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Keeping Motivated

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JakesMom

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Jul 16, 2017
11
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Canada
Hi All. I'm having a hard time keeping DS (12) motivated. His coach sends workouts 5 days a week and he does them 110% with no questions. Then he turns around and when hes in a bad mood starts telling me he wants to quit gymnastics. I've told him that I won't let him make that decision until he is back in the gym and has trained for 3 months. I just feel that the longer hes out the less interest he has to continue. I know he loves the sport, he trains hard and pushes himself. He does have some fear issues.. this fall was back tumbling and sometimes giants. Which he got just before the closure.

He has also had a major growth spurt since December that was throwing him off before the closure too.

Anyone else dealing with this?
 

skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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My son is 17, and has waned a bit. At first he was all in, and doing about 3 hours a day. I think that became unsustainable. He still does some. He stretches in the morning, and he does zoom and other things in the afternoon.

Does he work out with his teammates at all? Like Zoom workouts? Or do they have challenges he can participate in? What is he doing?

This is so tough for all of the kiddos and I know we will see attrition from this!!
 
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JakesMom

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Jul 16, 2017
11
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Canada
They get workouts 5 days a week and he Zooms them with a teammate. They do Zoom meeting as a team on Sundays with the Coach. He does like his teammates... they are better behaved then his school friends that's for sure! It's just hard hearing him so negative. I know deep down he loves it.
 

Cheryl

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Feb 28, 2018
187
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We have weekly conditioning workouts that they are supposed to do 4-5 times a week. Kid does them, but we have to remind him. We don’t have a zoom workout. We also try to get him to do some cardio. It’s hard for kids to workout when nobody is watching or there is no reward (you won’t be able to do this skill until you are stronger). Since there isn’t any timeline for us to return to practice that makes it harder. I’ve just taken the approach to let him do the workouts and not stress about anything
 

Madden3

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Aug 24, 2013
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My son (13) also has talked about quitting. We are in a different situation as he was injured before the shutdown and would not be able to practice anyway, but he was staying very motivated about doing what he could do, physically. The talk of quitting came up very recently and out of the blue, as his physical recovery is going well. What we are finding out with him is that his moodiness and negative thinking is not really about gymnastics or at least, not mostly about gymnastics. I think this is a crazy time where kids have lost lots of things without any consent and are feeling even more out of control than adults, and what may be going on at least partially is he sees quitting as a way to exert control over his life, or trying another sport as a way to change his life. A grass is greener type of thing. Of course it is not like he can actually start doing another sport right now, his injury precludes that even if there were no shut down. But this kind of thinking is not always rational.

This is a really tough time for kids like it is for everyone else. One thing I thought about recently is that I think boys in particular may struggle more with loneliness in the shutdown as they are typically more comfortable socializing in person and in groups, playing physical games, goofing around etc. Face to face convo with a friend on facetime or zoom feels weird according to my son. Of course each kid is different. Some may be having fears about the state of the world, or struggling with all the uncertainty about the future, some may have more personal reactions to all the changes or a combination. I personally think that the novelty has worn off and as shutdowns of normal activities wear on, kids- pre- teens and teens in particular- are going to struggle more and more.

I would suggest that when your son talks negatively just listen and resist the urge to problem solve or talk him out of his feelings- just let him vent. (I am terrible at this fyi)Try non-judgemental questions to encourage him to talk "Tell me more about why you want to quit." or "What differences in your life are you imagining if you do not do gym anymore?" (Those examples sound really awkward but hopefully you get the gist.) Maybe your kid has an interest in another sport or activity and has really thought this through, maybe he is just venting, maybe there is something else going on.

If he is working out with any regularity at all, that is quite good for a 12 year old in this situation in my opinion. If he is happy doing the amount of workouts the gym is offering great, but if not, maybe let him not do that every day if he would prefer not. Encouraging him to go outside to play or walk or socialize with peers any way your family feels is safe may help a little with his mood.
 
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springsforlegs

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Proud Parent
Jan 4, 2020
46
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USA
My son is hot and cold. One day on vacation 2 weeks ago he said, I want to practice everyday, I need to keep getting better. This week, he doesn't want to go near the rings or bar. I think it has a lot to do with the lose of muscle mass and not being as good as he was before this shutdown. Hoping he gets back in the gym next week or the week after, and that he can start building on his muscles again.
 

JakesMom

New Member
Jul 16, 2017
11
Country
Canada
Thank you all so much for your replies. I have been trying to keep things easy at home these past few week. I really feel for the kids!

We have talks when he is in a good mood, sadly his overall attitude been off for weeks now.
 
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