For Parents Feeling helpless to help DD

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mbphoto

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Jan 27, 2009
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myrtle beach
Ok, so it is evening before Tiger Paw. Last practice and Bailey comes home very quiet. I ask her whats wrong. She says she could not do her giant she has been doing every day for the past few weeks. She beaks into tears and it breaks my heart. I told her no big deal, she can just do her cast hs to free hip. Not good enough. Has anyone else had this experience so close to a meet? Is it the pressure of the meet or what? Please lend some words of advice. I really want to help her work through this but nothing I say seem to help. Everyone in the gym has been telling her that if she throws the giant, she will score really high because her form is really beautiful. I am sure she will do fine even without the giant but this has been such a big deal for the last few weeks, I don't want her to feel dissapointed if she can't do it.
 
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Granny Smith

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Jun 21, 2007
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Ok, so this might sound funny, but when dd was having a huge mental block on twisting, which kinda still exists today she is finally doing halfs, but not much else, I would put inspirational quotes in her lunch bag. Basically ones that would stress that everyone overcomes some kind of struggle to achieve one's greatness. Anything to build confidence because the issue here really is your dd's confidence. She has the skill, she knows she can do it, but she lacks the confidence to do it. Regardless of what she does come this meet, give her a thumbs up and tell her she did great - that's really all us moms can do. (This does sound like the approach you are taking anyways, but thought I throw it out there for good measure!)

GL - I know that the mental demons are the toughest one for us to battle, she will overcome... ;)
 

MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
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I know what you mean about the helpless feeling. It can be very frustrating. It sounds like the pressure may be getting to her a bit. Sometimes when people tell them that "if you do this skill, you will score really high and win" or "you need to do this skill for this meet", it actually creates more pressure to succeed and kids can get freaked out by it. For instance, my dd is afraid to do her BHS by herself because she feels like if she does it, then she will need to KEEP DOING IT, and that is scary for her. She doesn't want to let people down if she fails or messes up. The fear of failure and success can really create some issues for some kids.

I would not pressure her and just take all the attention off of the skill and reinforce what a great gymnast she is because of her character and her work ethic. By placing too much emphasis on the skill, it eventually turns into a game of "getting this skill makes or breaks me as a gymnast".

Dr Alison Arnold has a great 8 part segment on Coaching through fear on gymnastike.com--it is very insightful and she has a lot of great advice and useful information. Sorry that I am going off on a tangent!!

Good luck to her and I'm sure she will do fine!!
 

gymjourneymom

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Mar 9, 2008
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OMG!!! I feel so bad for you & DD!!! Yes, we are in the exact same situation! And yes, it is stress that is affecting her. When DD's coach pushed her to do her giant(which she can do), she not only lost the giant...but her fly away too! She couldn't even do clear hips(free hips) at the last meet & had to scratch from bars totally b/c she lost her fly away. Seriously, at a meet 1 month ago she was 1st on bars with a 9.45! Next meet she scratched bars totally...she was heart broken. But coach had pushed her too hard & stressed her out! My DD is a perfectionist...I know she has a fear of "failure" if she isn't up on the podium. She has worked through so much the past couple of weeks, just to get back to where she was. I think she has learned alot about herself & that she is a good gymnast, whether she in the AA or not. But it's been a bumpy road, with many tears:(. She's planning on doing bars at the meet this weekend. She did her clear hip fly away 4 times last night in practice(without any type of spot, yeah!). So her coach has backed off the pushing for the giant & is just happy she is able to do bars at all. Our DD's sound like twins. They can do the skills beautifully...they just don't own them in their own minds yet. I have faith in both of them:)!!! Your DD will do it...she just needs to build her self-confidence. She can do it...I know she can:D! Sending you a cyber ((((hug)))) & sharing the "I can do it" fairies with your DD! PM me if you'd like & we can commiserate together!
 

mbphoto

Member
Jan 27, 2009
123
myrtle beach
Thanks everyone. It is so comforting to know that there are people out there who understand. I think that it is much harder to watch your child suffer disappointment that to go through it yourself. All the support from the form really helps. Telling people who don't understand the incredible demands of this sport just don't get it. Thanks again.
 
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ValleyGymMom

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Yep, been there. Still going through it too. My dd puts on her game face at gym but as soon as she is in the car the water works start. Everytime I give her the same petp talk. It makes her feel better at the time. My dd gets her highest scores on beam. If she misses one routine at practice then that's it for the rest of the day. She starts telling herself that because she missed one element she will miss them all and that messes with her attitude and self confidence. She is also the oldest and highest level (8) at our gym so all the younger girls look up to her and think she hung the moon. That puts more pressure on her too.
I tell her that every practice cannot be a great one. Even the Olympians go through slumps. I know you feel helpless. Just letting her know you believe in her and you have faith that she will come out of this is the best thing you can do. They have enough pressure at the gym. My dd has an angel in her room that says " Where there is doubt, there is a path to faith". She reads it before every meet. I know just believing in yourself won't make her hit every routine perfectly, but a good, positive attitude can go a long way! Good Luck!
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Know exactly what you're going through. I think its a combination of meet jitters and the "hit the giants and score high" remark. My gymmie has put enormous pressure on herself to hit big on bars because the HC said when she well she has the best bars routines on the team. Her bars haven't exactly been shabby, but she hasn't been happy with her giants or flyaway. Her coach and I just tell her to relax and let it happen.

It is tough for those of us that have to sit on the sidelines. We can offer pep talks and let them know 1 routine is not the end of their life, but it is still very hard to just have to stand and watch them. In a way I don't know if it really matters what we say----in the long run most of them know we care and love them and that goes a long way.
 
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