For Parents nerves at meet

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momof5

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Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
DD age 7 had her very first L4 meet this weekend. It did not go very well. She kind of fell apart, and made some very unsual mistakes. I definately felt that the nerves played a role. She made all of her skills except one but it was the little attention to detail that she forgot. She scored very low and it had to be all these little things because the actual skills she did quite well on. She was disappointed with her scores. I didn't expect her to fall apart like this. At her mock meet just 1 weeek ago I thought that she that with the added pressure she did her best gymnastics. Her old team was also there and she only left them 3 mos ago and I don't know if that contributed to her nervousness. any word of wisdom or advice for nerves?
 
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mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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Sorry she didn't do as well as she expected at her first meet. It is hard when they have high expectations and don't meet them. I would remind her that lots of girls get nervous. She hit the skills, which is a good thing. She finished all her routines. Those are big things. There will be more meets. Play up the positives. Remind her that not many 7 year olds can do what she does. Make sure that her goals aren't score or medal related. Help her to make small goals to meet at each meet. If you took video, let her watch it and see what she says. Mine always points out all her mistakes, LOL. Then she can make a list of some goals for next meet. (Stay on beam, stick landing, point toes, kick high, etc)

I think that they usually get less nervous as they get meet experience, but it depends on the kid. Some never get over the nerves. Others never seem nervous. I hope she gets a chance to show her stuff again soon. Mine has her first meet of the season this weekend and I am nervous, she is just excited. :D
 

hunde2

Active Member
Nov 5, 2007
664
Confidence comes with time.Being 7 years old and level 4 that is great.It is easier to do those skills and remember everything they have to do where they feel comfortable(in there own gym).My daughter still has some of those issues too.She is 11.
 
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GymmomOR1127

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I agree, things will improve with time. Just her being there is a great accomplishment:)! Their first meet (ever) is full of uncertainty! Some kids handle it different than others. I would just reassure her that she was picked to be on team because of her abilities, that anyone would be nervous their first time, and going out there and doing what she did takes alot of courage! The worst part is over - she made it through her first meet:)!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Give it time, she is very young and not every 7 year old can cope withg the whole competition thing. This of course doesn't mean it'll be that way for ever. SOme girls I have seen who have struggled at their first meet have done a great job at their second as they have worked out what they need to do.

It is tough to watch for sure, but if she wants to do it, why not?
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Tell her congrats on doing her 1st ever real meet. Mock meets in your own gym are way different than going to a meet in another gym and dealing with distractions and nerves. Now she has an idea of what to expect each time and each time she'll do better at dealing with all the other little things that can throw a young girl off.

Encourage her to trust her coaches, keep doing the reps and drills they set up and pretty soon her body will learn to just take over from her brain. Believe me, if you had seen my gymmie's 1st ever meet(L5), you'd never think the kid would have made it to states that year----total meltdown. Its really about taking baby steps and getting that confidence. Trust me, have been there and somewhere still have that 1st meet scoresheet:)
 

gym-mom-fla

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Proud Parent
Nov 15, 2008
185
Florida
You mentioned that her old team was there and that may have contributed to her nerves. My daughter will be running into former team members from her old gym in a couple of weeks and she had alot of anxiety about it as well. She is 7 and she thought since they weren't on the same team anymore, she wasn't allowed to talk to them. I told her if she runs into them before to give them hugs and wish them luck, or a high five as they walk by. We even practiced at home! Sounds silly, but now she is actually looking forward to seeing them! As far as her nerves getting to her, she is young and she should be so proud of herself for getting out there in front of all those people, to be judged no less! Good luck to her in future meets, I'm sure she will do better and better each time!
 

Mom2GymMonkey

New Member
Dec 29, 2008
49
I kinda worry about my DD being like this- she is VERY hard on herself and will break down in tears if she doesn't get something right away! I have spent a lot of time telling her "its just a sport" ;) and reminding her that she needs to enjoy herself and the reward she gets from knowing she did her best HAS to be what she aims for- at least for now. She is not competing yet, so I can't give any tried and true advice but I do appreciate hearing from the other parents as I do see this being an issue for my DD. I agree with letting her see and hear your pride and pointing out her positives to focus on. I know my DD will find the negative stuff on her own, so I don't need to tell her what went wrong- she needs to hear where she has improved, what looked good, etc. I am sure it must have been tough to watch her beat herself up like that. I hope she is able to use it as a learning experience and build on it.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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Competing before a crowd is a huge deal and your DD should be proud of herself for doing it :) The confidence will come (and,...hmmm also go at times!) as she gains more experience. Congrats to her for making through her first meet!
 
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nettyinpa

Guest
I agree with everyone else. Not every child is the same. My dd amazes me at how poised she is at these meets. She first competed when she was six. I think your dd will gain more confidence as she competes in more meets. Just keep focusing on the positive and not on the scores. Keep telling her how great she did and she'll get more comfortable!:) You gotta give these girls a lot of credit for getting out there at any age and doing what they're doing!
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
I agree it takes time and each meet gets better. My daughter was also 7 last year her 1st year competing level 4 and I think even though they are able to get the skills they are trying so hard and they lack the poise and polish when they are 1st competing. It did help that the other girls also did not do great on the 1st couple of meets and they did not compete all the events. Although my daughter did not have a melt down from her scores she was very upset that she did not qualify for states like most of her teammates. She is now 8 and she is a different child now in her 2nd year of competing. She even jokes and says last year was her practice year. Try to comfort her but give it time you will both be surprised as she gets more experience.
 

gym mom

Active Member
Sep 8, 2007
724
florida
It was her 1st meet most kids are nervous.My dd will be turning 9 in March L4 she started competing 2yrs ago @ L2 and usually the first few meets of the season she gets nervous but she is a very shy kid in large crowds her other teammates do not have problem with getting out there.She has the toughest times when the parents seating is all floor level when the seating is up on a balcony or bleachers she does not have to look at them.Has her confidence improves you will see her start to relax.My dd is the same way the small little stuff is wat gets her because she is worried about the big skill.After every meet no matter how it goes I always tell her how proud I am of her and point out the good stuff .She has placed at the top ,bottom and middle and I am extremely proud how she handles her self and does not dwell on the scores just want to have fun and try to make improvements.We never talk about the meet the week of the meet try to act lik it is a normal day then celebrate after it is over.I have told my dd how brave I think she is ,I would have never been able to do it when I was her age.
 
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