For Parents Sad for gymnast

Jillybean1415

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Oct 5, 2020
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I’m just posting this for support. Idk if I really have a question but I just wanted to share that I’m feeling sad for my gymnast. My daughter started on the competition team in December so she’s only been training for 3.5 months and had 2 competitions. She scored 33.3 and 33.6 and was pretty much in last place both meets. The reason is bc she can’t get her vault yet. I should mention she’s 6 years old and is on XCEL Bronze. She also almost fell off the bars.
She doesn’t know her scores and she doesn’t know where she finished bc I don’t tell her those things and I’m very thankful for COVID bc they aren’t doing awards. The rest of her team does really well and she’s always behind them in scoring. I think she can sense she didn’t do well just bc she didn’t seem happy afterwards but I praised her so much, told her how proud I was of her and actually the best thing was during the warm-up vault she actually got her vault for the first time!!! However when she had to do it in front of the judges she couldn’t do i. I just focused on the positive of her getting it. Idk I just feel if/when she starts to realize where she places it will it make her confidence go down.

I am totally fine with her repeating Xcel Bronze and think it will be great for her bc she will have a full year of training and perfecting skills.

I just wanted to share this. If anyone has advice for a gymnast that struggled early on. I really want her to stick with gymnastics and not worry about how she does bc this isn’t a race. I have no expectations for my daughter being elite or even going JO. I like her doing gymnastics for the strength, determination, grit, body awareness and discipline the sport gives her. As I said earlier we don’t talk about her scores nor do I tell her. The first comp she does know she came in last place but the second one she didn’t. She has a third comp next week and they will do awards so again I’m worried how she will feel. I know if she gets the vault it will shoot her score up and she’s so close to doing it. Thanks for letting me vent.
 

Stranger.maci

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Jul 25, 2019
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I just wanted to reply and let you know that I can identify with those feelings. My DD is now a level 6 and didn't compete until age 9 but there have been many meets she has been bottom of her age group. This past weekend she got a personal best overall score and was still 7th out of 9 in her group! But you know what, she was still happy cause she was doing what she loved and did great. Its just there is SO much talent in our area its insane.

Your little girl is SO young to be competing. Just keep praising her and I know its SO hard but try not to compare. I feel like comparing is human nature and I struggle with it too believe me. Gymnastics has been such a Rollercoaster! I feel like as long as a big deal isn't made most kids do ok not getting anything but the participation medal. We came back from Florida a week ago where my DD placed on nothing but she was OK. Its easy to feel like everyone else's gymnasts are on the podium all the time but just know that hasn't been my experience. You are doing great supporting her!
 

Flippin'A

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I've never been to a meet where they awarded all the way out to last place, so it's unlikely that they'll call her up as the last place finisher (although that might vary by region so others should chime in if I'm wrong.) Hopefully she won't know for sure that she came in last, but rather that she just wasn't one of the top 6 or 8 or so. Also keep in mind that just because her vault might keep her from getting an all around medal, there's still a chance she'll walk away with something on one of the other events. Just keep doing what your doing and not stress about the scores. If she isn't making her vault then there's really nothing anyone can do about it, so make sure that you give her lots of praise for personal accomplishments and avoid comparisons.
 

CuriousCate

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She's so little - repeating can make a world of difference. And don't count her out of JO if that ends up being her goal. They start to understand form and shapes as they get older. Granted there are some littles who just get it from the get-go, but that doesn't mean the ones who don't never will. My 9 year old is still working on remembering the importance of form and shapes!
 

PreciousJ

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As an Xcel Bronze parent, I can relate! Sounds like you're already doing a great job encouraging your DD. Vault can be especially challenging for the littles - we also have a 6 year old on our team who sometimes struggles with it. If anything, let her know that gymnastics is one of the toughest sports in the world to compete in, and it takes lots of practice and hard work. Continue to praise her successes - even getting in front of judges to compete (at 6!!) is pretty dang awesome! ☺️ If she starts expressing concern about how she's doing, reassure her that all you want is for her to have fun, be safe, and keep making progress.

A bit of perspective: My DD is 10 and is in her 2nd year of Bronze. She didn't have great "numbers" last season (especially vault!) , and honestly, as a family we probably didn't handle it well. After reading advice from other parents here, though, we stopped being concerned about scores and appreciate the experiences more. DD is having a great season, but mostly because she's more relaxed and has matured compared to last year. I think she's better equipped to move up to Silver now. Repeating a level can be a good thing, and result in a more confident gymnast.
 

Jillybean1415

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Great thank you so much everyone. I just needed to share my experience and hearing everyone’s perspectives and that I’m not alone just makes it easier. The comment about them not giving out awards all the way out till last place is a really good point!
 

Jillybean1415

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I've never been to a meet where they awarded all the way out to last place, so it's unlikely that they'll call her up as the last place finisher (although that might vary by region so others should chime in if I'm wrong.) Hopefully she won't know for sure that she came in last, but rather that she just wasn't one of the top 6 or 8 or so. Also keep in mind that just because her vault might keep her from getting an all around medal, there's still a chance she'll walk away with something on one of the other events. Just keep doing what your doing and not stress about the scores. If she isn't making her vault then there's really nothing anyone can do about it, so make sure that you give her lots of praise for personal accomplishments and avoid comparisons.
Actually thinking back to her first meet they did go out to 12th place lol! So she did see she was last but she also got additional metals for where she placed on the bar! I’m hoping this was just a random time this was done. She wasn’t upset then though bc it was her first meet and she was proud of all the metals hanging around her neck!
 

Greatlakesmom

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My daughter started competing at age 6. And did two years of fun meets, where each gymnast receives a ribbon for each event. My daughter received lots of yellow and white ribbons her first year, which equates to scores in the 6’s and 7’s I believe. She is now competing level six JO and has lots of podium finishes. It took her a while to figure out form and technique. But it definitely clicks at some point. Continue to be very supportive and and not dwell on scores. Your DD will most likely figure it out. Takes time...
 

bookworm

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She's only 6 so I wouldn't be so worried about her just yet....when my daughter started level 4 way back in the day, she was so tiny, and it wasn't the current type of table vault, there were meets she didn't get over it and her score would be zero.... in short, she was a lousy compulsory gymnast... basically scored enough to go to the next level ... her highest compulsory score was a 32.4 (for levels 4-6) but her coach always felt she'd thrive as an optional and she did.

Once she got out of compulsories, she did much better and she was an upper level optional for the bulk of her gymnastics career. My point being that she was awful at the age of 6 but you could see she had some potential so just because your daughter is in last place doesn't mean she'll always be there...see how she does moving forward .
 

cogymmom2dd

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The first year that both of my DD’s competed (Ages 6 and 7), they were part of a rec league that had fun meets at other gyms and ribbons were given out by the judges. Scores were flashed, but no awards at the end. It was great way for them to get their feet wet with meets but it was also fun. At the end of the season, there was a league championship that mimicked a real sanctioned meet and it was a great way to ease into meets. Don’t gauge greatness on how they do at age 6, gymnastics is a marathon of a sport and if she continues to enjoy it, encourage her but don’t focus on scores.
 

Gbmom

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Eventually your gymmie will probably start to notice her scores and placements. When that happens I would just focus on her improvements in scores and skills, vs focusing on her how low her scores are and how she scores compared to her teammates. My DDs have learned that coming in last sucks, but it makes doing well 10x more rewarding. Lots of girls are very discouraged when they are little as when they get bad scores, but it speaks volumes about their mental toughness and grit if they are able to brush off a bad event, meet or even season and just focus on personal bests.
 

novagymmom

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Yes, we focus a lot on personal bests. One of the best things about gymnastics meets is you have 10 opportunities (each event and all-around) to feel good about either a medal or a personal best. (And truly my daughter at this point feels better about a personal best on bars with no medal, then a medal on vault where it wasn't one of her best and she got a lower score.)
 
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Jillybean1415

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Just a fun update! Yesterday my daughter got her vault in practice! I might have screamed in the waiting room and today was her next meet! She was able to do her vault during the meet which shot her score up a a full 2 points and she got her first score above 9 on the bars. I was so proud of her not bc of her score but for getting that skill. She actually made it on the podium coming in 3rd but nevermind there was only 4 girls in her age group she was so damn proud of herself!!
 

3crzygrlsmomma

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I had my 6 year old twins join Bronze XCEL this year for the first time. They are fraternal twins and have different body types and attitudes. One is petite, flexible, focused, introverted and likes to look "pretty". The other is my wild child, outgoing, talkative, distractible, built more muscular less flexible. The first couple of completions they didn't pay any attention to what place they got. But by the third competition my more focused twin had started to improve. When her name was called for more medals my other twin noticed and started crying. It's happened twice now. I keep trying to get her to focus on improvements and little achievements that she has made. All the kids on the team are so different in abilities and maturity level. We have one that always finishes at the top, and a couple that always finish at the bottom- but they are only 6-8 years old and so young! Honestly I'm hoping one of my twins will move up and the other will stay in Bronze just to separate them for a while so they don't have to compete against each other!
 

PreciousJ

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A family at our gym has twins who wound up on different levels (one repeated Bronze years ago while the other advanced). It worked out for the best - the girls are able to do their own thing and not directly compete against each other.
 
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Mum0twins

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My twins are about on the same level and have basically nil competition between them thank god! Im sorry your twins are competitive. I hope they reach the stage where they can be proud of each other's achievements without comparing it to their own... As a side point my girls can't get their L3 vaults yet so I can sympathise! Im happy to hear yours got it finally!
 
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LJL07

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Jan 27, 2014
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Please don't worry too much about Xcel Bronze. My older daughter was second to last place at her level 1 meet (she was about 6). She is not terribly focused and was kind of all over the place. She is the only one left still doing gymnastics and is a level 9. It is looking promising for her to move to 10 next year assuming she stays healthy. The lower levels do not mean much!
 
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HopeShantz

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Apr 3, 2021
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I’m just posting this for support. Idk if I really have a question but I just wanted to share that I’m feeling sad for my gymnast. My daughter started on the competition team in December so she’s only been training for 3.5 months and had 2 competitions. She scored 33.3 and 33.6 and was pretty much in last place both meets. The reason is bc she can’t get her vault yet. I should mention she’s 6 years old and is on XCEL Bronze. She also almost fell off the bars.
She doesn’t know her scores and she doesn’t know where she finished bc I don’t tell her those things and I’m very thankful for COVID bc they aren’t doing awards. The rest of her team does really well and she’s always behind them in scoring. I think she can sense she didn’t do well just bc she didn’t seem happy afterwards but I praised her so much, told her how proud I was of her and actually the best thing was during the warm-up vault she actually got her vault for the first time!!! However when she had to do it in front of the judges she couldn’t do i. I just focused on the positive of her getting it. Idk I just feel if/when she starts to realize where she places it will it make her confidence go down.

I am totally fine with her repeating Xcel Bronze and think it will be great for her bc she will have a full year of training and perfecting skills.

I just wanted to share this. If anyone has advice for a gymnast that struggled early on. I really want her to stick with gymnastics and not worry about how she does bc this isn’t a race. I have no expectations for my daughter being elite or even going JO. I like her doing gymnastics for the strength, determination, grit, body awareness and discipline the sport gives her. As I said earlier we don’t talk about her scores nor do I tell her. The first comp she does know she came in last place but the second one she didn’t. She has a third comp next week and they will do awards so again I’m worried how she will feel. I know if she gets the vault it will shoot her score up and she’s so close to doing it. Thanks for letting me vent.
At my gym, you have to be 8 or older to compete, but my gym trains above their skill requirement. When I was younger nothing was good especially vault because I had no power. Also when you get older it's easier to have more power but still controls it, and because she's starting at a young age she could be ahead of some people when she gets older I was in silver for two years but when I moved up I was above my skill level and went through Gold very quickly and easy now I'm in Platinum and I'm 11.