Anyone else think that COVID brought the end of gym for your gymnast?

Flyaway

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I wasn't sure if I should put this in the COVID forum or parent forum. But it's related to COVID, so here you go.

Anyone else thinking that this might be the end for your gymnast? Dd has been out of the gym for 9 weeks. Honestly, she is outwardly not showing any signs of missing it. We have equipment, she doesn't use it. I encourage her to do some conditioning, she willinging does something for a couple days and then a week will go by with nothing. I see no internal motivation in her to accomplish anything related to gym during this break. I think this prolonged break has highlighted the reality that she could probably walk away now and be just fine.

She's been a gymnast as long as she can remember. Her path has been a slow one. She is proud of her accomplishments and they are meaningful to us. But she was never going to be an Olympian or college gymnast. I have long wondered if she's still doing gymnastics just because it's all she's ever known. She'll be in high school next year, and there's so many other paths for her to explore. In many ways, I'm eager to see how she blossoms in other areas.

I haven't brought it up with her. I really would prefer her to come to this conclusion on her own. But I do think once the gym gets plans in place to reopen (won't be for awhile), we may need to have an honest conversation. I know I've written before about thinking she's done. Maybe my gut instinct is right. Any thoughts or advice? Commiseration? :)
 
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MILgymFAM

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I worry my DD may be done, but for different reasons. She just might not find a gym that will train her once everything opens back up due to her age/level/our ability to pay, and her school may very well drop gymnastics from their club list to save money. Yes, she’s older at 18, but she doesn’t feel close to done yet and she’s only been doing it for five years.

With your daughter it could be she’s done, or it could be she just isn’t a home gymnast- home workouts and zoom workouts are hardly a sub for actual gym... and maybe she just isn’t feeling it. I would probably have the conversation before sending her back though, once they open. Maybe she is done and the idea of going back to the way things were will clarify that for her.
 

mommyof1

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I fear that my daughter is done. She is also headed to ninth grade this fall and was supposed to be training L6 right now. Gymnastics has been her world since the first day she stepped into the gym in kindergarten. Looking back, I think she was born loving gymnastics. She started playing "gymnast" at 18 months. But the road to optionals has been long, winding, and beset with heartbreak. Her last two meets were disastrous thanks to fear issues on her flyaway and general nerves. When the gym closed, she was already worrying about how she would balance high school and gymnastics and was talking of competing Platinum instead of L6 even though this would probably mean she would never compete giants, which has always been her dream. She looks forward to her gym's Zoom sessions, but on 1.5 hours a week she's already lost a lot of conditioning. She still talks about "when I get back in the gym," but realistically that won't be for a year or more. Unless she improves her mental toughness while she's out of the gym, I just can't see her having the patience to regain her conditioning and skills after that much time away. But perhaps the rigor of high school coursework will help her develop the necessary grit. Only time will tell.
 

cp13

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I have thought the same thing about my DD. She is also going into 9th grade. She competed L5 in 7th grade and had a back injury on a fall on a back tuck on floor. Optionals stressed her out last year at this time and she moved to Xcel and she was short a skill or two to compete XP last year. So, she had a successful XG season but her back tumbling mental blocks came back mid season and she wound up having to compete all front tumbling. So, she was working on upgrading her skills and now we have an extended break. She says she really wants to continue and doesn't want to quit. She was doing a lot of independent conditioning and participating in team challenges at first during quarantine and now she is doing that less and less but always attends team zoom practices. During quarantine, her gym friends are her social life, not her school friends. I am not sure what's going to happen when the gym reopens. It's going to be scary to send her back. With all of the precautions, there is still a risk of getting infected. I am not sure I am comfortable. However, gym has been such a big part of her identity and social life.

With the extended break, I am sure bars is going to be the hardest to get back and bars have always been hard for her. She lives to compete and we were told that in our state, there may not be meets next year. No one knows. It may just be in house meets. I think she will want to go back as long as her social life is there. She may lack motivation if there are no meets scheduled or if her other teenage teammates quit. With Covid, part of me wouldn't mind if she quit now but I love the sport and would love her to continue too.
 

raenndrops

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YG could go either way. She doesn't like Zoom so she hasn't done any of the team stuff. She is doing the conditioning from the home workout list occasionally (because she is in gym class "at school" and she has to turn in activity logs weekly). She did comment that she needs to start doing it more though. She will be in 10th grade next year and has always struggled with school, but is actually doing BETTER in some of her classes now ... partly because there is no penalty for late work and partly because she is working with me more and I explain things in a language she understands (YG-ese, lol).
 
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gymgal

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I think it is tough to gauge interest level and whether they will want to return based on how motivated they are when they are out of their sport. My ds is a year round high school aged swimmer and has shown no motivation to keep up his strength during this time. That doesn't mean that he will not want to go back to swimming when it starts back up (hopefully the next week). He enjoys practices and seeing his friends. He enjoys pushing himself in the pool but he is just not the type of kid that will initiate working out on his own and certainly not if his parents encourage it. His team even has zoom sessions for their dryland. He hasn't participated once. He just has very low motivation for it now. Doesn't mean he won't want to dive back in when they are ready.

If you think about how difficult it is for adults to start/maintain an exercise routine - even though: we know we should, we know it is best for our bodies, we feel good when we are in the middle of it. This is no different. My college gymnasts knows how important conditioning is while she is away from the gym and she is doing some but not as much as she probably should and I know it is certainly a lot harder to initiate than just going to the gym and doing it with the group

Not saying this is not a good conversation to have with our kids. It is, especially with how expensive these sports are. Just saying that kids' motivation outside of the gym, pool, court, field isn't always a reflection on how much they like/love the sport itself when they are immersed in it.
 

mommyof1

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I agree that motivation to condition may not be the best indicator of motivation to return. But I also think that it's going to be difficult to return after an extended break, and even more difficult for those who have not been conditioning much. Kids are also going to realize that they can, in fact, live without the sport. Those who were continuing with gymnastics mainly because it was all they'd ever known or primarily for social reasons may be happy not to return.
 
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Gymx2

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I don't think so, but time will tell. Both of my kids have been really motivated to keep up with conditioning and do the group Zoom workouts, and they both talk a lot about how much they want to be back in the gym. It is tough to know how it will impact them when they do get back and have to go back to basics and maybe relearn skills they'd mastered. There could be new fears or mental blocks. I hope not- or if that happens I hope they can work through those things.
 

mls529

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@Flyaway I was thinking the exact same thing as your post this morning. Same age as my DD. Also a gymnast since she was tiny. No motivation to do anything right now. A couple of months ago, she was talking about what her HS gym floor routine would look like, and had goals and excitement about starting 9th grade. Now, she won't even do basic conditioning at home. I can't see how in our state that either club or HS gymnastics will happen next year. I feel sad that this is likely the end for her, even if she doesn't realize it yet.
 
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Flyaway

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Thanks for your perspective @gymgal. You are absolutely right about how hard it is to motivate and create new habits. This really is no different. I chatted with dd a little today while we walked the dog. :) She said she misses having something to do. And she's a little worried that she's lost skills (not to mention she's grown a couple inches). But she wants to go back. I suppose time will tell. We'll continue conversations as opportunities arise. Like @mls529 I have trouble envisioning our state allowing meets anytime soon, so it will be interesting to see if the motivation will be there without that goal to work towards.
 

skschlag

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It accelerated my departure by a few months.

I hope I'm wrong, but I worry it may have brought an end to gymnastics for all of us, at least for a few years.
I think that is a bit pessimistic. I think it will look very different, but I do believe there will still be gymnastics, and competitions.
 

Gigi

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I think it will be an end for a lot of gymnasts because 1) their interest wanes as time passes and 2) they find new interests 3) they discover free time and 4) physically they just can't come back after no training for months. Home conditioning is just isn't enough for some.
But I think there will be others who may have been lukewarm on gymnastics and had kept going just because they are supposed to, not because they are passionate about it but realize they really do miss gymnastics now that they get cut off from gymnastics just like that.
 

Gymx2

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I think it will be an end for a lot of gymnasts because 1) their interest wanes as time passes and 2) they find new interests 3) they discover free time and 4) physically they just can't come back after no training for months. Home conditioning is just isn't enough for some.
But I think there will be others who may have been lukewarm on gymnastics and had kept going just because they are supposed to, not because they are passionate about it but realize they really do miss gymnastics now that they get cut off from gymnastics just like that.

This rings true for me. We'll see what happens. My daughter has always been a scrapper. Not the most talented kid at all, but one who has loved it and always had to work hard. I've sometimes thought she's had to work twice as hard as teammates with greater natural ability. But, she is used to the struggle. She has always seen herself as an underdog, so maybe this is the time when the kids who just love it, even if they aren't the most talented, fight their way to continuing on.
 

doublestrike

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If it strikes in the middle school years (or a year where they are less motivated), that could be tough, that was the period of time my daughter almost quit and went into another sport, she just lost interest, so I can see where it can happen. She very committed now, runs 3 miles a day, does hours of zoom training/airtrack and floor bars a day. She looks terrific since she's outside and it's allowed her minor injuries to heal. I think it's kind of good mental break for her as well. But I can see a summer off, hanging in the pool can make a gymnast reconsider.
 
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Onthebeam

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I think this Covid break may be the end for my gymnast too. She had a great season and was looking forward to the state meet and training for Level 6. She spent hours thinking about her upcoming floor routine. She's been out of the gym for 9 weeks and attends a twice weekly online conditioning, but she's very aware that it's not enough to keep her in shape. The longer she's out of the gym, the more anxiety she has about getting back in shape and learning the skills she needs to compete Level 6. She seems to be losing interest. Our gym is requiring a commitment very soon and she's started to hint that it may be time to move on to something else. We don't know how the season is going to look...or if there's even going to be a competitive season, so maybe it's time. Sigh.
 

raenndrops

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Thanks for your perspective @gymgal. You are absolutely right about how hard it is to motivate and create new habits. This really is no different. I chatted with dd a little today while we walked the dog. :) She said she misses having something to do. And she's a little worried that she's lost skills (not to mention she's grown a couple inches). But she wants to go back. I suppose time will tell. We'll continue conversations as opportunities arise. Like @mls529 I have trouble envisioning our state allowing meets anytime soon, so it will be interesting to see if the motivation will be there without that goal to work towards.
YG would actually be happy to NOT compete and just train. The original plan for this past season was for her to qualify for Y Nationals and then only compete home meets and not the "away" meets. She would use the extra time to work on "upgrading" her skills and getting other skills solid enough to compete.
But we thought it would take 2-3 meets to qualify - we didn't know that they were going to LOWER the qualifying score by 2 points.

During Nationals last summer, I had mentioned to the Committee that I didn't think it wasn't exactly fair that JO L5-8 only needed a 31 to qualify, but Xcel levels (all of them) required a 33. I was actually just hoping that they would consider lowering it to 32, lol.

She actually qualified the first meet ... and she didn't end up skipping ANY of the meets. Off and on all season, she had talked about retiring ... but then the next practice, she wanted to get skills x, y, and z ready to put in her routines next season.
 

beachgirl

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For my daughter this time away has strengthened her commitment to gymnastics. She says she never appreciated it when she could . This could stem from the fact that her gym is providing 16 hours of Zooms a week using air tracks, floor bars, etc and has established many different motivational techniques (partners, contests, etc) to keep the girls interested and to continue outside training besides the 16 hours of Zoom. My daughter was a 2nd year L9 this year and has already said that as a 10th grade student next year, she is not at all interested in another year of L9 and would rather only compete what she can at L10. Where we live there is no end in sight to returning to gym.
 
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FlippinLilysMom

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If her motivation to condition at home and stay on any sort of a schedule and eat somewhat healthy is any sort of an indication then my answer would be yes, I worry. She has turned into a different kid, it breaks my heart. She has zero motivation, zero energy, zero desire to do anything by lay around and watch tv. Her mood can change on a dime, we never know what's going to set her off. She feels like no one likes her and is convinced that all of her friends are off hanging out together but not inviting her (which is not the case). The longer this goes on the more worried I get, but at this point I can't stress anymore wondering if or when her gym will open. If it does, great, it if doesn't, oh well. Not much I can do about it.
 

GymDadWA

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She feels like no one likes her and is convinced that all of her friends are off hanging out together but not inviting her (which is not the case).
Yeah, that is happening here too, DD claims it was because she was the only one without TikTok, and nobody wants to invite her to meet up because they all want to get together and do TikTok and she isn't allowed to. DD is two years younger than most of the girls at her level, so this aspect has always been awkward and now even more so since she isn't in a lot of the older girls group texts/zooms/other and feels left out.
 
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