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Struggling with skills

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beam girl

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My dd has been struggling with bars this year, and it has kept her from being able to move up. She has become more and more frustrated throughout the year. She also doesn't like the way her coach talks to her and feels like the coach can't stand her. She broke down and cried for quite a while the other night and said if there was no way to get away from this coach that she just wanted to quit. Do I take her to another gym? I would do anything for this girl, but I just don't know what she needs right now., and I can't stand to see her as unhappy as she is. I think her coach believes that she is o.k. with not moving up, but she is miserable. What about a break from the gym? I'm open to your most brutally honest advice!:eek:
 

Bay Valley

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Jan 2, 2008
104
Bay City, MI
As a parent, I would talk to the coach and explain to her or him how she feels. Maybe the way the coach talks just hits your daughter wrong, and it is not personal. Not all gymnast can get every event perfect all the time. It takes hard work and persistence. Do you maybe think that it is a way that your daughter is trying to tell you she wants to quit? We did have a similar situation in our old gym, but come to find out the girl really wanted to quit and didnt want to disappoint anyone. She cried all the time, she stopped and everything is great now!
 
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beam girl

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Thanks Bay Valley for the response. I should have including more info in the original post, but I was in a hurry and I'm desperate! I have given her every possible chance to quit if that's what she wants, and I have worded it so that she knows that I'm proud of her and love her with or without gymnastics. She truly doesn't want to quit, but hates her inability to move forward. She's a compulsive overachiever(straight A's or I'm a failure) and very hard on herself. A first or secong place finish doesn't make her happy if she doesn't score higher than her last meet. There are parents at our gym who actually punish their kids if they don't do well at practice or are afraid of a skill. Mine is completely self motivated. I have to tell her to chill out and be happy with her progress. What do I do?!
 

Bay Valley

Member
Jan 2, 2008
104
Bay City, MI
Maybe you can take her to another gym for a few privates and see how she does. She can decide if she liked the coach from the privates and if she learned something, other coaches have different ways of doing things and notice things that other coaches may not. Test drive the gym! It sounds like there are some terrible parents punishing kids for not having a good practice. I have seen parents like this at meets and it makes me want to say a few things to them, one little girl was in tears after her mom told her how terrible she did.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
My dd has been struggling with bars this year, and it has kept her from being able to move up. She has become more and more frustrated throughout the year. She also doesn't like the way her coach talks to her and feels like the coach can't stand her. She broke down and cried for quite a while the other night and said if there was no way to get away from this coach that she just wanted to quit. Do I take her to another gym? I would do anything for this girl, but I just don't know what she needs right now., and I can't stand to see her as unhappy as she is. I think her coach believes that she is o.k. with not moving up, but she is miserable. What about a break from the gym? I'm open to your most brutally honest advice!:eek:
The coach may have no idea that this kid is taking things so personally. I try very hard to talk to a girl about her gymnastics, but there are always those who are so hard on themselves that they assume their coach must be disappointed in them and they interpret any correction as a personal attack.

I don't know the coach, but from experience, the most frustrating situation to deal with is an athlete who saves up hurt feelings and resentments for a day when she can't make a correction and then unloads it all. I don't know that it's in any way conscious...but it does happen.

It's funny that you think the coach thinks that your daughter is okay with not moving up. Why would you/your daughter think that, if she's not happy?

Maybe this frustration is coming out during workout without saying anything, and the coach is reacting to the body language and lack of effort.

It sounds like the bottom line is that your daughter needs to accept the fact that she is repeating a level and try to benefit from it or move on.

Switching gyms may help, or it may be a quick fix...and it sounds like you are not the kind of mom who would want your daughter to just run from a tough situation.

I would never recommend doing privates at some other gym to "try it out". If you are committed to your current coaches, then show them some respect and talk it out before going to try a new gym. Then leave instead of playing games.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Many girls struggle with bars, it requires a lot of strength and technique. A lot of the skills done on other apparatus can be done without perfect strength and technique but on bars there are no short cuts. With out the strength and technique the skill will just not work. What skills in particular is she struggling with?

As far as the problem with the coach, the coach needs to know. Many coaches do not realise the way they are making a child feel. Most coaches would probably be quite devastated to discover that one of their gymnasts felt they didn't like them and would put their best effort into changing their approach. If you feel uncomfortable having a chat with the coach, have a chat with the gym owner, they should be able to help sort the problems out. But if no one knows about them they will not go away.

The coaches also need to know that she is very upset about not moving up. It is very important. If they know they can find ways to encourage her and let her feel like she is doing a good job after all, they can also find ways to help her feel like she is progressing and moving forward, and not just repeating the same year over again.

By all means have a look at other gyms, remember that changing gyms often does not solve these problems. She will still need to work hard to fix the problems on bars and she may be very close to some of the girls in her gym and feel comfortable there. But it can't hurt to have a look. When you check out the new gym listen to the way the coaches speak to the gymnasts. Are they always yelling and putting them down? Or are they encouraging? Do the gymnasts look happy and seem to be enjoying their training?

I would not reccomend a break from gym, it will just put her backwards. She will lose strength which she is struggling with already. When she returns to gym she will feel like she has gone backwards and be always thinking 'I would be a such and such and level now if I had not have had a break".
 
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