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Best advice

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gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Relax. This will be over someday and all the little details won't really matter in the end. Just let the child enjoy the experience.
 
C

cher062

Guest
I agree = RELAX and enjoy the ride. Try not to get stressed out over gym drama and be willing to call it quits when your child does.

Other than that buy the cheapest hairspray out there to keep those fly away hairs under control
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Also, try NOT to compare your child to anyone else. Everyone is different and learns at their own speed. Celebrate each success and be there with a hug for the tears when things don't go well.
 

aimee

New Member
Mar 14, 2009
27
West Coast
Don't ever eat at McDonalds before a meet, even if you're six and really really want a McFlurry. :p

As for real advice, I think it was to "just go for it".
That's what my coaches told me all the time when I had done millions of perfect skills with spot and with "pretend you're going to spot but then step away just as they jump" spot. I just froze when I had to do it alone. That advice really helped me.
 

gymjourneymom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,331
Country
USA
It's a pretty "classic" line but...."Gymnastics is a marathon, not a sprint".:D
 
G

gracefulone

Guest
Take it all in. When it stops being fun for any family member, examine why that is.

Be ready for whatever the sport brings.

Be there for you gymnast. A lot can happen and he/she will need your support.
As a continuation to that, spouses, parents/non-gymnast sibs need to stick together too because it can be stressful.
 

eeyoretumbles

Member
Jul 13, 2008
234
rainy washington
Relax, and don't put any pressure on the gymnast. Don't be one of the parents or family memebers who gets mad at you when you fall on an element, or won't let the kid go to their friends house because they only got a 35 AA at their meet. Just enjoy the ride
 

Caligirlzz

Member
Jun 4, 2009
155
Chicago
Thanks for the advice, it sounds just like what we go through with cheer comps. Although this time around she will be all alone with the scoring! I am not sure how we will take that, it's going to be interesting.
 
T

tweeters

Guest
Absolutely do not let gymnastics become anything other than the GYMNAST'S "thing." The best thing my parents ever did for me regarding gymnastics was allowing it to be completely my own thing. I quit (both times for a year) twice and each time was the right decision for the moment. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for those off times. Ultimately, gymnastics is supposed to be fun. When it's no longer fun, it's time to quit.

I've watched many parents become so completely involved in their child's gymnastics that the kid is afraid to quit. It causes resentment, and the decision is hard enough without parental guilt playing into it. While my mom was always there with an ear and advice when I asked (that's key!), she didn't attempt to make judgements or even seem to care whether I did well or not.

I completely owned my gymnastics (and obviously still do as an adult) and THAT is what made me love the sport. In fact, the people I know who love the sport the most are the ones whose parents didn't know the rules, didn't interfere and just showed up to cheer at the meets.

Finally, the best support you can give is taking your child to meets and practice, listening when they approach you (but not approaching them), and allowing them to be the gymnast they want to be, not who you want them to be.

Sorry I wrote so much. I feel very passionate about this because I love the sport so much. I want every child to have the opportunities I do because it can be so fulfilling. Since I'm not a parent, I can't say for sure, but I assume it's very difficult to let a child's decisions be their own, even when it seems like you might know better. However, I think this is one of the most important lessons I've learned from gymnastics....it taught me to grow up and be who I am, and no one else.
 

Caligirlzz

Member
Jun 4, 2009
155
Chicago
Absolutely do not let gymnastics become anything other than the GYMNAST'S "thing." The best thing my parents ever did for me regarding gymnastics was allowing it to be completely my own thing. I quit (both times for a year) twice and each time was the right decision for the moment. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for those off times. Ultimately, gymnastics is supposed to be fun. When it's no longer fun, it's time to quit.

I've watched many parents become so completely involved in their child's gymnastics that the kid is afraid to quit. It causes resentment, and the decision is hard enough without parental guilt playing into it. While my mom was always there with an ear and advice when I asked (that's key!), she didn't attempt to make judgements or even seem to care whether I did well or not.

I completely owned my gymnastics (and obviously still do as an adult) and THAT is what made me love the sport. In fact, the people I know who love the sport the most are the ones whose parents didn't know the rules, didn't interfere and just showed up to cheer at the meets.

Finally, the best support you can give is taking your child to meets and practice, listening when they approach you (but not approaching them), and allowing them to be the gymnast they want to be, not who you want them to be.

Sorry I wrote so much. I feel very passionate about this because I love the sport so much. I want every child to have the opportunities I do because it can be so fulfilling. Since I'm not a parent, I can't say for sure, but I assume it's very difficult to let a child's decisions be their own, even when it seems like you might know better. However, I think this is one of the most important lessons I've learned from gymnastics....it taught me to grow up and be who I am, and no one else.

Would you mind sharing how old you were, how long had you been training, what made you want to quit, and what made you want to come back?

I know someone who is that exact parent you are speaking about and Every time I talk to her I tell her she needs to let her daughter step back and take a break.. She is so caught up in it, though, she doesn't see the big picture. I feel bad for her daughter b.c I know she is going to end up hating cheerleading and tumbling because of it. That's why I pulled my dd from cheer. She wasn't tumbling and it became the only thing we focused on and it wasn't healthy. I decided to let her take a break but took her to gymnastics to see if she would like it. I wanted her to keep her strength while letting go of the backhand spring she focused on for so long.

She came out of the evaluation (about 20 mins) saying how much she LOVED it. So she is now on team and is still struggling mentally with her flip flop, but doing great on everything else. I am very proud of her and I want her to have a healthy outlook on every experience.

I am very lucky she is so naturally talented, as is her 4 year old sister.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
You and I share the exact same situations with our dds!!!

Would you mind sharing how old you were, how long had you been training, what made you want to quit, and what made you want to come back?

I know someone who is that exact parent you are speaking about and Every time I talk to her I tell her she needs to let her daughter step back and take a break.. She is so caught up in it, though, she doesn't see the big picture. I feel bad for her daughter b.c I know she is going to end up hating cheerleading and tumbling because of it. That's why I pulled my dd from cheer. She wasn't tumbling and it became the only thing we focused on and it wasn't healthy. I decided to let her take a break but took her to gymnastics to see if she would like it. I wanted her to keep her strength while letting go of the backhand spring she focused on for so long.

She came out of the evaluation (about 20 mins) saying how much she LOVED it. So she is now on team and is still struggling mentally with her flip flop, but doing great on everything else. I am very proud of her and I want her to have a healthy outlook on every experience.

I am very lucky she is so naturally talented, as is her 4 year old sister.

Wow! Your situation is EXACTLY like mine was this time last year!!! My dd had done cheer for 3 years (since she was 6) and started developing a mental fear of the BHS. I gave her a break beacuse she was so stressed out about the whole tumbling issue. Last April she sd she wanted to try gymnastics instead of doing cheer. She made Level 4 after about a month on pre-team (she was in great shape from cheer) and had a great season this past year. She still has trouble with the ROBHS, but it is getting better and her confidence is soaring. She does really well on the other events and actually placed 2nd on Vault, 2nd on Bars, 5th on beam and 5th in AA at Championships this year!!! She is now moving on to Level A MDL (comparable to Level 5 USAG) and absolutely loves it!!! I think the break from cheer and the training of new skills really gave her a confidence boost and helped increase her self-esteem with her fear issues.

Her gym is starting a cheer team for next year so she will go back to cheer and do the gymnastics also. She really missed flying for cheer and the stunting. So we will see how things go.

So, since I am and ex-cheer mom who had just started gymnastics also, let me know if you have any questions because I know that I had a ton!!! PM me if you want to chat and trade stories!!!
 
T

tweeters

Guest
Sure, I don't mind.

I'm 21. I'm a gymnast at the University of Iowa. I quit once when I was finishing up 8th grade/my 14th birthday. I had fear issues as well as some lingering injury type things (really, just crutches for my fears). Other factors that played into my decision included lack of progess, due to both coaching issues and fear as well as many of my teammates quitting. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I cried a lot and really felt as though I was losing a part of myself. Being a gymnast was my identity. Fortunately, I began coaching for about the same amount of hours as I had been working out. I found that I enjoyed coaching very much and I still had lots of time to play around in the gym.

About a year after I quit I went to watch several of my teammates at their state meet. As a spectator, I realized that the pressure I felt to do well was coming only from me, and that the majority of the people attending the meets didn't care if I was good or bad. In fact, most of them didn't even know me! It's such a different feeling, being on the outside, looking in. So I decided to start working out again. I didn't have many goals at first b/c I was still battling fear issues (mainly back tumbling on floor, but a little with giants too). I had quit as a bad L8, but within months, I was gaining skills faster than I could imagine and ended up doing pretty well as a 15 year old L8.

One thing that helped immensely was the fact that my club finally had a consistent head coach. Until I came back, I had had a different HC every year I competed. I don't know how to even describe how difficult it can be to progress in an environment where you may or may not trust the coach, you constantly feel as though you could be walked out on, etc.

So I competed L9 as a junior and senior in high school. For a brief time (shortly after I finished a pretty successful first year at L9 as a junior, I was still interested in doing gymnastics in college. I slowly came to realize that this was not a realistic goal, and that's when I decided to just stick to L9, and be done after I graduated. I looked forward to life as a non-gymnast.

Throughout my freshman year, I was coaching, and working out....VERY rarely. Most of my "working out" consisted of me flipping around on tumble trak and occasionally doing a few things on beam or floor. I got tired of not having any direction to my gymnastics and I found a few guys who were getting private lessons from a former Iowa men's gymnast. This was about April of my freshman year. I made a lot of progress with this new coach, and he encouraged me to get in contact with the women's coach. I was extremely hesitant at first, but eventually I decided I had nothing to lose.

I went home and began training with my old coach, who I've since learned doesn't really know what he's talking about a lot of the time. But anyway, I had e-mailed the HC at Iowa, and was waiting to hear back from her. I seriously doubted I'd get a bite, but I had to try. Eventually, we did get some communication going, and with my private lesson coach's good word, I got the okay to walk on the team here at Iowa.

Honestly, I don't even know why I was accepted. I was not good. I had a lot of technique issues, and I was now trying to do gymnastics after a year off...at the college level. The only things I had going for me is that I naturally have good form and I'm very small. I do have to say though, I often get told I have a lot of untapped talent...so I'm sure that played into my HC's decision as well.

So my first year was torturous, I often wanted to quit, and almost did. I actually almost got kicked off too. College level gymnastics is not a joke, and space wasters are not allowed. I got relegated to practicing beam only and I was incredibly inconsistent. I came having just learned a legitimate series about a month before school started. At one point, the only coach who even wanted me to remain on the team told the HC that she was done with me and I could be kicked off any time. Fortunately, I perservered and by the end of that year I had exhibitioned beam several times. Last year, my second year on the team, I competed beam at every meet. This summer I'm adding two events to my practice schedule and hoping to break into the line-up on at least one of them (I'm counting on floor!).

So as you can see, it's been a tumultuous journey!

And I've just realized that I've taken this thread totally off track! I am so sorry about that. Maybe my story can be an inspiration though? While I hit luck at every turn (first making the team, and then being able to stay and progress), I think anyone with a desire to do college gymnastics should pursue it on some level. Whether it's NAIGC, DI, II or III or continuing to compete club while in college...I think it can be a wonderful experience.

Also, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask, whether they're about me personally or college gymnastics in general, I'd be glad to answer.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
Do not stress out over the skills ecspecailly the backhandspring, everybody gets them at their own pace. If you are happy with the gym you are at have trust and faith in your daughters coaches and let them handle the coaching they are the experts. My daughter just completed her 2nd year of competition and I can not believe the things she has picked up this year. Last year she was the last one to get her roundoff backhandspring but now she can easily do a double, she also got her backtuck, front tuck, a flyaway and just the other day she got her backwalkover on the high beam. So if you are at a good gym they will be able to help her get her skills, it just takes alot of practice and time. Also do not get stressed out if she does not do well at her first couple of competitions it is scary and stressful for the first couple of times. Some of the other gyms you will see girls who are so good remember alot of these gymnasts maybe repeating the same level. Be sure to bring money to the meets they usaually sell candy grams or other small trinkets to send out to the girls. Good Luck!
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Sure, I don't mind.

I'm 21. I'm a gymnast at the University of Iowa. I quit once when I was finishing up 8th grade/my 14th birthday. I had fear issues as well as some lingering injury type things (really, just crutches for my fears). Other factors that played into my decision included lack of progess, due to both coaching issues and fear as well as many of my teammates quitting. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I cried a lot and really felt as though I was losing a part of myself. Being a gymnast was my identity. Fortunately, I began coaching for about the same amount of hours as I had been working out. I found that I enjoyed coaching very much and I still had lots of time to play around in the gym.

About a year after I quit I went to watch several of my teammates at their state meet. As a spectator, I realized that the pressure I felt to do well was coming only from me, and that the majority of the people attending the meets didn't care if I was good or bad. In fact, most of them didn't even know me! It's such a different feeling, being on the outside, looking in. So I decided to start working out again. I didn't have many goals at first b/c I was still battling fear issues (mainly back tumbling on floor, but a little with giants too). I had quit as a bad L8, but within months, I was gaining skills faster than I could imagine and ended up doing pretty well as a 15 year old L8.

One thing that helped immensely was the fact that my club finally had a consistent head coach. Until I came back, I had had a different HC every year I competed. I don't know how to even describe how difficult it can be to progress in an environment where you may or may not trust the coach, you constantly feel as though you could be walked out on, etc.

So I competed L9 as a junior and senior in high school. For a brief time (shortly after I finished a pretty successful first year at L9 as a junior, I was still interested in doing gymnastics in college. I slowly came to realize that this was not a realistic goal, and that's when I decided to just stick to L9, and be done after I graduated. I looked forward to life as a non-gymnast.

Throughout my freshman year, I was coaching, and working out....VERY rarely. Most of my "working out" consisted of me flipping around on tumble trak and occasionally doing a few things on beam or floor. I got tired of not having any direction to my gymnastics and I found a few guys who were getting private lessons from a former Iowa men's gymnast. This was about April of my freshman year. I made a lot of progress with this new coach, and he encouraged me to get in contact with the women's coach. I was extremely hesitant at first, but eventually I decided I had nothing to lose.

I went home and began training with my old coach, who I've since learned doesn't really know what he's talking about a lot of the time. But anyway, I had e-mailed the HC at Iowa, and was waiting to hear back from her. I seriously doubted I'd get a bite, but I had to try. Eventually, we did get some communication going, and with my private lesson coach's good word, I got the okay to walk on the team here at Iowa.

Honestly, I don't even know why I was accepted. I was not good. I had a lot of technique issues, and I was now trying to do gymnastics after a year off...at the college level. The only things I had going for me is that I naturally have good form and I'm very small. I do have to say though, I often get told I have a lot of untapped talent...so I'm sure that played into my HC's decision as well.

So my first year was torturous, I often wanted to quit, and almost did. I actually almost got kicked off too. College level gymnastics is not a joke, and space wasters are not allowed. I got relegated to practicing beam only and I was incredibly inconsistent. I came having just learned a legitimate series about a month before school started. At one point, the only coach who even wanted me to remain on the team told the HC that she was done with me and I could be kicked off any time. Fortunately, I perservered and by the end of that year I had exhibitioned beam several times. Last year, my second year on the team, I competed beam at every meet. This summer I'm adding two events to my practice schedule and hoping to break into the line-up on at least one of them (I'm counting on floor!).

So as you can see, it's been a tumultuous journey!

And I've just realized that I've taken this thread totally off track! I am so sorry about that. Maybe my story can be an inspiration though? While I hit luck at every turn (first making the team, and then being able to stay and progress), I think anyone with a desire to do college gymnastics should pursue it on some level. Whether it's NAIGC, DI, II or III or continuing to compete club while in college...I think it can be a wonderful experience.

Also, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask, whether they're about me personally or college gymnastics in general, I'd be glad to answer.

Tweeters, that was such a heartfelt, honest and inspirational story! My dd has back tumbling issues and trust issues (she is 10 yrs old) and I often wonder how long she will be able to keep up with this sport. I do have to say that after reading your post and getting to know you a bit from it, I believe that ANYTHING is possible if you want it bad enough. I think that perservearing and continuing to move forward with the sport when you know you do have fear issus is probably one of the scariest and bravest things that you can do (I am assuming). I applaud you for your courage, determination and tenacity. I'm glad that you posted and shared your story because it is so very inspirational! Good luck with your gymnastics!!!
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
Country
USA
Tweeter- Thanks for sharing your story! I think you will be an awesome inspiration to many gymnasts here! Congrats to you for sticking with the sport you love and for overcoming so much! Good luck to you getting on some more events next season! College gym rocks!
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
I forgot another good piece of advise, if your daughter comes home some day and wants to quit give it sometime. I have found out with my daughter and some of the other posters that sometimes something is else is bothering them,or they are frustrated or they are just going through a phase, usaully this only lasts a week or two. Most of the time but not always if they really show a love for the sport they really do not want to quit.
 
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