For Parents What does your gym do to help a child...

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gymmom14

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May 21, 2008
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that struggles on one event. We have a girl that struggles on bars. Her other events are very nice. Does you gym do anything different to help someone that stuggles? Extra practice? Gets pulled out of other events to get extra time? Private lessons? She has struggled through level 4,5 and now 6 bars and I am wondering if your gym would have held her back even though her other events are 9's?
 
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bogwoppit

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A child would get a bit of extra time during and after practice, privates are not the norm, but they would be a possibility in this case. Generally they are not held back if the other events are great.

We have one girls who sounds like yours, she is great on the other three but just cannot master the squat on on bars, it has been 3 years and all the rest of her bar routine is lovely, but she just cannot even climb up and jump to the high bar. It is such a shame as the rest of her gymnastics is lovely. She has stayed in a gym system that allows her to be more of an event specialist, but she is very troubled by this skill, or lack therof.

So hard to watch isn't it. I think it is important to allow a child to progress in a way that she feels both challenged and encouraged, after all none of these girls are going to the Olympics, it's really supposed to be fun.:D I sometimes think some clubs get so wrapped up in their image that the childs needs are secondary.

What are they planning for this child?
 

gymmom14

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Bog, thanks for your reply. It is always great to read your advise.

My dd will compete L6. She is at the point she can complete the routine (most of the time) with pauses and not the best form. She has a goal of completing the routine in the first meet in 2 weeks. I am not sure of the gym's plan. They keep saying she is weak on bars, but very ready to compete on the others? I find it so frustrating. She has a very flexible back and has a hard time staying tight, which is what kills her on bars. They say her body fights itself. Her kip still only has straight arms at times. She seems to arch her upper body and it takes her head away from the bar causing her to bend her arms and rest her belly on the bar. I feel frustrated because she is really far behind on this event. I just don't want her to be disappointed if she gets a 5 at the first meet. L6 scoring is tough. She does not seem to get extra time with the coach. In fact, the girls that are excelling seem to. Should I talk to the coach. I don't feel like I should have to pay for privates, but will if I have to.

Thanks for listening.
 

bogwoppit

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I guess I would schedule an appointment with the coach, not just catching her as she is running from one spot to another. Just ask what they have planned for your DD. You know your DD best, would she rather push ahead knowing she can do great on 3 and not be bothered by how poorly she may or may not do on bars. Or is she the kind of child who needs to do well even if she is not using all her skills?

Privates may just put more pressure on than she needs, it's not as though she doesn't know her bars are weak! Privates again depend on your DD's personality.

Good luck, I totally get where you are coming from.
 

gymjourneymom

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Yes, the benefit of privates varies child to child. My DD has had fear issues with at least one event at every level since level 5 & privates are what has helped her the most. But one of her teammates feels more pressure during privates & they don't help that child, just stress her out more. Also, for my DD it depends on the coach the private is with. There is one coach that really clicks with my DD & really motivates her better than the rest. Good luck! I know what your going through! It's so difficult it is to watch your talented DD struggle with one event:(. I would talk to her coach & see what they are thinking. Maybe you should also post to the coaches forum to see what they have to say?
 

mariposa

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That is a hard situation to be in. One of DDs friends is like that. She is absolutely amazing on floor/beam. Perfectly tight body, straight lines, always has pointed toes, etc. She really struggles with bars. I don't really see them do anything different with her. I think that she will probably always struggle with bars. But hopefully it will just click for her eventually.

As for your DD, I would definitely talk to the coaches. Is there any way she could go to open gym and focus on her bars? I don't think I would pay for privates at this point, but maybe it would help her. It does sound like she really needs to focus on staying tight to do better on bars. I would talk to her and see what her thoughts are. Is she okay with scoring well on other events and maybe not doing well on bars? If so, I would let her compete and find a way to get her a little extra help.

Best of luck to her. It does suck for girls who are amazing on other events and struggle with one, especially if it keeps them from moving up a level. But sadly, gymnastics is a 4 event sport and it doesn't seem there are many options if you can't do all 4. For girls with really good floor, there is always tumbling, but many love beam and the rest as well. There is also rhythmic gymnastics, but I know in many areas it doesn't even exist competitively.
 

gymjourneymom

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Gymmom14, Sorry I didn't get to fully post...DH booted me off the computer,LOL! But I totally hear what you are worried about concerning your DD & bars. Bars is a biggy for level 6. They are looking to see who is progressing enough to get that giant for level 7(at least at our gym). Around January of this year(when my DD was a 6), she started to notice that teammates who were "better at bars" (AKA, working on giants) were getting more bar time. Now for my DD it was a fear issue...so coaches didn't want to push her too hard & push her away. But I did talk to her coach, so we were all on the same page. She did do privates & her bars did improve...greatly:). Let's just say level 6 states went MUCH better than expected for DD:D! So there is hope & there is still time. The coaches my think you are fine with whatever happens. So thay may not be pushing too hard. I agree with Bog(as usual;)),schedule a sit down meeting to discuss a plan.
 

gym law mom

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I'm just guessing what our gym would do since I'm not a coach and don't sit in on the meetings to decide move up. They do alot of pre-skill and then final skill testing before moving girls from one level to the next(we don't have L4). My best guess is, she would not have been moved to L6 based on problems with bars at L5 and most likely some struggles learning her L6 bars or she would have been given the option to move to L6, but if bars remain weak then be scratched from bars. We currently have a L7 that competed part of the L7 season last year(she was a 6/7) and bars was her weak event. It didn't get any better(actually worse) over the summer----she has a horrible fear of giants and just about anything connected with bars. Her beam, floor are competitive L8---vault may be questionable. She was given the option of moving to L8 and only competing 2 events or staying as a L7 and doing AA. I know the HC wanted her to stay at 7 to take the pressure off and thats what she decided to do. BTW--thats not what mom wanted!

I would have a serious sit down with the coach and discuss what the plan is for getting her bar work on track. As some others have pointed out, bars is tough at L6 and those skills are the building blocks for her optional bars. Bars is a real strength event so you might also ask about additional bar strengthening for her. It may be frustrating for her to do another year as a L5 with added work on bars, but when they get moved up and know one event is weak, all attention shifts to that event during a meet and sometimes the strong events then suffer and the whole season can be an unhappy time.
 
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gymnut1

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Bog, thanks for your reply. It is always great to read your advise.

. She has a very flexible back and has a hard time staying tight, which is what kills her on bars. They say her body fights itself. Her kip still only has straight arms at times. She seems to arch her upper body and it takes her head away from the bar causing her to bend her arms and rest her belly on the bar. She does not seem to get extra time with the coach. I don't feel like I should have to pay for privates, but will if I have to.


Thanks for listening.
Reading this I would guess that she needs to up her core strength. A more experienced coach here could probably tell you. If she has a very flexible back she needs to strengthen the muscles around it to stabilise it anyway for all events. Otherwise she is at risk of back pain and injury as she gets older.
It would be worth a private with the most knowledgable coach in your gym in this area to really look at her strength / flex issues and to set her up a little programme to overcome it. She will soon be much tighter on bars when the right conditioning is there. Best wishes to her, my dd also lacks strength and is too bendy! I have heard kids shouldn't be encouraged to do things like chest rolls byw that increase back overflex. Perhaps one of the more experienced coaches could tell us!
 
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AnitaV

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If it makes you feel any better, bars was a mediocre to weak event for my dd in compulsories and beginning level 7 (due in part to much flexibility and fear issues), over time bars got better such that it now is her strongest/best event ...it just took time/persistence (couple of years) and a lot of work on bars. It wil come...
 
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gymnut1

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Thats really good to know - so many girls struggle with bars to begin with
 
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