For Parents Sunshine needs some fairies

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Jan 18, 2009
I have been so busy, I haven't posted for a while. Sunshine had her first meet a couple weeks ago and did very well(for her). She has all the skills, she just needs to tidy everything up for better scores. She is such a competitor in that she wants to place. She was not happy that she did not place in any events:( she was 9th in AA. So after meet she asks me how to get higher scores and I explain some things to her trying to remember she is only 6. She has her next meet this weekend and has been working sooo hard on things that will raise her scores. I am hoping it works, it kills me to see these little girls cry.

Good Luck to all with meets this weekend, the craziness has started!!:eek:


Awww, what a little trooper! Hope she can enjoy her meet and that she has things to be proud of afterwards. Sounds like she is pretty serious/competitive for a 6 yr old! Sending some 'be happy w/ your hard work' fairies and some fairies to bring a medal or two! :)
WOW! Sounds like she means business! The competitive streak, along with the desire to improve can lead her to greatness...unless she feels too discouraged and quits:( What a tricky balance.

When Bean was 8, and approaching her 1st competition, we actually looked up some of her favourite gymnasts online. We looked at their scores from different big meets, and talked about their accomplishments and the time they spent getting there. I also pointed out places where they may have placed 12th at a meet, and say, 7th on beam, but had still posted their results on their page. They were proud of their scores because they had gone out and done their best on that day, and had fun too! I think it may have given her some perspective that she may not have otherwise had. Just recognizing that no one wins at every meet, not even the *top* gymnasts in the world.

Disappointment is sadly, part of the game, but not without it's own benefits. As you've already seen, the disappointment can light a fire to succeed. Your little one is only 6, so tears may be part of the game for awhile. I can tell you that we haven't seen too many criers in the 10 yr old groups. Lots of hugs, encouragement and reassurance that she is wonderful just for getting out there and strutting her stuff, will go a long way towards curbing the tears sooner.

Good luck to your sweetie this weekend!


I'll send some fairies her way! it's so hard at that age... up here they don't rank girls that young and I suspect that's why. What I have tried to do (and still do) is maintain that she should compete against her own previous scores as she cannot control what anybody else does or what kind of day they are having - rank is a relative thing. They ALL have their days, good and bad;)
Jan 17, 2008
I am sending you the smile fairy! Beetle goes through that every year! She is devestated over a score....and it ruins the entire meet! It is never easy to see our kiddos cry!

Good luck to Sunshine this weekend!


Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
awww. I agree with the goals of beating YOUR previous scores...this is what we focused on with older DD last year at her first 2 L4 meets. It just takes some time to get that polish, those straight arms and legs and pointed toes that bring in the 9's and hopefully the placements!:eek: She will get better at those little things as the season goes on as she gets more experience. But man...also so hard to remember all those little things at 6!;) It's such a tough balance because at 6, it should be FUN FUN FUN and not so much focusing on the little parts! To be competing L4 at age 6 is a BIG accomplishment in itself!
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Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
Sending her lots of fairies. Abby was in that position all last season. She got a medal a few times at meets where they went out in the AA all the way, but she didn't medal on events until her 6th meet. She is not competitive though and only got sad at ones she didn't get an AA medal because she just wanted a medal. She didn't care about placements, etc. Having a competitive kid is harder, but I agree that she seems to have a lot of drive and that will probably help her work really hard to get those higher scores faster.

I noticed when Abby was 6 that when she focused really hard to fix certain things at the next meet, she would forget things she did fine before. Consistency takes awhile. Abby is just starting to be more consistent at meets and she turned 7 in July. She is slowly, but gradually putting all the little things together with the big things.

It is hard, too, because many times these brand new 6 yo L4s are competing against 8 year olds in the same age group or repeat L4s. I feel bad that my DD has experience against these new little ones. She has been in a 6-7 age group the past 2 meets, which is pretty rare, and when she gets in to one with 6-8, her placements will not be as high.

At 6 it really is an accomplishment to just be out there, remembering the whole routine, doing those skills, etc. Sure, there are some amazing 6 year olds who can put it ALL together right off the bat, but most start out lower and get better with each meet. Some are like mine and it takes much longer. LOL.

I don't let Abby try to beat her own scores though, at least not as her primary goal. Meet scoring varies from meet to meet and we saw that many times. Have her make some goals, write them down and try to make those. Something on each event if you can. I always found that was a way to show Abby how she is progressing. :) Videotaping if you can, too. Sometimes they just don't realize that they aren't pointing those toes, have bent legs, etc. Mine could always point out things she could improve when she watched herself. Make her pick a "positive" thing she did for any "negative" things she finds.

Did she have fun at her first meet? Hopefully she did and was proud of herself for the things she did do well out there. :)

I hope all her hard work pays off at her next meet. The competitive ones seem to have the drive to improve much quicker. Mine had me drilling into her that she just needed to do her best and have fun and luckily, she was the type of kid that was content with that. Some aren't and it will be a learning process on how to cope with disappointment and find positives in what they DID do well.

Hugs to you. It is hard to see them sad and disappointed in themselves when they are doing something not many 6 year old can do.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
Try not to get into numbers or placements with her. Ask her if the meet was fun, where would she like to improve? Just talk about some very simple goals---straighter legs on bars or run faster on vault. Try to avoid things that are too complicated or should be addressed by her coach. You can even write down a few goals for her so she can read them over. I think if you can work with her on getting her to think of improving her routines---and it may be just 1 event each meet and not to think about scores or medals those higher scores will come.

Mariposa had a great point about 6yos and focus. Meets are long(not to mention the hair prep and drive) and after a couple of events the young ones get bored, minds wander and its hard to get them back in the competitive mindset after 2 or 3 hours of sitting around a gym. Some of this will just take time and maturing.
Jan 22, 2008
Sending you all the happy good luck faires to help your little gymmie. I to have a 6 yr old Level 4 and I am so nervous. She is oober competitive and actually gets very upset if someone gets a skill before she does or does something better than she can. I can tell you our gymmie has set herself HUGE goals for the season and I am so afraid she is going to let herself down. Just stay possitive with your little one she will achieve greatness

I would try to set smaller goals for each meet that will help her along the road. Tell her to be proud of her improvements and she will be great.


Yeah, crying over scores is not good. But I do like that she wants to improve and is looking for ideas on what to do! Good luck to her!!
Jan 18, 2009
Well. second meet was not better. Sunshine has now developed a mental block on ROBHS, and sometimes wont do the BHS. So she did it in warm-up and than not in competition. Poor girl.

I started the day by telling her that we are here to have fun and try to improve her presentation over the last meet. I finished by saying that we are proud of what we do and our team and we shouldn't cry at the result. She did shed a few tears after floor, but went through awards without a hitch, just happy to get AA medal.

I love Mariposa's post, because she has some girls on her team that are just GOOD!! And she supports them but at the same time wants to be as good as them. Part of me questions whether this is the right sport for her, but she loves it so I will continue to support her. It makes me feel sooo much better to hear that other Mom's and their gymmies have gone through this. So Thank You.

Sunshine asked me this morning why she should continue to go to meets when she is not placing? I just told her she has to work harder and it will happen, until then it's fun to get all dressed up and go enjoy the day with her friends. I am going to have her write down the things she needs to work on. I think that will help instead of improving on her scores, as I do see now the judging varies.

Once again Thank You all for all your support!!
Jan 22, 2008
you about brought me to tears with your latest update. Have you thought about doing some privates to help her "catch-up" so to speak. I know they are expensive but sometimes that one on one coaching can do wonders. DD last year since she wasn't competing would do one a month and it was her "fun" time. She uptrained and worked on the level 4 skills that were not to standard.

This year I predict we will do at least one private a week before each meet just to tweek the details.

Two years ago we had a little Level 4 that her first meet she only competed one event and last year she finished states with 38+ aa and state title. She did a lot of privates in her first year to help her get what she needed and honestly her second year she LOOKED AWESOME. I would talk to the coaches and see what they suggest to best help your little gymmie.


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
Sorry that Sunshine didn't do as well as she wanted again. It is so hard for them to understand what a huge deal it is just to be out there at 6. Hopefully she will work through her ROBHS block. I have seen this happen when they are working so hard on other skills, they "lose" ones they had, they eventually get them back. :)

Abby loves her teammates to do good as well and cheers for them and comforts them when they are sad from a score they didn't like, etc.

Like I said, Abby started competing at the end of October last year. She had 3 meets, close together and there wasn't much improvement. Spring season, it took until her 3rd meet to finally medal on something and then she started to medal on at least one thing each meet. I LOVED the meets with AA medals. I think they should ALL have them at L4 especially.

I would really try to talk to her about how young she is, how amazing you think she is, etc. There aren't a whole lot of 6 year old L4s.

Do you video tape her meets? If so, let her watch them and don't say anything. See what she notices. If she notices things she needs to improve, write them down. Then have her watch again and have her tell you what she did good. :) Pick a few of those needs to improve things to have as a goal for the next meet.

She may just be one of those girls like mine that things seem to come together for more slowly. Abby is coming up on one year competing and she looks so different out there than from her first meets. She is becoming more consistent, more polished, better form, etc. It is FINALLY starting to all come together for her. Her teammate is the same way, around 7 things started clicking for her. This is her 3rd full season (2nd year L4) since we have 2 seasons each year and she is ROCKING. Got 1st AA at the last 2 meets, almost at a 37AA. She is 7 1/2. Her mom said she was much like Abby (score wise, too) and I am hoping it all comes together for Abby in the Spring. :)

Hang in there mom. It is tough to let our kids work these things out themselves, we need to help a little, but they have to learn to do it themselves, too. I was gung ho trying to help her last year, but I have backed off and am just letting her do what she is going to do.

Privates might be a good idea for her ROBHS. I think that a lot of what is going on is probably due to her age and maturity level, just not being able to put it ALL together right now.


I'm sorry to hear that Sunshine is having a difficult time with not placing at meets. It's tough being a 6yo level 4 and being put into an age group where there are older children and repeaters. I really second the advice to have her focus on her own performances and trying to improve there meet by meet. My dd was a very young 6 yo when she started competing L4 and fortunately did not stress much about scores or placements. There are always girls out there who are better and she just needs to try to do as well as she can. That alone is success! My dd did not place much at all at L4 but she made it to State and improved her scores all year long. We counted that as a successful L4 season. Best of luck to Sunshine. I hope that robhs comes back soon!



What a bummer that she's so focused on winning awards--darn it all, she's too young for that LOL! Why should she continue to go to meets? To have fun competing in a sport she loves! There are MANY girls out there that don't place at meets, yet they continue to compete because they love doing it. Heck, half the kids out there won't place on any particular event. She is young and she's a first year. She'll get it! You should move to Minnesota :) We don't do placement awards OR announce scores at level 4. It's all about getting them used to competition and not doing it for the award (but everyone typically gets a participation medal of some kind).

I'd try to get her to focus on what she can do to improve her scores. Does she need to do a private to work on those ROBHS? Sometimes just an hour alone with a coach does wonders (although I have to admit Beth has never done a private--I've asked if the coaches thought she could use it and they always say she'll be fine). Remind her that she can only control how she does--not how the judges see it or how the other girls do. So try to work on goals for herself to improve. If she really wants something after a meet, could you maybe get her a small award when she achieves a goal (like competing her ROBHS?)--like a level bear or a keychain she can put on her bag or something!

Midget's Dad

I will happily send lots of fairies and good thoughts your way.

I think you have to be very careful at this age with how you handle these things. Midget is 6 as well and she is so focused and pushes her self so hard that I alternate between being supremely proud, and a bit worried.

One thing Midget struggled with last year was she thought that all that mattered was the tricks. Once she got that the transitions between the tricks were just as important her routines got much better. Of course that was after the last meet LOL. If you have video of her meets look at the transitions and dance pieces and see if there is any foot shuffling or such and point those out. Might help.

I would also enlist the coach, kids seem to take things better from the coaches than the parents.

For the ROBHS I agree that a private might help a lot.
Mar 10, 2008
Wow. Had no idea you were talking about a 6yo until I looked at your signature. It is surely frustrating for her right now, but she's 6. I think the fact that she is competing speaks volumes. I don't think our gym has a 6yo L4.

You're at the right place. It seems there are alot of seasoned gym parents here with loads of good advice. In my completely uneducated opinion, I would say keep up the positive reinforcement, and stay with smaller goals each meet. Best of luck to you at the next one.
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