For Parents Experiencing a new environment

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Flip4funmom

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I was speaking with my son's coach today (who we love) and he mentioned something about the older kids not being comfortable ouf of their own gym. (The optional t&t kids have been training occasionally at a gym with a pit until our gym moves in december) he explained how they freeze and dont know how to act. These kids are teens, do i need to worry about this with my son (5)? Should I be asking his coach to give him that experience at some point as well before we start comp season? We will have a mock meet in December with comps starting in January. I know he doesn't need to be training with a pit at this point I'm just more concerned about getting him prepared then going somewhere new and he freezes.
 
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josie55

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No. What is the worst that happens? He freezes at age five. Who cares? Then he learns and becomes comfortable. Seems to me if you ask for special arrangements to be made to give him this "experience" the main thing that will happen is the coach thinks twice about having a casual conversation with you out of worry that you will create more, unnecessary worry for yourself and unnecessary work for him.
 

NutterButter

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You are over thinking this. He's 5! Let him experience the training and meet and all that follows as it comes. His coaches will prepare him but also know there are some things that just need to be experienced as they come (for instance, the first away meet).
 

profmom

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At my son's very first gymnastics meet, the little boys went out, all dressed to the nines in their brand spanking new singlets and jackets and snowy white pommel pants. They started off on pommels. Whew, hooray, first event done! They then moved on to rings and got through that. It was then time for vault. One of DS's tiny teammates looked out and saw the whole big wide world watching him . . . as his coach was asking him to take off his pommel pants and put on his vault shorts. He balked completely and refused to change in front of everyone. They finally negotiated having him run to the bathroom so he could take off his pommel pants and put on his vault shorts in privacy, but by the time he made it back out, he had missed his turn on vault and they were on to pbars. I'll always remember it as the most adorable routine that didn't happen.

They figure it out, really they do.
 

ldw4mlo

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At my son's very first gymnastics meet, the little boys went out, all dressed to the nines in their brand spanking new singlets and jackets and snowy white pommel pants. They started off on pommels. Whew, hooray, first event done! They then moved on to rings and got through that. It was then time for vault. One of DS's tiny teammates looked out and saw the whole big wide world watching him . . . as his coach was asking him to take off his pommel pants and put on his vault shorts. He balked completely and refused to change in front of everyone. They finally negotiated having him run to the bathroom so he could take off his pommel pants and put on his vault shorts in privacy, but by the time he made it back out, he had missed his turn on vault and they were on to pbars. I'll always remember it as the most adorable routine that didn't happen.

They figure it out, really they do.
Little kids are so fun to watch.

There is an entry my mom wrote in my baby book, about my first dance recital.

Went like this........................ Your first recital. You did everything wrong. We told you how awesome you were. :D:D:D:D:D
 

Mamabear123

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This past season DD was 6 and forgot her beam routine at 2 separate meets. It was hard to watch as her mom because I wanted to run out there and hug her, but she wasn't phased at all. She finished the meet and had a blast. By the way, she had a mock meet before the season started and she still had those mess ups. Mock meets are a lot less stressful than actual meets.
 
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sce

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I think you are seeing two separate issues. Your little one is new to competing. He might freeze or get scared. He will learn by going to competitions and will get comfortable. The situation with the older kids is a lot more likely because they are teens. At the other gym they are probably feeling self conscious joys being in someone else's gym. Teens think everyone is judging them. Well some don't and are overly confident, but most are self conscious. I assume these same teens have been competing fine for years, yet practicing at this other gym is still an issue. Teenagers!
 

gymdog

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This may happen however he is at a good age to get used to new environments. I would just try to help him work through it so he ultimately has a positive experience with doing gymnastics at different environments. This will build his confidence and help him in future situations with socialization, etc. Support, but do not panic and immediately leave if he initially freezes or is afraid. Just model excitement and positive attitude and he will pick up on it.
 

rosiekat

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It can also work in the opposite way. The last 2 years, my son has had small meets at the home gym in addition to large meets at other gyms and a couple major ones. He actually has his worst meets at the home gym, because he's TOO comfortable there and doesn't get that edge that a little bit of nerves can give you. Seriously, so far his best meets are generally the biggest. And I never would have predicted that until I saw him actually compete, either.

So, don't invite trouble. Let him compete and see what happens from there.
 

Madden3

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he mentioned something about the older kids not being comfortable ouf of their own gym. (The optional t&t kids have been training occasionally at a gym with a pit until our gym moves in december) he explained how they freeze and dont know how to act.
So it sounds like the coach is talking about boys (and girls? I am not sure how tnt works) who are brought to a different gym from their own to train(?) Unlike meets, training at a different gym involves a significant level of socializing and adapting to the different gym's routines and expectations. Also, it sounds like he is talking about "older" kids (Preteens? Teens?) who as a group tend toward feeling more social awkwardness around people they do not know than little guys usually do. So it does not sound like this comment was relevant to your child or competing?

Also, I am not sure I agree with the coach's generalization even as regards training. We have older MAG boys come work at our gym from other gyms all the time as we are a larger gym and better equipped for training more advanced skills. And according to my sons, they seem to fit right in and do fine.

Meets tend to be very anxiety provoking even at your own gym. In fact my boys tend to find the small inter-squad or mock meet or judges cup type deals the most stressful "regular season" meets of the year. Basically I think most people expect little dudes in their first year to be nervous as hell and completely inexperienced and to mess up in various ways as a consequence. This is the whole point of competing for kids - to learn how to compete!
 
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