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!

Jump to high bar mental block

Status
Not open for further replies.
N

no1redheadmom

Guest
My DD is having the same problem... she's 9. She just finished "Novice"... we did not compete compulsary. She placed 4th in our State Meet a few weeks ago and did her jump to the high bar on the Novice setting. Our gym is going to a mobility meet so our girls can compete the Level 5 compulsary routines and can move up. However, My daughter is VERY AFRAID to jump from the low bar to the high bar. At the State Meet, she jumped on what our coaches call the "Novice" setting. She had JUST overcame that distance for that meet. Now, with this meet approaching, they have moved the bars out AGAIN to what the coaches call the "Prep One" setting and she is PETRIFIED once again. Now they're telling her that unless she jumps, she not competing. She is seeing that as a failure... a huge brick wall that has made her even worse because now she sees nothing to work for. She has ALL the skills to move up to Level 6... many skills that girls that they are allowing to move up don't have. It's to the point now where they won't even spot her on it. They just let her squat on and jump down. No mats, no spotting, just barking... "Do it or else" is how she's feeling. My question on this forum is to find out exactly what the Level 5 compulsary bar settings HAVE to be. I have no problem with her staying in Level 5, but I want her to know that if she is able to overcome her fears, there is a window of opportunity open for her. She is aware that one of the girls that was on her team this year qualified last year, but couldn't do everything she needed to move up at that time. I am going to talk to her coaches today so I want to have a bit of knowledge to go in there with.

Thank you for ANY help that anyone can give.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,079
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
Are you in the US? (From the names of the prep-op levels, it sounds like you might be from NC)

In USAG, there are, to the best of my knowledge, no requirements whatsoever as far as bar settings. I'm pretty sure they can be set as close or as far as you like. They can also be as high or as low as you like.

However, they do need to be far enough apart that the gymnast can do good tap swings without hitting the bar. Your gym might have its own rules regarding exact settings.

I personally wouldn't let a kid do prep 1 (if it's NC prep 1) if they were still afraid of jumping to high bar; that's a basic skill that they need to be completely comfortable with in order to move forward on bars.
 
N

no1redheadmom

Guest
Thanks for your input :) It's not that I want her to do Prep 1 OR to stay in Novice. I just want for her to overcome her fear so she can continue to enjoy gymnastics. If moving the bars closer than a "prep 1" setting, which is what my gym is calling it, is not going to be detrimental to her, then why leave the bars exactly where they are and give her and us a "she needs to do it or else" ultimatum? They had it at one setting for the entire team for the State meet three weeks ago and she did great! They just now moved it out for the compulsary qualifying meet. I have talked to her coaches and expressed to them that I understand that fear can chase a gymnast to quit... that's the last thing that I want for her. The coach was suppose to sit down and reiterate this to her two+ weeks ago and has yet to take her aside. This has now given her the impression that he doesn't want to talk to her and doesn't want to help her. It's honestly turned into one big, disheartening mess. Hopefully, in a few weeks, this will be a worry that's gone by ... one can hope, right?
 

Gymmonkeymomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
Country
USA
My dd just overcame this problem recently....her saga is posted in several threads on the Parents Forum. To my knowledge there is no 'required' setting. For her, because she is so small (47" tall) they finally adjusted the bars standing straight up. If you go to my Youtube video you will see what I mean(link also in one of the threads).

My dd worked with a few different coaches and all but one kept making it a "do or die" ultimatum. A new coach who started a week before States, and who happened to be my kids preschool gymnastics teacher from our old gym, actually worked with her to address her fears, which I believe was what finally pushed her over. This coach built her confidence by pulling the bars all the way in, rather than trying to force her into doing something "scary".
Good luck to your dd!
 

flip4u

New Member
Feb 27, 2008
24
True, there is no requirement in USAG for uneven bar settings.

For my team, I try to keep settings to 2 (1 for short girls and 1 for taller girls). I did have a gymnast come to me that was afraid of jumping to high bar. For her, we moved the bars in so that she could touch them with feet still on the low bar. Then we gradually moved them out; she is now jumping on our "short gymnast" setting. For another girl that had a terrible fear of jumping, we moved the bars in, but we also had to put a pit mat (like the one used for vault) under the bars because the height from the floor was her biggest fear. It took about 3-4 weeks, but she was soon jumping to high bar on the "short gymnast" setting also.

I hope your coaches can explain their reasoning for the setting or accommodate your dd. There are many ways and tools to help overcome fear other than ultimatums.
 
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
My dd once was nervous about that as well. She would do it - but she did this funky frog looking jump. She was afraid that she would either miss the bar or slip off during the tap swing and get hurt. What finally got her to get over it was really weird. We were at a meet and a girl on bars did just that and landed on her head (tap swing part) - anyway after the initial crying she finished her routine and then went to floor where she got a 9 something. My dd realized - ok well even if I do fall it can't be that bad if this girl was able to finish and then get over a 9 on floor. Strangest way I've ever seen someone get over a mental block. Anyway - as far as the settings, they need to be far enough so they don't smack their feet on the tap swings as previously mentioned. Other than that I think it is at the coaches discretion. Good luck to her- oh and you're right - ultimatums very rarely work for any child.
 

jcggymnast

New Member
May 12, 2008
12
hey im a level 8 gymnast and we all meaning gymnast will have a metal block on just about everything my coach threaten me and did everything she could but nothing rele worked but i taught myself rele
here are some drills that may help her

raise the low bar as high as u can make her sit in a squat on position on a floor bar then have jump
it rele will works but u have to get over it
make her put the bars out as far as they go and have her just jumping as far as she can go to get the hang of trying to reach to the bar it works
reply if it works
it seems much diffeent if it comes from another gymnast then a coach promise u my new coach was once a gymnast at my old gym and it is easier to explain and show if the person can show or ezplain how they once did it
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Sounds like you, your dd and the coaches need to sit down and hash this out. Is she afraid of something specific or is it more of a technique issue? When this was discussed before, many drills were mentioned that can help a girl get past the fear and/or correct poor form. It may not happen for your dd by this mobility meet, but she needs to be able to work on getting this in a positive enviornment and in her own time. Yelling, threatening, begging and pleading usually don't work. Sounds like maybe you all need to dig down and see what the problem really is.
 

gymgymgymnast08

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
Country
USA
I was never like scared to do it but I used to do the monkey jump thing. I wouldn't stand up on my squat on then I would jump as hard as I can and almost hit my face on the bar everytime. As a level 8, a while ago my coach was telling me I still need to stand up more and not jump. haha.
 
M

margymmom

Guest
My daughter has the same fear. She is small, and when she moved up to level 5 in Jan the coaches wanted her to jump to but not grab the bar. She wasn't afraid then but is now! Her coach has been patient and tried some creative approaches with no luck. Finally coach has asked for a private lesson so she can work out her fear without other girls watching and waiting for turn. Maybe that will work.
 
K

KBT

Guest
I was never like scared to do it but I used to do the monkey jump thing. I wouldn't stand up on my squat on then I would jump as hard as I can and almost hit my face on the bar everytime. As a level 8, a while ago my coach was telling me I still need to stand up more and not jump. haha.


I like to teach this as more of a fall-to-high bar skill. If a kid thinks she has to jump, she'll often have frog-legs instead of straight legs, and she'll have more power which can create more swing (which is scary and makes a kid feel like she's going to peel) and the kid doesn't always jump to the same place, and it's easy to overshoot the bar a bit. Jumping is scary. You're up a few feet in the air balancing on a thin bar and jumping out into nothingness and hoping you catch another thin bar.

If the bars are set at a proper distance, most gymnasts can stand on the low bar and pretty much fall towards the high bar. Not only does this help with the bent legs, but it decreases the power and makes the swing after catching the high bar more consistent and less powerful so less fear of slipping off the bar.

You could try the drill where she stands on the low bar, falls towards the high bar, slaps the bar with her hands but DOES NOT catch it, and then lands on her feet on a mat under the bars. She'll get to practice and focus on the motion, but avoid the scary part of catching and swinging out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Renee
G

gymnasticcoach

Guest
as a coach one of the things i do to help a child overcome this fear is to have them stand under the low bar facing the direction of the high bar and do a standing jump to see how far they get, then i ask them to stay where they have landed and look up and 99 per cent of the time they have landed past the high bar so i tell them that they have just proven to themselves that they can make the jump, then i will place a large pit under the bars for them to use for practice, this is called raising the floor to minimize their fear

as the old saying goes...go back to the simplest, less scary thing
 
Status
Not open for further replies.