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Beam Mental Block

L7mom

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My daughter is L7, repeating this year since she's had a mental block of backwards skills on high beam for a year and a half. Last time she did BHS successfully was L6 Regionals in April 2018. Since being back in the gym from Covid, she will do it on a lower stacked beam but terrified when coaches tell her to just do it on the high beam. With competition season starting in 3 1/2 months, I dread another season of only 3 events! We have tried hypnotherapy, which was basically mental visualization but didn't break through the fear. I know I can't do anything but so hard watching her struggle when this fear is holding her back.
Can anyone recommend anything that may have helped your gymnast move past this?
 

Rockygym

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Same situation with my daughter. Your coaches need to give her options. There are other things that can fulfill the requirements for L7 like RO-CW. It is not the "ideal" skill, but sometimes taking the pressure off can help the block. Forcing something that is not there will not help in the long run. I am curious what age she is. Mine is 12 going on 13, so hoping as she gets through puberty and her mind matures she will be able to work through this internal struggle.
 

L7mom

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She is 13. Problem is she also had an issue splitting the beam doing RO so she's fearful of that skill too! I know this is common but oh so frustrating!
 

gymgal

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Are they allowing her to graduate up the ladder by reducing the mats on the low beam then going to the next height beam with stacked mats? This skill and block is so hard for many girls and whether they get past it really depends on how the coaches handle it and how much the gymnast wants it regarding overcoming their fears. It's is so tough for parents who just have to sit back and watch their child's frustration
 

lostinfog

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I feel you too. DD went from mats stacked on low beam to low beam no mats in a matter of a week or two and has been at a stand still the last couple months. She just can’t make herself head to the high beam and go. I don’t know what the answer is, she has probably made over 100 perfectly where she is at. Our gym doesn’t allow mat stacks under high beam.
 

gymjunkie

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I feel you too. DD went from mats stacked on low beam to low beam no mats in a matter of a week or two and has been at a stand still the last couple months. She just can’t make herself head to the high beam and go. I don’t know what the answer is, she has probably made over 100 perfectly where she is at. Our gym doesn’t allow mat stacks under high beam.
Switch gyms. That's ridiculous.
 
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gymjunkie

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She is 13. Problem is she also had an issue splitting the beam doing RO so she's fearful of that skill too! I know this is common but oh so frustrating!
Is she doing them properly, with her non-dominant foot landing in front? Has she tried FHSs? Is she generally a scared kid? I usually have an easy time helping kids get over beam fears, but the one time I couldn't the kid was scared of everything in life (roller coasters, escalators and elevators for instance)
 

L7mom

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Not sure if she's doing them properly. Since Covid, I only get to see when she has a video of something she's done well. In general she isn't a scared kid. Loves rollercoasters, zip lining etc.
To my knowledge they haven't worked any front skills on beam. Its tough because anytime I bring up beam, the whole tone of the conversation changes so I try not too!
Thanks for the input!
 

L7mom

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I feel you too. DD went from mats stacked on low beam to low beam no mats in a matter of a week or two and has been at a stand still the last couple months. She just can’t make herself head to the high beam and go. I don’t know what the answer is, she has probably made over 100 perfectly where she is at. Our gym doesn’t allow mat stacks under high beam.
I know she's doing on a beam with stacked mats but not sure if it's the high beam. I think maybe not since she said they can only use stacked mats twice a week and the coach is telling her to do it on high beam when running through her routine. Shes doing the routine but no skills!
 

L7mom

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Are they allowing her to graduate up the ladder by reducing the mats on the low beam then going to the next height beam with stacked mats? This skill and block is so hard for many girls and whether they get past it really depends on how the coaches handle it and how much the gymnast wants it regarding overcoming their fears. It's is so tough for parents who just have to sit back and watch their child's frustration
It seems they were working with her more when they reopened the gym but now that they are focusing on routines and upcoming meet season, maybe not as much? I may need to schedule a meeting with her coach to understand more. I let my daughter tell me about her practice and walk on eggshells on this subject. I feel for anyone going through this. So hard!
 

cmg

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Picking her up from practice now. Every time waiting to hear, Mom I did my BHS on the high beam! Praying someday soon!
Be careful not to start the conversation about her skills she is having trouble with. I learned the hard way on that one. My daughter does not do any back handsprings on on the beam. In level 7 she did the RO-Cartwheel option and then switched to front handspring step out (i think)/RO. I think she even did that in Level 9 and added a front tuck in her routine. She is now trying to get Front Handspring/back tuck as a training L10. You have to just let them be and figure it out for themselves. My daughter started struggling with the back handsprings as a L4. I have watched her for years now struggle with her backward skills, and it is heart wrenching so I feel your pain. But she is finally starting to realize she has to do better with backward skills and starting to do even minor skills like backhand springs on floor by herself as a training L10!!! I know this sounds crazy but luckily for her she is really good at front tumbling. Her big issue these days is bars...there is always something they are either working on, struggling with, or afraid of. It is just the nature of the sport. I don't watch anymore at practice since she drives herself so at the meets this year I will be completely surprised (if we have any) and she has always figured out a way to make it work. Our coaches are very accommodating though and I realize most gyms have "must have skills" in order to be at a certain level. Talk to her coaches, find out what is going on and then just leave her alone. She is the one who has to figure this out. Don't watch the events she struggles with if that is the only way you have to do it. Good luck and hang in there. If she truly loves the sport she will find a way to make it work.
 
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L7mom

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I really appreciate your encouragement and insight. Thats awesome that your daughter/coaches have found a work around to that level. Very encouraging!
I have backed off and dont bring it up, as hard as it is. I do think I will set up that meeting soon to get a better idea what her coaches are thinking.
Thanks again and good luck!
 
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lostinfog

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Switch gyms. That's ridiculous.

This seems extreme but I don’t know what is normal for progressing beam skills either? It does seem a big jump to go straight from low to high and our gym’s stance is if you have the numbers you should be confident. Personally, I feel there would be no harm in having 3-4 8 inchers underneath. I’m no expert or anything. In your or other coach’s experience does this build some kind of hard to break dependence? Seems totally different than a kid expecting spots. JMO.
 

profmom

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My daughter had almost two years of backwards problems on beam. The more focus and anxiety around it, the longer it will take. If you look around this site for vestibular issues, you can get a lot of insight.

The solution is a lot of patience and going where she can be successful. She shouldn't be spending her time standing on the high beam and reinforcing the lack of success/attempt and failure. Building a habit of consistent success and slow movement forward will work eventually.
 
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L7mom

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It sounds like your daughter eventually overcame it? Did it just happen one day or was it a progression? I think mine feels the pressure of not competing beam again as a level 7. I know of the alternate skills but she's not confident in doing the RO. The positive side is she's doing great on floor and vault with progression on bars. I do try to highlight her accomplishments on the other events. Thank you for the encouragement!
 

L7mom

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This seems extreme but I don’t know what is normal for progressing beam skills either? It does seem a big jump to go straight from low to high and our gym’s stance is if you have the numbers you should be confident. Personally, I feel there would be no harm in having 3-4 8 inchers underneath. I’m no expert or anything. In your or other coach’s experience does this build some kind of hard to break dependence? Seems totally different than a kid expecting spots. JMO.
Im not even sure why they think she can "just do it". She wants to! It seems this is so common but I dont know of any other gymnast at our gym with the extreme case as mine. She's very strong willed which is why it surprises me her will isn't pushing her to do it? I certainly don't know what she's going through or how it feels.
 

Gymx2

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Can she do it on a medium beam, or is she only comfortable doing it on the low beam?