Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

When Is It Time To Quit Gym??

Status
Not open for further replies.

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
My dd is 11 years old and level 9. She's progressed quickly, but right now she is having trouble. Last season she had a block on her bhs bhs bb series. She is working towards getting it and has done it quite consistently lately. All of a sudden now, she has a fear of doing her giants and dismount. Both "blocks" are out of the blue with nothing happening to cause them. My dh and I had a long talk with her yesterday and she said she loved gym and did not want to quit, ever! But is she really ready to quit? We've always been supportive, but never pushy. Gym is something SHE loves. She is an emotional child, so when her coaches get upset with her (over the blocks) she shuts down. They don't want to work with her, the other day she got sent home because she wouldn't do it. Any advice? Do we push her to quit?
 

Clover

Member
Proud Parent
Jul 28, 2011
416
SW US
Country
USA
It sounds like she just needs more supportive coaches. You said she loves gym, she is obviously talented, and you and your DH sound like you are not pressuring her at all. Blocks are just part of gymnastics with some kids. They need to just be carefully worked through and feeling pressure from coaches will just make things worse IMHO.

Could you chat with the coaches about the blocks and see what they say? Maybe they don't realize that the approach they are using aren't working for your child.
 

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
Could you chat with the coaches about the blocks and see what they say? Maybe they don't realize that the approach they are using aren't working for your child.
I've talked to them until I'm blue in the face! It works for about 5 minutes and then they're back to griping at her.

There really aren't any other gym options within 2-3 hours away. And that's not possible.
 

Empowered

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 19, 2009
1,384
Here
Country
USA
She is so young and at such a high level I wouldn't push her to quit. These kinds of blocks are normal, and most gymnasts have had one at some point... Many have had a few.

I just always remind my daughter to walk into the gym and remember the things she CAN control. She can control how hard she works and she can control he state of mind. Coaches reactions, teammates, all of that is beyond hers and your control. Just tell her to work hard, be brave and above all be patient.

For the skills she's had and lost, try and have her watch videos of her doing the skills to remind herself that can do them, safely. Give her time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people

MaryA

Proud Parent
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jul 22, 2010
4,440
Country
USA
That's such a shame. I guess at that point you have to judge when gym becomes a negative for your DD rather than a positive. I'd be reluctant to make her quit as long as she is still loving it, but if you start to see the stress of gym weighing on her, it may be time to step in. Fears/mental blocks are so much a part of the sport, it is hard for me to imagine good coaches who don't know how to help gymnasts work through them in a positive way rather than using punishment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 people

txgymfan

Administrator
Staff member
Coach
Proud Relative
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
2,890
Houston
Country
USA
What if your Hubby talks to the gym? I don't know if it would work but maybe maybe a different voice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people

iwannacoach

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Mar 25, 2012
2,879
region II
Losing or suddenly fearing them is connected to growing. Some kids go through a growth spurt and their ability to sense what they're doing during a skill gets messed up. It doesn't even take an obvious growth spurt, as just a small change in foot size can change how she pivots and turns on beam. Giants and dismounts?..... could be a slight change in the length of her arms, but no other discernable areas of growth.

It may be that she feels a little threatened by her progress, and needs to have (without realizing) a problem to act as a buffer between her ability and some ambitious coach/coaches. Really, an 11yo L9 got there somehow, so either the coaches are pushing her, or she's pushing herself, or she's got more talent than most of us see in a lifetime. So maybe it's a way for her to slow the process down (without knowing) to a rate she can embrace.

Just a hunch...... she loves her coaches, thinks they're great, but deep down isn't sure she can trust them to know when enough's been done and it's time to polish things up and get used to a new (higher) working skill level. Kinda like she's worried they'll keep upping the ante until she fails.... or gets hurt.
 

Jperiwinkle

New Member
May 13, 2013
1
I think that if she loves gym as much as she does, she should keep going. It is expensive and mental blocks are hard, but if she loves going then you should let her go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
Vestibular problem, the body is maturing at a different rate than the vestibular system and causes her body to feel disoriented in space when doing skills she previously had. Very normal at 11-14. I am sure the coaches are frustrated, but likely understand this is normal as it is very common. When growth starts to slow down, these issues usually wane, the vestibular system will mature too.

I'd just talk to the coaches, I am sure they can reassure her of this and their plan. 11 years old level 9 is very advanced, even if she is having some fear issues with the skills listed.
 

fuzi

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Judge
May 28, 2009
1,043
Region I
Don't push her to quit. It sounds like she still loves the sport and is dealing with a normal bump in the road. To be a level nine at her age is quite impressive.

Encourage her. Remind her the "blocks" are common and can be overcome. Let her have good days and bad days.

And when it does come time, do not let her "quit." Develop an exit strategy and retire gracefully. I firmly belief that children (and adults) should learn to finish out their commitment, whether that means finishing up summer training or finishing the season with your teammates. "Quitting" because you are having a bad day or week or month (or sometimes, year) is not a good strategy. Retiring when you are mentally and/or physically done and ready to participate in a new activity is a normal part of many people's path. So when it does come time, make a plan to finish our her commitment and give it her all, then reevaluate? Sometimes one bad week is all but forgotten about by the time the season is over.
 

dunno

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Club Owner
Apr 28, 2009
9,292
IT'S VESTIBULAR! tell her coaches to do some research for crying out loud. she'll get thru it if given the space and time to do so. (Dunno screaming at the top of his lungs but this girl's coaches can't hear me)
 

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
IT'S VESTIBULAR! tell her coaches to do some research for crying out loud. she'll get thru it if given the space and time to do so. (Dunno screaming at the top of his lungs but this girl's coaches can't hear me)
Thanks Dunno!! I know you said the series could be, didn't even think about the giants...
If it were you, what would you do as a coach?
 
S

Sparky

Guest
I agree with the others who have said (mostly the coaches I think :)) it is related to growing. Perhaps you can (as it appears her coaches haven`t, or won`t) explain this to her (and she may need to hear it more than once) so that she can understand that it isn`t her `fault` - it isn`t anybody`s fault, it just is - and it will pass in time.

My dd just turned 15 today! and has had a tough last two years - struggling with injuries (related to growing), loss of flexibility (which is now coming back) and not being able to perform up to her usual standards - add continuing to strive to improve to all of these factors and well, you can guess that it`s been a rough go. I could tell that even her coaches were starting to lose faith.

Now, in the past few months - it is all falling back into place very nicely (we are in Canada, but she was also approx. L9 at 11 yrs old), and she has regained her old spark and then some! She is excited, her coaches are excited, and we are looking forward to a challenging competitive season :).

So I guess what I am saying (in a very long winded way, lol) is that it doesn`t sound to me like she wants to quit, it sounds more like she is asking for help in understanding why she is feeling the way she is, and needs to be reassured that it is all quite normal, and that she is worth it, and as long as she wants to keep going you will support her.

I would also suggest that you keep advocating for her with her coaches, even if you don`t think you are getting through to them - just keep trying. I had a number of meetings with my dd`s coaches during this time, and we most certainly did not always agree.

Good luck to your dd!!
 

Gymsanity

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Club Owner
Sep 4, 2011
512
My dd is 11 years old and level 9. She's progressed quickly, but right now she is having trouble. Last season she had a block on her bhs bhs bb series. She is working towards getting it and has done it quite consistently lately. All of a sudden now, she has a fear of doing her giants and dismount. Both "blocks" are out of the blue with nothing happening to cause them. My dh and I had a long talk with her yesterday and she said she loved gym and did not want to quit, ever! But is she really ready to quit? We've always been supportive, but never pushy. Gym is something SHE loves. She is an emotional child, so when her coaches get upset with her (over the blocks) she shuts down. They don't want to work with her, the other day she got sent home because she wouldn't do it. Any advice? Do we push her to quit?
'She's progressed quickly' My experience has shown me that the faster a child progresses, the more likely they are to have a 'block' somewhere down the road. Not a big deal, unless you want to make it one, which it sounds like it may be happening with the coaches.
'the other day she got sent home because she wouldn't do it.' Can you say "warning sign?" I've sent home several kids for bad attitudes over the years, but NEVER for being afraid or having a mental block! Your daughter is dealing with her own internal demons right now, she doesn't need her coaches to become her external ones as well. They should be helping her alliviate her fears, not adding to them......You can try talking to her coaches again, but usually pretty hard to change someone with that type of mind set. Perhaps mention that it's gotten to the point of her/you considering quitting gym. She must be pretty talented, and hopefully that might knock a little sense into them at the thought of loosing someone that good, that they have so much time and work into. Good luck to you and your daughter.
 

4theloveofsports

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2011
3,373
Country
USA
IT'S VESTIBULAR! tell her coaches to do some research for crying out loud. she'll get thru it if given the space and time to do so. (Dunno screaming at the top of his lungs but this girl's coaches can't hear me)
i don't see why quitting was even an option. Your daughter stated she loved gym and does not want to quit. She'd be more miserable if she quit. More importantly, as the good experienced coaches of this website have stated she will outgrow these fears (dunno). My daughter is was an 11 yo, L9, last season, training L10 this summer. About wo seasons (L8) ago she had some vestibular issues. She was training TOPS in L5 and L6/7. Her coach at the time only gave her three weeks before national testng to learn the skills. Well the consequences surfaced in the beginning of L8 season. She was accidentally twisting her whips, and layouts on floor and was getting disoriented. She lost her fulls. All year she was falling on her butt in the tumbling series on floor. By the end of L8 season, things started to click again. She made regionals, got 2nd in the AA and get this was the regional floor champion.

Just a hunch...... she loves her coaches, thinks they're great, but deep down isn't sure she can trust them to know when enough's been done and it's time to polish things up and get used to a new (higher) working skill level. Kinda like she's worried they'll keep upping the ante until she fails.... or gets hurt.
We switched gyms in the early part of L9, this year. She loved her former coach and her teammates. It was traumatic. But after a few months at her new gym she started telling about feelings at her old gym I was not aware of. She apparently had many fears at her former gym but hid it because she did not want to disappoint her coach. She said she just kept on doing whatever her coach told her but she was,always 'trembling' inside. After months with her new coach, she realized the situation/training tactics of her old coach were not standard. Her old coach just kept on trying to progress her faster and faster without fully preparing her. She feels more secure with her new coach and now has hardly any fears. She had bit her nails to the nubs for years. She has stopped biting her nails and they are actually growing long. She is progressing even more at her new gym and is secure knowing her new coach will not let her do a skill on her own until she can actually do it. Good coaches are vital in the success of each gymnast. Even the most talented gymnast cannot realize their full potential without the help of a great coach.

I don't know what to do about your daughter's coaches as we too have limited choices in our area. But I would not give up on speaking with the coaches until the situation is resolved. However, if your thoughts of having her quit stems out of the stress this is causing your family, then that is a different story.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
Losing or suddenly fearing them is connected to growing. Some kids go through a growth spurt and their ability to sense what they're doing during a skill gets messed up. It doesn't even take an obvious growth spurt, as just a small change in foot size can change how she pivots and turns on beam. Giants and dismounts?..... could be a slight change in the length of her arms, but no other discernable areas of growth.

It may be that she feels a little threatened by her progress, and needs to have (without realizing) a problem to act as a buffer between her ability and some ambitious coach/coaches. Really, an 11yo L9 got there somehow, so either the coaches are pushing her, or she's pushing herself, or she's got more talent than most of us see in a lifetime. So maybe it's a way for her to slow the process down (without knowing) to a rate she can embrace.

Just a hunch...... she loves her coaches, thinks they're great, but deep down isn't sure she can trust them to know when enough's been done and it's time to polish things up and get used to a new (higher) working skill level. Kinda like she's worried they'll keep upping the ante until she fails.... or gets hurt.
That makes a lot of sense!!
 

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
I agree with the others who have said (mostly the coaches I think :)) it is related to growing. Perhaps you can (as it appears her coaches haven`t, or won`t) explain this to her (and she may need to hear it more than once) so that she can understand that it isn`t her `fault` - it isn`t anybody`s fault, it just is - and it will pass in time.

My dd just turned 15 today! and has had a tough last two years - struggling with injuries (related to growing), loss of flexibility (which is now coming back) and not being able to perform up to her usual standards - add continuing to strive to improve to all of these factors and well, you can guess that it`s been a rough go. I could tell that even her coaches were starting to lose faith.

Now, in the past few months - it is all falling back into place very nicely (we are in Canada, but she was also approx. L9 at 11 yrs old), and she has regained her old spark and then some! She is excited, her coaches are excited, and we are looking forward to a challenging competitive season :).

So I guess what I am saying (in a very long winded way, lol) is that it doesn`t sound to me like she wants to quit, it sounds more like she is asking for help in understanding why she is feeling the way she is, and needs to be reassured that it is all quite normal, and that she is worth it, and as long as she wants to keep going you will support her.

I would also suggest that you keep advocating for her with her coaches, even if you don`t think you are getting through to them - just keep trying. I had a number of meetings with my dd`s coaches during this time, and we most certainly did not always agree.

Good luck to your dd!!
Thank you!! I'm so glad your daughter has found her spark again!!
 

GymMomK

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 20, 2013
109
Arkansas
Vestibular problem, the body is maturing at a different rate than the vestibular system and causes her body to feel disoriented in space when doing skills she previously had. Very normal at 11-14. I am sure the coaches are frustrated, but likely understand this is normal as it is very common. When growth starts to slow down, these issues usually wane, the vestibular system will mature too.

I'd just talk to the coaches, I am sure they can reassure her of this and their plan. 11 years old level 9 is very advanced, even if she is having some fear issues with the skills listed.
Thank you! Very clear and helpful explanation!!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads