Hmmmm, that is a interesting perspective, @azara.
I am not even close to her age, so having the understanding that pretty much everything in life has both good and bad qualities associated with it is quite clear. I'm not sure what to think.
As a parent of 3 former level 9/10 gymnasts I admire and appreciate the collegiate gymnasts that are willing to talk about the negatives of NCAA scholarships! Most people seem to think that a scholarship is the Golden ticket and for most of the girls I know, that wasn't the case. It's all about informed consent-knowing all of the truths to make a decision that is appropriate for the individual. Thankfully, my dd realized during the recruiting process that D1 gym would be too much pressure for HER as the coaches seemed to be pretty up front as to what they expected from her. Having heard a lot of info from other collegiate gym parents, I was relieved not to be going down that road. What surprised me was the amount of parents who said that they would make their daughter's take a scholarship if they were offered one after all the sacrifices they made. Sad.
Exactly txgymfan, I feel terrible for her, too. She must've gotten some serious backlash for the post, for daring to say how she felt, which to me, only makes me feel even more upset with a gymnastics culture that seems to never allow dissent. Not everything is sunshine and roses EVER. She is entitled to feel and to express both the good and the bad. As a mother of an athlete, I feel angry on her behalf that she now feels she has to berate herself for being honest about some of her feelings. Seriously, how much pressure can one young person have to be perfect before they crack?
It's interesting that you say this because this is exactly the response some people gave us when our youngest gave up her full ride in her Sr year of HS because her injury prevented her from coming back fully in gymnastics...her take was " I'm not the gymnast they recruited and NCAA is too much work to maybe compete so I'd rather be a regular college student"....the college coach never pulled the scholarship and even was open to her still coming and "seeing what she could do and moving into a team manager role if not" .....they were definitely an anomaly in that regard.
When she made the decision to move on, I can't tell you how many people told us "well I'd MAKE her go there, it's free" or "make her go for at least a year, you earned it"...well fortunately for my daughter, that's not how we roll. Gymnastics was always her sport and something she did and when her injury was just too great to overcome, it wasn't her fault and we moved on. She's at a great school, loving it and is a diver ...and I can tell you it's a much more laid back atmosphere with that, or maybe I'm just so new I don't know but her college sports experience has been an absolute delight for us.
Briley wanted to make it clear that the collegiate gymnastics experience is not the magical unicorn fairy ride that it's made out to be by the athletes, by the recruiters, and by the colleges. She wanted to highlight the negatives, because the positives are highlighted by everyone else already. It wasn't super clear, but that was what she meant to do.
In the second one, she realised that most people hadn't interpreted her comments the way she meant them, and had to go back and basically write out the other side of the story.
Like azara, after I read the first, I felt I knew where she was coming from. - You all have heard all the good things; now here are some negatives. I never felt that she was telling us how bad of an experience she had, just that it wasn't always roses. Not everyone is going to be kind to you. It is not a fairy tale come true. As adults, I think we understand, but for teens, this can be missed in the glamor of it all. What got from the first was a notion of how your college experience (any experience, really) is what you make it. You decide whether your experience will be a positive or negative one. Sure, negative things can/will happen, but how you react to it will define how you view it years from now. Let go of all the crap and focus on the positives in your life.