For Parents Sportsmanship at Meets!

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I think we are talking about two different issues here. The parents I am specifically talking about at our club keep track of every score when they don't even take the time to get to know the girls or their parents, that is what really gets to me.

Also, as some people have noted, that the longer a girl is in the sport the less a parent tends to keep track of things like scores.

It is not a criticism, merely an observation of styles.

As always the problem with forums like these , and this is a good one, is that things can be interpreted many ways and the written word may sound great in my head, by it may tick off a lot of people. C'est la vie, eh???

I know there are a lot of Moms on the board new to competition, us old jaded Moms are just more laid back, I have been known to miss my DD's routines completely at meets, that would never have happened in the first years!!!
Very true, very true. It can be hard to convey exactly what you mean by written word alone. And of course there's no hard feelings. I just don't want to be seen as a crazy-obsessive stagemom because I keep up with my daughter's, and her teammates, scores, that's all. And I do understand the "my daughter is better than your daughter" types. They give all of us a bad name. I just don't like an assumption that because I keep up with the scores that I must be like that.
Bogwoppit- Thanks for your last post, I have to admit that I was getting a little frustrated with the tones of some of the posts. The parents at my gym do keep score, but of the 11 girls competing with my dd, all but 3 have been together since te age of 5 or 6, thats 6 years of getting to know each other, knowing almost everything about the girls and their families. We know which girls are still trying to qualify for states, which girls have never had the joy of placing first, etc., and we are pulling for them to make the scores they need to accomplish these goals. We all feel great when a good score comes and we all hurt when a girl has a mishap. It's not the picture that you painted of over-competative parents hoping for the failure of others. It's just our practice to keep scores, in my opinion it helps us handle the stresses that we may feel, and it just is a part of being a team.

After each meet the scores are posted on the team board at the gym, and the girls do keep track of the number of 9's they get though the season. There is no way that you can watch these girls grow up and improve each year and not cheer for all of them. As far as the upper level girls go, they also keep track of scores, I don't see the "old news" aspect of meets when watching them. Although we don't get to watch them many times during the meet season, we do get to sit with them at home meets, and they are still very interested in their dd's progress. Most of the 8,9 10 girls are actively seeking college schlorships so the scores and performances do matter to them.

I guess just as in all other aspects of this site, it is important to respect each parents feelings, and attitudes about the competitions. Whats right for one person, isn't right for another. I am sure that you are much less nervous at meets than I am, and thats a good thing. I think as long as you are respectful to all the girls, and treat everyone with respect there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some of the worst acting parents in my experience are those who don't really pay attention to anyone lse and just their own child. At the last meet we attended there was one of those screaming Moms, lol. I told my dd that if she didn't improve her grade in english last week that I was going to do that at this weekends meet. She got an A on her test, lol.

Good luck to all this weekend. My dd competes at 8 am tomorrow, ughh.
Thanks Moms for clearing the air. I'm a newby in here so I certainly don't want to tick everyone off. I soooo thankful to have found the Chalk Bucket. It's truly a blessing. I could have really used it in 2000 when the gymnastic's bug bit my DD. I love reading the post of moms with girls at different stages of their gymnastics and at all levels. I love being able to share my concerns without being judged. All of us have been there - someone asks you how much they practice and when you tell them, you get that "LOOK" - you know the one I'm talking - the raised eyebrows - disapproving look - then follow up with "when does she have time to be a kid?" or "When does she do her homework?" I think I'd get a better response if I told them she worked in a bullet factory! lol!! So I do tend to take a very laid back approach to my dd's gymnastics. I have to, for my sanity and hers.
I didn't mean to imply in any way that keeping scores has anything to do with being supportive. Just having a child in the gym means you have to be supportive. I'm sorry if I offended anyone. :eek::eek::eek: They are only my old seasoned opinions.
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Guilty of writting scores down here!! This was my DD's first season and I did write scores down when I could. Not to judge, but it gave me something to do! Being at a meet for a couple hours waitting to see your own DD do about 1 minute of routine on in all 4 events, it was fun trying to catch the scores for everyone. Plus, since I am so new to this, I really don't even understand the scores/judging yet so it helped to see what a good scoreing routine was. I sit with a group of other L4 moms and we are very supportive of all our girls. Often I missed scores because of bathroom trips or because I needed to stretch. I don't remember scores from one meet to another, but I do write down DD's and tape it to her medals so she can remember. I suppose I will eventually get out of the score writting thing though, LOL, after all it is all posted online after the meets anyway why should I do all that work.
Yes, I wrote down the team scores when my gymmie had her 1st year of competition as a L5. I don't know, but after that it seemed as more of a pain to make sure I got scores and could still watch all our teams routines. Now, that she's a L7, all I do is write down her scores in her team book. She also writes her scores in her journal after the meet and writes her goals in there the week before the meet.
While we have some moms that still write down everyone's score(and I think thats overboard)----most of the competitions here except for the big invitationals don't put anything on their website.

I've seen in optionals also that these meets are really just "tune ups" for states, regionals etc. Whether or not your dd placed at some meet in Jan is not all that important. The goal may be to have her doing a clean Yerchenko by the state meet, so she'll be competitive should she make regionals etc.

Now, there are parents that I call the "score chasers." We had one at our previous gym that I was aware of. Somehow they believe they have identified all the girls in the state that are in there precious dd's age group and would be a threat to her in the AA. When not writing down their own dd's score, they are running around the gym keeping track of "competitor's" scores, so they know if their kid will be top 3 in AA. Try spending a meet with one of them! As they come panting back to sit down and ask, "did I miss anything" someone blandly informs them--"yeah everyone else on them."
Gym Law Mom... that's exactly what I'm talking about when I spoke about mom's writing all of their DD's teammates scores down! In fact, I sat next to one TODAY!!! She couldn't even watch the meet, (nor could I b/c she kept asking ME what so and so got!) b/c she was busy trying to write down NOT ONLY OUR OWN TEAM's scores, but every competing team as well. She was trying to figure out ahead of time who were the girls to "beat" and WHERE her DD would place in the AA. We've got a couple of other mom's who do the same thing as well. They're constantly asking if so and so scored better than their DD on a partciular event... these conversations go on while the meet is still taking place.

I didn't mean to sound preachy or offend anyone. I think we're all supportive of our girls. They really do work so hard and are amazing at what they do... whether they score a 7.5 or a 9.8.

I think things might depend on the size of your gym.

My DD, Level 7, competes with a small gym. There are 16 girls on the whole optional team (1 L10, 3 L9's, 6 L8's and 6 L7). Not all girls compete at all meets. We have 2 out on injury and most of our L7 meets have had only 4 girls competing. I keep track of all the girls scores.

I keep track because we are a very close group. We all sit together (with the exception of one parent) at meets. We ride share to and from meets (we travel 2 hours to all meets).

The girls are exceptionally close, I cant tell you how many times some of them have spent the night at my house, my DD's cell phone is going at all times with text messages from her teammates. These girls feel like 'my girls' sometimes. I know which one is having a hard time wiht her giants, I know which one is having difficulty connecting flight on beam. They all know the My DD hasnt gotten her state score and struggles on vault.

They all cheer for her.. I cheer for all them. There is even one dad who video tapes all the girls routines and scores. I feel like if I were not there, I would have 10 other mom's cheering for my DD just as much as I do. We all are supportive of one and other.

My main gripe about meets is some teams in my state seem to only care about the score and that they are 'winning'. I sat in front of a team at one meet where during awards they were talking about how they were going to win another team competition, and how the session before they won.

I keep score so we can see personal bests.. not to see if we 'beat' anyone.
We are an incredibly close team also. We all cheer for each other and noone looks for how beats who. My dd's best friends are her teammates. It has been a great experience for her especially moving to a new state.
Hi everyone!

I guess I'm seeing both sides of this issue now. See, the two gyms we've belonged to had more moms of the type "oooh... let's see who my daughter is edging out in this competition." So it was really irritating to be sitting next to a mom (or more rarely, dad), who could only focus on everyone's score. We've been members of larger gyms, where you only really got to know the girls are your own DD's level, so they all competed at the same time. Yes, most of us were VERY supportive of all of the girls (or at least appeared to be!)... we all cheered on the girls, were thrilled when they got their very first 9.0, etc.

I guess the bottom line is that we just need to continue to be supportive of one another (gymnasts AND parents!) b/c every situation is different!

Bogwoppit- I hesitate in posting a reply because I agree that the written word can often be taken out of context, especially if you disagree with the original post. I am one of those jaded moms. I do not enjoy seeing parents run to the score sheet after every rotation to size up the competition, be it in their own gym or another.

I can do one better, though. We have parents at our gym who not only keep track of everyone's score, but also videotape all the other kids so they can compare routines and scores.

Now without trying to sound unkind, I am certain that anyone who writes down another competitor's score or dares to videotape another child can provide a perfectly reasonable explanation for why it's acceptable to do these things, all the while maintaining their "supportive" argument.

What I believe Bog is trying to say, is that a score is just a small measurement of a "performance" on one given day. To place so much emphasis on these little moments is something that often fades when you have spent a few years in the sport. To say that I never look at scores would not be a truthful statement. The challenge lies in keeping it all in context, which I think is a difficult thing to do in the early years.

Hoping I don't offend anyone with my comments and to Bog- sorry if I spoke for you but a lot of the time I see myself in your posts;).

Coaches.... I'd like to hear some of your opinions on this debate.
"I can do one better, though. We have parents at our gym who not only keep track of everyone's score, but also videotape all the other kids so they can compare routines and scores."

Now that is so funny. I have seen other parents do this at meets, it actually creeps me out. It is one thing to video your kid, or even your kids best friend, but to video other peoples kids, now that should be illegal!!!!:D:D:D

Hopefully the kids of these serial video tapers are not too traumatised by a lifetime of being compared to the "other little girls in the video who did a really good job". Can't you just imagine the stalker Mom say, "look sweetie, when this girl does her kip her arms are so much straighter than yours".:eek::eek: I think they could make an HBO movie about this thread.
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I love going to meets... I am always impressed by the support that gymnasts from other gyms provide each other & (whether it is real or not) aside from one incident, I have yet to see/hear parents be anything less then supportive at a meet.... As for scores, I don't personally know a single parent from compulsories to optionals that does not keep track of their own childs scores - when my dd has her day on the floor next season, I know will certainly be writing them down ;). (I also keep track of the scores & placements of all our gymnasts for the board and for the coaches. ) And actually, a mom of a L9 last season told me that it is wise to keep track of your gymnast's scores, ya never know if the gymnast will up and decide she may want to go after a scholarship someday and the gymnast's record is something the colleges like to see. She had books all the way from the very beginning to keep track - btw that gymnast is now a L10 and on her way to college in the fall w/a full ride scholarship :p

As far as other parents at the meet, I honestly pay very little attention to what they are doing, I am there to watch the gymnasts that work so hard - not the parents:D
Meets have been interesting for us over the past few years for us. In the beginning, not knowing anything from anything, we had a couple of parents who were TOTALLY obsessed with scores. We wrote our daughters down to begin to understand how the process works...they wrote everyone's down to compare and that has not changed over the years.

Our gymnasts are now L6 and it continues. So, one parent and myself along with a new parent, we sit together and have fun while our butts wear out. The other moms sit close to us but we attempt to tune them out and away and they do leave us alone for the most part. If one of our girls messes up, we smile and say, "oops", or "ok, move on"...and don't get stressed. One of the other mom, cusses :eek: and gets mad at her daughter, criticizes her score and everything else in between...nothing has changed over the years and probably never will.

We keep our little band of cheery moms, chalk it up to time to catch up and talk and cheer on our girls! :) The husbands do the same!
there are generally on 3 L3 girls competing w/ our gym - most was 4. Unfortunately the L3's have only been at one meet where the higher level girls L5 were competing at the same time or day so they are usually there alone w/ coach. But the parents all sit together and cheer for each girl.

I cannot imagine having to sit w/ parents who are critical of their children or others. I would not be critical of dd - because if I tried ANYTHING that she is capable of, I would be in traction. lol.

Kudo's to all the supportive parents who are mature enough to cheer for all the kids. As for scores I write down our teams scores on each event, don't pay attention to any others.
Hi! I'm new here, but thought this would be a good place to jump in. I hope you don't mind.

I just wanted to piggyback on Cascade's experience. A few years ago my dd had a teammate from a very competitive family. The dad not only videotaped my daughter's routines, but wanted to replay them for me because he thought she should have gotten a lower score on floor than his daughter. :eek: I can just imagine him sitting at home analyzing the videotape frame by frame.
Hi! I'm new here, but thought this would be a good place to jump in. I hope you don't mind.

I just wanted to piggyback on Cascade's experience. A few years ago my dd had a teammate from a very competitive family. The dad not only videotaped my daughter's routines, but wanted to replay them for me because he thought she should have gotten a lower score on floor than his daughter. :eek: I can just imagine him sitting at home analyzing the videotape frame by frame.

YIKES!!!! is about all that comes to mind. :eek:
Hi! I'm new here, but thought this would be a good place to jump in. I hope you don't mind.

I just wanted to piggyback on Cascade's experience. A few years ago my dd had a teammate from a very competitive family. The dad not only videotaped my daughter's routines, but wanted to replay them for me because he thought she should have gotten a lower score on floor than his daughter. :eek: I can just imagine him sitting at home analyzing the videotape frame by frame.

NO WAY. That takes the cake.

This takes whacked out to a whole new level.

I've seen coaches taping the kids I coach, but it never occurred to me that a parent would do that.

Unbelievable. Keep an eye on the whackos for us...
I don't think writing down other gymnasts scores or videotaping them (unless their parents dissaprove) is an issue as long as they are from your club. Most of these parants spend an incredible amount of time in the gym and get to know each and every gymnast personally and are interested in following the progress of the other girls aswell as their own. Our parents generally video all the kids at comps not just their own if they bring a camera the reason being that some of the parents of our other kids may not have been able to attend the meet or may not have a camera so it is available for copying. The parents have all agreed and the ones without camera's really appreciate it.
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