Parents To discuss meet performance?

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

ChalkBucket may earn a commission through product links on the site.


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
DD is a level 8 who is about to turn 13. After a very strong level 7 season, she has been struggling with level 8. At her first meet, she got a 33.8, which I thought was a pretty decent start. She's always been a kid whose scores improve over the course of the season, but this year her scores have gotten lower and lower! Today, after her meet, the HC texted me and said, basically, she is capable of doing so much better than she is doing. Did I think it was a confidence issue? Has she talked to me about it? Well, no. She hasn't talked to me about it, and I've been following the lessons I've learned on CB and not said anything about it to her either. Now I'm wondering... Should I mention it to her? Should I tell her that HC texted me? Should I ask her if something is bothering her? States is only a month away, and while I would love it if she finishes strong (or, at least, less weak), part of me just thinks, it's a given that she will repeat 8. In a month, competition season will be over and she'll have another 8+ months to gain confidence on her level 8 skills, so why worry overmuch?

So, what do you think? Mention it or keep my mouth shut? DD gives every appearance of being a happy, go-with-the-flow kid. Everything is always, "good" or "fine." But I do know that sometimes is just an act. I don't know if it's better to follow her "everything's great" lead or to try to poke around in her psyche a bit.

Thanks in advance for your wise Chalk Bucket Parent (or gymnast or coach) answers!
"I really like watching you at meets, you make me proud to be your mom"..... That is all you need to say.

I think it is a tough situation, especially dealing with the teen/tween emotions! But it is also a bit different than the "standard-issue nagging parent" simply because the coach reached out to you about it.

Maybe your DD knows, has accepted and wants to do a 2nd year at L8? Maybe she has some latent fears that only allow her to work at the pace she's working? Maybe to her, doing 2 years at L8 is what she always planned for and things are going according to the plan she has already set in her mind? I don't know...I'm just speculating, but if she's seemingly pretty happy about things, it doesn't seem that her performance/progress is stressing her too much.

It is a good thing that her coach has faith in her and believes that she can do so much more. It's also good that her coach cares enough to reach out to you! I guess it is just a constant finding that balance between learning skills, growing physically, catching up emotionally to the new skills and then being able to actually compete them. It is pretty hard when you look at all they're dealing with, so the slower pace at the moment may be what she needs.
I know that for my 13 yr old, to discuss gymnastics at all is a BAD idea unless SHE brings it up. It never turns out well. Ultimately it is 100 percent up to her as far as what she does in the gym and at meets (you already know this). As hard as it may be I would keep quiet with her about it.
IMO, the coach should try to have this conversation with her. Gently, and calmly, just try to see where her head is. IF she brings it up to you, then allow her to talk,but I think that you are her support, and hc is her coach, and the two should remain separate.

Good luck to her and to you. It is always hard to watch them struggle in anything.
Mary, am I remembering correctly that there was discussion whether she would repeat 7 or go for 8 this season? How has her confidence been in training? What made her scores lower at the meets? That will give you some clues as to what is going on - whether it's her confidence, skills, or polishing but really, the hc should have these answers already so I am mot sure why the text, unless maybe thinking something is happening at home/school.

I don't see the harm in a simple question like "how are you feeling about the season so far?" Or maybe just ask about how she feels about training. She may be wanting to talk about it but doesn't know how to bring it up and may not feel comfortable talking to the coaches about it. I know my dd wouldn't go to her coaches and when the coaches approach her, she usually is fairly neutral, regardless of how she really feels. Dd and I do talk after practice and meets and I can get a very good sense of where she is mentally based on the talks. I don't probe, I listen and sometime encourage if I feel it's needed.
Tell her that you (fill in mommy stuff here) and will listen to, and do, anything you can to help her. It's no secret to her that she's having a hard time, but she may think or hope that you haven't noticed it, and considering your sacrifices as her gym mom, is concerned about putting more on your plate.

Nibble a bit and see if she's ready to serve up the main course.
I would maybe try to see where she's at...."how's practice been lately?" or something, and see if she responds at all. I agree that she may be looking for a way to talk to you, but doesn't know how to bring it up. I would not, however, let her know the coach texted you. At least for my own somewhat dramatic/sensitive kid (when things are not going 100% her way), that would upset her, as in, "oh my gosh - my coach is making such a big deal about this!" And I think knowing the coaches are worried enough to text you might put more stress on your DD. I know she had an issue with bottling up her worries before, so that might not be healthy.
I like the idea of the coach telling her. DD's coaches have told her she should be scoring a 36. DD took that as a good sign and solid vote of confidence. If I had said anything similar, my gymmie would have completely discounted it because I don't know what I am talking about. I would have a conversation with the coach and let them know if you what you think she needs to hear. Sometimes I think mine needs a push, other times just a vote of confidence. And an I love you No matter what can never hurt.
I'm with all of the above posters. Level 8 to me (and I have never been a gymnasts so this is pure mom talking )is really the big time gymnastics. Not to say that the other levels aren't but it's when skill level really ramps up. So feel her out on what she is thinking and what goals she would like to accomplish this year. Also has she gone through a growth spurt. I know when mine does it throw things off. Hugs to you and keep us posted on how it goes.
It does seem like level 8 is a big ramp up of skills. I would try to talk to her, but that is just me. My dd talks gymnastics to me all the time, so it is probably different for someone whose child won't talk about it. I think the coach should approach her - especially since she brought it up to you and is concerned about what is going on.
I don't see the harm in a simple question like "how are you feeling about the season so far?" Or maybe just ask about how she feels about training. She may be wanting to talk about it but doesn't know how to bring it up and may not feel comfortable talking to the coaches about it.

I don't either, without knowing the child. I would probably approach it (after a meet) with "I think you did a great job and I'm very proud of you. How do you think you did?"

You might get nothing. might open the floodgates. You can never tell with these kids.
Is there an activity you do that facilitates talking? Some kids talk more in the car or when you take a hike together. Could you quietly plan some alone time to give her a chance to open up when she won't be interrupted by her sister?
I guess I hit the reply button instead of the like button. How could that have happened?

I'm gonna tell you, from personal experience, that having a good season leads to reasonable dreams of fame and fortune for the year ahead. I had that good season and can tell you it hurts when reality wins a head to head battle with dreams. Having been there and done that, I can relate to what's happening with your dd, and likely she's beginning to wonder if she was just lucky last season, or possibly aged out of the sport when the real problem can be summed up as bad luck in training.

That stuff happens, and the best way back to "happy" is to work through it and learn how to believe in yourself again. I don't know if her reversal of fortune has had the same effect as mine did for me, but my emotional state wasn't all that pretty and didn't get better until the season was over.

Do you think that constitutes a confidence issue........
Discuss meet performance? Only to say you're proud of her and love watching.

As far as the rest, I agree with the others that are suggesting you bait the hook and see if you can get her to bite. DD had a scary fall a few months ago and didn't want to tell anyone about it (us, her coaches, etc). She tried to hide the fact that she wasn't working that skill in practice by working everything else a little more and not leaving time for it. She inadvertently coughed it up to an aunt at a family get together and we overheard it. A few private lessons to get her confidence back, and she was back on track.

It's disappointing to think that your child is struggling with something and not coming to you about it, but don't force it out. Just gently make sure she knows you're there.
From what I recall, wasn't she recovering from some injuries a while ago? Perhaps those might have crept into her mind or shaken her confidence a little? For what it's worth, I think a level 8 at 13 is AWESOME and you've been a huge supporter of hers. It's okay once in awhile to not be the shining star at a level and realize that sometimes you might have to work extra hard or repeat a level to get those harder skills. I remember watching some of those videos you've posted of her and she's come a long way and is an inspiration for girls like my daughter. :)

Good luck to you and I hope everything works out for the best.

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News