Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

DD frustrated with team

Status
Not open for further replies.

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
As most of the regulars know, my almost 6 yo DD moved to team in April. She has been doing 2 practices a week (6.5 hours) and always seems to be happy when there. She had also been doing 1 day a week with her preteam class because they were practicing for their show.

Tonight she asked me what day tomorrow was and what we were doing. I told her what we had planned and what she had planned and when I told her that she had gymnastics she asked if she had team or her other class. I told her that she had team and that her other class was now done. She cried and told me that she doesn't want to leave her old coaches, why couldn't they be her coach, why did they move her to team, etc.

Then she tells me she doesn't like team because they stretch her (front splits, as she has her middle split but still not all the way on front splits) and it hurts sometimes. She said that she will miss her old coaches and doesn't like her new coach when she yells. She has 4 different coaches, but one of the main ones is pretty strict with the girls, though she is also fun with them and she has never complained about her before.

I asked her if she wanted to keep doing gymnastics and she said she didn't know, that she wants to, but wants her old coaches and doesn't want to be stretched.

Is this normal? I could probably convince her to quit, and I can't say I wouldn't be happy if she did, but I also know how much she loves it and how much fun she has. She had her show on Saturday and she loved it, said she couldn't wait to go to a real competition.

I can totally understand not liking stretching/conditioning. She actually likes some of it, but specifically doesn't like being stretched or when they do a lot of back work. I am sure some kids love it, but imagine some don't like it.

Any advice from you experienced mamas? I will say she was tired and cranky when she was whining about it, but I also don't want to overlook it.

I did ask her if she wanted to skip gym tomorrow or go and she said go (with that tone of, duh mom, of course I do). I told her that maybe she should talk to one of the older team girls and ask them if they ever felt like she felt about not liking stretching, etc. I also think I might just have her skip practice the last week of May and see if she still wants to start back up again in June.

They do have preteam (different than what she was in before) that she could do, but she said she doesn't want to leave her friends (that moved up with her) and that she wants to compete.

:confused: Is this a sign that she is burning out or a normal phase of the move to team/adjusting to different type of practice/leaving her old coach?
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
she's only 6, and at that age associates pain with a lack of "fun." Just remind her when she gets her splits all the way down the won't hurt as much. Team is a different beast than rec gymnastics and at her age she'll hate it some days and love it others. If she continually complains talk with the coach, but for now I would let it pass.

I also probably wouldn't give her a day off to be honest. Because I believe that its setting a bad precedent.
 
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
I think it is a pretty normal transition to team. A lot of new team girls have trouble adjusting to the demands expected of them and the increased hours etc. She will adjust though and be fine. In a 6 year olds world they very rarely can see the big picture and everything is based on what they are feeling at that exact moment. You can probably ask her about it again today when maybe she isn't as sore and she will have no idea what you are talking about - of course she wants to stay on team - she loves it. My dd has some flexibility issues and when her coaches stretches her I know it hurts. She is a freak though - she actually thanks her coach after because she says she knows she is doing it to help her be a better gymnast. I guess at 11 they 'get it'. Of course when she was 7 and went from an intermediate class where she went 3 hours a week to preteam where she went 9 hours - the first month she couldn't walk up the stairs by herself, lol.

Try not to worry too much. Since she just moved up she needs time for the adjustment, especially switching coaches. At that age they can get very attached. Last thing to remember - 9 out of 10 times it is harder on us than them. They get over things and adjust much quicker than us old folk. Hang in there mom, once she's used to being on team she is going to do great :)
 
A

awposey1

Guest
Pretty normal adjustment phase. She is experiencing some loss at leaving what she knows and the coaching style she knows and adjusting to the new style. Probalby would see this in school if they did not have the summer to adjust to the idea of a new grade. I would give it at least a month or more and just encourage her to work hard and focus on the positive, not the negative.
 
B

Billy

Guest
My DD (also 6) had some problems adjusting to a new practice schedule. The first few days she was exhausted after practice and she woke up crying in the mornings because her legs hurt. But she never wanted to quit gym. She wasn't sure she could do it on about the 3rd day but she made it and now she loves it again. I think you should give your DD time. Maybe explain to her how the stretching helps her become a better gymnast and how the coach is trying to get her to work hard to help her improve too.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
We had a HPER faculty person at the institution where I work decide NOT to let her daughter go to team at 6. Her area of expertise is children and sport, and she said that it isn't until age 8 that children really understand the concept of teams and team competition. Do you think your dd understands competition enough to know she wants to compete? You know it's not quite like a show, and plenty of the really little kids get upset when they don't get called up to the medal stand. Do you think she gets that? (Unless, of course, you're in Nebraska or another state that doesn't give placement awards at level 4).

You asked for advice from experienced mamas. Ok, I've been hauling kids to the gym for 9 years now. Here goes:

I've seen lots of parents hold their kids back from team for a year for a lot of different reasons. I've never talked to one who thought taking an extra year before team was a mistake.

Six is little. USAG allows 6 year olds to compete level 4, but they also allow girls over the age of 12 to compete level 4. Someone already said team is a different animal. It is not fun all the time, and the further your daughter goes, the longer the stretches of "not fun" get as they struggle with bigger skills or spend the first month after the season reviewing basics and doing intensive conditioning. Older girls are better able to handle the drudgery and pain that is part of training.

If your daughter dreams of a career as a college gymnast, she can still make level 10 in plenty of time if she starts level 4 at 8 or 9. That being said, I wouldn't take the "dream" of college gymnastics in a 6 year old any more seriously than I'd take the "dream" of becoming "a singer and dancer in the army" (my dd1's old career goal). Don't discourage their dreams, but don't start pushing them throught the levels early, either.

What your daughter is going through is pretty normal, especially if she was tired and whiney. I guess one of the reasons I'd seriously consider another year in preteam is that issues with tired/cranky/whiney are more common in little kids (at least they were in mine). Another year means a little less of this before heading into the commitment that's team.

I think giving her the week off is a great idea. If you can send her to a little "camp" (the 2 hour kind) for another activity during that time, so much the better. Expose her to as many activities as possible.

I also want to commend you on your whole attitude about this children's activity. You seem to have a very healthy perspective about the sport.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
Thanks everyone for your responses.

It is so hard to know what to do with her sometimes. Like flippymonkeysmom said, today she will be all upset with me if I mention it and tell me that she loves gym and wants to go.
I tried so hard to figure this all out before letting her move up. We went to our gyms L4 competition and she saw how everything worked. That actually got her MORE excited to move to team. IWe have talked over and over again about how gymnastics isn't about winning and that she just has to have fun and do her best. She says she understands that, but then she comes home mad at whoever "won" her during conditioning games. I am not competitive at all, so I struggle with her wanting to win all the time as well.

I even talked to her again seriously after the first month and she said she loves it and wants to be on team. She always talks about gymnastics and her teammates, etc. I even tried to explain to her what a big committment it was, how it sometimes isn't fun, all that stuff.

She has tried lots of other activities, but none have sparked her like gymnastics. We even tried ice skating recently since she said she wanted to, but since we can't do both (lesson wise), she said she would rather do gymnastics.

I am relieved to hear that it is pretty normal. I figured it was, but also don't want to miss signs that is burning out.

We have no long term goals at all with gymnastics. She has been to college meets and loved watching them, says she will do gymnastics forever, etc and that she wants to be a coach someday, but we never talk about that as a goal yet. I think she is too young to see that far into the future. I don't even think she truly gets the concept of a month, year, etc. (I am only talking about my DD, not all young kids)

She is still sleeping, but I will let you know what she says this morning. I did discuss with her the possibility of moving to preteam or training team, since I don't think they will let her be in her old class because she has moved out of that skillwise, but she says she doesn't want to. She just wants her old coaches back.
 
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Livinatthegym made some really good points. One thing I have noticed about most of the girls who start competiting at younger ages are also ones that do 2 years at one level or another. My dd competed level 4 when she was 8 and has moved up a level a year and hasn't needed to repeat any. If she keeps going with that progression she will be level 10 by the times she is in 9th grade. Of course there are a lot of other factors involved - for all I know she will decide she's had enough before the. A lot of girls her age at her gym started competing younger than her - but at her age are at the same level because they did some levels more than once. I can tell you by level 6 they were so sick of competiting compulsories.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
Well of course this morning she is fine and asking if today is team. I swear the kid is going to drive me crazy. I hope this is a phase. I would really love to figure all this stuff out BEFORE paying for everything. LOL.
 

Monkeygirlsmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 10, 2007
764
sounds just like my 6 yr old dd!! when she is tired she can be one way and be another way when she is not tired!! good luck!!
 

Blackie6

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
1,284
NJ
Country
USA
Mariposamom,

My DD made the "transition" last February at age 6 (she started the week of her B-Day)from pre-team (4 hrs week) to L4 (10.5 hrs wk) and other than being tired she did really well. Things were done differently though. As I've mentioned in previous posts our L4 team just re-started and we feel like guinea pigs sometimes. But anyway when the girls first got to practice they buddied up w/older girls to warm-up and then later went w/coach to stations and some conditioning. It wasn't until a couple months later when the whole program was overhauled and we started TOPS training too and there was not much playing around, we had new coaches! Anyway, my daughter did fine because the transition really came gradually I think.

However, now our pre-team girls work out w/the L4 girls one night/week for 3 1/2 hrs w/our coaches. Then they go their regular 2 hr night w/pre-team coach and then added another 1 1/2 evening for just conditioning w/P Team coach for a total of 7 hrs. While it's nice that they seem to be transitioning them nicer than they did for my DD with added hours, learning more L4 skills, more opportunity w/L4 coaches. I am begining to think the cold turkey (new coaches, longer hrs) worked better for us because some of our pre-teamers are having a lot of the same concerns you have w/your DD. I think it's normal to feel the way she's feeling...things really are changing. The conditioning alone...many younger girls (my DD included) don't understand the sore muscles and stretches that come w/conditioning. My DD used to say her belly hurt, but it was from the excercises. We would give her a warm bath and an ice pop to cheer her up when she got home, to relax her and get her ready for bed. I thought the added hrs would make her more tired but it really just made her more hyped up until the end of the week when it all caught up w/her and she would be exhausted. With being on the team though she was excited because she was w/older girls now and learning skills quickly. She likes to learn new things and was getting bored w/pre-team.

I think you DD will be fine once she gets used to the hours, new coaches and what's expected of her now. She might be a little nervous not knowing what being on the team is all about and what a competition is like. Once she feels like she "belongs" she will be happier about being there. Maybe you could pick her up a little earlier until she gets used to the hours? And, a "cut" day might be what you all need to re-charge and re-think. My DD also has some other activities that we sqeeze in like girl scouts, teener ball, diving team in the summer...this way there is always other non-gym activities too. I wouldn't worry about it, she'll be fine in no time if this is what she really wants to do. If not, she'll tell you I'm sure.
 

midwestgymmom

Active Member
Aug 27, 2006
661
midwest
I think it is a pretty normal transition to team. A lot of new team girls have trouble adjusting to the demands expected of them and the increased hours etc. She will adjust though and be fine. In a 6 year olds world they very rarely can see the big picture and everything is based on what they are feeling at that exact moment. You can probably ask her about it again today when maybe she isn't as sore and she will have no idea what you are talking about - of course she wants to stay on team - she loves it. My dd has some flexibility issues and when her coaches stretches her I know it hurts. She is a freak though - she actually thanks her coach after because she says she knows she is doing it to help her be a better gymnast. I guess at 11 they 'get it'. Of course when she was 7 and went from an intermediate class where she went 3 hours a week to preteam where she went 9 hours - the first month she couldn't walk up the stairs by herself, lol.

Try not to worry too much. Since she just moved up she needs time for the adjustment, especially switching coaches. At that age they can get very attached. Last thing to remember - 9 out of 10 times it is harder on us than them. They get over things and adjust much quicker than us old folk. Hang in there mom, once she's used to being on team she is going to do great :)
:goodpost: Thats what I was thinking but she said it so much better:D
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
Thanks again guys. She came home from practice tonight totally happy and telling me all about all the stuff they did. I am going to relax a bit and take it as she is just adjusting. I watch her practice sometimes and she is always seems to be happy and having fun.

I appreciate your input and opinions! We have Monday of next week off because of the holiday anyway and that will give her a whole week off from any kind of gymnastics (except all the stuff she does at home, LOL).
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Even as they get older, moving up a level/adding hours to practice time can be a bit of a transition. I know my gymmie, while setting her goal of moving to L8, has said at times she's not sure about it because she'll miss her coach. Now, she knows the coach will be in the gym as she is if she would move up, but still...... As they get older, they start to really understand the need for more hours, stretching and other conditioning can hurt(but pays off in the long run) and you may have to move from a coach you really love to one you don't know as well.

I think for your little one, some of the iniitial excitement of being on"team" had worn off and she was being a typical 6 yo. It will come up again and she'll have new and different complaints. Thats why this sport is such a roller coaster. Glad she's back and having a good time.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
Keep things in perspective I think almost everyone on my daughters level 4 team has gone through this. Some have left and transfered to other gyms, alot of them have cryed before practice. My daughter is 8 now and she is becoming much more tolerant of the conditioning, she understands it is to make her stronger. Be prepared because when alot of the young girls started to compete at the meets the excitement of the meets wears off too and they get anxious and disappointed when the do not place. Also alot of the younger girls where very intimidated and scared of the judges in their blue suits. It is scary not knowing what to expect in your first year especailly when your daughter is so young. I also found it very helpful to talk to the coaches and the gym owner. When my daughter was upset I spoke with them and they reassured me that this is normal. It also lets them know that your daughter is upset about something and they can better help her get over it. :)
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
Thanks again guys. I think part of the issue is really mine. I have A LOT of anxiety over the whole team at her age thing. I would rather she didn't do it, but she seems to love it and has fun so I am trying really hard to just let her do it. I have read soo much and I think I overthink things sometimes. I am pretty sure if she wanted to quit, she would just tell me. We talk about everything and she has a pretty strong strong mind/personality and isn't afraid to make it known to me.

For now I am just going to stop talking/worrying about it and follow her lead. She has practice tomorrow and then doesn't have practice again until next Wednesday. We might even skip that and then start June fresh. She is supposed to add that 3rd day and they have reduced the L4 hours to 9 hours instead of 10.5 (which I am thrilled about!!). She says she wants to add the day, but I am not so sure yet. I haven't decided if I will let her add the extra day in June or wait till July.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
Country
USA
I'm just catching up now and reading all the responses. I can see how leaving her old coaches, being with different ones, maybe tougher ones, can unsettle a 6 yr old. And if your DD is not used to the conditioning, that's "pain" that she's not used to. Even my older DD (who started L4 at 7) still complains about it. We recently got a new coach who cracks the whip at stretching and older DD complains about THAT. My little one, however, is a freak :D She moved up to L4 at 5.5 and maybe because she knew the older girls and they all have the same coaches & same practice times, the only difference for her was adding the hours. She just goes with the flow.

As for adding a day, summer is the best time because they don't have to worry about school and she can transition to the new schedule before Sept. Good luck!
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Sep 25, 2007
3,527
Country
USA
Thanks! She had practice again last night and was totally fine and talking all about what they were learning. I think it was just her being tired combined with the stress of all the transitions.

It just caught me off guard because she never wants to miss gym and has always loved it. When I told her that she wouldn't have gym again until next Wednesday because of the holiday she was mad, LOL.

We homeschool, so the hours won't matter much there, but they do compete a fall and spring season, so the first scheduled competition is the end of September. I am thinking she could use the extra hours if she wants to be ready for that first meet since she still needs to learn the floor routine, beam routine and she needs her front hip circle, mill circle and ROBHS without a spot.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
I can so relate to your situation. I have seen DD crying while being streatched or sitting in splits. I guess you can say she has been streatched since she was 3 and doesn't need it hardly anymore now. The crying is just sitting in the split too long now. I have seen 75% of the preteam walk out to take a break with tears from splits. If you ask my baby if she wants to quit she will give a dirty look and tell you I don't like staying in them too long but look mommy they are FLAT. I noticed a change with many of the girls that moved up to preteam that they had a HUGE adjustment last year with the expectation. The girls that were from the Dev class really didn't have much trouble. I have a feeling anyone that comes from regular classes will have yet another adjustment time.

I am sure things will work out it just takes time.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads