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Gymnast's frustration

_GymDad

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Jan 16, 2020
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My daughter (whose turns 10 this year) is passing Compulsory 3 grade this year (UK). Last year she passed the Compulsory 5 grade OOA and she had to work very hard to make up for the lag. In September last year, she was forced to change the club (her coach has retired gymnastics) and at first everything was fine, but later problems appeared. As coaches in the former club said about her, my daughter is self-motivated and focused on hard work. However, recently there have been problems with motivation appeared. The daughter periodically complains that the coach is strict with her (although the old coach was very strict), the coach does not understand her, the fan disappeared during training, and it’s boring. Of course, this does not happen every time and there are times when everything is fine. What could be the reasons for this and what can be done in this situation? Perhaps this is due to the fact that some of her elements are not as good as she would like. Maybe this just the age and it will pass by itself. Maybe there is no contact with the coach, the coach does not understand how to work with the child? Have you met anyone like that and what did you do to make a difference?
 

Jenny

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Sep 17, 2012
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I think it could be any and all of the above you have mentioned. I can see going from compulsory 5 out of age (which is quite basic) to Compulsory 3 in age is a big jump and the pressure associated with this catching up is likely to suck the fun out of training. Training at high level is boring and there always will be endless repetitions until small details are correct. Added to that the pressure of competing at national finals if she makes it. There will be a very different vibe to her training. Along with the new coach-gymnast relationship, fitting into a new club set up and making new gym friends she is really up against it.

I would be up front with her and talk to her about all these things and let her know she is up against it and it probably doesn't feel much fun at the moment. All you can do is offer support and assure her you are super proud of her no matter what. Be a sounding board and encourage her to work her best and keep talking to you about how she feels. Once this year is over she will be more settled into her new club and next year will feel easier. And Good Luck to her.
 

Learning Parent GB

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May 21, 2013
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Someone told me recently that the gap from comp 4 to comp 3 is very big. So your daughter has done incredibly well to have moved from comp 5 to comp 3 in a year. I would suggest that she is just being human as none of us can work non-stop without the odd dip in mood. Is she saying she is losing motivation, or is it you or her coaches feeling that? Could it just be that she has gained so many big new skills in a short period and now there is less obvious progress while she works on finessing all the little details?
 
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_GymDad

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Jan 16, 2020
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Thank you so much for your comments. It much resonates with what we feel and think. She is aiming high and certainly that causes pressure and self-doubt. Our concerns were whether it was caused by the new gym/ new coach / new approach sort of things. Your comments made us think that probably it's a natural combination of a harder work and new club set up. She is still determined to make the grade but those low days when she feels frustrated she mentions quitting and that what we worry about.
 

gymmagic

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Apr 4, 2019
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@ _GymDad

My daughter has been on the compulsory path since Compulsory 5. She qualified / competed at 2019 compulsory 4 & Age Groups British finals at Stoke-on-Trent and Guildford.

She is now training for compulsory 3 and travels to gym straight from school and trains 23 hours per week. Most night's she’s not home till after 9pm and eats home-made dinner in car on way home. On the night off from gym she has 1 week of school homework to catch up on… Compulsory 3 training and hours is a big step up, the training schedule certainly is both physically & mentally tough on them! also huge “invisible pressures” at play such as getting skills on time for the compulsory competition, not doing well at compulsory competition, how they compare to gym peers, making British Finals …, all are at the forefront of gymnasts mind.

I don’t think you or your daughter are alone with this, my daughter also has experienced frustration and has talked about doing less hours in gym, going recreational and quitting when downbeat or frustrated. As parents we provide support, emotional support, talk and listen as best as we can, we have said if she wants to stop gymnastics or do recreational then it is her decision and we love her no matter what, and tell her she is a star for doing so well. Though my daughter can be downbeat and upbeat next day after having a good chat and letting the steam out, it’s amazing how a few days changes mindset and makes them see things in a different light.

Good luck to your daughter :)
 

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