For Coaches Should gymnast be kept home?

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Sep 9, 2007
My daughter has been on the competitive side of the gym for 3 years; since she was barely 5. She never really cries at practice, not even when her ankle was injured (growth plate pulled away from bone). On Monday (Labor Day) she woke up crying. She was running a little fever. On Tuesday her fever was gone but she did not feel great, but would not consider missing school. On Wednesday she seemed okay. She went to school and then to practice. 2 ½ hours into her 3 ½ hour practice she told me her stomach was hurting. I asked her if she could push through, she said yes. She continued through floor with no problems, and then hit conditioning. She started sobbing during conditioning (first time ever). She told her coach that her tummy was hurting. The coach said nothing so she pushed through ½ hour of conditioning (including half leg lifts, full leg lifts, press holds, pullovers, rope climbs (2 ½ ) in pike.) After practice she tried explained to the coach that she was recovering from being sick. Her coach told her not to come to practice if she has been sick. She went to school that day and was not contagious. She was not coughing and had a very minor stuffy nose. I did not know her stomach was bothering her until almost the end of practice. Should I have kept her home?


That's a tough call to make, but I would think (just my personal opinion) that as long as she's not running a fever or contagious that there is no reason to keep her home--being that she went to school and felt fine all day. I used to get sick all the time when I was little (I seemed to always pick up Strep Throat), but after being on medicine and out of school for a few days I wouldn't want to go workout. My mom would always tell me that getting up and working out would make me fell better, and sure enough it always did.

I'm assuming that she'd eaten and was feeling better before practice--or you wouldn't have sent her. Perhaps her stomach started hurting because of the stuffy nose and she might have had some stuff running down her throat into her stomach.

All in all, I think it was fine that you sent her to gym, as you said, she wasn't coughing and only had a slightly stuffy nose. The only thing that I would suggest is talking to the coach before practice and telling her that she's been sick and that she's still recovering. It's important for the coaches to know what's going on so that they can be on the lookout for things--fevers can take a lot of energy out of you, and the coach should take this into consideration.
Feb 26, 2007
I think having her at gym was fine. She did not have a fever at the gym, nor the runny down the leg stuff, no rash or vomiting, not even a cough (All the reasons coaches and teachers ask parents to keep kids away from gym/school for).

Your DD wanted to go to gym and was able to work through the class, even though she felt off. If she had dreadful pain she would not have been able to condition.

My little DD often get abdominal pain at gym, she likes to eat before gym (a lot!) this is not always a good thing. The coach just tells her to go and lie on a resi pit, and tells her not to throw up on the floor! :eek: She feels better and then joins back in.

Guilt is a terrible thing, not worth the suffering really.:D We all know that you're a great Mom, the coach is just playing it safe. Kids get sick all the time, even at gym, coaches should be used to it. When they have a group of girls for 12+ hours a week they have to expect that once in while a girl will get sick, when that happens it up to the coach to decide what to do. Sit the girl out, call parents or ignore.

Just my take anyway!;)

Deleted member 1703

There are some glands in the stomach which swell just like the ones behind the ears when you are fighting (or recovering from) an illness. These can become really sore at times.

I would probably have done the same as you in letting her go back to training 2 days after being ill but it might be worthwhile next time to check the glands behind her ears and under her chin and if they are still swollen, maybe to keep her at home until they have gone down.

Anyway, it is really hard to judge illness in your kids - they go up and down so quickly (and then back up again), dont they?


It is hard to say because even if she feels fine sitting around in school, as soon as she starts working out, the post-illness fatigue can set in. I probably would have sent her, but mentioned something to the coach. Coach can then be on the lookout for fatigue. The coach should be able to tell how alert and physically able she is compared to a normal day. I'd be most concerned that she'd get tired (either mentally or physically) and try to push through it which could be unsafe. As a coach, I'd probably hold back on number of reps, maybe have her do extra timers/drills instead of throwing a new skill.


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Jan 4, 2008
If she wasn't contagious and told you she felt fine to go then I think you did the right thing in allowing her to go. It might be a good idea to have a word with the coaches yourself when you daughter has been sick and let them know that your daughter was sick but is fine now however there is a chance she may be a little more fatigued or run down and may struggle with some things. It is often a whole different ball game when it comes from the parents. There are lots of kids out there who magically develop illness's when it comes time for conditioning so coaches do sometimes assume the worst.

If your daughter is extra tired or has been very sick you could ask to have her train shorter that evening. Perhaps just two hours.


Sep 9, 2007
Thank you for all the great advice. It seems like the main theme is that I should have told the coaches she was recovering from an illness. Next time I will try, but alerting coaches to problems is difficult because she has about 8 of them and they are not really accessible. When I have told the head coach of problems before, it has never gotten around the gym to all the coaches. Next time I will tell the head coach and make sure the coaches overseeing her conditioning know that she may not be 100%.

Thank you for letting me know about the stomach glands. I wondered why her stomach was causing her pain when she was not experiencing other symptoms of stomach distress.

I did talk to one of her coaches yesterday to ask about gym policy and if I should have kept her home. She said due to the touching of all the equipment the coaches are supposed to tell girls that have been sick that they should have stayed home and to next time stay home. However, it is still up to the discretion of the gymnast and parent. She said that it was the right decision to have my dd in gym that day. She was no longer really sick and she had to start back to build her strength back up.

Then she went on to say that they thought my dd’s tummy problem was mostly in her mind. I did not really know how to respond to this. I do not know why anyone would jump to this conclusion since she is not a complainer. In fact, after she worked out with such a serious injury, one of her coaches sat down with her and explained that she needs to let the coaches know when she is experiencing pain. This was about a year ago, and she has come a long way with communication. She is still not a complainer, but she does let them know when she really hurts.


Since she has so many coaches, you could always stay and watch practice so you can do the monitoring yourself. If you see her getting tired or making silly mistakes, you can go talk to the coach she's working with at that time.
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