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For Parents Achieving an "I can do it" attitude

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gymmom41

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New to this, but would love some ideas/advice! We haven't hit a full "block" yet, but my Level 5 DD is psyching herself out before practice and meets. She fixates on one thing she's having a hard time with and it keeps her from concentrating on her other skills and really hurts her confidence. Have tried to convince her to talk to herself and fixate on positive thoughts. Have printed song lyrics she likes with empowering phrases. Talked to her about breathing and focus. What are things your gymnast does to start a meet or practice with a good, confident attitude?
 

Seeker

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Does she do this with other things, or is this the first time you've noticed this behavior?

How old is she? Do you feel like she is truly struggling with some things/skills or are the issues minor but made bigger in her head?
 

gymmom41

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Does she do this with other things, or is this the first time you've noticed this behavior?

How old is she? Do you feel like she is truly struggling with some things/skills or are the issues minor but made bigger in her head?

She's 8. It's new but has been going on all year on and off. Started with a fall with a minor injury. She'll do better for a while then re-fixate on it.
 

mommeeluv

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Mar 25, 2017
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No experience with meets but you can tell her that practice makes better, everyone makes mistakes and that's okay. She is capable of anything she put her mind to. Never give up! Share with her some words of encouragement. Remind her of how special she is to everyone by pointing out her unique characteristics. Bring back hard times she may have encountered so she can remember that she will get through this too.
 

klv8

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Jul 14, 2015
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Music can be a great tool - maybe a special playlist she can listen to on the way to practice?
Reminding her of other obstacles she's overcome?
Allowing her to talk about what is bothering her, but redirecting the conversation to something positive after a certain amount of time?

Hope you are able to find something that really works for her! :)
 

CLgym

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Dec 22, 2014
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This is kind of silly, but my DD (also age 8) read the Laurie Hernandez book called 'I Got This' -- One chapter apparently talks about meet anxiety and different strategies that Laurie uses, including using/smelling peppermint oil -- and DD wanted to try it. I bought her a small roll-on of diluted peppermint essential oil. Most likely psychological, but she used it at the State meet and reported it helped. Sometimes I think my DD just likes to have something affirmative to do (like apply peppermint oil) because it helps her feel more in control of her anxiety.
 

cadybearsmommy

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Sometimes it can just be a phase.....if it persists there is always Doc Alli materials you can look at for fear and anxiety issues. The workbook really helped my dd but she's a bit older.

I do give my dd an all natural chewable supplement called "Relax-a-saurus" before meets, I get it on amazon and it does helps to calm her nerves a bit. My son with ADHD takes it daily. It's a very small dose of L-theanine which both my husband and I take the adult supplement for anxiety daily as well. You can tell she's more relaxed and having fun with her friends versus being anxious and psyching herself out.
 
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thefellowsmom

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Dec 13, 2010
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our family swears by Rescue Remedy

http://amzn.to/2nIR6dD

Works great for mild anxiety.

My dd also swears that a few skittles (jordan weiber did this I think?) before a meet makes for a good day.

On the doc ali sorta front, have her come up with a couple of words that make her feel her best in the gym. For example my dd uses "strong, confident, relaxed". She uses these before turns, before meets, she repeats them over and over with her eyes closed until she can feel herself get into the zone before practice. She uses them when she visualizes as well. At this point after years of using them she can put herself in and pull herself back to her zone just by saying these words to herself.

Visualization has helped my dd a lot as well and I have started to use it with my 9 year old swimmer to help with his anxiety about meets as well. The night before or on the way, whatever works best, they visualize a great routine or skill or swim race. Perfect form, feeling confident, stick the landing, you get it. This works well for skills they are afraid of or struggling to get a correction on as well.

Good luck!
 
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MuggleMom

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Dec 22, 2016
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My daughter started having anxiety about going to the gym after some changes with coaches. I made her a "Brave oil" with essential oils she really liked and put it in a roll on with a fun sticker on it and let her keep it in her gym bag. Sometimes she used it sometimes not but it seemed to help her feel more in control of the situation and she swears it makes her brave. Also when she is feeling down about not having certain skills I remind her of all the things she couldn't do 6 months ago that she is now very good at. It helps to give her some perspective.
 
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JMACAZ

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Jan 13, 2013
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I agree with the previous posters. I also remind her that her Coach would not have her do something that she was not able to. And a few of our favorite sayings " You have to want it more than you are afraid of it, she believed she could so she did and I can, I will, End of story.
 
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