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For Parents Threat to scratch event as a motivator

Aussie_coach

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And fear is not a bad thing it’s a good thing. It is designed to keep us safe, imagine the dangers of our gymnasts never had any fear.

The fear is telling us that we are not ready to do a skill, perhaps physically or perhaps mentally.

Even if we have done the skill many times before, we may not be ready now, due to a change in our bodies (growth, strength increase/decrease etc) or brains (new thought patterns/muscle memory change).

We must teach gymnasts to work with their fear and not that it’s bad.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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And fear is not a bad thing it’s a good thing. It is designed to keep us safe, imagine the dangers of our gymnasts never had any fear.

The fear is telling us that we are not ready to do a skill, perhaps physically or perhaps mentally.

Even if we have done the skill many times before, we may not be ready now, due to a change in our bodies (growth, strength increase/decrease etc) or brains (new thought patterns/muscle memory change).

We must teach gymnasts to work with their fear and not that it’s bad.
This touches on something really important that's easy to forget: being mentally ready for a skill is just as important as being physically ready. I think a lot of the time we fall into the trap of thinking of the mental challenges as being "not real" because we can't see them, like it's just a matter of wanting the skill enough. But wanting a skill won't magically make you mentally prepared any more than it will magically make you physically prepared.

EDIT to add: I know many people's opinions of JK Rowling have soured in recent years, but there is one particular Harry Potter line that I keep coming back to with regards to mental blocks. Harry asks Dumbledore if something is happening in his head, or if it's real, and Dumbledore responds: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
That, in a nutshell, is what you need to know about mental blocks.
 
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jamieintexas

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I have only scratched an event because of an injury. I have modified a routine many times. Seeing the start value and scores is a better motivator than scratching.
 
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TumbleTimes4

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I’ve only seen our coaches scratch a kid from an apparatus once due to a mental block because of a fall on the skill causing the mental block. And it wasn’t done as a threat or punishment. Being a compulsory routine, it couldn’t be modified and they did not want to omit the skill and lower the start value, which in this particular case would have caused embarrassment to the child. Not competing this event removed the pressure from the child and gave her the time and space to work through it. Once she worked through it, she started competing it. So I don’t think scratching is always a punishment, it just depends on how it’s handled and on the gymnast.
 
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gymmom2022

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Using a scratch as a threat or a punishment is terrible coaching. This happened to my daughter and was one of the main reasons we left the gym. It does not work and in most instances, makes the problem much worse.
 
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JBS

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What do you think?
We scratch athletes all the time... but not as a threat. We do it as part of an individual plan for an athlete. Having a long term plan is the key. If scratching an event or two at a couple meets builds confidence and provides more training time to become ready... then it's a positive.

I do not agree with scratching as a threat.