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For Parents help with DD's fear

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bgcmom109

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wondering if anybody else has dealt with this kind of thing...

dd is suffering from fear of skills she previously had, specifically: BWO on beam (a skill she has competed since she was 8 - now she's 11. we're in ontario btw, not JO rules); also lost her sole circle and flyaway - those are more recent skills. I just don't know what to do...she can't move up without these, she rationalizes that she will simply switch to power tumbling and so doesn't need to worry about moving up. I don't really care about the actual skills or moving up, it's more about learning that in life you need to face your fears and the fact that I know she will feel so much better about herself if she can conquer this...

the bwo she was apprehensive when she got back from summer break and then bailed on the move one day resulting in a nasty "beam bite" - has not done it again without a spot, the others we have no idea what sparked the fear...

any input and ideas are welcome...
 

gymjourneymom

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Mar 9, 2008
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Bog! You may have noticed I've been laying low for a while. I'm right there with bgcmom this week. Hoping someone has words of wisdom for both of our DD's. DD's L7 season was off to a great start, she took 2nd AA at both meets so far. But then it happened...the coach pushed too hard...causing DD way too much stress. She was doing beautiful clear hips in her L7 bar routine...place well against girls who were competing giants. Well, coach decided to push giants on DD the same week, as she had to pick her schedule for highschool next year & complete her science fair project! It sent her over the edge & she lost her flyaway! Then he proceeded to torture her with conditioning b/c she wouldn't go for her flyaway without a spot! Years of mental toughtness training undone in 1 week! She may not even compete bars at her next meet...after getting her highest bars score ever just 2 weeks ago! I'm at a loss! DD wants to "handle" this on her own...doesn't want me to intervene by talking to the coach. She's trying to be more independent this year...so hard for me to not be shooting off the e-mails to coach:mad:! On the bright side...DD won the science fair:D. Her schedule for highschool is decided...so now all that stress is calmed down. She had the weekend off...so I'm hoping she has a fresh outlook when she goes to practice tomorrow night. Been using all my Doc Alli techniques on her(you know I'm a fan of hers, thanks for posting the links Bog!), so I do still have faith in mental toughness training. And I have undying faith in my DD's drive & determination & talent. I know she will come out of this set back stronger & better...she always does. But it's so difficult to watch her being so stressed out! Did she need to be pushed when she was already doing so well?!?! Talk about a roller coaster ride! Please send some zen vibes off to both bcgmom & my DD's! Stress is a skill killer! Sorry, but I don't think I'm in a mental place to be giving advice this week:(. I'm hoping someone will post some miracle cure here:p, LOL!!!! Sorry to hijack your thread...bcgmom! Hopeful someone can give us both some encoragement & advice! Just know you are not alone...I'm right there with ya!
 

kristilyn73

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Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
First, Let me say welcome!

I found this site a little over a year ago when my then 12 year old L7 was having a mental block on her BHS on beam. Just like your DD, she had competed it for a year and had been doing the BHS for over 2 years. I just couldnt understand where this fear came from. She didnt fall.. she didnt see anyone fall.. just one day a month before her second year of L7 she stopped doing them. She was just afraid.

I found this site, found a lot of good friends on this site that showed me that my kid wasnt the first one to go through this. They helped me just let it go, and you know what? One day - She just did them again.. and now is a Level 8.

Part of it is the age your DD is at.. their minds just start going and they dont know where to stop.

My DD says to do lots and lots of 'mind sets' to think back to when she was doing the BWO on her owne. And Dont get too frustrated! In the end, My DD competed a round off in competition, fell and got a low score. It ticked her off enough that she went right back to practice and did her BHS's....

Good luck! I hope things work out for her.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
DD has these strange fears that she will just stand there and stare and not go. We had this with jumping to the pit bar of all things. Drove me nuts. She wanted to do it but just wouldn't. Something was blocking her. I spent one hour trying to encourage her. Finally she did it but it was after many tears. She couldn't explain what it was. We even had that same thing with her handstand on the beam. Mind you she did stradle down a couple time and did have a fear of that. So finally coach had her doing handstands off the beam. (Don't ask me why this was ok to her and not on the beam). Well now she is holding her handstand on the end and wont dismount. So it worked to get her over the fear. It just takes time. When she is ready she will do it.
 

gym monkeys mom

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Oct 3, 2007
569
Welcome to you. I also found this site about 1 year ago and have made wonderful friends who support and listen to me. So welcome to the family. I know you will love it here.

My DD is 13 yrs competing 2nd year level 7 this season. She has also suffered fear issues starting around 11 1/2 yrs old ( very age related) about bars giants mostly. It is actually ironic at her year end picnic after Level 6 so April of 2007 she got the fearless award for the year.

Right after that she became deathly afraid of giants she had been working them on strap bar for 1 year or so. Long story short we have finally come to the point where DD just competed a giant this year 2 meets ago. Woo Hoo!! She finally was more afraid of the meet and venue then the giant itslef and said what the heck I "canso" do it.

We did lots of mental toughness I love the site bog posted about also. I also prayed lots and so did she. Finally a friend told DD about her son who could not jump of the block to swim he over came this by telliing the voice in his head "canso". DD thought this was cool and began to put it on her hand during practice. I may never know what one thing helped but, I think time and belief in herself helped. I also gave her tons and tons of support. Her coach didn't put pressure on her during meet season last year but come April of 2008 she was under his thumb for giants. It has finally paid off for her and now she is soaring and gaining skills. Yeah.

So most of all I just have to say help DD be positive and know she is strong and she will and can overcome the fear beast. It is a sign of her age and hormones.

Hang in there and we are always here to listen. Keep the faith my friend
 
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bgcmom109

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Thank You all - I will check out the links provided, too and let you know if anything helps. She competed this past weekend and has qualified provincially, now - not sure if this will help her mindset or not. She is a very stubborn individual...
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Great job qualifying, the required score in Ontario is quite high this year, so getting that out of the way was great I am sure.

Hope some of it helps. But remember you are not alone here.
 

gymjourneymom

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Mar 9, 2008
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Thank You all - I will check out the links provided, too and let you know if anything helps. She competed this past weekend and has qualified provincially, now - not sure if this will help her mindset or not. She is a very stubborn individual...
Congrats to your DD on qualifying! That may be the mental boost she needed! But oh my...when you said she's stubborn...now that sounds just like my DD!!! Now I have to try I tell what has helped my DD in the past:D. Also, a review for myself, since my DD is back at square one. What has worked best for my DD is: a supportive, encouraging coach who is patient & willing to let DD go at her own pace. She needs to do a skill a million times...with a spot & then moving up from there in small increments(baby steps). She must have success at each baby step before moving on. DD needs to know in her own mind that she can do it(some times this takes way longer then the coach thinks it should;)). She needs lots of positive thoughts running through her mind to block out the negative ones(Doc Ali calls this a tight mind). Mental choreography & visualization also help. Lots of mom mental & emotional support...don't be the one to push her. Let the coach be the bad guy(if there has to be one). I'm sure she's beating herself up about it too(even if she's not telling you that). Celebrate her small successes with her! Tell her she is amazing(b/c she is!). Make her smile:D! I can also tell you what doesn't help....anything negative! Threats, punishment, STRESS! Fear is an on going issue for my DD. Just when I think...life is good...some new fear pops up! But she always comes through it a stronger person! She has struggled with fear at every level. I paid lots of $ to a sports psychologist...but DD says I helped her more:D! Now that I have mentally regrouped...I'm ready to face this all... yet again! Sometimes I really hate this sport...and wish she would quit. But she loves it...go figure! So I will help her in anyway that I can. Hopefully I can help my DD, as well as your DD:)! Feel free to PM me with any questions or if you just need to vent! I understand where your coming from 100%:p. Check out this link, watch all 8 parts of the video seminar by Doc Alison Arnold. It's a good crash course in overcoming fear in gymnastics. www.gymnastike.org/videos/speaker/1494-alison-arnold/173441-doc-ali-coaching-through-fear-part-1 Good luck to your DD! I'm here for ya!:)
 
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bgcmom109

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Wow, that Doc Ali series was great and sure drives home the fact that she is not alone...have shared the info with her coach and I will keep my fingers crossed. She will be training in FLA when we go for our vacation (just before provincials), hoping maybe the change in environment could shock her block a bit, too...

Thanks again for all the info & support!
 

gymjourneymom

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Your DD is surely NOT alone!!! Hope Doc Ali's, program can help out your DD! I also think she helps parents & coaches(if they'll follow the program) understand fear issues better too! Slow & steady progress is what it takes. Baby steps & positive reinforcement. Until they believe they can really do it! Good luck to you & your DD! I know how stressful this is for your too! Have a great time in FL!!!
 
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bgcmom109

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Thanks everybody!

Well, it's been quite a while but wanted to let you all know that DD seems to have gotten over most of her issues and has decided to stick with WAG for next year. Thank You to all who offered advice & support.

Interestingly, it wasn't until her tryout for power tumbling (which went REALLY well, btw) that she put her heart back into artistic - she had written herself off for most of the year, maintaining she didn't need these skills to tumble but I guess it when tumbling became a reality, push came to shove for her...

I can now happily support whatever she decides re: discipline.:D
 

gymjourneymom

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So happy your DD is working through her fear issues. I'll bet doing power tumbling gave her a chance to sort through some of her issues. My DD did school track this spring. I KNOW track helped her to overcome some of her gymnastics fear issues! She just needed something else to focus on & be successful at. I know my DD was stressing herself out too much(a perfectionist) about gymnastics. Track was a nice diversion & self confidence builder for her. Maybe power tumbling had the same effect on your DD??? So happy to hear she's doing well!!! Good luck to her!!!:D
 
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bgcmom109

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it did something very quickly - it was only one session for the tryout...
 
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