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For Parents Does your gymmie compete with another gymnast?

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mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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Or maybe I am wording it wrong. Maybe a rivalry with another gymnast for skills? Though she admits she is happy for her friend to get the skill, but jealous that she can't do it and then she pushes her self to get it.

My DD recently started to really try to get the same skills her teammate (both moved to L4 together) gets. Problem is that she really isn't ready for the skills she wants to do and she isn't like her teammate. Her teammate is always practicing at home, my DD really doesn't practice so much as play around. And her teammate is FEARLESS. LOL. My daughter is definitely not fearless. She is definitely more naturally talented than my DD.

It is getting to where she gets jealous when her friend gets a skill (most recently her BWO on beam and now her friend almost has her BHS stepout on beam and she wants to do that!)and it is driving me crazy.

I hate when she compares herself to others. I have tried to talk to her about it. How we are all different. How some girls can learn things faster than others. How her only competition is herself. I never compare her skills to other girls. I just don't understand why she is doing this. It frustrates me that she will be home crying because she can't get something. It bothers me to see her so competitive. I am not competitive and even

Is this normal? What can I do to stop it,? If anything. Thanks to any advice I can get from you seasoned gym mamas.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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There is always going to be some 'friendly rivarlry' within a gym. As long as it doesn't go too far it can actually be a good thing. Over the years my gymmie has gotten jealous if one of her friends got a skill before her - she would be truly happy for them - but it definitely would also motivate her to work a little harder. Keep in mind that these girls are pretty competitive by nature - otherwise they would not be able to handle all the hours in the gym. My dd2 is not very competitive which is why being in a gym for 20 hours a week is just plain silly to her. As long as your dd doesn't get too wrapped up in what others are doing that she can no longer focus on her own goals you have nothing to worry about - it is normal :)
 
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Billy

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My daughter is not really competitive with anyone but herself. She watches the older girls at higher levels, studying their skills. Then she pushes herself to learn those skills. That's how she learned the kips by herself and she walks around the house doing parts of the L5 and L6 floor routines.

My DD is also a little different in that she notices mistakes other girls make. This is not to say that she is perfect; actually far from it. But that helps her to correct her own mistakes. She'll notice that someone is going sideways on their beam cartwheel and it helps her to not do the same thing. I guess it kind of works like watching video of herself making those mistakes in order to make the corrections.

The point of this ramble is that maybe you could try to redirect your daughter's competitive nature into learning from her friend (and the rest of her team) rather than being jealous of them and upset with herself.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
My DD is also a little different in that she notices mistakes other girls make. This is not to say that she is perfect; actually far from it. But that helps her to correct her own mistakes. She'll notice that someone is going sideways on their beam cartwheel and it helps her to not do the same thing. I guess it kind of works like watching video of herself making those mistakes in order to make the corrections.quote]

Future coach? :D
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
I think a little healthy rivalry is perfectly normal, and well, healthy :p. The comparison part is a little different & what I would try to detour - it will just take you to continue reinforcing it.

My gymmie used to have a girl on her pre-team that she was competitive against, and it did push both of them to keep working & perfecting their skills.
 
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Billy

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My DD is also a little different in that she notices mistakes other girls make. This is not to say that she is perfect; actually far from it. But that helps her to correct her own mistakes. She'll notice that someone is going sideways on their beam cartwheel and it helps her to not do the same thing. I guess it kind of works like watching video of herself making those mistakes in order to make the corrections.quote]

Future coach? :D


hehehehe.... could be! We took her to see the musical Cats awhile back. They do a lot of gymnastics in that show, including multiple back handsprings across the stage. I whispered to my DD "Wow! That was neat!" Know what she said back to me? "His legs were bent." I told her that was because he's a dancer and not a gymnast. :rolleyes:
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
DD and her best friend at the gym are like that. They actually had to be put into seperate groups because they were getting too compeitive for their ages. They were starting to get a bit mean with each other and the coach said they were too young for doing things like that. So she split them up. They are still the best of friends but it took a bit of the compeition away from the relationship. They only practice one day a week together so it makes it more fun for both of them. They both were getting the look at me syndrom and would get jelous when the coach was spending more time with the other. The funny thing was we as parents didn't know they had gotten like that. They would go to each others houses and there were no problems.
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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YUP, DD's cuz is on the team but they both have different strengths and weaknesses. Cuz is so much more graceful than my DD, but my DD has a little more upper body strength. When the first went onto team there were a couple times where they became frustrated if one could do a skill first, but as they get older they seem to really understand that skills dn't alays come at the same time or the same way. They really motivate each other now.
 

MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
I can totally relate to this subject. My dd went through a bout of this competitiveness/jealosy thing a few years ago. It got so bad it forced us to switch gyms and they were best friends. My dd is about 5 months older than her bf and all through their growing up, her parents were always comparing her to dd and "competing against" her. Since dd was a bit older, she always hit the developmental milestones first.

When it got to the cheerleading, they were always pretty comparable in skill. My dd was definitely more flexible and had more showmanship on the floor, and bf was much smaller and tumbling came naturally. Since bf was smaller she was the flyer and dd was the base. That was fine for a while. Then bf got her BHS first and dd was a bit jealous. It wouldn't have been so bad it her parents wouldn't have bragged about it EVERY day and constantly "threw it in me and dd's faces" all the time. It got really annoying. Ever since then bf's parents thought that their daughter was better than everyone and pretty much demanded that she get the spotlight.

When my dd expressed an interest in flying, the bf's parents did everything in their power to stop it from happening. They even went to the coach and tried to discourage him from trying her as a flyer. I know this for a fact because I later learned that the father did talk to the coach and "change his mind about dd flying". He would say things like she was "too big" to be a flyer and that she belongs as a base...(check out the pics of dd flying in my album--she is hardly "too big"). I guess they didn't want the competition from dd since she was very flexible and could possibly do a great job as a flyer.

Then we decided to switch gyms because it got so competitive and nasty, dd and I just couldn't take it anymore. It got worse since, the father continued to bad mouth me and dd even after we had left. I still find it amazing how parents can be so egotistical and selfish that it would ruin a great friendship. Anyway dd ended up as a flyer at the new gym and did a great job. Not to sound cynical, but we got the last laugh because we competed against the old gym at several competitions and both of bf's parents and coaches jaws dropped when they saw her performing!!! I know that is catty and not very nice to say but I love how Karma works out for the best in the end!!!

It took many months of not talking to each other and fighting before we made amends and tried to salvage the friendship between the girls. It's a lot better now that dd is doing gymnastics and her bf is still in cheer. We just make it an understood "rule" not to talk about too much stuff that could spark the ugliness that came out before.

Sorry this is long, but I felt like I needed to share. It is possible to salvage the friendships and keep the jealosy in check.
 
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TeamDad

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DD has become mentally very strong and she never beats herself. While some of the other girls might be better athletes, it's always sad to watch them self destruct after a mistake. She used to think that some of the other girls were better, she wanted to be the best and she worked hard for it....but this is a new year and hopefully everyone learned from last years mistakes and have matured. I think that while she secretly wants/likes to be the best, she has become a good role model for her teammates. She is a fierce competitor, but saves it for the judges. She is a very supportive teammate.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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Thanks everyone. I figured it was normal, but it is no fun to deal with as a parent on the other side. I am coming to realize that she is a bit of a perfectionist. I hate seeing her be so hard on herself. I will just have to learn ways to help her to cope with her feelings in a positive way and be proud of what she accomplishes and not compare herself to others.

I just am so not ready for her to be doing some of these skills. I never even imagined her doing them until much later, if at all and it is scary to me. Maybe I should stop watching her at the gym. LOL.

I found this article and it was very interesting.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH PERFECT?
 
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Tara

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YUP, DD's cuz is on the team but they both have different strengths and weaknesses. Cuz is so much more graceful than my DD, but my DD has a little more upper body strength. When the first went onto team there were a couple times where they became frustrated if one could do a skill first, but as they get older they seem to really understand that skills dn't alays come at the same time or the same way. They really motivate each other now.

Lexi's cuz is also on the team. Alexis got her kip first but her cousin was working on it longer. DD got her back handspring first, cousin worked on it longer. Since they are both 6, they think that everything is a competition. Who can get this faster, who can do this longer. I don't want to say that it will blow over completely when they are older, but it sure will get a little calmer and healthier. At competitions though (DD's first time competing, Cousin's second time) They will usually balance each other out. My brother had quads (oy vey:rolleyes:) 4 boys, they love to compete with each other (they do baseball with my son) It is like mayhem!
 

mariposa

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We had the best friend issue at our old gym, only her friend is a whole year younger and extremely talented. The friend/teammate she is currently trying to keep up with is almost 7 and DD just turned 6, sot that helps a bit. It really bugged her that her BF was younger than her and getting things before her. I think I just need to realize and accept that she is just competitive and try to help her to understand how to make it a positive force in her life, not negative.
 

mom2kazkids

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Feb 16, 2008
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DD and her best friend are togther on Level 4 team. I think with DD and her BF their competativeness is good for them as they drive each other to be their best. DD was the first of the two to get all of her level 4 skills and it somewhat bugged her best friend, but then best friend was the first to get her kip, that bugged DD.

Last week one of the coaches told me that DD and her BF are really doing great. Tonight I heard her tell BF's mom that they are the top of the level 4 girls, that means alot to me considering last year we just changed to this gym and DD really struggled with some of her level 3 skills, but now she is looking so good as a level 4. I really cannot wait for them to compete.
 

DbacksMom75

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Aug 18, 2008
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DD has a friend on her preteam that she compares skills with but I wouldn't say they are competitive about it, its more of a "look what I can do" and they try to copy each other. Her friend is better at bars but DD surpasses her in beam (mostly because she's already fallen off the high beam and no longer has a fear of it *note to DD always make sure both feet land on the beam after a cartwheel*).
MDmom...I totally relate to the cheer thing, it is different animal then gymnastics, the parents are ultra competitive and will tear down other kids as well as parents so their kid can be the star. We just left the sport after 4 years with older DD because we couldnt take the "cheer momma drama" anymore. BTW your daughter is a wonderful flyer, and anyone who says she's "to big" knows nothing about cheer. When it comes to flying you dont always want the smallest, skinniest kid because they can't "lock out" their stunts. As a base you would rather have a slightly bigger girl that can hold her stunt then one that is floppy.

Its kind of sad how far some parents will go....

Liz
:nurse:
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
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North America
MDmom...I totally relate to the cheer thing, it is different animal then gymnastics, the parents are ultra competitive and will tear down other kids as well as parents so their kid can be the star. We just left the sport after 4 years with older DD because we couldnt take the "cheer momma drama" anymore. BTW your daughter is a wonderful flyer, and anyone who says she's "to big" knows nothing about cheer. When it comes to flying you dont always want the smallest, skinniest kid because they can't "lock out" their stunts. As a base you would rather have a slightly bigger girl that can hold her stunt then one that is floppy.

Its kind of sad how far some parents will go....

Liz
:nurse:

Thanks for the kind words Liz! "Cheer Momma Drama"--LOL--I am so glad I am done with that!!! Gymnastics seems to be a much healthier environment when it comes to competition. I am just so thankful that the team parents on dd's gym team are so supportive to every girl on the team. There is a little bit of competitiveness, but the coach promotes it in a healthy way. The coach really trys to bring out the best in each child to help promote team unity and strength as opposed to it leading to competition between the girls.
 

UnoMas

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Aug 16, 2008
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My dd "competes" with her friend who is always one level ahead of her...she is always trying to catch her and at every meet the friend moves up another time and leaves DD behind!!;) But soon they should be L4's together. Then I guess they will be seeing who will get skills first, etc.

I know of a couple girls (AND moms...see my post from a few weeks ago:eek:) on our team who are always comparing themselves to each other and I try to discourage my dd from doing this. I really want her to be happy for EVERYBODY on the team when they get skills as I am sure she would want them to be happy for her!!! It's a tough balance and definitely a character-building experience (for dd AND me!)

Kelly
 
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TeamDad

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I think I just need to realize and accept that she is just competitive and try to help her to understand how to make it a positive force in her life, not negative.

I think you're on the right track. It's something that she will likely grow into as she gets older. You can't teach this type of spirit to someone who doesn't have it, you can only temper it - reinforce the good qualities while pointing out the drawbacks - until she is old enough to learn how to control and channel it in the right direction.

I think it is important though to point out if necessary that it can negatively effect relationships. It is also important to discuss the 'why' it can have a negative impact and keep the lines of communication open. Positive reinforcement is the key. This is a special gift and will help her succeed at anything she does, it can also be a huge weight and can impact friendships especially if she can be critical of others and herself.
 

mariposa

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Great points TeamDad. I have perfectionist tendencies, though I am not competitive, so I will have to figure it all out and help her to learn to be who she is, without the negative aspects of it.
 

Mom2Gymgirls

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Jul 25, 2008
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...I totally relate to the cheer thing, it is different animal then gymnastics, the parents are ultra competitive and will tear down other kids as well as parents so their kid can be the star. We just left the sport after 4 years with older DD because we couldnt take the "cheer momma drama" anymore.

Liz
:nurse:

Okay, you've got me scared now. Less than 2 months after quitting gymnastics, DD #2 wants to do all star cheer instead. She went and tried out her friend's team and really liked it. Against my better judgment, I think I am going to let her do it. At least it's something to keep her active and it won't be as much pounding on her wrist as the gymnastics was. However, I have no clue what to expect with cheer. I would appreciate any "insider" input on the whole cheer thing.
 
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