Boy, was I ever wrong!!!

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Billy

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I posted awhile back about grips and when to start using them. My DD got grips (coach ordered them for the whole team) when she started L4 on May 1st. She absolutely loves bars and is really good at them so I thought this would be no big deal. WRONG!!!!

DD has had the worst time using the grips. She lost all confidence on bars, struggled with the new skills, and to make matter worse, she peeled off the high bar a few weeks ago and landed on her back. Her coach broke her fall and there were mats so she wasn't hurt but it scared her half to death. Since then, she won't jump to the high bar.

Her HC says she doesn't have to use the grips but warns (strongly) that she's going to tear up her hands if she doesn't. DD is 6 years old and has never had a rip, ever. So this weekend she's been practicing bars (a lot!) at home (we have a training bar) and has been jumping to catch the bar. We measured and set up her mats to simulate the jump to the high bar (by distance and height of jump but the bar is not actually "high") and she's done great. She's even started teaching herself to do a baby-giant, all without the grips.

So, I've decided to let her skip the grips if she wants. I'm thinking that, even though she's training L4, she's still little and may not have the hand size or strength to manage the bar and the grip together. But, I'm worried that she'll have trouble at higher levels either a) not using grips and ripping up her hands, or b) getting used to the grips in conjunction with learning harder skills. So, am I doing the right thing letting her not use them now?
 
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bogwoppit

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Hey Shawn,

Grips really can wait. My oldest DD went through that your little just went through and she just cannot abide grips, most of the girls her level in the gym wear them and it's not big deal that she doesn't. She just hates not feeling the bar.

If she takes a month off and goes back her hands do get sore, but them she uses handy balm and sleeps with socks on! They very quickly toughen up again. She doesn't get more rips then the girls who do wear grips. She is working giant, does baby giants and flyaways etc, with no problem.

My younger DD is working on kips, does baby giants etc, no grips and she is not even remotely interested in them, big sis doesn't need them so why does she.

It might be easier for your little one to wait until she has her kips until she gets grips, confidence is important at this young age, if she develops a big fear of bars because of her grips, is it worth wearing them?

Search for Charlotte Mackie on YOUTUBE, she is a young Canadian Elite, non of the gymnasts at her club ever wear grips, I have seen their hands, no more rips than the grip wearing girls, no messing with velcro.

A lot usually depends on what the coaches say, if they don't care, then let her be for now, one day she might just wear them with no problems.
 
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Billy

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Thanks, Bog. I did find those videos and showed them to my daughter. I'm glad I could show her that not being comfortable with grips doesn't mean the end of gymnastics for her. Thanks for that.
 

MoonKid

Gymnast/Coach
Jun 26, 2007
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Search for Charlotte Mackie on YOUTUBE, she is a young Canadian Elite, non of the gymnasts at her club ever wear grips, I have seen their hands, no more rips than the grip wearing girls, no messing with velcro.
Just a little nitpick, Charlotte Mackie's sister Gael Mackie (a former Olympian and current college gymnast) does wear grips, but as far as I know she is the only one at her club that wears them.
 

Tumblequeensmom

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Feb 19, 2007
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Grips... ahhhh!! DD didn't wear them til she started Level 5. She had worn those basically useless palm guards all through Level 4, just b/c the higher level girls were wearing grips! The power of the more advanced girls! Anyway, she struggled and struggled w/the grips for the longest time. Her coach kept looking at them, said they were sized "just fine", etc. He was fired and then her new coach took over. She checked DD's grips the first day and said "You're wearing them wrong!" (evidently she had them too close to the bottom of her palm?!). Coach adjusted them correctly and DD was fine from then on out.

The OWNERS of our gym are conflicted about grips as well!!! They're from China, and "chinese girls don't wear grips" so why should our girls, is their philosophy. Oh well... I think once the girls DO begin to use them, they can't or don't want to go without. But at Level 4, it's really not necessary at all.

If she just started training Level 4, why is she jumping to the high bar anyway? Are they uptraining already?

Good luck!

-Lynn
 

gym law mom

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My gymmie competed L5 and L6 before getting grips(gym policy). Yes, she got some rips, but grips will not eliminate those. Your dd's hands will toughen up without them and before you(and she) know it, swinging bars without grips will not be any big deal.

As for teaching bars skills at home, I would say this is a huge no. Too much chance of injury and developing poor technique that will have to be fixed later on.
 
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Billy

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If she just started training Level 4, why is she jumping to the high bar anyway? Are they uptraining already?

Good luck!

-Lynn
AAU in Georgia jumps to the high bar at level 4. The routine is:

Back hip pullover
Front hip circle
Cast
Cast Squat on
Jump to High bar
Long Hang Pullover
Under swing
Tap and Counter Swings
Straight drop dismount
 

gymdog

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The best solution in my opinion if her coaches will allow it, is to do most or some of the bar workout without grips, and then put them on to do some simple swings to break them in and get used to them. But she doesn't "need" them, even to do higher levels technically. It is pretty standard in the US and most coaches do expect it.
 

bogwoppit

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Just a little nitpick, Charlotte Mackie's sister Gael Mackie (a former Olympian and current college gymnast) does wear grips, but as far as I know she is the only one at her club that wears them.
Yes, you're right, she began to wear them when she began her NCAA career, after she left Omega in BC. :)
 

bogwoppit

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Thanks, Bog. I did find those videos and showed them to my daughter. I'm glad I could show her that not being comfortable with grips doesn't mean the end of gymnastics for her. Thanks for that.
If you want to show her something really funny, look up Beaverjym on youtube, it is Brittany Rogers (Charlotte's team mate), she has training videos from her club, all with no grips, they are funny. There are also home videos of her and Charlotte, hysterical.
 
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bogwoppit

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Bog, check out this video. It's from 2003, and you can clearly see her wearing grips.

YouTube - Gael Mackie 2003 Pacific Challenge Bars

Sorry if I offend you or anyone with my nitpicking, it's an idiosyncrcy (sp?) of mine :p.

I stand, or should I say sit, corrected. Charlotte is so like her, amazing to watch. I love their bars. Nit picking is good, we learn so much here by people chiming in with a dose of reality, and thank goodness for youtube, or we wouldn't be able to see the evidence!!!!
 
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Billy

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Thanks but I'll stick with the videos of Charlotte without the grips. It seems to reassure DD. :D
 

gymdog

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Also, it occurred to me, what kind of grips is she (your DD, Shawn) using? If she decides to work them back in down the line, you may want to switch to another pair completely. There are some that are cut slimmer for smaller hands, and some girls like those because they can feel the bar better. Actually I have a former teammate (current L10, going into her 2nd year) still using a slimmer cut grip.
 
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Billy

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No worries, Tumblequeensmom! I don't know how anybody can keep up with what everyone else's kids are doing on here. :)

Gymdog- the grips are size 0 from ten-o. I don't know one brand from another to know which ones would be cut slimmer.
 

Ingymmom

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Jul 12, 2007
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If the grips are not required by the coach then they are usually only used as a personal preference. I know many great bar workers that don't wear grips. Our coach feels that they protect our gymnasts hand & wrists for some reason - I have no idea if its true or not - but our gymmies are required to wear them... (this is not the only reason)

On another note, the grips can cause issue for some gymnasts, but keep in mind that bars will only get more and more difficult. Even with the proper progressions, every gymnast will reach a point of struggle. Even just from L4 (even aau) there is a big jump to L5, and then an even a bigger jump to L6. Just keep the pressure off, all of her skills will come in time. Best to let the new skills happen in the gym under coaches guidance, a little practice at home is ok, but it seems that your gymnast is in the gym enough, and is talented enough to progress just fine. Are her coaches aware she practices bars at home?
 

gymdog

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Gymdog- the grips are size 0 from ten-o. I don't know one brand from another to know which ones would be cut slimmer.
Hmm yeah sounds like what I have (not in size 0 ;) ). The 501s? (I have buckle). To be honest I know a lot of people who don't like them, although I do (I'm only on my second pair right now, although the stitching is wearing away). Or rather, I'm used to them. The kind I am I thinking of are the US Glove hot shots. It looks like they now have the ten-o 501s in a slim cut (seems pretty new, don't recall this from a couple years back but I got my last pair about 5 years ago when I was training level 8). They're calling them "pixie." They come in velcro too it seems. I prefer buckle and I think it's not a bad idea to start with the buckles, they don't come undone as much, but it's pretty much personal preference (my coaches require buckle though).

I agree with Ingymmom though, the learning curve on bars can be pretty tough. In my experience for a lot of girls, even the ones who score well on bars, this is the last event to be truly competition "ready" for the next level and there are still a couple of months before competition really gets into swing. I am sure she'll be fine, I would take some time off from the grips and if she thinks another pair will help then that might be worth considering as well (however I know some coaches have pretty set rules about what is used, but if you discuss it with them, maybe they can look at her grips and try to feel out her complaints). Personally I would have no problem with a gymnast using one of the "hot shot" cut pairs if it worked for them, they have been pretty popular and I know quite a few girls who they have helped.
 
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Billy

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Are her coaches aware she practices bars at home?
Yes, they are. She has taught herself a lot of skills, which has allowed her to skip from L2 to L4. She already has all of the L3 skills from teaching herself.

She had the complete L4 bars routine before they introduced the grips. That messed her up. Since we've told her she doesn't have to use them, she's found a renewed excitement about bars. She's been practicing all weekend, she's so happy.
 
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