Parents VERY first meet tomorrow! Nerves and a question

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Proud Parent
Oct 31, 2016
My 6-year-old has her very first meet tomorrow! It feels like it's been forever working up to this, since she started rec Kinder class at 4. So crazy to compare, since my 5-year-old DD starts her second season of t-ball, and after 2 weeks of practice they will already be playing games! With how many hours my gym baby has spent already in practice, it's hard to believe she FINALLY gets to compete!

She says she's nervous. They have practiced their routines so many times in practice, but she says she's worried about things like finding which way to face the judges, and knowing where to go. I'm sure her coach will help her with these things, but she still seems worried. She also says she's scared about people watching her. It's her very first time doing any sort of "solo" performance of any kind, so it will be interesting to see if she can handle her nerves (coming from a musician mom who had terrible stage fright that I had to learn over many years to deal with). Any suggestions on what to tell a kid this young about nerves for her first meet, besides have fun and do your best?

Also...I think I know about what to bring and where to go, how to do her hair, etc.but there's one thing I thought of tonight...Are we allowed to cheer out loud for our gymnasts and their teammates after their routines? We are bringing several family members and I'm sure they will want to cheer, but I have no idea if it's something that's frowned upon, or completely normal? None of us have ever been to a gymnastics meet!
Yes, cheer and clap. Here for all the littlest doing their first competitions.

The meets should be fun for the kids. Clap, take pictures, shout for them, but please do be respectful of the other parents watching, as all four events run at the same time.

And bring cash. There are plenty of way to spend your money at most meets, and many only take cash.
My DD was always worried about floor orientation too. She had to compete the same way she practiced. She did not car where the judges sat and word start with her back to them of that's where they were seated.

Tell her have fun and to be great.
Exciting day for your DD and you! My DD has mixed up the direction on her floor routine and had other interesting bloopers. They learn how to deal with competition mishaps and mostly she can laugh about them later. I bet all the kiddos will be a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Hopefully, the nerves will lesson at the meet when she is surrounded by her teammates and coaches. Best of luck!
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Good Luck! Hopefully by the end of the year my dd will be there too.

My dd and I watched a meet so she (and I) could see what it would be like . There was plenty of cheering. I did notice that there was a group of parents for one team that cheered very loud. While it didn't seem to bother the gymnasts I thought it came across a little rude. Not sure if this is normal.

Let us know how it goes.
So exciting!!!! I can still remember her first meet like yesterday. It is a big day and so normal for her and you to get nervous. We have been at this for what seems like forever now and to meets all over the country and she I both still get nervous for meets and I still always feel like I am forgetting something.

My friends and family all laugh at me because I seriously feel like I a going to throw up waiting for every meet to start. Once she has gotten through the first event I am fine.

It is totally normal for your dd not to know what to do. They are nothing but total cuteness out there the first time, six years old and their coaches ushering them around and such. My dd forgot to salute the judges entirely after her first vault. She was so excited to have gotten over and done it right. Her coach had to chase her down the runway and get her to stop and salute. She just ran off so excited to go again after the first vault. LOL!!

Everyone has given great advice. On the cash front, bring a lot of cash. A lot of meets only take cash for entry fees and they can be between 5 and 25 dollars (just for big meets usually) per person to get in. And it is really long so people will get hungry. You may want to buy her a momento etc. Be prepared for your proud parent emotions to be on overdrive.

My only other advice is if you are bringing a sibling, make sure they have stuff to do. We always download a movie or two to an ipad for my son. We have found that there is many kids in this situation. He is usually excited to watch his sister for about five minutes. :)

Good luck to her!!! Make sure to come back and let us know how it goes.
My other piece of advice: Have someone else record for you. You will definitely want to have the video memories, but you see and remember much better if you're not watching her through a screen. Plus I found I got nervous and didn't take the best videos anyway. Ask a friend or even one of your kids to record. And even while you remind her to have fun, try to have fun yourself. It's really amazing to watch them out there.
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Wow, thank you all so much for the advice and positivity!!! All of this advice is so valuable!

The meet fees at this one are $10 a person and $5 for kids. We feel weird asking all of the family members to pay that, so we will be spending over $100 in admission fees since I know my DD is excited for everyone in the family to see what she's been working toward all this time. If it keeps up though, I can see that these meets will become so expensive!

I'll try to update later to share how it goes!
Yes, cheer and clap. Here for all the littlest doing their first competitions.

The meets should be fun for the kids. Clap, take pictures, shout for them, but please do be respectful of the other parents watching, as all four events run at the same time.

And bring cash. There are plenty of way to spend your money at most meets, and many only take cash.
True about the cash, but also many have started using their iPad or iPhone and the Square. So even more ways for you to spend your money. :p
Good luck to your DD! She'll be nervous but she will make you so proud, no matter what, I promise. There is NOTHING like seeing a little kid get out there, all by herself, in front of tons of people, and do a routine. I sure couldn't have done it at that age. Be warned: if you're a crier at all, you may tear up. :)

After the first one, they do start to realize a lot. Like mistakes happen and you're still alive. And like mine says, "All the people there are watching their own kids, not me." Lol. Hope she has a blast! Mine was terrified and came out after awards all "When can I do that again!?!?"
Re. nerves, you can remind her that excitement feels very similar to nerves, and excitement can actually help her to be sharp and do her best. With my daughter it also helped to have her talk through her contingency plans in case something went wrong (e.g., if she went off the wrong side on the beam dismount she was supposed to try it again). Focus on sportsmanship and teamwork. Definitely cheer and clap for all the girls, and cheer extra hard for anyone who falls and gets back up again. Ask your daughter if she'd prefer you to sit where she can't see you (mine does). Celebrate afterwards with ice cream or a special meal, no matter the result. Be prepared for age groups to make no sense and to differ from meet to meet.

Take plenty of cash and make sure your camera or phone is fully charged. I bring in snacks and bottled water whenever this is permitted. Some parents like to bring seat cushions. And make sure you know how to turn off the flash and any recording lights on your camera.
My daughter doesn't like cheering during events, so we keep it low key clapping.

She is ok with a bunch of noise at medal time.

Remember every spectator has a loved one competing.
Try not to walk in front of someone taking pictures or video.

They are too cute at that age mistakes and all.

She will get more confident as she goes to more meets.

Tell her to listen to her coach, do her best, have fun and you can't wait to see her and love her.
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Tell her to have fun and that she's just doing what she does in practice. And how excited you are to see her doing what she enjoys. And just do that. It might not be organized. Probably other inexperienced families as well trying to get great "view". Just remember you all are trying to watch your gymnast for > 1 min each on each event. You will probably end up spending too much on photos. Our first year, I think I bought all professional photos at ever meet. Good luck to both of you! :)
Is there a group before yours? Most likely if she competes at say 12 or 4. I would Come early and watch and allow herself to get orientated!

She did great! She went out there and didn't look nervous at all! No falls, no forgotten routines, and she did pretty well! I'm so proud of her, and she was worried for no reason! She did forget to salute after vault, but hopefully she'll remember next time!

I posted a couple of weeks ago about her falling forward after completing her mill circle, and she did it great today! No fall, and she even did it with straight legs and no hook!

Thank you so much for all of the advice!
I want a t shirt that says this. Along with a sign..that I can smack people with who don't pay atttention to the shirt!!
Even better is when someone STANDS IN FRONT OF YOU … when you are in the first row, mind you, and just watches (or even worse, is looking up in the stands) for 5-10 minutes… Ignoring your repeated requests to sit down or move along and you miss not 1, but BOTH of your gymmies' vaults. I missed both YG and OG on vault in one meet. I saw the start of their runs but the last 10 feet and the actual vault and landing were blocked.
Luckily, my brother was sitting on the end of the bleachers nearest the table and got video of the part I missed (He had someone blocking the start of YG's run… just heard the girls say let's go, "YG" and started recording - 7 second vault was recorded for 40 seconds because he didn't want to miss the start. Luckily the person blocking him actually moved and he recorded the other 3 vaults just fine.
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