Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
554,231 messages... 44,365 topics... and 6,612 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts & High 5 Meets!

For Parents Expectations...

Status
Not open for further replies.

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
Hi :) I'm a newbie (to gymnastics and to this forum), so I'm sure there will be lots of questions from me!! :cool:

My dd is 6 (competes as 7) and in Level 4, this is her first year to compete. She has loved gym from the time she started at the age of 3. Starting at 4 1/2 she started 2-1 hour/week practices, now that she's on team, she does 2-3 hour/week practices. DD is a bit of a stubborn rebel, so at times doesn't take practice serious, but LOVES it nonetheless, and is continually doing some flip or flop or routine!

We had our first meet the other day and she didn't do as good as I had expected. Overall, she got 9th out of 12. Honestly, I didn't expect her to be the best, but as her mommy, I was hoping for better. I feel she was judged fairly, the other girls routines were "cleaner" than hers. Her coaches say she has potential, and can definetly do the skills. Lately her attitude has actually been getting a little better about practice, so I'm hoping that will help with her performance.

Maybe my expectations are too high?? This is her first year to compete, and her birthday falls right at the cut off for her to compete as a 7 year old.

I've voiced my concerns, I've gotten encouragement from her coaches.

What do you think??

Thanks :)
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Hi Crazygymmom and welcome to CB.

My DD is 8 and just finished her L3 season. She is supposed to start the L4 practice schedule next week (after the current L4's have their State Meet).

Her first meet was not very good. Not horrible, but not very good. I think it is very hard to go from practicing routines in the gym to actually 'performing' them for judges and in front of a lot of parents. She may have been very nervous. Normally you will see improvement as meet season continues.

My DD did 2 seasons of L3 because she has some trouble staying 'tight' and can be a bit 'bendy'. She had all of her L4 skills prior to meet season but HC decided to have her repeat. She did much better this last season taking 1st AA in 3 meets and 2nd in two. She had to scratch from her last meet of the season due to a broken wrist.:(

I would not worry about DD's performance in her first meet. As you will read in many posts here "Gymnastics is a marathon, not a sprint".

I think it is hard for parents to have their child not do as well as they had thought or hoped. I think we all sit in the stands hoping our child will be 1st AA, it is hard not too. I have seen a couple of DD's teammates pass her this season w/ form and that can be hard to handle sometimes.

I kind of changed my perspective this season. I was originally disappointed that she was repeating L3. But I took a different approach this time. I stopped talking about the meet on the way there and I would simply tell her to "have fun" when I handed her off to the coach when we got there. This has changed her from being nervous to having a blast. I am happy that she is having fun. To be honest I enjoy it more when she wins, but as long as she has fun - It's all good. :D

I say - don't sweat it. It will come. If you can change your expectation to be for her to just have fun - that may help. But, as a parent it is hard not to expect or want our little one to be the best.

Wow - sorry that this is so long. :eek: Not sure if it is helpful.
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
Hi, and welcome to CB!
My humble advice... take a breath, relax and enjoy watching your dd have fun in her sport. Just be happy she found something she enjoys doing. Keep your expectations neutral and allow her to amaze you...because she will. I promise.

Nice things take time.

She's doing gym because it's fun. That's it. She's competing because it fun and challenging and nothing more. Encouragement goes a long way. Show her how proud you are of her, and encourage effort. Being critical takes away the fun and turns it into work, so let the coaches do that. If your DD wants to be better, it's up to you to provide the opportunity, and her to make the determination. Otherwise she may not doing it for herself, but only to please you. And that enters into dangerous territory.

Im aways amazed at 7 and under's the make it to L4 so early. My DD has been in gym since shes 4, and is now a first year L3 at 9 years old.

Best of luck, and again, Welcome to CB. I hope to read more of your posts.
 
Last edited:

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
Thank you, and I appreciate your "long post" :) :)

I try not to push her, and I try to tell her to, "Have Fun!" and tell her that's what's most important, but it's hard for ME to be in that mindset. She did say she was nervous, and it was hard to do in front of the judges. But I think she's a bit sloppy in her routines, I guess the crispness will come with age and practice??? Or I really hope it will.

She didn't get upset about how she did until she found out that one of her buddies, who is competeting the same as her, did better than her. It really upset her, of course I kept trying to tell her that I think she did the best and if she tried her hardest than that's all she can do, yada, yada,yada...

I didn't even know there was Level 3 until our meet this weekend, our gym starts at 4, I would've loved to start at 3. I really think that if she doesn't drastically improve, I will seriously look into keeping her in 4 for another year.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Thank you, and I appreciate your "long post" :) :)

But I think she's a bit sloppy in her routines, I guess the crispness will come with age and practice??? Or I really hope it will.

.

My DD really struggles with this as well. She also thinks she is staying tight and that her legs are straight - until I show her pictures. I just keep hoping it will come. There is a younger girl who is w/ her level and moving to L4 next week w/ DD and she is very tight and beautiful - I do sometimes get 'jealous' that my DD would be so much better "if she could just..." It is hard to stop that thought process and just enjoy. It is my New Year Resolution though.

It can be so hard as the parent. I almost cried at the Christmas Parade the girls were in yesterday because they got to carry the L3 banner for the Season ending meet where they got L3 3rd place team and 3 of DD's teammates placed 1st AA and their names were on the banner w/ State Champion below. DD had to scratch this meet due to her broken wrist. It was hard not to be sad that her name was not on the banner ( and it may not have been even if she had been able to compete - but she had had such a great season I think we were expecting it). I felt silly, but it is hard to swallow some things as a parent. Thankfully DD was happy to be able to help carry the banner - :D.

Gosh - I am sure long winded today :p
 

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
Thanks Tim_Dad.

You are sooooo right and I really appreciate your advice!

I let her know how proud I am, encourage her to be proud of herself, and she seems to be.

I know I'm too competitive and I need to chill out. I TRY not to push that competitiveness onto her, though. She saw one of her scores, it was an 8.3, and she was soooooooooooooo excited, but I know she didn't know what it meant ;) Of course I was happy for her, too, and glad that she was proud!

I also think it's a good thing I know NOTHING about gymnastics so I can't critique her ;)
 
E

emacmommy

Guest
Let me try this again, as I was just booted off in the middle of my post. My laptop does that to me sometimes. Grrr. Let me see if I can be less long winded too, because before I was booted it was getting lengthy.

I'm the mom of an 8yr old L4 gymie, but I'm also the coach to many gymies of all Levels. I have only one goal for a first meet gymie. And that is to hook them. There are no expectations of performance, form, score, placing, etc. We just want them to leave after the meet and ask.... so when is the next meet?

During the 2nd meet is when I might try and lay some foundations for work ethic in the gym. Not with comments before or right after her performance, that is time exclusive to comfort and praise. But while we are sitting there watching other teams or waiting for our turn I may say comments like, I bet if you straightened your knees on you bridge kickover in all your routines in practice, like us coaches ask, that red white ribbon might be a blue ribbon someday. Young gymies in particular are very experiential. They need to try something before they get it. Same with competing and having practices that stay on task and trying to pay attention to the details. It's a long process, that not many get right away. Once the gymie's understand that how they practice effects what color ribbons and medals they get, believe me effort in practices are easier to maintain. It's all part of the learning process. She doesn't know that, but it helps that the parents are aware. The perfect, highly disciplined young athlete is a rarity. Take her in perspective to her age too. I'm assuming she's a kindergartener. They are learning this lesson in school too. That if you stay in the lines as you color you get a prettier picture, that if you count to 20 over and over, eventually you will be able to count to 100, etc.

Good luck with your gymie, just being the observant parent and fishing for more info is a good sign of a supportive gym parent. Your most important expectation to voice to her right now is to have fun. Let the coach's help form her work ethic within the gym. Shortly you will get to be the sounding board for things like goals and handling her disappointments, but she is pretty young to get get expectations laid upon her yet.

Last note, there are personality types, where even if they are having fun, they need some other source of motivation besides colors of ribbons to "want it". As a professional I obviously scorn negative motivators, but sometimes that trip to Dairy Queen or something similar really does help. Controversial I know, and most gymies truly relate to the colored ribbons etc. But you would be amazed at the things my team gymies have conquered just for a popsicle party at the end of a practice. It's just another tool to motivate, but it should never replace the lesson of self motivation and determination.

So much for not trying to be long winded, and I got a little off track there at the end. Your gymie is far within the norms for a first meet. Trust your maternal insticts and let her be hooked with the fun of gymnastics. Good luck.
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
You're among friends.

I'm just learning the sport myself so I know exactly what you're going though. And honestly, if it wasnt for the nice folks here at CB, ALL of whom I'll bet went though the same thing, I would probably go with my gut instincts and push harder, be overly critical, and point out mistakes more then accomplishments.

Easy to say, harder to do - as you well know!

So when my DD forgets something, such as doesn't hold her arms high enough (even after been told to 1000 times), I actively hold my toungue and keep reminding myself that "learning" takes more then simple instruction. As much as we observe and try to learn the sport ourselves, we parents will always be unqualified to instruct. So in a way - Gym can be a hard life lesson for parents too.

You'll do fine Mom. Heck, in a few months, you'll probably be providing the same advise to the next new "competitive" parent that joins the fringe.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
Country
USA
A lot of 6 year olds really don't quite understand how all the little things are really the big things (arms by ears, straight legs, pointed toes, etc). I also have a 6 year old that recently competed in her first meets. She wasn't really ready to compete, but she did anyway and had a blast. Her scores weren't good (she averaged a 28 at each meet, she had 3 in 3 weeks). My DH sounds a bit like you, he expected more of her, knows she can do better, etc.

I am opposite and was totally fine with how she did. For one, she really isn't into the little things yet, she is just happy to be able to do the big skills. It is a HUGE thing to get out there in front of all those people and judges. It is a huge thing at 6 to even being doing some of the skills. Memorizing routines is a big accomplishment as well.

My DD struggles with tightness, form, pointed toes, etc. I am sure that one day it will click and she will get better scores just from doing those things. Right now, she is having the time of her life. She LOVES the meets, the smile on her face after she is done with each event is priceless.

A lot of times, the first meet is really nerve racking. I have seen girls scores go up quite a bit at the 2nd meet.

Right now, relax, be proud of all she has accomplished and really look at the big picture. :D

Welcome to the CB! It is a great place!
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Well if you have been here for a while at chalkbucket then you know our story too.
My daughter Emily did level 4 at 7 for the first year. She did okay but her form wasn't the best. Emily went on to repeat level 4 last year despite having all her level 5 skills because the gym we went to forced Emily to stay at level 4 another year because she didn't score 35 in the AA during her first year. Emily went on to score nothing lower than 36's the entire 2nd year as a level 4 and took 2nd in Beam, Floor and in the AA at state in the age 8 group which is one of the largest groups of level 4s and 90% of them were repeat level 4s.
We made a big gym switch this year right after state to a new gym that in my opinion has much better training and conditioning. They really emphasize on form from the get go unlike our old gym that kind of thought learning the skills were important and the form would improve over time as the skills were repeated enough.
Emily just competed her first level 5 meet and it was a biggie... 16 teams there and 9 year olds are the biggest age group again for level 5.
She took first on the beam, bars, and in the AA
3rd on Floor and 4th on vault
which is not bad with 18 girls being in her age group. But the best thing is that really Emily took 1st on bars among all 36, 9 year olds and 2nd on beam and 2nd in the AA if you were to combine both groups...
So really I think form improves as the gymnast gains experience and what Emily's level 4 coach used to call body awareness. She would tell me that that is an age thing and some girls develop it early like 6 and others take a few years to get it and then one day it clicks.
There is a reason she was chosen to compete level 4 this year and that is because they see the talent even if she isn't putting all the pieces together yet.
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
I'd be disappointed too because we all want our children to do well. I think the secret is to hide it at all costs. I think the form will come with time and age.

My DD is the youngest and smallest in her group and by far the sloppiest. Sometimes I'll watch her and compare her form to the other girls. Then I have to stop myself and remind myself that she is 3 and they are 5, 6 and 7 years old. She's doing the same skills they are, but she just doesn't always get it as far as keeping her legs straight etc.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
You're a parent who cares about her child and wants to see her succeed. Most parents do whether its at school, gymnastics, soccer, music whatever. Reality is they won't succeed at everything and even the things they're good at will throw them a curve ball from time to time.

So, yes it is darn scary out there during a meet and for a 6yo doing her 1st ever routines for a score, I'm sure it was rather intimidating. You have to factor in her age----she is very very young and these compulsory routines leave no room for "misses." You either do the routine the way it has been written or get deductions----so every girl has had deductions. These little ones not only have to remember the routine, but also there are many little things they are told regarding maybe 1 skill. To put it mildly they have alot going on in their heads while trying to make their body do it all and do it well.

Does she equate working hard in practice with good performance in a meet---probably not and it may take some time and growing before she does. Looks like your gym is on the low end of practice hours for L4( 6 I think?), so at some point her coach may need to stress making the most out of the time she has in there.

Now you as a parent have a better idea of what to expect at a meet. Don't get hung up on numbers---it can drive you crazy and dd probably really doesn't get it anyway. She was happy with the 8.3----then you should be also. As she does more meets, she'll learn how to compete and what I watch for is better routines from meet to meet.

1st one is done and behind you. Bottom line is did she have fun and want to do more? If the answer is yes then let her know you'll be cheering her on big time for the rest of the season and be there for hugs and high 5s.

BTW--Welcome to the CB!!!!!
 

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
I really appreciate all of your advice, insight, and suggestions!!

Yes, she is very excited for the next meet! I guess that's all that matters!! :)
 

gymjourneymom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,331
Country
USA
1st I want to say all the emotions your feeling are totally normal! You want your DD to succeed & win & be in top of the world:)! You are a loving parent! I applaud that:applause:. Then I want to say how proud I am of your 6yr old DD for competeing in her 1st meet! I think she did just fine! Your little six year old walked out in front of how many people:eye-popping:???? And perfomed routines that she had to memorize.....at 6 yrs old!!!! I think that is totally something to be proud of right there! Most important she had FUN & wants to do it again!!! I'd say she's on the right track! The having FUN part is key!!! I don't want to bore you too much...but here is something I must share with you & the other parents of young gymmies. When my DD was on preteam(like level 3) she wanted to go to open gym. I took her & sat while she danced around with a cone on her head & took about 200 turns on the zip line. All while her little team mates were busily working on the bars & beam, practicing skills. I was getting frustrated thinking..."well this was a waste of time". At the end I asked DD why she was just playing instead of working? Out of the mouthes of babes...she told me..." Mommy, I work really hard at practice, but sometimes I just want to have fun in the gym & that is what open gym is suppose to be for." Now DD is a level 7 and has been state champ twice(levels 5 &6). Her level 4 team had 30 girls(most of the girls that were working so hard during open gym), now at level 7...5 (ONLY 5 out of 30!!!:eek:)of those girls still compete on team! The rest ALL quit! I truely believe that having FUN is the key! That is what will keep her at the gym & in this sport long term:D. So now you all know my DD's secret:shhh: to success! Work hard at practice & have fun when you can! I'll add my secret to success as a gym parent...leave the coaching & training to the coaches...just be loving, supportive parents & help her to have more fun!!!!:D Some of you know that I celebrate the skills my DD achieves...not just how she does at meets. I always look for the positives & play them up...big time:D. It gets harder to keep it fun as the skills get tougher. My DD has done very well at the meets, but winning isn't everything! DD has had severe highs & lows to endure due to her fear issues. Each year she has faced possibly not moving up(even though she had just been the state champ:eek:). Her fears really hold her back at times. So far she has managed to work through them & come out on top. It's a constant battle for her. We just take it one day at a time. But she will tell you that, it is because she has FUN & enjoys the sport that she is still in it! Best wishes to your DD hope she continues to enjoy herself!Okay...I'm step down off my soap box now,LOL!:soapbox:
 

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
Thanks for your reply!!
LOVED it :)

You all are so wise!!

I agree, she needs to have fun, and she actually is the "class clown" on her team! I know that if she would stop clowning a bit at practice she'd probably be a bit better, but if she's happy, and making others laugh, I guess that's good :)
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
I was were you were last year and I understand where your coming from. It is alot of cost and comittment to be on the team and I think your expectations are high. My daughter was a 7 year old level 4 and did not do great her first year,this is her second year and she is doing so much better. I also think the key is to let her have fun the scores are so subjective depending on the judges that getting caught up in them is nerve wracking. Just enjoy watching your daughter progress as she gets experience you can see a big difference. As long as she is having fun and wants to be ther is the most important.
 

crazygymmom

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2008
89
Small Town, USA
Country
USA
I was were you were last year and I understand where your coming from. It is alot of cost and comittment to be on the team and I think your expectations are high. My daughter was a 7 year old level 4 and did not do great her first year,this is her second year and she is doing so much better. I also think the key is to let her have fun the scores are so subjective depending on the judges that getting caught up in them is nerve wracking. Just enjoy watching your daughter progress as she gets experience you can see a big difference. As long as she is having fun and wants to be ther is the most important.

Did your dd move up to level 5?

I'm not sure what is up with our gym, but our l4 only has 1st year l4. I think they should master 4 before they move to 5. I don't want to push my dd through the levels! But, she's always talking about when I'm level 5, and doing 5 skills. I'm just so confused on how it all works :confused:
 
B

Billy

Guest
There's debate even among coaches about the best method for advancing girls through the levels. Some believe in mastering each and every level, even the lower compulsory levels. Others think girls should get through those lower levels as quickly as possible so they can train optionals (and consequently, harder skills) before the fear issues set in.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
I think you need to look at the chilld individually some kids learn skills faster than others and some are just plain more talented. That is why I have alot of respect for the head coach at my daughters gym she is repeating level 4 but trains with the 5's and 6's. This has worked out well because is doing better at the meets and is gaining more confidence as a result, she has all her level 5 skills except the dreaded bars. She even has some level 6 skills.I think at first she was discouraged she did not move up but she is now fine with it and is more motivated than ever. It probally would have been easier for the gym and the coaches to move her up since there are only three 4's but after being at the gym for a while I can see the head coach really cares about how they do and wants them to stay in the sport. I think if you are happy with her gym you need to relax and trust the coaches.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.