For Parents Suddenly won't let go for flyaway

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
34
40
My DD who is 11 and competing level 7 this year has suddenly stopped doing flyaways. Tuesday she had a great bar day was doing giant into a layout flyaway and also used the strap bar some to improve her form on her giants. My husband caught the tail end of practice and said she was letting go and landing on her feet just fine. Then Wednesday DD tells me they're on bars and she giants and suddenly (and this is exactly how she explained it to me) her brain won't let her let go of the bar so she just hangs there. This happens over and over on Wednesday and she is not able to complete any flyaways. Nothing happened such as hitting her feet or a fall or anything to trigger this so it's very out of the blue. The giant is a new skill for her though (she has only been doing it consistently since September and was feeling rushed to compete it). Her coach is being patient with her and let her do a small (barely horizontal) cast into a flyaway yesterday and she was able to let go for that but as soon as he had her try cast handstand to flyaway or giant to flyaway she again could not let go. Luckily for this site I know to not mention it unless she wants to talk about it and have just been hugging her and encouraging her that this skill will come back when she needs it. She does have an out of state meet in 2 weeks so the timing isn't great. Her coach is not one to scratch (she goes to a very small, not super competitive gym) so I'm assuming he will figure out something for her to compete in 2 weeks if she is still not letting go. I've read about mental blocks a ton on this site so I'm assuming that's what this is. I'm just so surprised how truly out of the blue it feels! Just wondering if anyone's DD/DS had experienced this?? I know there is no way to tell how long it will take for her to work through it.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
109
39
Hm... these things always happen at the wrong time! I would tell the coach to restart training the flyaway from scratch, into a pit, spotting it etc. Usually after a few of those drills she will begin to get her confidence back. Since she has a meet in 2 weeks I would tell her to forget her flyaway until she's back from the meet. I don't know the exact rules but she should be able to just jump off the bar. She will score badly, but it's all meet experience. Good luck!
 

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
34
40
Thanks for your reply! I wish she had a pit at her gym but unfortunately there isn't one. Yes, they do happen at the worst times. I'm trying to be laid back about it and realize that these kind of things just happen in gymnastics but of course I hate seeing her stressed.
 

jillc

Proud Parent
Apr 1, 2016
132
41
This isn’t rare.
My DD lost her level 5 fly away a few months before season. Got it back in about a month.

Then this happened to 3 (out of 10) of my DDs level 7 teammates last season. All had good level 5 fly always.

One girl retired (not really due to this)
One girl competed the horizontal cast to fly away in level 7, got the hs back after the season ended (so 4 months or so) and is ready to compete 8 this year.
One lost the flyaway completely during the season and got it back recently (so nearly a year).

But I think those might be on the long end.
Just be patient and supportive.

It is a marathon and not a sprint.

She probably wants to get the skill back even more than you want her to get it back. If she sees it is no big deal to you — then hopefully it gives her less anxiety and the space to get it back when her body is ready.

And my pet peeve — don’t bribe her or state a reward you will give her if she gets it. It just adds more pressure to something she is probably already feeling pressure about.
 

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
34
40
Your reply is so helpful! Its good to know my DD isn't alone. Gymmastics has just been such a roller coaster ride for her. This time last year we were dealing with fear of the beam. I have to admit my go to when she goes through these hard times is wanting her to just leave the sport and try something less stressful! I really have a love hate relationship with gym! But I do know this is her journey not mine and its her decision to make rather she stays or moves on. Parenting a gymnast is TOUGH!
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,143
61
Skills come and go. Assure her it’s normal…… it is. And will come back…… it likely will. Then focus on whats going well.

My daughter took years to get her giant. Had it for a year, solid not a bobble. Tweaked her back, out for a few weeks. Haven’t seen a giant in a year. Bright side, she never made a connection of any kind, now finally connecting BHS BHS. We focus on what’s good. And don’t add to the drama.

You’ll get it.….Things take time……oh you are doing xyz Great………
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
154
This isn’t rare.
My DD lost her level 5 fly away a few months before season. Got it back in about a month.

Then this happened to 3 (out of 10) of my DDs level 7 teammates last season. All had good level 5 fly always.

One girl retired (not really due to this)
One girl competed the horizontal cast to fly away in level 7, got the hs back after the season ended (so 4 months or so) and is ready to compete 8 this year.
One lost the flyaway completely during the season and got it back recently (so nearly a year).

But I think those might be on the long end.
Just be patient and supportive.

It is a marathon and not a sprint.

She probably wants to get the skill back even more than you want her to get it back. If she sees it is no big deal to you — then hopefully it gives her less anxiety and the space to get it back when her body is ready.

And my pet peeve — don’t bribe her or state a reward you will give her if she gets it. It just adds more pressure to something she is probably already feeling pressure about.
I heard parents behind me at a meet talking about bribes they were giving their kids for a skill. I don't get it! Seems so ridiculous. Same thing for paying for grades.
 

Flounder

Proud Parent
Dec 4, 2015
62
M daughter has been struggling with her flyaways on and off for 6 months. It’s an old skill, so it’s really thrown her for a loop. She was actually a L8 bars state champ last year and now she isn’t sure if she will compete bars. I wish there was an easy answer, but half of her team is struggling with the same thing.
 

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
34
40
My DD had a really great bars year last year too. Didn't win bars at states, but did medal. It's the craziest thing how this comes out of the blue. Her coach is taking her back to basics which I know is the right thing for him to do and is being so patient but doing basics means shes doing bars with girls several years younger than her which is tough. Good luck to your DD on getting past this!
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan