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Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
40
41
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
230
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
40
41
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
153
42
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
40
41
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
6,262
62
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
184
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
63
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
40
41
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!
 
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daisyb0323

Proud Parent
Sep 10, 2021
10
49
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.
My daughter is dealing with a similar issue - she is a level 7 and should have been on to level 8 two years ago but mental blocks have been an issue. She was doing everything well up until recently - timing terrible as it is meet season. Now she is not able to do her back handspring back layout on floor without a spot. Says her brain won't let her do it and she says it isn't about fear. She has great practices on Mondays but then every Wednesday we encounter another block. Her coaches now suggesting mental coaching. I've done Doc Ali but I think we need more one on one. I feel your pain on this one!
 

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
40
41
I'm sorry you're going through similar issues but it is good to know we're not alone. My DD is a first year 7 but will surely repeat next year which is totally fine. We are 3 meets into the season and its been trying to say the least. At this point she is back to doing cast handstand to flyaway but has not attempted giant to flyaway at all. Her coach actually stopped her giants months ago when this started so who knows if she has that skill anymore. She is steadfast in her love 9f gym and has a very patient coach luckily so on we go. We have 2 more meets left and then fingers crossed by the summer these blocks are a thing of the past! Good luck to your girl in pushing past all this! I know what a toll it takes!
 
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daisyb0323

Proud Parent
Sep 10, 2021
10
49
Yes, it is comforting to know we are not along. It is just so frustrating for her and she doesn't understand why this is happening. I hope we can get through it and have her still want to continue with gym. It is becoming so stressful that I fear it may be more than she wants to keep doing. At 10 years old, I just hope she understands what a talent she has and that she will regret quitting .... trying to keep her love of the sport going, but we are losing it daily. We have a meet this weekend so we shall see what happens.
 

Stranger.maci

Gymnast
Jul 25, 2019
40
41
Yes, it is comforting to know we are not along. It is just so frustrating for her and she doesn't understand why this is happening. I hope we can get through it and have her still want to continue with gym. It is becoming so stressful that I fear it may be more than she wants to keep doing. At 10 years old, I just hope she understands what a talent she has and that she will regret quitting .... trying to keep her love of the sport going, but we are losing it daily. We have a meet this weekend so we shall see what happens.
It is amazing that she has made it to level 7 at such a young age! My girl is 12 next week but like yours these fears came clear out of the blue. No fall or injury that caused it at all. I have found asking zero questions and not bringing these fears up at all to be helpful. Best of luck to her this weekend! I have to admit I am more than ready for the end of meet season!
 
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JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,100
Wisconsin
Just wondering if anyone's DD/DS had experienced this??

Yes... this happens to many. Has happened to my younger daughter many times. She has become fairly good and working through things. She needs help... but she knows it's something that she must take the lead on (working through fear).

Understanding the physics of the skill... and being able to stay visually and spatially in the game are both important. Another thing that is super important is time and a lack of stress.

"Ride the wave!"... that's what I like to say.

Ride the wave = find something else that is going really well and work that instead.

For example... maybe she is struggling on bars but beam is a low 9. Take the time to convert beam to a 9.5+ right now... sometimes the confidence will carry over to other areas.

Understanding the physics: What do I have to do to float softly up and away from the bar?

Staying visually and spatially in the game: Do I know exactly where I am in space compared to the floor and the bar and can I see that?

No timelines... no deadlines: Scratch bars at the meet right now to help remove pressure. This is not a big deal. Many time the fact that a meet is coming up is enough to derail everything.
 

Natasha

Proud Parent
Jan 28, 2011
1,712
JBS gave great advice above. Just want to let you know your dd is not alone- My dd at level 10 (yes L10) and 16yo suddenly couldn't release for dismount in the middle of one of her L10 seasons- She went to a meet competed Jeager, Pak, blind changes, all the L10 skills....followed by the L4 compulsory dismount...and she lived to tell about it, worked through it and was back on track after a few weeks.
 

JessSyd

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2013
282
Sydney Australia
My kid loses her flyaway every time she is away from gym for more than a couple of weeks - shutdowns, summer holiday etc. And it is always very slow to come back. She describes it the same way - her hands just will not let go. And lack of a pit is definitely a factor in how slow it is coming back.

But it has made three comebacks now, so hopefully her post-summer break flyaway is just around the corner for her now.
 

Gymnast29

New Member
Jan 28, 2022
1
17
I am also having trouble on bars. Anytime I jump to the high bar I get scared and stop my coach is frustrated and doesn’t know what to do I am frustrated and don’t know what to do and my teammates are over me getting scared of it and don’t care anymore I don’t know what to do…. I am the only level seven the gym has and the highest girls gymnast so I have to hold up the reputation of the gym alone it is hard and I don’t want to make the gym look bad, I am also scared because I am going up against a old teammate I switched gyms recently and she used to be a level below me and now she’s the same level as me and her mom is super competitive, I have a meet next weekend and anytime I think about doing my second half I almost start crying. I need help.
 

drwho42

Proud Parent
Nov 25, 2018
29
49
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.
My daughter had the same issue a month back and her coach mentioned it to me. They worked together in training and a few privates and she got it "back". When she did she was so happy.

Hope things work out for her soon.
 
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