For Parents Scared of Beam

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crazygymom

New Member
Feb 28, 2008
40
Texas
My daughter competed her first meet of the season this past weekend. The judge on the beam was VERY GENEROUS with her score. Beam has never been her thing and finally this weekend she told me she is deathly scared of falling. How can I help my child overcome this???
 
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FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
NO idea what level your dd is at or if this will help or not, but mine is currently spazzed out about falling while doing handstands on beam. I threw two lines on the floor using masking tape to make her a "floor beam" and she now does handstands on it every time she walks past. It's allowing her to make sure she comes back down and hits the "beam" without putting her in a position where she'll miss, kwim?

I know it's completely different when she moves to a regular height beam, but at least this way she is gaining confidence that she CAN do it and hopefully will figure it out in the reg beam soon.
 

gymmom14

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Proud Parent
May 21, 2008
427
What level is your dd? You said she had fear last year too. Did she get more comfortable as the season went on. Maybe as she gets more confident in this years routine, she will overcome her fear.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
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Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
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Has she tried visualization of her routine. The is her calmly doing her routine to the best of her ability whilst breathing gently. Sounds a bit hokey, but it really has been proven to work.

Though I totally get her fear, the last time I walked across a high beam at gym I though "if I fall I'll break a hip!", it is scary!:eek:
 

crazygymom

New Member
Feb 28, 2008
40
Texas
She competed level 4 last year and at her meet last weekend. In 2 weeks she is competing level 5 in two weeks. Maybe that will help a little.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Has she actually fallen or seen someone fall? Sometimes once they actually take a spill they realize it wasn't so bad - of course that could go the other way too. My dd a few years ago was scared with the jump to high bar where they swing and kip up. She would never have a good jump or good enough swing so her kip was weak. She was afraid of coming off the bar and getting hurt. Then at a meet the girl who was up before her on bars did just that - and she went flying past the crash mat and everything. She still managed to finish her routine and go on to floor and get a really high score. My dd realized - oh, ok I guess it couldn't have been that bad then. Maybe point out to your dd how many girls fall on beam on a very regular basis and they are just fine. Good luck to her - I hope she finds a way to overcome her fear.
 

gym law mom

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Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
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Is it a fear of falling and getting hurt or a fear of falling in a meet and getting at least a .5 deduction and lower score?
 
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margymmom

Guest
You could also invest in one of the folding practice beams so she could have the opportunity to practice and become more comfortable. It is a great confidence builder for handstands, cartwheels, and leaps. My daughter was terrified of beam for part of the season in level 3 (after she took a painful fall) and part in level 4 (no known reason). She is (and has always been) great on the beam, and it is one of her favorite events at level 5. Who knows?

This year she has worked thru other fears on bars and vault. It is terribly frustrating to watch her be held back by fear, but she is learning to work thru it. As life lessons go, dealing with scary things is a good one. As one of the coaches in our gym says, most normal people would look at what these girls do and agree that it IS scary (even insane!).

Good luck! This too shall pass.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
DD is right there with your DD. She needs to believe in herself. DD was having bad toughts about beam and had a long talk with coach about it. I didn't even know this. Well today she told me she threw the bad thoughs in the trash and she kept telling herself that she believed.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
It may take some time for her to feel totally comfortable on the beam. My DD says that she is afraid of beam mainly because of falling so she does all of her skills very tentatively. Her leap is only about a centimeter off the beam because of this fear. Her coach has her working on the floor and low beam and then gradually moves up to the high beam. And some days she does great on beam and doesn't seem afraid at all and other days she just can't do anything.

I don't know how old your dd is but it seems like the older the kids are the more fear they have because they start thinking about "all the things that can go wrong". My dd is definitely a thinker and she will talk herself right into being scared. For my dd, repetition is everything and that is what helps give her the confidence.

Maybe gradually working the skills from low to high beam may help her. And also, let her know that it is okay and totally normal to be scared. That is the body's natural defense against a potentially dangerous situation. And we all know that trying to do skills 4 ft off the ground on a 4 inch piece of wood is pretty scary!!! Let her know that everyone needs to work through their fears at some time and the key to getting over the fear is to practice what you feel comfortable doing and gradually step it up.

And most gymnasts don't know this, but you can still perform a skill perfectly even though you are scared to death. The trick is controlling your fear and keeping it in check so that it does not adversely affect your performance.
 
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