Mental Block During Season

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My daughter is a 9 yo L6 training L7 in the middle of her L6 season. She has had all of her skills for L6 for over a year and had a fantastic meet on Oct. 1. The following week, she fell during a ro bhs bt and now is scared to do the skill. The coach had been working with her for the past two weeks but her attitude is pretty bad about it. She missed one meet and state is 2 weeks away. We are considering moving her to the L5 group and having her compete L5 for the remainder of the season (she does not like this idea at all.) However, it is unfair to her teammates who are training hard and want to do well at state. We also would like her to get something out of the season since we paid all the fees up front. I don't know whether to drop her back or push her to step up. Any advice is appreciated!
 
I would do neither. Dropping her back is cruel and pushing her is counterproductive.

A good coach would take the skill back down to the beginnings and take it one step at a time. There is way more to a childs "fears" than just the skill itself.

If you search fear and BHS on the Chalkbucket you will find pages and pages of posts about this. Punishing the child will not have the desried effect, but it probably will make her quit.
 
Can you go back a level once you have competed in a higher level? I think I heard once that you cannot. Not sure where I heard it though.
 
You can drop back as long as you have not competed in a championship meet (she has not.)

The coach is fabulousm she is doing everything right going through progressions and giving her individual attention but it is my daughter's attitude that is the problem. Most days, she simply refuses to work on any skills that will lead up to the tuck. She was asked to leave practice last night because she told her coach she would not work, even with individual attention. I think that the decision is up to her to try and I do feel that it is unfair to all the other girls who are working hard.
 
My best advice - as it was given to me - would be patience! My DD went through a period of blocks - we are currently just ending the BWO BHS on the high beam block - and I have seen this happen to all girls at a variety of ages.

If the coach has not approached you to drop her down I would worry that you suggesting it would add even more pressure to her. It seems like most gymnasts are hard enough on themselves at the best of times. She may end up feeling like you are disappointed or don't believe in her and that can only make what she is going through worse.

I would step back and just encourage her to try her best and that no matter what you are proud of her. With my DD I did that as well as reminded her that she is not alone and all gymnasts of all ages/levels go through this. It will turn around in due course and she will be back in line with her peers.

Also I reminded her that it is still most important to have fun! During times like this they seem to get so stressed that they forget how quite often things came easier when they were not thinking and just having a good time!

In regards to states; I hope her team would support her regardless as I am sure it has happened to each and everyone one of them at some point. Even though the timing is not ideal that she is going through this before a big meet, there is no guarantee that any of them nay not end up having a bad day and I would hope the club encourages to have each others backs. WHo knows she may come out and rock it ....stranger things can happen when you least expect.

Good luck!
 
Yes, that may be the case. It is just so frustrating that she says she doesn't wat to quit, she doesn't want to move to L5, and she doesn't want to do her bt. I tried to explain this situation can not work. Moving her to another training group was suggested so she is not taking time out of practice to throw fits about this skill.
 
I don't think moving her down to level 5 is the answer. Maybe scratching floor at meets? This is one of those things that can't be rushed or pushed or it just back fires. Even if the coach is going back to basics, if the underlying feeling your daughter has is that she better get her back tuck back and SOON, it is going to make it worse. Sadly, mental blocks don't wait until the season is over. She needs time to get through it (and sometimes I do believe it is a mental block, where sometimes I think it is a vestibular issue). It sounds like your daughter is scared and needs time. Having a deadline (like States) to get over her fear is just going to make things harder for her. If she has already qualified for States, then could she just scratch floor? Or even just do floor and not do her final tumbling pass (just the ROBHS or just a RO?) Then she could still do her other events.
 
She could do the other events at state, but the issue is that state is really far away and it is going to be am expensive trip. We try not to make it about money, but we struggle to pay for gymnastics and we just are not okay with spending such a large amount of money if she is not able to compete all of her events. As I mentioned before, moving her to another group really is to be fair to her team, it is really distracting to them to have this going on now. She doesn't actually have to compete at that level.
 
I am not sure if I saw this answer up there cause my eyes are getting tired today, but will she even do it with a spot? If so, the coach can always wait in that corner at States and either truly spot her, or psych her into thinking she is being spotted. We've seen a few coaches at other gyms to do that, where they come in to spot if needed, but then step back mid skill and not actually spot them. I hope that makes sense. We've seen a couple coaches do that with the bwo on beam too in recent weeks.
 
That is a good idea and we have thought about it. Unfortunately, only once has she even done it with a sopt in the past two weeks. Most days, she won't even do a round off!
 
Oh poor baby! Send her a hug from me. I've talked on here about my daughter losing her bwo on beam and I will just reiterate to you, since she's relearned the skill, it is so much better it's unreal. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Good luck whatever you decide, but I have to agree that moving her backwards may do more harm than just scratching the meet entirely.
 
I am going through the same thing except I am an adult. I can tell you threats to move down and constant reminders of what a bad job I am doing or that I am not trying are not at all helpful.

The attitude could be from one of two things either she really is sick of gym and she feels forced because you paid and is crabby about it in which case she should take or break of quit. Or she is truly frustrated with herself and it is no fun anymore with all the reminders of what she is or isn't doing.

My guess is she is frustrated with herself. The pressure needs to be taken off for a while and the focus should be on fun while rebuilding her skills. I can also tell you once one skill goes more will likely follow as the pressure increases.

My suggestion would be let her have an out for a meet, even if it is paid for and don't talk about it at all. Not even "how was gym" take her and pick her up and only let her talk about it if she brings it up first.

As far as the team thing she isn't letting anyone down, even though there is a team score for the highest 3 or whatever people gymnastics really is an individule sport. And as for money, we all know how pricey it is and you want your money's worth but you have to understand these things will happen and sometimes you will be out money.

Good luck!
 
Thank you for the insight, I do agree that she really loves gym, she is just frustrated with herself! I have not punished her at all for not doing the skill, we have been very patient with her and the coach has been working with her. Right now, it is not as much about the meet as it is about her attitude. I agree that we don't have to try to push her to do it, I just don't think it is acceptable to be rude or disrespectful during practice. So, I am okay with her working through it as long as she is acting appropriately towards others!
 
Just a thought here. How about suggesting to the Coach that she explain to your daughter that is willing and eager to help your daughter through her fears when she is ready. To that end, the coach will suggest drills that would help your daughter regain her confidence and progress back towards the tuck. What she will not do, however, is ask your daughter more than once to do the same drill or skill. If your daughter elects not to participate that is her choice, but the coach will not cajole or threaten her because it is distracting to the team. Instead, she can sit out for that portion of the practice. If she does do a skill or drill, that is wonderful and the coach may suggest a follow-up activity. The coach will not force her to do the tuck or any skill until she is ready. When the season is over, the coach, you and your daughter can assess where things stand and set a plan for training and competing the following season.
 
Poor thing. I have seen pressure on a girl who is scared of a skill backfire in a big way. I have also seen threatening to move a girl back a level backfire in a big way. While you don't consider the move to L5 a punishment, chances are she would. I am pretty sure that your DD is going to get the back tuck again. But she is going to get it on her time. Can she move to L7 and not do the back tumbling for now since there is more flexibility with routines? I don't know for sure what L7 requirements are but since she has likely scored out of 6 why not just go on to 7 and replace the tuck? We had a very successful L8 gymnast last season who did not do any back tumbling at all...she loaded her routine up with aerials and front tumbling skills. Just a thought....again I am not that knowledgeable about what is required for 7.
 

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