Disappearing Skills?

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mommykateb

New Member
Jan 10, 2009
11
NE now, but soon San Diego
My little gymmie is having a tough week. Yesterday she lost her cartwheel on beam (which was not always 100% there, but now it's nowhere close), and today she had a very tough time with her pull over and back hip circle, which were both automatic in the past. She is on pre-team and has definitely gotten to this point through determination and practice rather than natural talent (she is 7 years old and has only been doing gymnastics since June), so I think it can be tough for her to get the feel of some skills.

So, here are my questions...Is this sort of off week normal? Do you have any suggestions for counseling her? Should she limit the amount of "practice" she does at home? For example, could doing 50 cartwheels in the living room before practice be harming her performance at the gym? I can see she is getting frustrated and want to help her get back on track.
 
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jasmine196

Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Aug 29, 2007
102
Skills come and go. I've had so many gymnasts have a skill one day and loose it the next day. I wouldn't worry to much about it. The biggest skill issue that I've always had was with kips. It would take my girls months to get it everytime and every practice. Since your dd is new to gymnastics, I wouldn't really worry to much about it. What works with the girls I've coached is setting goals. So for your dd, if she can hit 1 cartwheel this week, that should be her goal, then up it as it gets more consisent. Same with the pull over and back hip circle. I don' think that her doing cartwheels at home will hinder her in the gym. Although, if she has a bad habit that she does at home that the coach is trying to fix in the gym, that could hinder it. Its always best to ask her coach what she/he thinks. Best of luck:)
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
So, here are my questions...Is this sort of off week normal? Do you have any suggestions for counseling her? Should she limit the amount of "practice" she does at home? For example, could doing 50 cartwheels in the living room before practice be harming her performance at the gym? I can see she is getting frustrated and want to help her get back on track.
I think it's hard to say. It shouldn't really hurt physically in the long run (although 50 is a lot, she could be tiring her muscles out right before practice) unless she is doing them incorrectly (which could build bad habits). If she is frustrated mentally/emotionally then doing a lot of work outside practice could possibly reinforce that. It's possible it could burn her out if she is doing 50 every day and problems persists because of a mental "block" with getting the feet on beam, etc. I would recommend focusing on one thing to correct (i.e. no wobble strong lunge) and doing 5-10 cartwheels like that. Sometimes when you start doing 50 of something, you can start getting a little crazy and they just get careless. Better to have a deliberate focus on fewer. If she wants to do more, she could create another focus (i.e. pointed toes) and do it sort of like "add on."

***disclaimer: I know a lot of people who have broken toes smacking them on stuff or kicked siblings/pets doing cartwheels and ROs so due to the nature it is especially important not to do them haphazardly in closed spaces or around people.

Otherwise, it is fairly normal to backtrack on skills and have up and down periods of time. The overall progress is pretty slow and sometimes hard to see, but I would encourage her to just focus on doing her best and trying to think of specific improvements she can make (better form or something) each time and see if she can make progress on those. Basically the same thing the previous poster said, trying to make incremental goals that are easy to achieve and break down.
 

mommykateb

New Member
Jan 10, 2009
11
NE now, but soon San Diego
Thanks so much for the advice, Jasmine and Gymdog. She seems to have forgotten about earlier difficulties and is very excited to go to the gym tonight (as usual). I think I will try to limit the living room gymnastics though, just so she doesn't wear herself out! :)
 
J

Janetgym

Guest
Hi!

If my parents worried every time I lost a skill they would be dead by now! I'm kidding but it seems that I always lost skills. When I had lost a couple of skills, my coach would measure me and most times I had grown quite a bit. And when I got discouraged, my coach asked me to list the skills I could do 6 months before and even if I had lost a couple of skills I was always better than 6 months before. So you can help your daughter list everything she learned since June and she will see she is further ahead. Does that make sence?
 
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