Mental Blocks

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Proud Parent
My daughter seems to be going thorugh "blocks" lately and I am not sure how to approach the situation.

She was doing her back walkover back handsprings on the high beams with no problems (or any falls to scare her) and all of a sudden she doesn't even want to attempt them.

In the same week she went from doing her cast to handstands on the high bar in the mitts to not trying them at all.

She is only 7yo so I just ask her how her day was and she does not even mention that anything is wrong. Is this just a phase that will pass or is there something beneath the surface that I should be digging deeper into?
7 years old? I wouldn't worry. In fact, worrying about it is probably the worst thing you can do -- generally, mental blocks get worse when kids feel pressured to get through them by their parents.

I wouldn't even ask her about it. If she brings it up and wants to talk about it, go ahead, but it is important that she not feel any pressure from you to get through it.

She'll get through it when she's ready.
Normal Normal Normal

Every gymnast goes through these phases I think every year as they compete. Every gymnast has that one move or one piece of equipment that seems to strike that fear cord. For my DD it's beam.
Your DD will eventually go back to doing the skills but if there is extra pressure or extra focus on it I found that it just prolongs getting it. I sort of do the matter of factly thing on the ride home and may ask a quick question like So hows the beam connection coming along? (that is what my DD has a fear of) She will say something like Still trying to get it I might respond with something like well don't forget to ask for a spot if you think you need one. (my dd doen't ask for them when she really should)Then I just move on to other skills in other events asking questions for conversation so there is no real hard focus on that. We always talk about how practice went when we drive home so its not like its something out of the blue. I usually start with .. So what did you work on today? Thats enough to get her going - she is a talker and loves to tell me about everything she did.

DD tells me that at our Jan 15th meet the coach is planning on letting her add in her giant to her bars routine. She has been doing her giant since last Feb but this will be the first meet she will compete the giant. She is a little nervous but I know she will do fine. Of course to get her over the fear there is a small amount of bribery involved too. I told her if she can do the giant at that meet she can pick out a new Leo. Well she has one all picked out now she just has to perform. (of course I've already ordered it and will most likely give it to her anyway with the explination that I think she deserves it for giving it a good try)
Almost every (maybe every, if they stick with it) gymnast will face fears and mental blocks at some time. Your daughter is facing them at a young age because she is doing advanced skills at a young age (congrats to her!). It is normal and to be expected. The worst thing you can do is to focus on it and put pressure on her. You may think you are not putting pressure on her, but even just asking questions and putting focus on the skills may be perceived as pressure by her. Just keep supporting her and know she will work through it in time. Try not to talk about it and instead talk about anything that is going well for her (including things that have nothing to do with gymnastics). She WILL work though it, and she will be stronger for it!

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