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For Parents No Competition = No Motivation

Jessleemom

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I pulled my daughter from gym a couple of weeks ago due to spiking Covid cases and a lack of precautions. I now feel comfortable sending her back with new precautions but our governor has put a stop to all non-collegiate sports competitions. I told her she can go back expecting excitement but she says she doesn't want to. If she can't compete, what's the point? I explained to her she will likely lose skills and take a few steps back next year and she says she doesn't care. We've already paid for apparel ($400) and two meet fees ($300). Competitions still *might* happen virtually or otherwise and we've invested these funds. Should I let it go and take her out for the season or keep pushing her to fulfill her obligation? I mean, honestly, if things get worse here I might pull her again. I just hate the thought of the wasted time and money.
 

katrid11

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Not sure about her gym, but ours is using the time to prep routines but do alot of serious uptraining. They turned the negative of no planned meets into a positive of "Hey, normally we touch on uptraining but here's a great chance to really advance". We will likely have 2 virtual meets with a hope of a state competition in the late spring.

Can she see some benefit there? I would take money out of the discussion - this is purely about her mental state. She may say it now but she may not be thrilled to be the same level or a level down next year b/c she took the time off. What about a "Hey let's go the first practice next week and see how you feel" type of thing. For many kids, the minute they are back doing their activity, the excitement comes back but if they are home there is a mental barrier to walking in the gym.
 

TumbleTimes4

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I’ve always told my kids that once I sign the checks, they have to finish their commitment. Once the commitment is finished, they no longer have to participate in that activity if they don’t want to.
 
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Carly

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Before every new competition season, I confirm with my dd that she still wants to continue for the season before paying for anything. So, I would probably not let her quit after spending all of that money (depending on the reason of course). How old is your dd? Mine is a teen so she is able to understand the commitment.
How long do you keep your clothing? Can she use it next season or could you possibly sell it to someone? Are you committed to paying for practices for the entire season as well?
 

Ty’s Dad

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I don’t know how old or what level your daughter is, but with my daughter she has until she’s 14 to quit at any time. After that she has to stick to it and get a college scholarship out of it (unless injuries take her out)
 

skschlag

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I don’t know how old or what level your daughter is, but with my daughter she has until she’s 14 to quit at any time. After that she has to stick to it and get a college scholarship out of it (unless injuries take her out)

I hope there are enough teams around for her to meet your goal.
 

Oopski

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I don’t know how old or what level your daughter is, but with my daughter she has until she’s 14 to quit at any time. After that she has to stick to it and get a college scholarship out of it (unless injuries take her out)
Yikes. Seriously? I’d like to see anyone force a 16 year old to do a sport their heart wasn’t in anymore. Also, college scholarships for gymnastics are NOT easy to get, and many talented level 10s end up not getting them. Seems like unnecessary pressure to put on a kid.

anyway, back to OP. What age/level is your daughter? I might try and have her go back for a week “just to see”. To make sure she doesn’t want to go back anymore. This is all so hard. Good luck!
 

Ty’s Dad

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I hope there are enough teams around for her to meet your goal.
Not my goal at all, just doesn’t make sense to give up on something you been wanting to do almost your whole life. What would be the reason to quit? You want to go out with your friends and all that teenage stuff. It’s not my life but what I’m not about to do is let my daughter quit on something over a crazy excuse
 

Ty’s Dad

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Yikes. Seriously? I’d like to see anyone force a 16 year old to do a sport their heart wasn’t in anymore. Also, college scholarships for gymnastics are NOT easy to get, and many talented level 10s end up not getting them. Seems like unnecessary pressure to put on a kid.

anyway, back to OP. What age/level is your daughter? I might try and have her go back for a week “just to see”. To make sure she doesn’t want to go back anymore. This is all so hard. Good luck!
I lived through regret off of two sports because of my hot head. One lost me my scholarship offer and the second was because I went girl crazy. It’s not about forcing any of my kids to do anything it’s about sticking to what you want to do. If you want to quit can do that right now at anytime, but she’s 11 and even if she was 16 she’s still a kid and I would want a serious reason to why she would want to quit.
 
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Cheryl

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There are millions of kids who participate in many sports K-12, who are great at their sport, but have no interest in doing it post HS, likely because between school and practice, it’s been a full time job for them for a long time. It’s a very limited group that want scholarships and an even more limited group that get them. Why would you want to keep a kid in a sport they no longer enjoy? There are so many things to explore and do at that age that could set them up for a future passion. There is lots of attrition going into MS and then again going into HS.
 

Ty’s Dad

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There are millions of kids who participate in many sports K-12, who are great at their sport, but have no interest in doing it post HS, likely because between school and practice, it’s been a full time job for them for a long time. It’s a very limited group that want scholarships and an even more limited group that get them. Why would you want to keep a kid in a sport they no longer enjoy? There are so many things to explore and do at that age that could set them up for a future passion. There is lots of attrition going into MS and then again going into HS.
Well my kid wants to compete after high school and like I did earlier if she has a good enough excuse why she wants to quit then we can talk about it. But if her excuse is because she wants to go out with her friends then no
 

Cheryl

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Your daughter is 11... a lot changes, both in terms of what they are interested in, in potential injuries, in failure to progress, or just the daily grind of school,practice, homework,sleep. My son started Level 4 at age 8 with 11 teammates. He’s 15 now, and the only one left. It’s a lot of self inflicted pressure for these kids anyway, adding parent pressure probably won’t secure the outcome you want.
 

Ty’s Dad

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Your daughter is 11... a lot changes, both in terms of what they are interested in, in potential injuries, in failure to progress, or just the daily grind of school,practice, homework,sleep. My son started Level 4 at age 8 with 11 teammates. He’s 15 now, and the only one left. It’s a lot of self inflicted pressure for these kids anyway, adding parent pressure probably won’t secure the outcome you want.
I could have sworn I said if she gets a lot of injuries she’s done. I never have and never will pressure my kid to do anything, she wanted to do this sport and I’m not about to just encourage her to quit if she’s having a bad week, month, or season. My kid is in a hopes/elite group at her gym with a group of 8 girls with all the same goals. My daughter is an 11 year old going level 10 she puts enough pressure on herself and my job is to take her mind off gymnastics and let her still be a normal kid when she’s out of gym.
 

KSLaura

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Your daughter is 11... a lot changes, both in terms of what they are interested in, in potential injuries, in failure to progress, or just the daily grind of school,practice, homework,sleep. My son started Level 4 at age 8 with 11 teammates. He’s 15 now, and the only one left. It’s a lot of self inflicted pressure for these kids anyway, adding parent pressure probably won’t secure the outcome you want.
My 15YO is also the only one left from her original group. Once teenagers see adulthood on the horizon, they start making their own life decisions. As parents, we like to see hard work and progressions in school or sports. Teenagers may become more focused on enhancing social skill and developing relationships/friendships. This can be important, too.
 
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JessSyd

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You know what happens when kids are ready to retire before their parents are ready to let them. They get injured. Frequently. Properly injured, and dubiously ‘injured’.

I have seen it happen more than once, and this is just while involved in suburban, non elite gymnastics. It is always sad when everyone knows that the girl is done except their parents. Team mates can tell, coaches can tell, even other parents can tell.

And as you have said, 14 is still a kid. It isn’t their job. ‘It’s just not fun anymore’ should be all the reason it takes. Kids leave behind a lot of childhood passions as they grow up - it’s not a mark of failure when they transition to new interests, it is a marker of growth and development.
 

Ty’s Dad

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You know what happens when kids are ready to retire before their parents are ready to let them. They get injured. Frequently. Properly injured, and dubiously ‘injured’.

I have seen it happen more than once, and this is just while involved in suburban, non elite gymnastics. It is always sad when everyone knows that the girl is done except their parents. Team mates can tell, coaches can tell, even other parents can tell.

And as you have said, 14 is still a kid. It isn’t their job. ‘It’s just not fun anymore’ should be all the reason it takes. Kids leave behind a lot of childhood passions as they grow up - it’s not a mark of failure when they transition to new interests, it is a marker of growth and development.
Like you said you seen it more then once. So take out injuries, now what’s the main reason the fun is taken out the sport to something they love so much? Can’t say school because my kids home school. Can’t say friends because all of my daughters friends are at the gym. So when it comes to my child want to know a reason, and if she says it’s just not fun then I want to know why. I seriously think some parents just let their kids do anything to make them happy they don’t think about what will happen in the long run. You trying to tell me your son or daughter is 15 or 16 and very good in this sport, no major injuries college offers and everything. Now they just say I’m done with this, and your gonna be ok with that. This is all life lessons.
 
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3cats

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I am so tied of parents using their regret over past life choices to hinder their children's growth. If your child truly loves a sport they will continue it. But it's ok for that love to change (even if the answer is "just becuase"). Even at 16 or 17 or after the first year of college sports.

My daughter did walk away from the sport and I was fine with it. And many more of her teammates did in their late teens or even in college. As a parent you are ok with it. That's what you do as a parent. Help gently guide them along their life but allow them to choose the path.

Now to the OP. For your daughter I could see urging her to go back if she feels comfortable and continuing through this season.

I've noticed that my daughter's mental health is suffering a bit through all this. As we have also returned to some activities and then pulled them back (and back and forth and so on). And it is not pleasant and it is confusing and frustrating and scary. Even though we know it is what is best for our communities, it doesn't make it easy. So at times she's definitely pushed back with a "whats the point" attitude. So I'd definitely really really spend some time talking with her bc I have a feeling she is going through a lot more than just not wanting to return to a previously favored activity. A lot of kids are.
 

MILgymFAM

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That’s a tough one. I can’t say I’ve experienced this- my daughter absolutely thrives when competition is off the table- but I can understand your daughter’s hesitance to ride the roller coaster. Yes practice/no practice, yes meets/no meets.. it could be exhausting, and probably is. Depending on her age, I would have a good talk about the costs paid out and what that means for commitment, and maybe gently nudge her to try and stick it out awhile.

Ty’s Dad, it really sounds here like you’re trying to right your history through your daughter, and that rarely ends well for family relationships. Academic scholarships are far more common than sports, so college dreams shouldn’t be hooked into continued success in a sport. It’s sad to hear you describe a kid whose entire life is gymnastics- what’s left when it ends? Odds are that it will end. I wish your daughter nothing but success in life, but I hope it’s a happy life too.. and one that will always be driven by her own choices, needs, and dreams- even if those change over time.
 

Ty’s Dad

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I am so tied of parents using their regret over past life choices to hinder their children's growth. If your child truly loves a sport they will continue it. But it's ok for that love to change (even if the answer is "just becuase"). Even at 16 or 17 or after the first year of college sports.

My daughter did walk away from the sport and I was fine with it. And many more of her teammates did in their late teens or even in college. As a parent you are ok with it. That's what you do as a parent. Help gently guide them along their life but allow them to choose the path.

Now to the OP. For your daughter I could see urging her to go back if she feels comfortable and continuing through this season.

I've noticed that my daughter's mental health is suffering a bit through all this. As we have also returned to some activities and then pulled them back (and back and forth and so on). And it is not pleasant and it is confusing and frustrating and scary. Even though we know it is what is best for our communities, it doesn't make it easy. So at times she's definitely pushed back with a "whats the point" attitude. So I'd definitely really really spend some time talking with her bc I have a feeling she is going through a lot more than just not wanting to return to a previously favored activity. A lot of kids are.
Just like you’re tired of parents using their regrets I’m tired of people acting like their kid is my child.
 

skschlag

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I pulled my daughter from gym a couple of weeks ago due to spiking Covid cases and a lack of precautions. I now feel comfortable sending her back with new precautions but our governor has put a stop to all non-collegiate sports competitions. I told her she can go back expecting excitement but she says she doesn't want to. If she can't compete, what's the point? I explained to her she will likely lose skills and take a few steps back next year and she says she doesn't care. We've already paid for apparel ($400) and two meet fees ($300). Competitions still *might* happen virtually or otherwise and we've invested these funds. Should I let it go and take her out for the season or keep pushing her to fulfill her obligation? I mean, honestly, if things get worse here I might pull her again. I just hate the thought of the wasted time and money.

This is such a hard time. Money being paid out makes us feel like things are normal, but in reality, we may be paying for nothing. I am not sure how old your daughter is, and I am usually in the camp of "if it's already paid for, you see it out" but really, this season is not a typical season at all. I think I would let her guide this. you could have her go back and see what it is like, or encourage her to be active and busy in other ways during this time. She may decide to go back or she may find something else she loves. Good luck and hugs!