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

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I think many of you know me as the undying opimist here on CB...the champion of "you can do it!!!". But I'm at a total loss over my DD's most recent run in with fear. Her fears are paralyzing her at this point. I can't bear to watch her go through this all again. She has had severe fear to overcome at each level...it's always been there. I took her to a sports psychologist, followed Doc Ali's program with her(which helped the most), got her privates with the most supportive coaches. Through much hard work & determination she always has come out on top. State champx2 years!!! You guys know I'm proud of her...mostly for her determination to stick with the sport she loves! But each new level, each new skill, TOTALLY freaks her out & she's back to square 1. I can't stand to watch her torture her self mentally anymore! She made it to optionals this year...thought this was her ticket out of fear. Routines could be tailored to her. She started out great at her 1st 2 meets, happy, confident & motivated...trying for those things that scared her...giants & beam BHS, during practice. While she competed clear hips on bars & cart wheel/cart wheel/ RO on beam near flawlessly! Then it happened...HC changed "his" rules. Said she could not compete anymore unless she got her giant & BWO-BWO-BHS!!! I know he's trying to motivate her...yes I know she could easily do those skills. But her fear is an unusually severe case. Most girls with her fear level would have quit gymnsatics by now. But she LOVES the sport & she is VERY talented. I know the coach is frustrated with her...she is frustrated with herself. But his coaching style just isn't right for her. His style is to scream & yell & tell DD that she has "disappointed him". Since his new "rule", 2 weeks ago...DD has lost so many skills, from her kip all the way up!!! Can bearly even face setting a foot on the beam!!! There's no way she is ready to go for the bigger skills he's demanding she compete! She's lost so much in the past 2 weeks all due to stress & pressure!!! She was progressing before his "rule" change...just not fast enough for him. I feel the coach knows her talent & ability & he got greedy. Now DD is paying the price. I know everyone will post for me to "talk with the coach"...believe me...I've had so many talks with this coach...I know what he's going to say before he says it! His goals for my DD, are not the same as her goals at this point. He cannot understand, nor deal with her fears appropriately. He will not use the techniques with her, that I have paid a lot of money for her to learn. I can only do so much at home...if it's not reinforced at the gym. She's probably out of competiton for the rest of the season...due to paralyzing fear. DD loves this gym, her teammates...even this coach. She doesn't want to be a state champ again...she just wants to progress at her speed, in the sport she loves. She admits that he just "isn't the right coach for me". I'm at a total loss...there is no changing his coaching style. And I've done all that I think I can as a parent. I give her my total unconditional love & support. But between me & CB family...let me say...I cannot bear to watch her torture herself anymore! I wish she would give up the sport. I haven't said that to her though. I'm quietly looking into options at other gyms...but I know it would break her heart to leave this gym. Mentally this is an unhealthy situation for her, and I'm worried about her health. She wants to stay & says she is "handling it". But even if she comes through these most recent set backs...it will happen again. I want her to get off of this roller coaster!!! Even if she leaves this gym...these fears will go with her...plus there would be new ones, of that I'm sure. It won't be easy for her anywhere. I hate that I'm even thinking it....but when should she just hang up her grips & admit that these fears are just too much for her to overcome??? So sorry for such a loooong post, but as you can see GJM is in a very dark place today:(.
I would talk to the coach about the option of her just not competing this year. If she thinks that would take some of the pressure off. If she doesn't have the skill sets he wants and it's putting her on a rollercoaster, it may be the best option.

Another option is to see if she can compete in a lower pressure program like prep op.

There are also sports psychologists available. Although there is some written and recorded material better, it would probably be most beneficial to see someone in person if it could be arranged.

I have seen girls lose a lot of skills before. One of my friends in L8/9 had a scary, uncontrolled fall on a 1.5 punch front (someone got in the way) and it got to the point where she had to relearn BHS. It was slow, and she had to make sure she was ready to move on each time she did (i.e. nothing fixed it overnight) but she was fine. She got through it.

It's not necessarily too much for her overcome but it really depends on her coping mechanisms and how she reacts to it outside of gym. If it's affecting her quality of life, then do not pass go. There are other activities for her to enjoy. If she can brush it off then she may just progress slowly. I don't know if there is anything you can do if this HC requires certain skills. The group I competed L7 with also required giants and BHS on beam - non negotiable. You could either not compete those events as a 7 and continue to train (which in order to go to non-home meets you needed a certain AA) or you could do L6.

If the fear is really paralyzing and seriously affecting her then I wouldn't necessarily think talking to someone (sports psychologist or not) would be very draconian. I say this because there are certain personalities that are attracted to gymnastics where there is a sort of correlation with other problems through the teenage years. And I tend to see it with girls (myself included) who were really affected by the pressure in various ways. Sometimes you can leave it behind, sometimes it's more of a "symptom" than it's own disease, if that makes any sense. I don't want to scare you or say anything is a given, because there is no given and every individual reacts to circumstances differently. That is one the amazing things for me a couple years out to talk to some of my former teammates and realize how differently we perceived certain events or the extent to which someone was affected by a specific one. But personally, I would be concerned with what you described, although I only have your post to go off. The gymnastics is secondary. I would be concerned to some extent, does this (and/or other things) make her feel out of control? Is that going to color her behavior?

These problems are not unusual around 12/13. But screaming and yelling about disappointment is troublesome. It sounds like this is getting pretty extreme to me if you describe it as watching her torture herself. It's often hard to have an outside perception but you also have to trust your instincts. If you think this is affecting her too much, then I'd be looking at more serious measures...any and all. There's some point where it's just not worth it.
GJM I feel very sad for you and DD. Fear is such a huge thing for teen girls and it sounds like you have done all the right things but, it is hard without coach support.:(

I have no wise words only support for you both. I think you and DD may need to sit down and look at what she wants and where she wants to go with gymnastics.

If she still wants to be in the sport and her present coach is no help in the fear area it may be time to move on. I don't say this lightly.I am not a fan of walking away from clubs when you have problem. However I am also unwilling to see a coach cause so much stress to a kid for ther own gyms glory. It is not fair to change rules midseason!! :eek:IMHO

My DD just conquered a fear of giants I know there will be a next time and a another skill but for now she is in a good place.

We are very very fortunate to have a supportive non-yelling coach in regards to fear issues. I am unsure how a single guy in his late 40'swith no kids of his own does it but, he is great at supporting teen girls and thei fear issues.

I know there are all kinds of clubs out there. The high pressure ones as well as the low pressure who just want kids to suceed at their own rate. Our club is the later of the 2 our team kids do fine but they are not on the top of the medal stand very often but we do medal. My DD's team is a haven of love and support from her team members and coaching staff. I wish this for all girls on team regardless of the clubs philosophy. It is possible to do this and win!

I wish you best of luck I will be praying for you both!
I really feel your frustration here. I coach a group of girls who are no longer competing, and one of them stopped due to mental blocks on backwards skills. Last night we did bwo on beam. The other girls were doing bhs step outs on the low beam, but I stayed with the fearful one and spotted 6 bwo. They were all beautiful, flawless. I kept telling her that. By the 6th I had girls asking for help on the bhs, so I just had to tell her that I needed to step away to be fair to the other girls. I left her with the option of using whatever she needed in the way of mats to make herself comfortable, told her she had nothing to fear if she chose to go for it and hoped for the best. In the end she did a bunch with panel mats on either side of the low beam, I was very proud of her and relieved at the same time.

While I can relate, it's much harder in a competitive situation. It's just not practical, especially right before or mid-season, to have to get the gymnast to perform a skill they already have and should be on the perfecting stage of. I agree with taking a season off, but remaining on the team and keeping up with their workouts. If her coach doesn't have the pressure to get her 'competition ready' he'll hopefully use the time to relate to her in a constructive way that gets the best from her. As a parent I'd ask him to consider anything useful the sports psychologist says that may be helpful or particularly enlightening. If he's not willing to do that, then I'd look for a new gym or ask DD to consider her other options within the gym that don't include competition.

As everyone is saying, fear is totally normal. Everyone works through it in their own way, but I can't imagine getting bullied into a skill or berated for not performing does anything but exacerbate the issue.
Looking for a new gym makes sense to me. I think the coach in the situation is probably hurting more than helping. For most kids the yelling and threatening intensifies the fear. My dd was with a coach for a time that used this technique and there were way MORE kids in that program with fear issues than I've seen elsewhere. Kids with fear often have control issues and they can't be forced to overcome the fear. It needs to be done on the kid's own terms. Often when a coach backs off, the kid steps up.
Oh sweetie I really feel for you both, this is very hard to watch and the more she is pushed the worse it will become for her. She needs to feel as though she is in control and that she can manage her fears. If the coach keeps on pushing this way she will crack. For him to implement a rule that is so obviously pointed at just her, when she had found her own way to deal with it, is cruel and the act of a bully.

Manipulation will not work when she is terrified. She may benefit from a positive reinforcment programme, but I do not see how she would be able to trust that coach even if he felt like changing, which of course he won't

Really honestly I see only a few choices, she quits and looses her passion, bad idea she needs to end gym on a good note if that is possible. Finding a gym who is prepared to work with her, either at L7 or in a prep op type situation. She needs a kind, understanding coach who gets her.

Try not to lose heart, she has already acheived so much and as L7 has got so much farther than most gymnasts.She is still very young and this extreme fear stage will probably decrease as she gets older. I would go and check out the Y's and also a few other clubs. Let her be a part of the whole thing. It's not as though she has a ton of team mates to lose based on what you have said in earlier posts. She may benefit hugely from a new gym, with new freinds and a totally new coaching philosophy.

(((((HUGS)))))) to you both. You are a great Mom with a wonderful and talented daughter, lets hope you can find her something positive to end her gym career with, when she is ready.

Oh GJM, I am so sorry and saddened to hear that. It seems like this coach will never see eye to eye with her and sounds like it is just futile. I would seriously look at other gyms in your area. Or even think of taking a break from gymnastics and give cheerleading a shot. I know that sounds drastic but it is an option. There are many gymnasts that crossover to the cheer world and get a renewed sense of energy and passion again. Your dd sounds like she would make for an excellent flyer and she already has the beautiful tumbling which would make for a great asset to any cheer team. Cheerleading is still a very competitive sport and they work very hard but in a team atmosphere. You may want to pm flippymonkeysmom. Her dd made the switch to cheer and I hear she is loving it and doing awesome.

But the choice is really up to your dd and you. I think by being so wrapped up and involved with everything right now, it is hard for her to untangle the mess. She needs a little space to clear her head and get to the root or core of everything. Once you figure out that, you can more easily figure out a solution. I think the biggest step for her that would help the most is to get her out of any negative environment.

Hang in there, I know it is hard, but we are all here for you.


Sounds like it's time to activate the Omega 13. You can see what I'm talking about here

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Probably the best thing to do is to take a few weeks off from gymnastics while she decides what she wants to do.

I am so sorry, I have no words of wisdom but I read your post and my heart hurt. I can feel your frustration jump right out of the computer. Just wanted to say I am sorry for what you & your DD are going thru and I hope whatever you decide to do it brings an end to the stress. I am sure what the coach did is what put the fork in her...she's come such a long way, but sometimes it just takes one little thing to set you back miles. Maybe she need s little time to decided what to do and if she wants to stay in gymnastics. Maybe there is another gym or another program? Here in NJ there is a program called JOGA and it is a competative team but less hours than USAG, less pressure, meets are in-state only, and many L7's that leave USAG tend to do that when they want to stay in the gym but with less hours and less stress. Maybe your DD would like something like that? ((HUGS))
Time to walk!

There is no way at this point you should have to continue getting your daughter put through the grinder. I too have had issues with a coach that my daughter developed fear issues with that have from time to time still haunted her. We too have availed ourselves of Doc Ali's services and she knows her stuff. Problem is that if a coach has blatent disregard for the techniques...yes I know it came with a price tag... all that work is for nothing as the coach pushes all the wrong buttons and insists on the "my way only" approach. Time to have a serious sitdown with DD about choices IMHO and be candid with her on your observations with the coaches techniques and its effect on her. I am sure she feels horrible and all the magic that worked for her is but hollow words now because the coach appears to have a limited and costly technique with DD. We have walked this path to another gym after close to eight years at the same one and have never regreted it. Some issues linger but my DD is happier and has bumped up two levels this year. Just my opinion and I know it is not the only option just the one that has worked for us. My families thoughts are with you and we wish you the very best.
I have no words of wisdom, but wanted to send you and your DD HUGE hugs. I might seriously look into finding a new gym for her because it is obvious this coach is not going to work with her in a way that is beneficial to her. It is hard to leave teammates, etc, but I think right now, her emotional well being is more important. She will make new friends and with technology today, can keep in touch with her old ones as well.

A good friend's daughter is a L6 and she is 12. She has huge fear issues with her BWO on beam and BHS/ BT. It is pain for ME to watch and she is not even my daughter. I have been brought to tears watching her try to do these skills.

I get SO frustrated when the coaches get frustrated with her, make her leave practice or walk away from her, etc. I know that coaches get frustrated as well, but no girl WANTS to be afraid of a skill. They are trying so hard to do it and their mind is not letting them.

She has tried Doc Ali as well, but don't think her coaches use the techniques. It is absolutely heartbreaking. She sounds like your daughter, she is a beautiful gymnast, very talented, but her fear is taking over her. She was training L7, but they moved her back to L6 because of her fear issues.

I hope that you guys can find a good solution so that your DD can continue to do what she loves. She has come so far and got through so much.
Thanks to all of you!!! Especially Team Dad....you brought a smile to my face:D! I'm taking all of your posts to heart! Thank you for your replies! I'm doing some research to seek out what other options are available for my DD. She had a bit of a break for the past 2 days...gym was closed Wed, due to bad weather & HC was not in today for some reason. So she came home happy & bubbly...back to her old self. She says when HC isn't there she feels like 'a weight is lifted off of her'. I agree totally that this is a control issue with her. She has had psychological evaluations with past episodes of fear. She has a type "A" personality, perfectionist. Wants to do things perfectly the 1st time. She never cries(which I'm not sure is a good thing)...she holds everything inside. She is very self driven & determine...and stubborn at times. In most cases...things do tend to come easy to her. These traits can work for her or against her. When things are going her way...not stressing her.. life is great! But when she is stressed, she turns inward. Bottled up stress is never a good thing! In the gym, her stress or lack of control, manifest itself as fear & regression of skills. She strives for perfection in every skill...if it seems too far from her reach she retreats(balks)...fearing failure, which she deems unacceptable. We know she thrives with baby steps. Attainable goals, leading to success & then a slow progression of increasing the goals. But it takes time. Time that this coach isn't willing to give her. She is never disrepectful to her coach...although he is to her! She respects him & wants more than anything to get some type of praise from him. Even when she made state champ, he did not congratulate her! Other coaches did...but not him. And now that she is an optional gymnast, he is her HC. Mentally, you could say they are like 2 bulls facing off, head to head. She wants to please him...but he refuses to give her any praise...only pushes her harder & harder. I see what is happening...that is why I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by letting her continue there? I can see she will never please him. Although I'm sure he is pleased at times...he would NEVER let her(or even me) know it. She will never get the positive reinforcement from him, that she craves. But she doesn't want to give up. She has 2 teammates that she is especially close too. They've all been together since pre-team & are like sisters to her. Plus she loves all of the coaches...even this guy?!?! It's a love-hate relationship! For right now, I'm quietly keeping a close eye on her moods & food intake(to make sure she continues to eat well). And letting her "handle it" as she requests. Reviewing with her, all of the relaxation techniques & other skills she learned while in therapy before. These techniques have helped her in the past. But he refuses to use them with her! I'm also going to be making calls to other area gyms, to see what other options she has. She doesn't want to quit or switch gyms at this point(I did say she can be stubborn didn't I???). But at least if I start researching gyms, I can tell her what I find. Then she'll know that she has other options. And it is all about control really! So we'll just take it day by day. See how the next practice with HC goes. Looks like I'm stuck on this roller coaster for another ride:eek:! Can somebody get me a good price on my highblood pressure medication????
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Hey GJM--that is awful that HC never congratulates her. So when does she know when she does well??? If he never congratulates her on a job well done, it leaves her feeling like she is NEVER good enough (at least in the coaches eyes). And to most gymnasts the coach is GOD to them. This can lead to some serious issues with self-esteem and self-worth. And with her type A personality, that can be an extremely dangerous and volital (sp?) situation. It sounds like a very emotionally abusive relationship. She needs to break the cycle and get out of it.

My dd used to be the same way...everything came easy to her when she was younger. School and sports were a cake walk and she really didn't have to try. But once things got a bit harder and she really had to work for it, she would stress out and not know how to cope. She was so caught up on being perfect and doing everything right the first time she would get easily frustrated when it didn't happen. Her first B on her report card last year was like the world coming to an end for her. I told her that B's are good and that I do not expect her to get straight A's. All I expect is that you try your best. She was almost shocked by that statement and very relieved. Poor thing--she can be so hard on herself sometimes. And now with the tumbling--I totally took the pressure off of her and said that she will get it when she is ready. That makes a world of difference! Since my dd has perfectionistic tendencies I try to take the focus off of grades in school and just reinforce that she always gives her best effort. With the gymnastics, I am now trying to focus on skills and goals as opposed to scores and placements at meets. All the drama that went down at her last meet with her teammate made me think a little bit about her gymnastics and what I really want her to learn from the experience of the sport.

I think your attitude with your dd GJM is so right on with her--letting her take her time and letting her pace herself and always giving her support and positive encouragement. But this coach--he is just something that she does not need in her life. She needs support, encouragement and she needs to be around positive people that will bring her self esteem up to where it needs to be. Sorry if I am rambling on but I see a lot of similarities between your dd and mine. My dd was with a coach just like yours when she was 7 and 8 yrs old and I had to pull her out because of his negative coaching style. The yelling, threatening and name calling were breaking my dd down to the point where she never cried and showed emotion at practice and she would just shut down and not talk to him, she would just stare blankly and shrug her shoulders. I am thankful that I got her out of that environment as soon as I did, but I feel like some damage has already been done.

I totally feel for you and am very sad and heartbroken for the both of you. I don't know if I am being of any help but Iam always here to lend an ear!!! You both are in my thoughts and prayers!!!!
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I agree totally that this is a control issue with her. She has had psychological evaluations with past episodes of fear. She has a type "A" personality, perfectionist. Wants to do things perfectly the 1st time. She never cries(which I'm not sure is a good thing)...she holds everything inside. She is very self driven & determine...and stubborn at times. In most cases...things do tend to come easy to her. These traits can work for her or against her. When things are going her way...not stressing her.. life is great! But when she is stressed, she turns inward. Bottled up stress is never a good thing! In the gym, her stress or lack of control, manifest itself as fear & regression of skills. She strives for perfection in every skill...if it seems too far from her reach she retreats(balks)...fearing failure, which she deems unacceptable.

I would keep a close eye on this. It sounds like the coach is not helping. If that were the only choice I would probably encourage her to quit and perhaps try some new activities. If there are other options, I would encourage her to consider trying them.

This is a pretty good book: Amazon.com: Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (Ballantine Reader's Circle): Mary Pipher: Books (not about gymnastics, about teenage girls and some control issues in general).
I think the coach is cruel to change the rules midseason.A better expectation would have been to let her compete the skills she does this seson and set new goals for next.I think my daughter is fortunate to have low pressure coaches.
I definetly would sit down with her and talk about different options.I would also talk to the coach and voice my concerns.
Wow, you are in a tough situation. But, on the positive side it sounds like the gym is teaching your daughter amazing life skills. She is scared but works her butt off to face her fears and doesn't give up in the face of adversity. Whatever she ends up doing in the long run it sounds like she will be a super success in life, and really isn't that what we want for our kids from their gym anyway. One day it won't matter if they can do that difficult series on beam, but the skills they got from overcoming the fear they will take with them for a life time.

The biggest thing for me would be that your daughter WANTS to continue, she loves the gym and the work. Although it may frustrate her she probably enjoys the challenges as well. Some kids need serious challenges in their lives, they thrive on it, they will one day become the people who run big business's.

I would definatly keep looking into other gyms. Many kids don't want to change because change is scary. they are comfortable with their own environment, own friends, own coaches and own equipment. And the idea of going somewhere new is petrifying. But often whhen they get there they find tthey make friends and fit in quite easily and its not so bad. Why not keep her on the team at her gym but takle her for a trial at other gyms on a day she isn't training. That way she doesn't feel like she has burned her bridges so to speak.

I know of a girl who had a very similar problem, great gymnast but lots of fear. She went to a new gym and the fear dissapeared. Something about the new environment and new coaches just gave her a new boost of confidence. Also at a new gym she would have the thirst to prove herself. The coaches at her old gym know she is talented they dont need it proven. Thaat drive to prove herself may drive the fear back.
Thank you all! I wish I could figure out how to "Multi" quote so I could address individual comments...I can't seem to figure out how to do it.....Aussie coach--you have DD all figured out...would you be her coach???:p I'm serious! Many people have said that they see DD running a company someday!!!! And the thought of changing gyms does petrify her...she thinks she's better off with 'the devil that she knows'. Also, she doesn't want to leave her 2 BFF's, that have already been through so much with her. She does thrive on challenge. I just wonder how much is too much for her??? Will she realize when enough is enough, or should I step in & force her? Force her to switch gyms or even take a break from the sport, when she says that's not what she wants to do:confused:? DD & I have a GREAT relationship...I don't want do anything to harm that!......Hunde2--yes, this coach is cruel I totally agree! What's even worse..I know him so well...I predict that next week...he will tell DD she can go back to what she was doing!?! Now that she has lost everything...& won't even step on the beam! How much should I bet??? He has always played mind games with her! Of course, now that her fear has taken over, it will take her months to even to get back those skills. And she just competed & came in 2nd AA with them, just over 2 weeks ago!!! He has no idea what a mess he has made of her mentally, with these mind games & "rule" changes!.....Gymdog--I will get that book! Thanks! I have had many talks with other parents at the gym...we all wonder if how HC treats the girls will effect their view of men later in life? How he treats them is mental abuse in my book. They all want to please him, but nothing any of them does is ever good enough for him. DD & I have a very open line of communication...she spills her guts to me & I love it! I always want her to know she can come to me & I will help her best I can. At this point I just don't know if my supporting her in this case, is the right thing??? I have no doubt that any gym in this area would love to have her on their team. There must be one that could handle her fear issues better! I'm also looking ahead to next year when she enters highschool...she will be taking all honors classes....talk about stress! She may be handling her situation with HC now...but what about next year?? ......Mdgymmom--our DD's almost sound like they could be sisters! They scene you described with your DD...getting yelled at by her former coach...she just 'stared blankly, listened, showed no emotion & never cried'. That is exacty how my DD responds to this coach. I can only imagine what is going on inside her head:(! Thank you for all of your support & advice & friendship!!!!.....Lakshmi--Soooo Happy to hear that your DD came through a similar situation & is thriving!!!!:D You have given me hope!!!! I hope I can get her to look at other gyms!!! There is no way she deserves to be treated this way by her current HC...she does know that(I hope!)...I tell her that constantly!....Blackie & Maripossa---You are both soooo sweet & great moms! I know your DD's are very young still, just begining their gymnastics careers. I feel so old thinking back to my DD at those stages!!! I wish I would have had my CB family to guide me over the years!....I love my CB family!!! I really do take your all of your advice to heart!!! Thank you all for being there for me & reading my very loooong posts:D!
Sorry I didnt get in the post sooner, I dont have any advise that hasnt already been given. I just wanted give you a cyber hug and tell you to keep up the good work. We are the best advocates for our kids. We know what is best for them. Trust your heart.

Your DD is a strong one that keeps emotions inside. MY DD2 is like that, Sometimes I have to try and 'crack' her... What I have done is get a journal and write a note in it, put it in her bed and then tell her to write back to me. I start off with things like. "When I was in 5th grade my favorite subject was Math' Then move on to things like "once when i was in 6th grade I had a friend that told a lie about me, it really hurt my feelings" Or something related to what I thought she was going through. It is easier for her to write down what she feels than to tell me how she feels... just a thought if you are having a hard time getting her to talk to you....

I am sure she will get through it! Hugs to you and DD
GJM--got in late on this thread as well. Wanted to say our girls could be long lost twins. Mine is the exact same type---perfectionist, must succeed at all cost, stubborn as a mule---you certainly know the type. I think you got your answer when you said dd was back to her old self on days when the gym was closed. It may take time for her to see the connection and be willing to look into other programs.

My gymmie went through the yelling and belittling at her 1st gym. All over doing the bhs-bhs series on beam. It still haunts her to this day, but at the current gym all are aware of the situation and nobody is forcing it down her throat. Was talking with the beam coach just a couple of days ago and she said she knows gymmie can do it, but no pushing until SHE believes she can do it. You know the strange thing is these girls get so attached to their coaches, that many times it almost takes the coach slapping them across the face for them to make that break. I could see my gymmie slowly losing confidence and not wanting to be alone in the gym with the previous coach for practices(she only felt comfortable when other coaches were there). Finally it got to the point that the thought of going to practice made her physically sick and then she caved and said "I want out." That was the time we had to discuss out of the sport or just this gym. She still wanted to do gymnastics, but even though she knew she could not train with this coach anymore, making the change was hard----at first. I think to her going to another gym=failure. We didn't have alot of options for gyms, but this one has been a pretty good fit.

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. A month or 2 off while looking for other programs may be a workable solution also.

I'll be sending positive thoughts your way. Sorry if I rambled on!
my 12yr old DD is also very afraid suddenly

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!!!!

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