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Analysis Paralysis?

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Harv

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So, at his first workout after finding out he's going to be skipped from L4 to L6, my hotshot boy, Mr. L4 state champ, forgot how to do a back handspring. :eek:

About 2-1/2 hours into the workout, after doing all sorts of cool stuff (including double back handsprings followed by back tuck), he suddenly couldn't do the back handspring any more. The more he struggled, the worse it got. It eventually turned into a total mental freeze-out. He couldn't do even a single roundoff back handspring by itself.

The coaches worked with him for about 20 minutes, and eventually just told him to take a break. After the break, he still couldn't do it, so that was pretty much the end of his workout. :(

I know this is not an uncommon phenomenon -- it happened several times to me back in my prehistoric past in track, volleyball, martial arts, etc. But it always came back. Maybe better than before. I've heard of it happening to professional athletes, and I think I even recall a thread or two on the subject right here on the ol' Chalk Bucket.

So my question is, now that I'm the parent, how do I handle it with my boy? He's pretty depressed about it right now. How do I encourage him? I can't say for sure when he'll get it back. I'm hoping he will return to normal at his next workout in a couple of days, but I can't promise it.

Maybe a little feedback from our young athletes here who have experienced this? Coaches?

- Harv
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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It happens all the time, it is really nothing to worry about at all. If he talks about it just remind hime that he has had his BHS for xx amount of time and that he hasn't lost it, it's kind of like gymnastics amnesia. Gymnastics is all about muscle memory, his body and mind know exactly how to do the skill and I can guarantee it will be back. Tell him you are so not concerned as it isn't anything to stress about. The bigger deal you make of it the more he will fret.

EVERY gymnast goes through this, the hardest thing for parents to do is to let go of it. Just say that it will come back., 'cos it will.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
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Don't bring it up at all. If he wants to talk about it, discuss it with him, but if he doesn't bring it up don't bring it up for him.

Generally in situations like this, if the parent says much about it, it just makes the kid feel more pressured, which makes the problem worse. The problem is very likely that he feels too much pressure, and has probably psyched himself out a bit with the skip to level 6 (as well as anything else that may be causing him stress).

Just be patient and give it time. Don't pressure him, don't even mention the issue unless he brings it up first, and he'll get over it in due time.
 
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Harv

Guest
Well, last night they did floor exercises again, and it looked to me like he did jes' fine. As per your suggestions, I hadn't broached the subject at all since the lapse. On the way home, he did make the comment that he "got it back", but it "feels clumsy" and his form "ain't what it used to be".

I gave him the ol' "Don't worry about it" and changed the subject to the more positive parts of his workout.

the hardest thing for parents to do is to let go of it
I think that's the lesson I got out of this. I gotta learn to take a step back and relax a little myself. :p Thanks for putting some perspective on it.

- Harv
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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Harv,

Glad the skill came back. LOL. It happens sometimes. Especially when they are working on something else very hard, sometimes they "lose" a skill they have had for awhile, but it always "comes back." Definitely very hard to let go as a parent sometime. I need to try that myself.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Well, last night they did floor exercises again, and it looked to me like he did jes' fine. As per your suggestions, I hadn't broached the subject at all since the lapse. On the way home, he did make the comment that he "got it back", but it "feels clumsy" and his form "ain't what it used to be".

I gave him the ol' "Don't worry about it" and changed the subject to the more positive parts of his workout.

I think that's the lesson I got out of this. I gotta learn to take a step back and relax a little myself. :p Thanks for putting some perspective on it.

- Harv

Hey Harv--I am going through this exact same thing with my dd. She has been going back and forth with the BHS for about 1 1/2 years now. I have learned through experience that when kids are introduced new skills (like multiple handsprings and back tucks) it takes a while for the kids "to understand the differences" between the skills and it confuses them a bit. The BHS is going "up and back" and the back tuck is more of just "going up". And then when kids start thinking about the skill more, it leaves room for fear and "what ifs" to enter the mind. These "losing of skills" is so common. The best thing to do is not talk about it and take all the pressure out of the skill when kids are having trouble and balking and hesitating. It can be very frustrating as a parent so just hang in there. I'm glad that he was able to "get it back" and he is noticing things about his form--it means that he is aware and concious of his air and body awareness.
 
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