When do you just throw in the towel...when severe fear issues are involved???

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gymnut1

GJM--Obviously you are the mom/adult in this situation and dd's health is what matters most, so if you see things declining, then for her own well being, you may have to pull the plug before she's ready to leave. !

I agree with this.

It is a difficult choice between encouraging your dd to take responsibility for her own health and happiness and make her own decisions about her life as she grows into a young woman ... and your responsibility as a parent to be the adult and make the decision you know is right.

Obviously this situation is not good for her in any sort of way and her reasons for staying in it are typical for a teen. Friendship and fear of the unknown. An adult in this situation would probably feel exactly the same. But her long term psycological health is at risk here.
Riding roughshod over her wishes to stay could also cause a rift between you and you need her onside if she was to try another gym.

She needs to feel she still has some ownership of the situation and you might be able to keep her onside by making a deal with her. I would be open with her and tell her the situation HAS to change in some way because her health is at risk. Make the decision as the adult to remove her from gym for 2 months. What has she to lose - her skills are disappearing anyway.

Be upfront with her gym and ask if there is another coach she could have as she will NOT be returning to the same situation. If the coach won't change then you will change coach either here or elsewhere. You can do this without falling out by being honest and upfront and acknowledging their support so far. Any decent gym will only want what could help a child in this situation. During this time also look at other gyms and let her choose what she does next. If she has the final say she might choose a better fit coaching style/ gym. Or she may chose a different sport or type of gym altogether.

Somehow she needs to move the situation forwards and Im sure with your support she can - she just may need a push to start her off.

Best best wishes to you both. My heart goes out to her pain.
 

gymjourneymom

Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,330
I understand some of what you and your daughter are experiencing and I too am looking for some help on the topic of paralyzing fear. I'm definitely considering contacting a sports psychologist. Her coaches are very patient with her and do not yell or push the issue, but it is hard as the parent to watch such a talented gymnast struggle with moves that she has mastered. My DD is not doing any back tumbling, giants, suke (spelling) on vault, her back tuck and back tumbling pass on beam. I don't know of any tools other than having her practicing mental visualizations of performing the moves. Help please!!!!
Oh your poor DD! She must be feeling so stressed! I can totally relate to what you are going through. You want to help her so bad it hurts, right? Wish I could give you both a cyber hug! I feel like we could start our own little cyber support group ..."Parents of gymnasts with fear issues". This CB family has helped me so much! There just weren't many parents that I could talk to about this in our gym. There is another recent thread under the parents forum, regarding fear issues that you might find helpful. Bog posted some great links there. And I posted a link to an 8 part seminar by Doc Ali. If you haven't seen that yet, please check it out. I think you my get some helpful techniques for your DD to try. Watching Doc Ali's semiar again seems to have inspired my DD(yeah!!!). My DD actually went for her bars routine last night(clear hips with up rise, not the giant that coach wants though) with spot! I was so happy for her...just the fact that she went for it! She was happy & confident too and that's what really matters. She's at practice right now...I'm hoping that confidence from last night held out for tonight too. I know your DD will get her skills back...having a supportive coach is a big part of overcoming fear issues. Now she just has to believe in herself!!! Please watch the Doc Ali vids, I think it might help! Doc Ali: Coaching through Fear, Part 1 | September 8, 2008 on Gymnastike
 
GJM,

What an awefull situation for you to be in as a parent! It is hard enough to watch your DD go through something like this without adding an overbearing, unsympathetic coach. My daughter also deals with some very big and real fears that have, at times, set her back substantially, but thankfully we have a coach who is exceptional and patient and they have always worked through the problem. My DD coach uses relaxation, visualization and self affermation with my DD...but it sounds like you have tried everything yourself...My thoughts are with you and when I sit at the gym tomorrow gritting my teeth and willing my DD to get her BHS back I'll add yours too....
 
Hello!

Recently I went through a hugeeeeeeeeee mind block. It basically ended one day, when I finally had my dad spot me on things [former gymnast, and I've always trusted him on skills], doing a lot of mind visulization was helpful too.
But basically, I would suggest going to some open gyms, or enrolling in a class that is just for fun, it takes a lot of the stress off.
About quitting, I think that fear is part of gymnastics. And the reward is that much greater when you finally accomplish something you've been trying to do forever, it's just something you love about gymnastics. But after a certain amount of time, I don't know when you should stop.
 

gymjourneymom

Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,330
Hello!

Recently I went through a hugeeeeeeeeee mind block. It basically ended one day, when I finally had my dad spot me on things [former gymnast, and I've always trusted him on skills], doing a lot of mind visulization was helpful too.
But basically, I would suggest going to some open gyms, or enrolling in a class that is just for fun, it takes a lot of the stress off.
About quitting, I think that fear is part of gymnastics. And the reward is that much greater when you finally accomplish something you've been trying to do forever, it's just something you love about gymnastics. But after a certain amount of time, I don't know when you should stop.
Thank you so much eeyoretumbles. It's great to hear a gymnast's point of view on this topic. Congratulations on sticking with it & overcoming your mental block! So happy you have your Dad to help you, what a blessing that is. You must have a huge sense of satisfaction now. But I know how hard you must have worked to over come your block. Your advice is right on target! DD's issues are stress/control related. And she frequently tells me which coaches she trusts to spot her & which she doesn't. Not that there is anything wrong with any of her coaches spotting techniques...just a matter of who she "trusts". Frustrating thing is, the coach she trusts the most....is the one that is the hardest on her & the one who stresses her out the most! Kind of a Catch 22 for her unfortunately. You have expressed exactly what my DD tells me...new skills can scare her & they can be difficult to master...but the challenge of mastering them is what drives her. She gets to the top of 1 mountain...only to find another one to scale. Somedays the skills seem more overwhelming than others. Good news is... DD seems to have turned the corner! She is trying her prior skills again(with spots). And she is upbeat & optimistic once again! I don't know when she will get the skills the coach wants her to have. But when I see her trying & not looking overly stressed about it...I know her... & I know she will get them. I call her "Rocky"...I can tell when she's got the "eye of the tiger"....and she's got it now! The drive determination of gymnasts never ceases to amaze me. Thank your for your post & good luck to you!
 
M

msl529

GJM, I am SO sorry about everything you & your dd are going through. Everyone has posted great comments here, so I don't have much to add.

But, I do want to say, from the perspective of someone who has had to move her dd to new gyms 3 times, that it is not as big a deal as it seems. Yes, it is hard to break-away. Yes, it is hard to get used to new teammates & coaches. But, I will quote dd when I first told her that we had to move, AGAIN, recently:

She said "I am sad to leave my gym, because I love it so much. But I know I will make new friends at the new gym. I always do." She then went on to name all the good buddies she's made over the years at her various gyms, who are all STILL very good buddies, and all the coaches she has enjoyed, and whom we still keep in touch with.

I say, get the heck away from this non-supportive, head-tripping coach! Of course your dd loves him. Remember that kids w/ terrible, abusive parents love them too, and are often very loyal to them. It's just how kids are!! They love unconditionally, and have not had the life-experience yet, to teach them otherwise.

Tell your dd that mine has moved gyms several times, and has not only survived, but thrived. Maybe you could just take her to a few gyms to 'try them out'. Say to her, "let's just try it out", and at least SEE what other gyms are like, if only for curiosity's sake. If she knows she doesn't HAVE to move, but that you just want her to get a 'taste' of other places, she may back-off from being so stubborn about leaving. She is probably scared about disappointing this guy more than she is really 'sad' about leaving him. She may see that yes, indeed, there IS life at OTHER gyms!

GOOD luck to you guys, I feel for you, so much! Just hang in there, and know we are all supporting you, here at the CB! :eek:
 
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