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observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
8
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
328
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
8
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
1,079
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
301
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
8
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
8
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
896
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
3,946
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
149
63
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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observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
8
I just wanted to thank everyone that responded with their insight and experience. This is only our third year of competing and I have no background myself in gymnastics so as you can see, I am learning. And quite frankly, I'm very relieved to hear that this is very normal!!
 

Mom02

Proud Parent
Mar 14, 2021
13
44
Thank you. This has given me new prospective my daughter is going through this now, plus an injury. It has been difficult most of the summer. She will not be moving to next level if competing at all. I hurt for her bc she wants it n works hard. I’ll tell her skills come and go are normal.
 

Katie

New Member
Apr 26, 2022
23
15
Your so lucky that her coaches aren’t worried. If I (or teammates) ever lose/have a mental block of a skill they get mean and force it, won’t let you leave till you try, refuse to spot, shame you/compare to younger kids. I lot of girls are considering quitting including me.
 

observantmom

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2021
8
Your so lucky that her coaches aren’t worried. If I (or teammates) ever lose/have a mental block of a skill they get mean and force it, won’t let you leave till you try, refuse to spot, shame you/compare to younger kids. I lot of girls are considering quitting including me.
Hi Katie,
That's so sad. My daughter does have very supportive coaches. They actually talk about this in the parent handouts they give each year and have a set methodology on how to address fears and that it's completely normal.

And you know what? I posted this 6 weeks ago and my daughter has already come so far since then. She is now grasping new skills and having fun at the gym again. We measured her and discovered that she had grown more than an inch in just two months. I think her quickly growing body was throwing everything off for her (and probably will as she continues to grow)- I'm really glad I took the advice of so many here and decided not to sweat it because indeed, seems to have been a stage that's already in the past. Probably a stage that we will go through again and again.

But if she was forced to do skills she wasn't comfortable with, I think in the long run that would hold her back more. Shaming is a red line for me and we would struggle to survive in a gym with that culture. Our gym cranks out many NCAA gymnasts as well and has a great track record of getting the girls to level 10 so I just don't feel that's necessary for the girls to develop in the long run. I'm sorry you are going through that :(
 
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Katie

New Member
Apr 26, 2022
23
15
Hi Katie,
That's so sad. My daughter does have very supportive coaches. They actually talk about this in the parent handouts they give each year and have a set methodology on how to address fears and that it's completely normal.

And you know what? I posted this 6 weeks ago and my daughter has already come so far since then. She is now grasping new skills and having fun at the gym again. We measured her and discovered that she had grown more than an inch in just two months. I think her quickly growing body was throwing everything off for her (and probably will as she continues to grow)- I'm really glad I took the advice of so many here and decided not to sweat it because indeed, seems to have been a stage that's already in the past. Probably a stage that we will go through again and again.

But if she was forced to do skills she wasn't comfortable with, I think in the long run that would hold her back more. Shaming is a red line for me and we would struggle to survive in a gym with that culture. Our gym cranks out many NCAA gymnasts as well and has a great track record of getting the girls to level 10 so I just don't feel that's necessary for the girls to develop in the long run. I'm sorry you are going through that :(
Thank you for being so sweet! I would love to see that methodology if you wouldn’t mind. some parents are considering getting together to talk to the gym owner and encourage her to find new coaches, and ,seeing an example of the right way to handle fear would be helpful. Girls have been crying lately and parents are needing to come into the gym to calm them down. And if someone gets and injury they only get a 1-2 week period before they are expected to be back where they were. I have really struggled with back handsprings on and off since I started gymnastics 4.5 years ago I was doing pretty good but then I got strep throat and then inflamed my foot. So I was off for about a month and now am being called sassy, naughty and disrespectful for saying I don’t feel safe trying it again yet.(my mom heard and thought I said the right thing) they will also call girls cheaters if their mussels give out and they can’t complete 7 perfect pull ups (this is another thing they will try to shame us for by comparing us to the little kids who can endlessly do perfect hanging pull overs. Even though then weigh 35-45 pounds and I have heavy muscular legs which makes it harder and I practice pull ups several times a week) again you are very lucky and kind! I’m so happy your daughter is doing better I started at 10 and hit puberty very early (my dad got his growth spurt 5 years early) so it didn’t effect me much. Some good news is that these bad coaches of mine are in there last year of college and will be getting different jobs next summer.
P.S. I used to have great coaches just got stuck with these at the start of last school year
P.P.S.I Am in Silver
 

Katie

New Member
Apr 26, 2022
23
15
Thank you for being so sweet! I would love to see that methodology if you wouldn’t mind. Some parents are considering getting together to talk to the gym owner and encourage her to find new coaches, and seeing an example of the right way to handle fear would be helpful. Girls have been crying lately and parents are needing to come into the gym to calm them down. And if someone gets an injury they only get a 1-2 week period before they are expected to be back where they were. I have really struggled with back handsprings on and off since I started gymnastics 4.5 years ago. I was doing pretty good for the moment but then I got strep throat and then inflamed my foot. So I was off for about a month and now am being called sassy, naughty and disrespectful for saying I don’t feel safe trying it again yet.(my mom heard and thought I said the right thing) they will also call girls cheaters if their mussels give out and they can’t complete 7 perfect pull ups (this is another thing they will try to shame us for by comparing us to the little kids who can endlessly do perfect hanging pull overs. Even though then weigh 35-45 pounds and I have heavy muscular legs which makes it harder and I practice pull ups several times a week) again you are very lucky and kind! I’m so happy your daughter is doing better I started at 10 and hit puberty very early (my dad got his growth spurt 5 years early) so it didn’t effect me much. Some good news is that these bad coaches of mine are in there last year of college and will be getting different jobs next summer.
P.S. I used to have great coaches just got stuck with these at the start of last school year
P.P.S.I Am in Silver
 
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