Parents wants to quit?!

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Are any other parents and gymnasts going through this right now?

My daughter told me the other night that she wants to quit. There were lots of tears. She is moving up to L5 this season, and had been training L5 for several months already (although she's had two separate injuries that have limited what she can do). When I asked her why, she told me that so many of her teammates have quit that its not fun, and its not the same. She also wants to spend more time with us, and is worried about having an increased practice schedule. Maybe its just the time of year? There are so many things changing in the gym and school ends this week. Any advice?
That's a tough one. I hate the word "quit". It's too negative. Especially with all the hard work and accomplishments she's already done.

How about instead of quitting, you encourage her to 'retire' instead. I mean, other then just sounding more positive, "retiring" requires a plan.

Such as, continue L5 up until school starts again (or whenever), then she's done. If in the mean time she gains new friends at gym, or has a different opinion of the sport, she has the option to continue. And if not, no suprizes, no regrets.

I think we loose at some 60%+ of our L4's when it comes time to move to L5. Cost, commitment, training schedule, burn out, All work / no fun. etc. Probably very common.

But again, I think it has to be her choice, no matter how much you encourage a direction. Provide clear choices yes, but allow her to choose herself and be happy with her choice.
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Thanks! I don't like the word quit either, so I really like your retirement idea. It takes the pressure off of the decision, and that may just be a a big part of it. With fewer girls on the team, she might feel that she HAS to keeping going. With that kind of pressure it really wouldn't be much fun.
I like the idea of keeping going until the end of summer for one reason and that is she may connect with new gilrs and have just as much fun with them. Most years in our gym girls get placed in different training groups depending on skill level, coaching time and numbers, my youngest has had to make new friends ever year and it has been good for her, she now really connects well with anyone she meets.

Oldest has been with the same girls since she was 6 and now that many are retiring for many reasons she is feeling less keen about gym. I am hoping that summer and new skills and camps will encourage her to stay long enough to connect with the new girls that will be placed in her group.

It is very tough when they feel that they have had enough, I would just want ot be sure that it wasn't a blip which is why givng it a bit of time is a good thing too.

She could also take a break and see if she misses gym, when oldest has had a few enforced breaks due to injury she has missed her friends and coach.
I think everyone goes through this at some point. The big question is does she really want to quit or is there something else going on. My son wanted to quit when he was in 5th grade because his buddies at school were teasing him for doing a "girls sport" Of course when I asked him why he wanted to quit he gave me the same story your DD is giving you. I knew he loved doing this so we had a talk about it and told him he made a commitment to the team (it was Jan when he came to me) and that the competitive season is over in May. If in may he feels the same way then he can choose something else physical to participate in. Well 3 weeks later both of his buddies ended up somehow taking a gym rec class after a month of doing a rec class both quit saying it was too hard.

DD when she was moving up to L6 last year (going into 6th grade) came to me and said she wanted to quit and when I asked her why again got the same story friends quit etc. I had a discussion with her to show her she still liked the sport and if she likes it she shouldn't quit just because of friends. Again we made a deal that she practice for the summer (2 months) and if in Sept after her first meet if she still felt that way she could quit. She made new friends with the girls on the team (new girls did join the team) and now she is pumped as she starts her L7 year. Part of the deal too was it would be ok to miss some practices to do some fun activities over the summer with friends and girl scouts. That was the big thing for her she didn't feel she was allowed to miss practice (coaches frown on this) but I told her not to worry I would deal with the coaches if there was an issue. With that she was happy she could still do things with her friends and do the gym too.

You know your daughter best. Does she really enjoy doing gymnastics for herself or was she doing it because her friends were doing it?

There have been some girls that have taken a month in the summer and came back w ith some skills weaker but their drive stronger. Maybe your DD just needs a breather.
Oh from the original girls my DD was with at L4 only she and 2 others are still there from that original group of L4 girls.
I would encourage her to stay. A lot of times kids get scared when things get difficult or when circumstances change (my dd is one of these kids) and they think "quitting" is the easiest thing to do. You don't want to let kids know that it is ok to quit something whenever it gets difficult or their friends leave. These are lessons that they will need to learn how to cope with as they get older. I would explain to her that you realize that her friends left and gym will be a bit challenging at times, but that she can get through this and it will make her a stronger person in the long run. She will make tons of new friends and she will be learning coping skills and how to muddle through adversity at the same time. I also think it is a phase that kids go through especially during this time of the year. School is ending and the summer is starting and kids want that mental break to just have fun. Hang in there!!!
Wow. Well, DD definitely loves being in the gym and at competitions, especially for the social aspects. She is a very social 9 year old. However, its strange to think that she never wanted to stop when she was recovering from a nasty ankle sprain. She did all the extra conditioning when she couldn't do certain events. She's been really tough-it's amazed us and impressed her coaches. But maybe its taken a little more out of her than we thought. Its always amazed us how she never complains about going to practice--maybe we need to enforce time off more often! For the summer, we have a few vacations planned that will give her a break and I'll also make sure she knows she will have plenty of time to do things with her friends.

There could be other reasons that she doesn't want to tell me. The only other time she wanted to stop was when she 'lost' her BHS. Parents do not attend practices at our gym, so I'm not sure if she is having fear or struggling with any new skills (except the kip, which she is just getting back to trying on bars). Could be a part of it, but I've learned not to ask her about skills--she'll tell me when something good happens!
My gymmie wanted to hang up the leo after her L5 season(just so happens 2 girls left then also). I think they feel unsure of what that next level will be like. If anyone could invent an interactive video game, so they could "play the next level" it would be wonderful!

There could be many reasons why she's decided she doesn't want to continue---could be the friends leaving, recovering from the injury was no fun, more time to be with friends/try other activities. I would encourage her to keep at it for another month and see how things go. Certainly, watch her moods and if she seems reluctant to go or just plain unhappy about anthing involved with gym then it is time to take a leave of absence(avoiding the "q" word here).

If the subject of leaving gymnastics comes up again, ask her what she would like to do instead and let her know that "hanging out with friends" is not the answer you want:) We really try and let my gymmie have as much social time out of the gym as possible. She was invited to a sleepover b-day party yesterday, but had practice this morning. So, she went for the swimming and most of the party and came home about 9:30. She has several more "events"coming up, but funny they're all with gym friends! Has your dd been able to keep in touch with the girls that have left? Might not be a bad idea to let them get together for sleepover etc.
This seems to be the time of year when the majority of girls leave for one reason or another. Just had 2 optional leave our team after good seasons, but wanting to have "normal" high school lives.

Do you feel comfortable talking with the coach about how dd is in practice? I wouldn't mention the "q" word---just get a feel if she's struggling with any skills, seems to be sad/happy in the gym etc.
I think I would sit her down - maybe over an ice cream cone :rolleyes: and see if you could dig a little deeper. If there were lots of tears it sounds like she still likes / enjoys gymnastics. If she does, "retiring" may not be what she needs.

Last year my DD wanted to quit. She was 8. Just got off the bus one day and said "I want to quit gymnastics and do soccer". So, we sat down and talked. She still LOVED gymnastics but she really wanted to do soccer. I was able to find a soccer league that had one practice a week - I was able to get her on a team that practiced on a night she did not have gym. Soccer coach knew that if there was a meet and a soccer game that gymnastics won. He was fine with that. She worked her behind off at soccer practice and gave 110% in every game she played. For her, she just wanted to try something.

I think the decision lies in whether or not she still likes / loves gymnastics. Could she try something else at the same time to see what is really for her. If it is just friends leaving, I think she should keep going - at least for a while. I quit gymnastics when I was a teenager and regret it to this day. I also could not tell you why I quit. Just that I wish I had not.
At our gym moving to L5 was a big step. L5 was "real team" where L4 was more about having fun. The girls that moved to L5 were reminded, pretty much at every practice that if they were going to be on the "team" they needed to be committed, focused & dedicated. I think that scared a lot of them, (a weeding process maybe?). They didn't know what to expect initially, so many were afraid to commit to something they thought was going to be a big change, with lots of expectations. But the ones who stuck it out were the one who really wanted to be there. Their hearts really had to be in it. I love gymlawmom's idea about a game to try it out some way,LOL! We lost many girls in the jump from L4 to L5. This is also when DD's fear issues started...she felt "pressure" to do well for the team...when it used to just be fun. My DD has always done other activities along with her gymnastics. I think that is what has kept her in the sport. Lets face it, this is a tough, demanding sport & these are little girls who want to have fun. Sometimes they need something else fun outside the gym, to get them through the rough patches in the gym. I agree with the others that you need to get to heart of why DD says she wants to quit. Is she feeling pressure, is it fear issues, does she just want to try other things or is she really just tired of the sport? Once you know her answer, then you'll know what direction to guide her. At L5 she should still have enough free hours to try other sports or activities if that is what she wants. Maybe she still loves gymnastics...but just wants to try other things too. Or maybe she has had enough & wants to retire. You know your DD best. You know what she can handle. I'd have a chat with her coach to see how practices have been going...that might give you more insight. And have a heart to heart with your DD. You're a good'll steer her in whatever route is best for her. Best wishes to you both:).
So sorry you're going thru this! Been there, done that, w/ my dd, more times than I'd like to admit! I think your instincts will guide you, you seem pretty level-headed.

Just know that we are supporting you during this confusing time! If you want to PM me, feel free.

P.S. My dd's 'quitting jags' (as I like to call them) always came at precisely this time of year! But she is not in artistic anymore, that last 'jag' stuck, lol :rolleyes:. But if you can see your dd thru this period of time, she may come around.

All the best to you & your dd! :)
My daughter is your daughters age and is also training to compete as a level 5. Well this is the 1st year in 4 that she has been in the sport that she has not wanted to quit. Funny like many of the other gymies she always does this in the spring. Last year I actually let her quit she left for a week than was begging to go back. I would probally just ignore her for a week or 2 and say you already paid for this month and see if it passes. My daughter has lost alot of her teammates in the 2 years she has been on team alot of them went to another gym (she was going to follow them but she missed her old gym) and some have just quit. Their is only 1 other girl left out of the orginally group she started with. She has become close with some of the new girls on her team they seem to get close fast because they spend so much time in the gym so I am sure she will make new friends fast.
Yes, yes, yes, we are going through this NOW! After spending several thousand on doc bills and physical therapy (we have bad insurance) to pull her through an injury, she has decided that she likes lying on the couch eating and getting fat. I paid her gym tuition today since she has officially been released from the doctor and she protested, saying she doesn't want to do gymnastics again. I can't let her quit and I won't. This saga may go on for awhile. (Before you slam me folks- there is much much more to this story. Please trust that I am doing the right thing) To be continued. But in answer to the OP's question- yes I understand what you are going through!
It is always tough when they go through the "I want to quit" thing. My dd had a whole bunch of injuries going from level 6 to level 7 - and finally after some serious soul searching on both of our parts, we decided it was time for her to "retire" Honestly she never had time to miss it too much since she was recruited to competitve cheer the day after we made the decision, lol. Anyway she now practices 7 hours a week instead of 20 - and she is loving life. Every child is different and the decision to stay or leave can't be taken lightly. Once when she was a level 5 she wanted to quit - but that was because she wasn't happy at the gym she was at - it had nothing to do with gymnastics. We made a gym switch and she was as happy as could be. If I had let her quit then she would have had so many regrets and "what if's". When she made the decision to move on for the right reasons for her - it was a good move.

Good luck helping your dd decide what she wants and what is best for her. Don't you just wish you had a crystal ball to see the future so you knew for sure what that was though !!!!!
Jumping in late here, but my oldest DD wanted to quit at the beginning/middle of summer every year. Things got tough then with new skills and there were always girls that had quit at the beginning of summer. I always encouraged her to stick with it through the summer. By fall she always was happy and raring to go again. Last year when she wasn't--she stuck with it through competition season, then moved to HS gymnastics. I knew it was the choice she wanted (although I was unhappy with her decision!) because it was something she thought about over months.

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