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For Parents DD returns to gym after 3 years off

cbifoja

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Oct 9, 2012
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USA
Hi everyone. Not sure if anyone will remember me but I used to be active on CB several years ago.

In January 2017, my 12 year old decided to leave gymnastics. She was an L8 with lots of blocks. Lost her full, lost her double back on bars, couldn't connect beam series. She had a coach who was a recent addition to the staff who told her father and I that out DD wasn't her favorite gymnast and that she knew that she could be mean to her sometimes but that she wasn't "that mean." After talking to the gym owner, who had been her previous coach for years, we decided that DD was probably done with the sport.

It was very hard on me. I had made so many friends and was a big part of the culture of our gym. DD was okay with the decision as she had come to hate going to gym. So she joined her middle school soccer team but didn't enjoy it. Then she did the typical post-gymnast thing and became a cheerleader. At first it was just school cheer but they didn't have the athleticism that she was looking for. So she transitioned into a flyer on a level 5 all star cheer squad.

After two years of cheer, she asked if she could return to gym but I told her that it was too late. She had lost so much strength and also grew and went through puberty. I explained that she wouldn't be able to do most of her non-tumbling skills and would probably be embarrassed. So she returned to cheer for a third year. This summer, she turned 16 and sat me down and told me that she was serious about going back to gymnastics. She explained her goals and her expectations and I was convinced to let her return to the gym.

We went to a different gym and after a two week tryout period, she was added to the optional team. Obviously, it wasn't clear at all where she would end up competing so she wasn't put on an actual "team". Her first day back and she could barely kip. Cast handstand wasn't even close. Wouldn't even do a fly away. She still had her BHS and BT on beam but couldn't do her press handstand. Her floor was great because in cheer she got over her twisting block and could actually land a double. So she just got to training, with not a care in the world about what level she would compete.

She's been training for a month and I am stunned at how far she has come. She has been told that she is most likely going to compete L9 if we have a season this year. Her current status after a month back is:

Vault: piked yurchenko onto resi in the pit
Bars: double back dismount, clear hip to hand
Beam: BHS BHS connected; switch BT connected; one and a half turn; press handstand mount; RO full dismount
Floor: double twisting layout

Most importantly, she is in love with the sport again. She has no college aspirations anymore (she thought she wouldn't be able to attend college without a gymnastics scholarship, but she's a smart young lady) so no pressure to get as many skills as possible. She wakes up excited to go to gym and has made new friends.

Sorry for the long re-introduction and I look forward to getting reacquainted with the sport.
 

MeetDirector

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
942
Country
USA
... Her current status after a month back is:

Vault: piked yurchenko onto resi in the pit
Bars: double back dismount, clear hip to hand
Beam: BHS BHS connected; switch BT connected; one and a half turn; press handstand mount; RO full dismount
Floor: double twisting layout

Most importantly, she is in love with the sport again. She has no college aspirations anymore (she thought she wouldn't be able to attend college without a gymnastics scholarship, but she's a smart young lady) so no pressure to get as many skills as possible. She wakes up excited to go to gym and has made new friends.

Now that's what you call a COMEBACK!! Huge congrats to your dd!
 
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gymisforeveryone

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Nov 16, 2012
856
So nice to hear that comeback story! Awesome. I remember you :)

But remember to take it slow! It's easy to get very excited and ramp up the hours and reps too quickly, and then end up with overuse injuries. Her body needs time to adjust. Her brain probably still can do the skills, but she needs to do a lot of conditioning and limit the repetitions for a long time to avoid overuse injury. Sadly I've seen many gymnasts who made an awesome comeback just to end up with stress fractures in their bones after just month or so in the gym. I hope her coaches are aware are of the risks and take it slow with her!
 

cbifoja

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Oct 9, 2012
3,010
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Thank you for the advice. We decided not to do a 5th day that was optional for just the reason you stated. I figured 4 days/20 hours was quite enough given how long she has been out.
 
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txgymfan

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Sep 4, 2008
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Good Plan! Has she seen any of Chellsie Memmel’s training videos on YouTube? she might enjoy seeing another amazing comeback. She hadn’t done two events for 8 years and she’s successfully training them again.
 

coachmolly

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Former Gymnast
Jan 18, 2009
2,988
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Welcome back! That's such happy and exciting news. Good for her for really going after it and, most importantly, so glad she's happy doing what she loves. Wishing her (and you) all the best!
 
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Oopski

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Former Gymnast
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May 25, 2012
358
Texas
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USA
I love this story!! My older daughter who retired 3 years ago (Now a Coach) will be a senior in HS this year and pre-pandemic had started going to open gym again. She’s only looking at colleges with club gymnastics programs and plans to compete again next year if possible.
 

novagymmom

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May 19, 2020
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That's so exciting! That takes a lot of self motivation and grit! And the best is that she LOVES it now!
 

beachgirl

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Nov 7, 2013
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Welcome back! I remember you. I love this kind of story and can't wait to hear more about the comeback.
 

NutterButter

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Jan 24, 2013
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Yea! That's awesome! I remember you and some of the challenges that your DD had when she started struggling. I'm thrilled that she's back and that it sounds like a positive environment.