For Parents Skills seem to be regressing as summer goes on

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observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
6
43
My daughter, age 10 just completed level 5 and is possibly going into level 6 or 7 this Fall (undetermined). Historically my daughter has been a high performer - she typically scores 36 & 37+, is a hard worker, and has always been eager to tackle upgrades and skills. However, since this summer started, she has regressed in many of her skills and upgrades that she had and her form is also getting much sloppier. This started on beam but is now impacting all four events. She was previously doing back handsprings on high beam in competition but now will only attempt on the low beam. She had her back walkover back handspring connection on high beam in the spring and now doesn't even attempt. Won't attempt any upgraded skills on the floor, only the tramp. Bails out on vaults, sloppy form on bars which was always her best event- sloppy knees, unpointed toes etc. I've brought it up to her coach who said we should give her the rest of the summer before worrying about it but it seems like every day she seems to regress a bit more. When I ask her about it, she just shrugs and doesn't want to discuss it. Has anyone else had this happen with their daughter? She ended the spring with top scores in states and was super excited and motivated in May but that motivation seems to be gone. I know that most of the girls in her group are grasping their upgrades and seem to be making big strides and she is the one person who seems to get weaker and continually removing upgrades as the summer goes on. Is this a normal "stage"? Or something to be worried about? FYI I did take her to the dr and ortho in case maybe an injury was holding her back and she's healthy as a horse so we have ruled out any kind of medical reason. I just want to support her in a healthy way without pressuring her but it feels like she is just "throwing" it away and I'm not sure if there is anything I can do to help support her and get her back on track without layering on pressure. Thoughts or ideas?
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
129
Two thoughts:
1) my daughter’s skills seem to come and go as she grows. A sudden half inch of growth makes her skills regress a little bit. They return once she gets used to her new body.
2) stress impacts performance. It is VERY HARD to consistently perform at the absolute top of your abilities over a prolonged period of time. Athletes all talk about “peaking” for a reason. It sounds like your daughter has been doing a great job for a long time — this might just be a natural valley. It might also be her stressing about skipping two levels, one level, or repeating. That’s going to be mentally tough for a 10 year old.
 

observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
6
43
Two thoughts:
1) my daughter’s skills seem to come and go as she grows. A sudden half inch of growth makes her skills regress a little bit. They return once she gets used to her new body.
2) stress impacts performance. It is VERY HARD to consistently perform at the absolute top of your abilities over a prolonged period of time. Athletes all talk about “peaking” for a reason. It sounds like your daughter has been doing a great job for a long time — this might just be a natural valley. It might also be her stressing about skipping two levels, one level, or repeating. That’s going to be mentally tough for a 10 year old.
Thanks JCP13. I do think that the pressure of not knowing which level is playing adds pressure that normally isn't there. She is also going through a growth spurt too so I think your observations are likely very accurate!
 

fuzi

Coach
Gymnast
Judge
May 28, 2009
1,074
Region I
Without knowing your daughter and relying solely on what you described and her age, I bet it's growth. Even a little growth can make skills they already had feel "weird" (e.g. can't do a BHS on high beam anymore), make good form disappear for a bit, and slow or pause progression. If she's enjoying doing gymnastics and going to practice, I'd let it go. She will adjust to her changing body (and then it will change again). All part of the marathon...
 

GymDadWA

Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
290
43
Did your daughter grow at all in any direction?

My DD is a similar age and level and the last two times she has grown (first time was taller, second time puberty hit) she had to take a step back and relearn similar beam skills. Bars has also been really hard with growth spurts.
 
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observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
6
43
Without knowing your daughter and relying solely on what you described and her age, I bet it's growth. Even a little growth can make skills they already had feel "weird" (e.g. can't do a BHS on high beam anymore), make good form disappear for a bit, and slow or pause progression. If she's enjoying doing gymnastics and going to practice, I'd let it go. She will adjust to her changing body (and then it will change again). All part of the marathon...
Thank you for your note. Yes, she actually has made a couple of comments about her body feeling "different". She has grown maybe a half inch over the past few months but about 2-3 inches in the past year. So it doesn't feel like she's growing any faster or slower, but I suspect we may be on the verge of a bigger spurt. I have noticed that as she grows it seems like only her legs are growing so I am wondering if that's throwing off her center of balance so to speak.
 

observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
6
43
Did your daughter grow at all in any direction?

My DD is a similar age and level and the last two times she has grown (first time was taller, second time puberty hit) she had to take a step back and relearn similar beam skills. Bars has also been really hard with growth spurts.
Hi - yes, she has been growing taller and all "legs" it seems - she has super long legs - very graceful looking but when I compare her to girls who are significantly taller than her, her legs are actually longer so I am starting to wonder if that may be part of it too. This does seem to be "growth" related and it's definitely giving me some peace of mind to hear that this seems to be a normal part of the journey!
 

gymisforeveryone

Coach
Judge
Nov 16, 2012
894
This is super normal! Just breathe and give her some space. Her body is changing, it's very stressful to lose some air sense and coordination because of that. This is where mental blocks step in. She's likely having one right now. Only TIME and patience will cure that, and taking the pressure out of her. For now, it would be better to work on some completely different beam skills and forget the BHS for a while. Return to it when she is ready, and re-start form the very basics.
 

Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,870
This is totally normal in gymnastics development. It is not like walking up a stair case. Progress goes up and down and forwards and backwards. This is all normal gymnastics development.
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
139
62
I always thought that as the reality of competition season starts to sink in, skills went out the window for a while but would always return in time for January!
 
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