to realize she had probably topped out skill wise and she was tired of being in pain. At 15, she knew time was running out to try new things and she wanted to be part of school activities. Although she knew she wanted to quit, I had to push a little for her to make a final decision before we got committed to another season. The hardest part for her was actually saying she was done out loud and telling her coaches and team. Once she got through that part, she hasn't looked back.
 

gymgurl

Coach
Gymnast
Oct 4, 2009
1,417
For me it was I was getting old - 19 with not chance of elite or anything like that. I had a university education to attend to and the two timetables didn't want to work together. That and I had a coach that I don't think could have pushed me much further than where I was.
 

wallinbl

Proud Parent
Jan 30, 2012
1,708
Oh, and as an aside... I did suggest Xcel, and even though the other girls in Xcel are great and the coach is amazing, DD had (and has) zero interest. I don't understand the "all or nothing" mentality. Why have to decide between doing 20 hours a week and zero hours a week when there's a perfectly good 10 hours a week option? I think there is just a stigma associated with Xcel that I just don't understand.
Because she knows what she's capable of, and she dreams of hitting level 10 or doing college gym, and she doesn't want to end that dream.
 
Oct 20, 2013
130
I know for my oldest dd she has been "quitting" for the last 3 years and decided at the end if may she was going to go back for her last year as this is her last year of high school. She has wanted to quit because of mental blocks and for some reason just hasn't done it yet. I think she really thought it through and doesn't want to regret knowing that she can go back for another season.
 
F

Fliptwisttumble

I think a large part of it is this: there are days when they look at the commitment to the sport, which is huge at their level, and say to themselves "why am I doing this?" I miss my friends, my pet, I'm missing out on things that life has to offer.

But the reality is, these same girls LOVE what they do, or they would have quit a Long time ago. And they wake up a couple of days later and realize they can't quit.

DD suggested a couple of years ago that she couldn't quit because of me. I nipped that one in the bud pretty fast, and she had to acknowledge that there's no one forcing her to do anything. If she has one of those points in her life where she thinks she is giving up too much, I ask her if she wants to quit. I offer to talk to her coaches about training less hours, which in her case wouldn't be unreasonable. She never takes me up in it, though she knows I mean it.

I think 13 is a hard hard age, and one of the standard stumbling blocks for gymnasts. Good for her for making the decision she did, and good on you for keeping it together while she sorted it through :)
 

my4buffaloes

Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2010
5,288
Midwest
We went through something similar at level 6, 11 years old. We talked about quitting on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. My dd really struggled with whether to continue or not. Eventually she decided she was "all in" and it has been 2 years since that 6 months stretch of contemplating quitting. I am sure there will be more times like that in our future. Especially as she approaches high school. I think you handled it very well Mary - you took your dd seriously and let her work through it knowing she had your full support.
 
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ShesAMonkey

Proud Parent
Jan 20, 2014
296
For what it's worth, I talked to my DD about this in the car this morning on the way to practice. I asked her how she was feeling and she said she doesn't want to quit at this point. I told her I think that at this point, if she says she is staying, then she is committing to the upcoming season. And then we can re-assess in April when the season is done. She agreed. (I don't want to think that the money I am spending at this time of year for uniform, USAG membership fees, other miscellaneous fees associated with the upcoming season, will be wasted money if she quits sometime between now and January.)
 

Bajanswife

Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2009
756
Barbados
BTDT with my DD and quitting. She keeps talking about it but then just keeps going. She does want to ease off a bit and we don't have an Excel option. Instead, her coach has recognized that not all of them team wants to work at the same pace and she's going to do "streams". DD wants to do the least competitive stream. That means she won't go to travel meets, but that's OK, we can't afford it right now anyway. She more than likely will get to do less hours in the gym, which is what she really wants. She wants to do gym but doesn't want it taking over her life.
 

gracyomalley

Proud Parent
Aug 5, 2013
944
DD just turned 12 and will compete L8 this year. she's been quietly contemplating quitting over fear and confidence (and growing and puberty) issues for a little over a year. Previous coach let her stay L7 and mostly work on polish and strength building last year, and although she was clearly unhappy much of the season, she did well, and her first couple months of L8 training went much better than they had last year:).

Then we had to make a family decision to move her to the bigger gym that her brothers train at. Now her 3 best friends also moved, and an old coach that she liked is HC there, and gymnastically there are many advantages (much larger optional team, much more uptraining, built in dance and mental toughness program, more stable financially, more consistent coach presence and much less in the way of "head games"), but its been a struggle. There are more "mean girl" types, there is less coddling and more "owning your gymnastics" expected. Because of the higher level of expectations, even though she's a truely solid gymnast, she's struggling with learning the warm ups, conditioning, leap drills, etc that are at a level (particularly with regards to dance/coordination expected) that she's not used to, and because there are girls at higher levels than she (old gym had a few 8s last year, but really she was right up there with them), there's a lot for her to learn (which is of course good).

I've had many moments of "rethinking" the move because I don't want her unhappy and I don't want her to quit. But.....we had a conversation a few nights ago. She still feels she would "train better" at her old gym (and short term that may be true...but not long term), but for the first time she's talking about her goals again, and admits to doing all the skills she was doing at the old gym at the new gym now, as well as a couple of small progressions. She's frustrated with the part time vault coach because she has to explain to him that she's doing Yurchenkos on trainer now "but will do them on a 4 setting when she is ready", and although her FHS and Tsuk drills require him to lower the vault table (she's 4 ft 6), she is standing up for herself and sticking with the "I belong in the high level vault group!" (Most of the girls training with her for L8 are NOT working on Yurchenkos at all yet...but DD is much better suited for this vault than a FHS type). This is what her new HC instructed her to say...and at old gym everyone "knew" that DD needed vault table lowered but would Chenko this year...but in real life she NEEDS to be able to ask/politely insist on what she can do and what she needs. She's frustrated that the new HC wants her to keep up her BWO-BHS series while trying to get over her fear of BHS-BHS (she's been doing them on and off for 2 years - beautifully when she does...) but she admits that she's also getting to work her BT on beam and the other girls training to compete L8 are doing "easier" series than she hopes for and grudgingly admits that beam at L8 isn't just about the stupid BHS-BHS that has led to many tears from age 9 on!

All this is to say that I think she may be starting to "own her gymnastics" a bit, and that if that leads her to quit then I will have to be ok with that - but if it leads her to learn that she can train in different places and with different coaches/team-mates, that she can't let her fears define her skills, etc...then she really can pursue her dreams to whatever finish is in the future. She's been thinking about what her life would be like without gymnastics, and my hope is that whatever she decides it won't be a rapid decision made out of fear or sadness. I have told her that in our family you never quit anything quickly....and that she needs to be "ready to compete L8" before she quits....so its not over fear of failure. I don't know if she has it in her to push through this....but it is "her gymnastics" - not mine, not her friends, not her coaches (and she never could separate that at old gym)....we shall see...I'd really like to see her throw that vault first!
 

Gymmonkeymomma

Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
DD1 went thru "wanting to quit" for about 3 years. It was a combination of friends quitting, struggle with skills versus wanting to stay in gymnastics from level 7, 2 years of L8, then one additional year, ages 11-14... in her 2nd year of L8 she finally decided she would do one more year and focused on having fun (instead of stressing over skills), and then she would be DONE. She did and she quit without a look back, until DD2 started to really excel after switching gyms, under different, better coaching... DD1 had a few regrets but not enough to come back. So it's not an overnight decision ....
 
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Rapunzel

Proud Parent
Nov 24, 2013
1,089
44
My 9yr old quit about 6wks ago, she went every session, came out every session happy, except the last 2 - but not upset just not buzzing. We went on holiday for a week and while away she just said "I'm not going back". I don't think she will either.
Dd2 is still enjoying herself though.
 

JessLW

Proud Parent
Apr 30, 2011
271
Beijing
I was about 16 when I quit and for me it was very much a combination of learning how to drive and acquiring an independent social life, having increased demands at school, with AP classes and extracurriculars, knowing that I'd capped out, skill-wise, and struggling with persistent fear issues that led me to quit.

When I was truly done, there were no regrets, but I was a bit older and had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted at that point. What helped was that I immediately jumped into a new sport and started learning martial arts (Tai-Chi and Kung-Fu). I only stuck with martial arts until the end of high school, but I think having a physical outlet and skills to learn helped me miss gymnastics less than I would have if I'd just gone straight from an intense gym schedule to doing nothing at all with my free time.

Mary it is hard to say whether or not this is the beginning of the end of the gymnastics road for your DD. I gather from your posts here and there that she's had a few injuries and her season wasn't as successful, placement wise, as she's had in the past, so it could be that she's feeling a bit discouraged. This sport can be so tough when you don't feel like you're progressing at a satisfying pace, and there are certainly lots of times when you think, why on earth am I even subjecting myself to this? I won't get a scholarship/go elite/make level 10 anyhow, so what's the point? That little voice in your head telling you that you're on a fool's errand gets harder to ignore the older you get.

That all said, she's a lovely gymnast and I hope that she continues and, when she eventually decides to end her gymnastics journey, that it is on a high note and she is at a place where she feels at peace with her decision.
 

wsg13

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Nov 29, 2013
121
33
I am a gymnast 15 years old level 9. I have been training for 9 years this year. Not once have I ever thought about quiting! I love gymnastics! I eat sleep breath it. I realise I am getting older but I never want to quit I think I will be one of those people that are 40 and still competing!!
 
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