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Need advice: I am dreading this meet season

LJL07

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Jan 27, 2014
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I feel like I am the opposite of a CGM. I am struggling to muster enthusiasm for meet season. This is dd's 6th season and I'm just... over it I guess? I love my dd and I'm so proud of her and all she's accomplished. But there are times, especially recently, when I wish she would move on and pursue other interests. It makes me sad because I certainly wasn't always like this. I need to get in a different head space. I definitely don't want dd to catch on to my ambivalence.

Please tell me I'm not the only parent who feels like this at times. Maybe it's just the introvert in me? Meets exhaust me.
Me tooooo! My girls go back to back tomorrow so 8 hours of continuous meet time. Just awful. I’m burned out on all of this. I was not a gymnast myself. When I see any of the girls fall, it stresses me out. Just yuck to all of it. I would rather just watch the videos after the meet. You are not alone!
 
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NutterButter

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Me too! This is meet season #8 for me. I started not enjoying it as much a few years ago but this year is by far the worst one for me. Ugh.

I genuinely like the other gym parents and enjoy their company but I'm also an introvert so the meets wear on me. The group hangs out together a lot during travel meets and will even go out to eat after local meets once or twice during the season. I'm watch every dime spent and it's added stress to say yes or no to a dinner because I'm worried about breaking my budget. I also hate seeing the kids get injured and sick.

This year is so much worse for me though. Last year we lost our HC to a safesport issue and it was emotionally draining for everyone (and yes, he needed to go). It's been very difficult with the new HC. A couple of coaches have left, others are unhappy (they actually talk about this in front of the girls!). The gym under the new HC is not a toxic environment but it's quickly becoming one of those gyms that I would read about on Chalkbucket and be thankful that my kid wasn't part of a gym like that. The value proposition DD's gym has always had is quickly eroding. I have complained to the HC more in the last 6 months than I have in the last 7 years combined! I'm just tired of it all.
 

cmg

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I feel the same way with my daughter moving up to Level 9 this year. So I am worried about injuries as other posters have commented. She also gets so very stressed about meets (especially the first meet of the season) as she is a perfectionist and if everything isn't exactly right she is doing terrible in her eyes. Then yesterday she stayed home from school with a stomach bug and I am praying it is not flu. So yes between my fear of injuries, her mental blocks, the flu/colds going around and my own daughter's perfectionist qualities, meet season is very stressful for me too. It usually takes several meets to get into the swing of things in terms of skills and which events will be her strong events. With new skills on every event I have no idea which event she will be comfortable with and perhaps do well on. So tomorrow is her first meet and I hope she is healthy enough to compete. We do eat out after each meet (if there is time and a restaurant open) and I always get a beer to relax after the meet. I find a good beer or wine after a meet is a must. (My husband drives home!) Something for me to look forward to!!

Thank you original poster for sharing your thoughts and I appreciate everyone's comments. I just want my daughter to get through her first meet and be somewhat happy at the end of the day. It is a small session so it should be relatively low key meet so a perfect first meet. Hopefully there will be other gymnasts in the same boat as my daughter and I am sure we will be seeing lots of attempts at skills with somewhat limited success and hopefully no injuries. Also I agree with the other poster who mentioned the positive memories when you have mother/daughter trips to gymnastics meets and do other things. Last year we had regionals in Las Vegas and had a great dinner and a show before her meet. Highlight of the year in terms of gymnastics!!
 

A's Mom

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So...what if you don't go? You still love her and support her, and you go to significant meets, but what if you don't go to every single one?
 
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mommyof1

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So...what if you don't go? You still love her and support her, and you go to significant meets, but what if you don't go to every single one?
That really depends on the kid. My daughter insists that I attend every meet and watch every event from a location where she knows I am present but cannot actually see me. If she knows or suspects that I'm not watching she claims it distracts her, but seeing me also distracts her. At the other extreme, a friend of mine has to beg her daughter to allow her to attend meets.
 

mommyof1

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Me tooooo! My girls go back to back tomorrow so 8 hours of continuous meet time. Just awful.
You should get a medal, and a celebration dinner, and chocolate, and a special beverage for sitting through two consecutive meet sessions. I cannot even imagine how terrible that would be.
 
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gymmomtotwo

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I know I sound like a whiner, but I would give anything for DD to have a meet season. She just left with her team on a trip, and there is no reason for me to go and hang with the other parents. This is her second year in a row of what is almost certainly a lost season, and it sucks. I love watching her compete and cheering with the parents in the stands.
 
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kendo348

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I know I sound like a whiner, but I would give anything for DD to have a meet season. She just left with her team on a trip, and there is no reason for me to go and hang with the other parents. This is her second year in a row of what is almost certainly a lost season, and it sucks. I love watching her compete and cheering with the parents in the stands.
I’m sorry she’s missing so much :( Thanks for this reminder of perspective - this is one of the reasons I readily own up to liking meet season even if it labels me naive. My daughter wasn’t invited to team until she was 7, so she was old enough to know what she wanted and old enough to remember the two years she spent desperately wishing to have focused training and to be able to compete, watching the team girls practice and knowing she could do what they were doing. Now that she has it, we don’t take it for granted that she did end up with the opportunity to pursue her goals. Great meets, poor meets, the time and the worry and the expense, it all means we are lucky to be on the path and I love watching her. I’ll take it!
 

Gymx2

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I’m sorry she’s missing so much :( Thanks for this reminder of perspective - this is one of the reasons I readily own up to liking meet season even if it labels me naive. My daughter wasn’t invited to team until she was 7, so she was old enough to know what she wanted and old enough to remember the two years she spent desperately wishing to have focused training and to be able to compete, watching the team girls practice and knowing she could do what they were doing. Now that she has it, we don’t take it for granted that she did end up with the opportunity to pursue her goals. Great meets, poor meets, the time and the worry and the expense, it all means we are lucky to be on the path and I love watching her. I’ll take it!
This is also a lovely reminder about perspective.:)
 

CLgym

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So I didn't read all of the replies - but assume you got lots of support. I am absolutely, totally dreading this meet season. My DD competed her first meet (last month) as a repeat L7 and it was awful. Two falls, and lackluster scores. Honestly scored lower then all last season as a first year L7. And, guess what? She is moving to L8 for the next meet -- tomorrow! o_O I suspect it will be a disaster. Would love to skip.... this meet, this whole season. But, I'm also wondering if it maybe her last season?? In that case, I kind of want to soak it up too. Know what I mean? I have stopped videotaping. Stopped tracking scores (used to use a phone app). Am trying to find a way to not just "get through" but actually enjoy this season. I remember one mom on CB whose daughter's gymnastics was cut short due to a health issue saying that if she had known it was the last season, she would have enjoyed more and stressed less. Words to live by! (PS -- Your post got me out of Chalk Bucket retirement, I think)
 

Madden3

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I think it is pretty common to get sick of the grind of meet season esp after several years. But the benefit of having a kid in the sport a long time is that you gain the experience that helps you handle it better.
 
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OrchidZ

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I have a love/hate relationship with meet season. When it's all over - much, much later - I love going back to see her routines. I marvel at how beautiful she is. In the midst of it? It's exhausting and stressful. She's level 10 this year - and it's true, L10 is a totally different beast. It does get harder in so many different ways. The meets themselves are stressful - from the people to the logistics to how very important everything seems to be the higher they go. There's the strain the meet travel puts on the rest of the family and my other responsibilities. The litany of things we do to try to keep her strong and healthy. All the teeny little details that can't be forgotten (and the stress and results when one is). Watching routines through a viewfinder because I can't bear to watch any other way. I seriously consider not attending each time, but I know I'd regret it because I love watching her videos later (and she'll need videos for college recruitment). I'm also tired of the super competitive parents (pride in oneself is wonderful, but humility is a lovely and important trait to develop). I'm tired of working through my emotions and thoughts about all of this while trying to be supportive of her and the whirlwind of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental needs she has. It would be so much easier just to focus on academics and her other interests - and my other interests and responsibilities.

But honestly, as frustrating as it can be at times, I have to remind myself of what's most important: that I'm not doing this for me. We're doing this because she enjoys the sport and has goals she wants to pursue. I enjoy the time I get to spend with her, even if it's just driving to a meet or training. I love her excitement when she trains a new skill. And I'm constantly amazed and humbled at her dedication and spirit. So I take a deep breath and press on.

I suggest looking for any way at all that you can reduce the impact meet season has on you. Maybe you need to listen to music at a meet. Maybe take a book or hobby. Meditate between sessions or take a short walk. See if a friend can go with you. Avoid the crowd until it's about time for your kid to compete. Whatever you need to do.
 

TumbleTimes4

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Other than watching beam, I guess I’m the odd one that does enjoy meet season. This is DD’s last compulsory season, so I’m also not dealing with the level of anxiety and stress that many of you are.

I rarely get a chance to watch her practice, so meets are about the only time that I get to see her do gymnastics. I also love watching her satisfaction when her hard work pays off and she accomplished a goal that she had set. But I think what makes it special is the time we get together, just the two of us driving in the car, staying in a hotel, or letting her pick the restaurant we eat at after the meet. That’s what I really soak up and enjoy the most.
 
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MILgymFAM

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I never ever enjoyed a single meet. I was super proud of my kid no matter what but the whole thing just stressed me out. I don’t do crowds well and have an anxiety disorder. I used to have to take ativan to walk in the doors. Now that my daughter is in college on a club team I am looking forward to her meet season because it’s purely for the fun of it. It’s low cost, low stress, low involvement (from my end). I’ll actually be attending two meets by chance- one is here at home, and the other is at a college my younger daughter needs to tour so I’m saving DD the travel costs. She and I agree that it’ll be so much fun to have almost no parents around and for everyone to just be totally chill.
 
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Flyaway

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So I didn't read all of the replies - but assume you got lots of support. I am absolutely, totally dreading this meet season. My DD competed her first meet (last month) as a repeat L7 and it was awful. Two falls, and lackluster scores. Honestly scored lower then all last season as a first year L7. And, guess what? She is moving to L8 for the next meet -- tomorrow! o_O I suspect it will be a disaster. Would love to skip.... this meet, this whole season. But, I'm also wondering if it maybe her last season?? In that case, I kind of want to soak it up too. Know what I mean? I have stopped videotaping. Stopped tracking scores (used to use a phone app). Am trying to find a way to not just "get through" but actually enjoy this season. I remember one mom on CB whose daughter's gymnastics was cut short due to a health issue saying that if she had known it was the last season, she would have enjoyed more and stressed less. Words to live by! (PS -- Your post got me out of Chalk Bucket retirement, I think)
I too, wonder if this will be my dd's last season. She's that age (almost 13, 7th grade)... so much life to explore. In some ways I want her to move on, which I'm sure is contributing to my lackluster enthusiasm about meet season. But you're right, if it's the last, I want to savor it. Gym has brought us so many wonderful memories, experiences and people. I will miss that when it's all over and I don't want to regret how I handled her last season (if this is it) when it's all over.

So here's to meet season! Cheers! :)
 

CLgym

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She and I agree that it’ll be so much fun to have almost no parents around and for everyone to just be totally chill.
^^ Yes, as much as I enjoy most of the team parents at my gym, parents do add another layer of stress and complication to the whole viewing experience.

In any event, I am happy to report that I survived -- and mostly enjoyed -- my DD's meet yesterday. At first I was feeling a bit claustrophobic in the stands, talking gymnastics with the other moms etc. So I excused myself and walked around by myself for most of the meet, peeking periodically so I wouldn't miss DD's actual routines. It helped! And my DD had fun. And all I said afterwards was "I loved watching you today!" (which was actually true). Gold stars all around.

Hope you are able to find some good meet-watching strategies too!!
 

mom2newgymnast

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Well I feel bad now.. I responded last week that I was dreading meet season. Then Saturday, my daughter fell and broke a bone in her ankle. Her first real gymnastics injury and less than a week before the start of her season which she was prepared and excited for. :( Her coach thinks she could still compete by the end of the season, but that seems a bit optimistic.
 

CLgym

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@mom2newgymnast
Oh no! I am SO sorry. I hope you daughter heals quickly, and is able to compete later in the season (she was more than ready!). Please keep us posted. Injuries have a way of putting things in perspective, don’t they?
 
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cmg

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I am happy to say that my daughter did just fine on Saturday at her first meet. She went for all her new skills, didn't get hurt, and scored better than she expected except for maybe bars. But I was really happy for her and relieved that the first meet is over and she had a good time with her teammates. She has some upgrades that she needs to continue to work on so she did not start from a 10 on all her events but she knew that going into it and this has given her motivation to work harder on those skills. I was able to stay relatively calm. I really try to just stay out of her way at meets. She is 16 and I just drop her off at the front of the meet, park the car, and don't really talk to her until after the meet. I take pictures of all the team and that keeps me busy. We had a nice dinner after the meet and all was good. We took one of her teammates up that was not competing and so they talked to each other on the way up and back. I know some posters have suggested I don't go, but I can't imagine not going for several reasons, First I also love watching my daughter perform her gymnastics and want to be there through the good, bad or ugly. Second if she did get hurt for any reason I would want to be there for support. I appreciate posters who have also said they would give anything to have a season to watch and I get that too. Anyway I think we are off and running now and the next meet should be much easier at least for me. I hope everyone else gets to a good place for themselves this meet season.
 

Avasmom

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I don't dread meet season because I absolutely love to watch my daughter compete. I dread the falls on the beam that are bound to happen and how hard she is on herself afterwards but my dd has also been in compulsories for the past 3 seasons so it starts in Sept and ends in December for us. The rest of the year is working on upper level skills. Do I wish my daughter would try other sports? Absolutely! First year in middle school and it's the first time I have heard her complain about early practices and misses out on things that her friends do without her. I am always wondering if she will stick with it or if her social life will become more important.
 

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