For Coaches Rec girl scared of bars?

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Tayloiir

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Nov 7, 2015
4
20
Country
Canada
Hi,

Every Saturday I coach a intermediate rec class, but there is one girl in my class who should be in begginer. I've talked to her mom about it but she says that we should try for a few more weeks to see if she gets better. The main problem is she is scared of being upside down, and this problem is the worst on bars. She refuses to do any thing if I help her or not. And I really mean everything no pullovers, no skin the cats, casts cannot happen because she won't go on the bar, and can't move to anything thing else because when ever we go to bars in general she starts to cry. Now I've tried everything I've given her space, I've told her how I will be helping. But now the rest of my girls never get my attention since I'm trying to calm her down. So I'm asking if anybody has any tips to get her to do things. Or different things she can work on? Since I'm out of ideas.
 
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gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Absolutely no reason this should take any attentio during the class. Ask her before the next class why she does not want to go on bars. Is she scared of getting hurt? Embarrassed she can't do what the other kids can? She once fell or saw someone fall? Based on this ask her to come up with a plan with guidance from you. She can choose three "safe" moves such as hanging, spotted leg lifts, low bar station etc whatever works into your plan that she will repeat. Or she can sit in a designated area by the bar stations and observe or complete a conditioning list. The other kids in this age group will understand as they have observed the previous behaviors.

If she still has a breakdown, you need to tell the mother that she needs to stay for the class, and will be sending her to the mother to calm down. Make sure to discuss this beforehand and that you are taking these actions for safety reasons.
 

Sari

Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Gymnast
Judge
May 31, 2014
443
27
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Germany
Yes to all of the above.

Figure out why she's afraid. A rec girl I coached at the very beginning of my coaching journey had fallen off the playground bars WAY before she started in my group. Resulted in the exact same behaviour you're describing.
It was rough to say the least, but I was very inexperienced. Patience helped. A bit of persistence when I could feel she was in the right mood. She did spotted pullovers a couple of times. Quit eventually, but I think if I had known this forum existed and tried the advice @gymdog has given you, she might have come farther.
 
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Tayloiir

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Nov 7, 2015
4
20
Country
Canada
Okay thank you! I'll try this for the next class and if not I'll come back!
 
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Lyddie27

Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Gymnast
Jun 2, 2015
55
Country
USA
I have girls just like that, in a pre-pre-team group. I try to give them easy tasks, to build their confidence.
Some ideas for her to do at stations:
  • put the bar down really low, so she can do a front support with her feet on the floor (you could also stack mats/blocks underneath)
    • lift up one foot, then the other
    • put a stack of pit blocks in front of the bar, having her lean over (feet still on the floor) and tap with her nose ("woodpecker"), removing pit blocks slowly as they saw fit. I let the girls have complete ownership over this, and they enjoy the challenge
  • conditioning
    • tuck hangs
    • spotted leg lifts
    • chin-up, hands both ways
    • monkey walks
    • chin-up monkey walks (arms are bent the whole time)
  • swings
    • let her swing herself a tiny bit
    • glide swings with barrel
  • push-up position on floor bar, jump shoot-through or squat-on
HOWEVER, if she's crying, sit her out. Give your attention to the rest of the class. Once she calms down, you can suggest that she just come touch the bar (literally just tap it with her hands). Then ask if she wants to move on to something else-explain the next step and promise that you won't flip her over. If she says no, let her keep doing whatever baby-step skill she was on until she gets bored, and then suggest a skill from another group (i.e. if she doesn't want to lean over any further, have her do chin-ups). I like gymdog's suggestion to let her pick what she wants to do.
 
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