For Parents Risky activities during comp season?

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iwannacoach

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Restricting activities is an artificial prop. The argument for restrictions is to keep them from getting hurt, and to keep them on a track that will lead to upper level work. If a kid needs restrictions it becomes a chicken and egg conundrum, because kids who genuinely want to get to the upper levels with hopes of making it to the elite level won't want to do much besides go to the gym.

For them, it's enough to get to do gymnastics, so they don't need restrictions. Those kids that would feel they're missing a ski trip or skate party are probably going to end up as good gymnasts that had a great time in all respects, and they won't want much besides doing it all.... the parties, bungee jumping, alligator wrestling, and chainsaw juggling, all along with the gymnastics.

The point is the kids tend to make and observe rules, or not, in ways that reflect what they're hoping to get out of life. For a very few, the hope is to have a shot at the top level, and that's how they have fun..... at least for the time being.
 
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raenndrops

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Our coach instituted the no swimming within 16 hours before competing for Nationals this past June. We were all in hotels and she wanted to make sure they weren't overtired.
As far as "risky" activities, Older Gymmie twisted her ankle in gym class during dodgeball a couple (2-3) weeks ago. She missed one gym practice but told me that she NEEDED to go to the next one to condition and work on her dance. She missed another one last week, but makes up for it when she is there. She doesn't tumble on the floor yet unless she has an ankle brace on, but she is getting her numbers in on airtrak, beam, and bars. She has also been doing extra conditioning and is working new non-impact skills on beam - just to see if she can do them (like a back shoulder roll and a front roll - both epic fails :p) Thursday, she did manage to vault for the first time since she got hurt. They are still at the stage where there are 2 coaches spotting vault at all times, which helps.
 

GymBee97

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I don't know of any gym that requires this. As for my kids I let them do what ever activity they want. They aren't going to be Olympians nor are they going to be one of those super gymnasts. they are just kids and I want them to have all the experience they can. We have been white water rafting, rock climbing, ice skating (which for someone that doesn't skate is a big challenge) she has done marathons 5k and 10 k, really any activity I'm good with. Maybe with the exception of sky diving. if she gets injured well then she gets injured. I really am of the mindset at this point that its just gymnastics and she is still a kid who needs to be able to have fun doing other things too.
 

Faith

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Iwc- is that from very early in in their career?

Dd is 8, and on elite path (not gymnastics).

If she really wanted to do something we'd let her, and so would her coaches. Because, yunno, she's 8, and has at least another 6-10 years of hard slog in front of her, so let her have a bit of fun when she can.

Her coaches also encourage this. Their reasoning is they want to do everything they can to minimise the chance of a kid quitting or burning out before they get to that crucial age of about 11/12 when junior elite is a real possibility and they give up their lives for the sport.

However it may be slightly different in the uk. Everything is heavily supervised by trained assistants, and you're not allowed to do anything remotely unsafe in public sessions- you're not allowed to dive into pools, or do anything other than skate slowly in a big circle round an ice rink. Trampoline parks would never be allowed!

But yes, you're right that dd doesn't want to do anything else, unless it's a social occasion or special event.
 

iwannacoach

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Iwc- is that from very early in in their career?..........

............But yes, you're right that dd doesn't want to do anything else, unless it's a social occasion or special event.
I don't know many current day coaches, but knew quite a few when I was a 24 hrs every day coach. There were, in those days, a number of elite level coaches that tried to keep their gymnasts in bubble wrap any time they left the gym. I don't mean just the top few kids either, because every kid had supposed elite potential, or in some cases every kid was expected to conform to the elite level standards for their behavior.

At some gyms it started as early as the first footstep onto the team program. At other gyms those standards were expected of just the optional level kids. It kinda reminds me of those funny "Old Spice" commercials/publicities we had here a few years ago......

http://i1.ytimg.com/u/3V6vcmjv20XJcK80g5K5ow/watch_icon.jpg?v=50463e10

So yes dears, even though you'r not elite, you can act elite by following these simple...... well you get what I mean.

You really do seem to get it from seeing how your darling daughter wants little more than to be left to pursue her passion. That's exactly what I'm getting at. I can't remember an elite gymnast, whoops I just did, who was into much of anything but gymnastics. Friends, sleep overs, and parties.... sure. But most of them wouldn't do more than that.

I think many of those who felt rules were vital to coaching a successful elite have either changed heart, said they changed in a can't beat them-so join them kind of way, or left the sport because they got burned out from running a tight ship and having some of their best walk in and stay just long enough to say "I quit." So what were talking about is really a small percentage of coaches who feel you can create an elite with rules, when the fact is those who truly want to be an elite need no rules..... just guidance in the form of information about what's good, what's not, and why.

What''s crazy and frustrating is that some kids who may have evolved into elite material never got the chance to have their passion for the sport take root because they just weren't there yet and didn't want to have a bunch of rules to follow, so they quit or went to some candyland gym that used their talent to prop up their not so capable program.

I say let them prove they are elites by their own actions, rather than their compliance.
 
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seoulmama

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I try to be reasonable-I've seen girls at dd's gym who've injured themselves walking accross mats (no lie!) so I realize that pretty much anything can lead to an injury! However, I wouldn't take her to ski during meet season since she doesn't already know how-that seems like tempting fate.
 

my4buffaloes

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I think a contract might make some kids take gymnastics a bit more seriously, but then it could also back fire. I have heard rumors of contracts at our gym (that state no other sports) but so many kids do other sports that I don't know if I believe it. Even many of the level 10s also cheer. I think there just isn't time for much else once they reach the higher levels.
 
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Fliptwisttumble

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There are no such contracts at our gym. I recall getting grilled the summer before last, having picked up DD early to go to her soccer game. It wasn't her regular coach, but one that "saw" something in her. I inquired if he could guarantee she would be an elite or Olympic athlete. He said "of course not". So I then reminded him that at age 7, she shouldn't have to commit to one thing if there was no guarantees in life.

Fast forward 12 months, and she had ZERO interest in playing soccer, or anything else that would impact her gymnastics, or potentially result in her missing it. But that came from within - she would balk if it was pushed on her by me or anyone else.

As far as risky activities....... I'd probably let her do something if she asked. But she generally doesn't. At a gym birthday party (at a trampoline park) - most of the parents told the kids to be careful. Mine recognizes the potential flaws at a place like that.... there were no twisting flips - limited to back tucks. But I'm not going to say she can't go. She said she isn't interested in going again. She tried waterskiing this summer - I wasn't there, but I wouldn't have said no. She has to be a kid too. I'm just thankful mine is a fairly sensible one.
 
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aerialriver

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I think as time goes on and levels go up kids themselves will figure this one out themselves or they will weed themselves out without coaches/gyms putting undue pressure on them.
 

Granny Smith

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I've never put restrictions on my DD about other activities. I've cringed at some of the requests and even wish I could bubble wrap her, but I never not let her do anything. Deep down they are still kids and need to experience what other kids do too, especially if it's a special occasion, like a birthday party.

FTR - I've seen several gymnasts get hurt just walking! It seems to be a challenging thing for them. That's how we identify gymnasts, they can flip on 4", but can't walk on the ground without getting hurt.

Oh and I'm all about the nutrition and sleep. Bad food choices can be just has harmful as letting them do physical activities!!
 
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luvmygymdtr

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Oh and I'm all about the nutrition and sleep. Bad food choices can be just has harmful as letting them do physical activities!!
I couldn't agree more!! nutrition, but the SLEEP thing. I am a crazy person between the hours of 9 p.m. - when I pick my daughter up from the gym - and 9:30 p.m. when I get her tucked her in. We cram A LOT in in that half hour!! And it doesn't hurt either that we live 3 minutes from the gym. I think sleep just has to be one of the most critical things that we can do as parents to help our gymnast succeed.
 

Muddlethru

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No contracts here either. Though if the coach had his way he'd put restrictions. But he seems reasonable and leaves that up to the parents to decide.

The no sleepover policy mentioned above surprised me. Just recently the girls had a sleepover party on a Friday (we have Saturday a.m. practice). The coach was very upset and punished the girls with a lot more conditioning and chastising the gymnast who had a sleepover. The girls don't do it that often. So, I thought it was excessive and the coach was being very unreasonable. But now I may rethink that.

I really don't make any restrictions on any of my kids activities, though I inwardly worry like crazy. We ski as a family in the winter and water ski and rollerblade in the summer. It seems like a double edged sword. If I restrict activities, my kids will be upset. And yet if I don't restrict activities and they get hurt, they get more torn up because they cannot compete or play their respective sports. I guess iwannacoach is right. My gymnast limits activities on her own (but certainly never the high risk, 100 mile an hour fun activities)
 
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