MAG Time to pull back?

Men's Artistic Gymnastics

DTAG

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Hello, I want to start off by saying thank you so much for your responses to my previous questions/posts. I do go back and read them all, though I am horrible at responding back. Still needing to invent more hours in the day. Unfortunately I think it is time for my son to take a step back, not sure how or if this is even possible. I sent a message to his coach and am waiting to hear back. The booster club just got the meet schedule and the boys are being sized for uniforms, so if it is time to pull back, now would have to be the time. Poor guy is struggling. Across the board. I don't just mean skills, but his health I feel is deteriorating. He suffers from migraines as it is, which leads to vomiting. This is happening more and more recently, no matter what I try. He no longer seems happy leaving or even entering the gym. He says he loves it, but we have agreed it is too much right now. He wants to continue to train, and with his team, but I am considering pulling him from all meets this year and asking if he can train reduced hours. He trains 14 hrs/week. 12 of those goes to his level 5, 2 is Future Stars. There is no way he will even be competing FS this year as they haven't even started working on the skills necessary he would need. His coach thought FS was in the spring when State and Regionals was. I politely had to inform him that it was done in the fall. The boys hadn't been training until the last week or so specifically for it.

Regardless, my son is going to bed without dinner, again, because he is too sick to eat. He eats before the gym, and has stuff for a snack there, but he can't hold food down afterwards. He just passes out in the car, with his head in pain. Can he compete with reduced hours? I doubt it. Will a coach allow him to show up and only train for 2 hours? No idea. I've asked him if he wants to go rec and he said no. He wants to go, he wants to train, but even he is saying it is too much. Should I ask his coach if he can go back down a level? I don't know what to do.

I do know he's in pain, I do know that gym is making him sick. Exercise-induced migraines? Exercise-induced vomiting? It's a thing, don't know if that is what it is. We are getting some lab work done and sending him to chiropractor. I can't keep watching my son get sick like this. And he is struggling with every last drill/skill they work on. Of course I don't care about skills myself, but I can imagine what it would feel like for him, to spend so many hours a week in a place that makes you physically sick, and you're still struggling. He tells me nothing is ever good enough. His deer run is wrong, so he can't progress bc of that. He competed his robhsbhs all last year, but now it's not good enough. According to him it is constantly something. I told him maybe his coach knows what he is capable of and is expecting perfection because he sees it in him. Or maybe my son just really is struggling. I asked my son what he wants to do, and he agreed this was too much, but he said it's my decision. He said I should just talk to the coach and figure it out, (not in so many words). Has anyone else been through this? This has gone on for months now.
 

skschlag

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That is a lot. I am hopeful the coach will allow him to just train and not compete. Sometimes that is good for kids, sometimes it is hard. I am not sure how old he is, but sometimes kids need the competitions to keep some motivation. if he is good wiht not competing, definitely talk to coach. And use the health as the reason....that has to come first!

my son has migraines and cyclical vomiting syndrome. Those did pose issues during practices at times, but were not usually caused by practice. I do think you need to step back for a bit and figure out waht is going on with his health.
 
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Gymx2

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Stepping back definitely sounds like a good plan. I don't know anything about the health issues he's struggling with, but it sounds like he is putting a lot of stress and pressure on himself. I would drop FS, and just have him do regular practice. Could he possibly repeat a level so that he's still training but maybe fewer hours and no pressure to get new skills?
 
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GymAir

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I would definitely keep looking for answers about your son’s health. Sometimes it can take a while to get to the bottom of medical issues like this, but don’t give up. The gym should be able to do the same for him as any kid with an injury - modified practice, rest, not competing, etc. Poor guy.
 
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DTAG

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That is a lot. I am hopeful the coach will allow him to just train and not compete. Sometimes that is good for kids, sometimes it is hard. I am not sure how old he is, but sometimes kids need the competitions to keep some motivation. if he is good wiht not competing, definitely talk to coach. And use the health as the reason....that has to come first!

my son has migraines and cyclical vomiting syndrome. Those did pose issues during practices at times, but were not usually caused by practice. I do think you need to step back for a bit and figure out waht is going on with his health.

Thank you. He is 9, new level 5. I don’t know if he’ll be happy not competing, I doubt it. He did well last year, even placed 3rd at regionals on rings, 3rd AA at State. So is repeating a level, which would now be level 4, really a good idea? Is it fair to the other gymnasts at that level? It wouldn’t be challenging but it would allow him to compete, and have less hours.

He states that his headaches start in school, and training just turns them into migraines. Next step is getting his eyes checked. But we have run through the gamut…
 

skschlag

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Thank you. He is 9, new level 5. I don’t know if he’ll be happy not competing, I doubt it. He did well last year, even placed 3rd at regionals on rings, 3rd AA at State. So is repeating a level, which would now be level 4, really a good idea? Is it fair to the other gymnasts at that level? It wouldn’t be challenging but it would allow him to compete, and have less hours.

He states that his headaches start in school, and training just turns them into migraines. Next step is getting his eyes checked. But we have run through the gamut…

Ihope you can find some answers. My son has no real triggers either, but his are not that debilitating.
 

DTAG

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Stepping back definitely sounds like a good plan. I don't know anything about the health issues he's struggling with, but it sounds like he is putting a lot of stress and pressure on himself. I would drop FS, and just have him do regular practice. Could he possibly repeat a level so that he's still training but maybe fewer hours and no pressure to get new skills?
The crazy thing is the FS is his easiest training all week! I’ve watched those practices as they are only 2 hours and they are much more laid back and they just focus more on form. Granted he still hasn’t really started training the higher skills needed for it yet. But it would still reduce hours. I am considering asking if he can repeat a level, and maybe even slowly uptrain. But he did pretty well last year and I’d feel bad having that kid who is always coming in 1st or or pulling scores of 57-60 even from the first meets. That’s disheartening for the other kids who just started training that level.
 

Cheryl

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I would definitely figure this out medically and just do the gymnastics when he feels well. My daughter was not a gymnast, but started getting something we called “malaise” before puberty. Migraines, low level fever, fatigue. Tested for everything, went to immunologists, endocrinologists, neurologist.. nothing. Just resolved itself once puberty started.

lots of boys repeat levels, and with the new configuration it would probably be easier. I can’t imagine he’ll enjoy it much longer, if he feels bad after doing it. Our gym has boys who don’t compete, or only do a couple meets, usually because they do another sport. We also have boys who only do a couple events. I don’t know if you can do that in compulsory. Our gym is pretty flexible in letting the boys make their own path, but I know not all gyms are that way
 

DTAG

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I would definitely keep looking for answers about your son’s health. Sometimes it can take a while to get to the bottom of medical issues like this, but don’t give up. The gym should be able to do the same for him as any kid with an injury - modified practice, rest, not competing, etc. Poor guy.
Our Lord knows I am trying. I’m starting to feel like I have Munchhausers by proxy (sp? Lol). But some of these things we are trying are new, I.e. tomorrow is his 2nd chiro appt and we will go over results from the last appt. And I am getting his lab work done this week to see if he is deficient on something. And then perhaps an eye exam to see if he is deficient on something. Neurologist next week as we have been having to keep a food journal. I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this.
 

DTAG

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I would definitely figure this out medically and just do the gymnastics when he feels well. My daughter was not a gymnast, but started getting something we called “malaise” before puberty. Migraines, low level fever, fatigue. Tested for everything, went to immunologists, endocrinologists, neurologist.. nothing. Just resolved itself once puberty started.

lots of boys repeat levels, and with the new configuration it would probably be easier. I can’t imagine he’ll enjoy it much longer, if he feels bad after doing it. Our gym has boys who don’t compete, or only do a couple meets, usually because they do another sport. We also have boys who only do a couple events. I don’t know if you can do that in compulsory. Our gym is pretty flexible in letting the boys make their own path, but I know not all gyms are that way
Wow talk about flexibility! I don’t know if any of these are options for us. I know one boy just didn’t compete last year due to Covid. Hopefully the coach will talk to me tomorrow when I see him at the gym.
I am sorry to hear your daughter went through something similar. It could very well be his body and puberty just needs to kick in to level things out. But he’s 9, he probably still has while. It is reassuring to hear other parents run through the gamut with their kids and it feels like going in circles. You start doubting yourself as a parent right? As healthy as genus, you would think he wouldn’t have any issues! The kid doesn’t even like carbs. He’s a meat/veggie/fruit kinda guy.
 

DTAG

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I would definitely keep looking for answers about your son’s health. Sometimes it can take a while to get to the bottom of medical issues like this, but don’t give up. The gym should be able to do the same for him as any kid with an injury - modified practice, rest, not competing, etc. Poor guy.
I am definitely trying. I can’t wrap my head around him getting this sick constantly…for no reason at all. I have migraines, but they are due to injury as I am a veteran and the Army messed me up. There’s a reason. The kid eats healthy, obviously exercises, is ripped like no ones business, I just don’t get it. But the problems stem around gym, that’s obvious. And he has great coaches. My son really trusts his coach and wants me to kinda leave it in his hands on what he thinks we should do. So we will have a convo, maybe I am overlooking something. Thank you for the sympathy.
 

Gymx2

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I found that my son was feeling bad about practices and really stressing out about levels this summer as levels have changed and he worried that he wasn't going to move up (he has the new level skills but with the level changes it feels like repeating). I told him I don't care at all what level he's doing as long as he's having fun and it totally changed how he views practices- he's back to having fun and not stressing out. He has OCD, which presents some challenges to his mental health while training. At this point I just want the sport to be a happy, healthy compliment to his life and not add additional stress. I hope your son can find the joy in doing fun skills without worrying about levels and meets and just have fun doing a sport he loves.
 

Cheryl

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Could he try a carb or fruit break during practice? It might be an insulin/sugar crash related to hard exercise? There is a diabetic child on my sons team and he often just needs to sit and eat something for 15 minutes
 

Madden3

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My suggestion is a sit down discussion with you and the head coach, with your son not present, and discuss everything that is going on. Then once you think you and the coach have come up with a good plan, invite child in so the coach can explain the plan to him. Since your son is a young kid in compulsory levels and there is a serious health concern, I would hope the HC would be very willing to be flexible.

It sounds to me that there are many options to consider.

1) Treat the situation exactly like a bad injury where the doctor has said no gym. No gym at all for X number of weeks/months while you get a handle on the health issues. Don’t make any decisions about competing or not competing, but accept that future stars is not likely to happen in that case (I assume.)

2) Reduce hours*, eliminate FS but compete the next level up next season

3) Reduce hours, keep FS but do not compete next season

4) Reduce hours, keep or eliminate FS and compete repeating level.

5) Reduce hours and see how it goes. – get the uniform and all, but otherwise, make no decision about competing next seasons or FS yet.

6) Reduce hours or take a break with no practice, keep or eliminate FS, but plan to compete only last few meets of season rather than whole season.

*(you and son, and you and coach, will have to discuss how many hours “reduced hours” means. Reduction must be significant enough to make a difference.)

I understand money and time commitments are involved, but if at all possible, I would suggest not deciding right now to absolutely not compete next season. Next season is still 4 months away, and your son appears to not want to quit gym entirely.

Do not worry about your son being too good to repeat a level. Kids repeat levels all the time for many reasons. It’s a competition, with winners and losers which means that some kids are going to be better than others, and some are MUCH better. The quicker kids learn to handle not winning, the better. I think it is unlikely any other kid or parent is going to think it is unfair, but so what if they do? Your concern is your own kid. They do not know the situation.

The flipside, of course, is, do not worry about how well your kid may do next season. If he scores low because of the reduced hours, so what? He will learn to measure "success" other ways, which is important anyway. His health has to come first.
 
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