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For Parents Why is this kid leaving?

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Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
I know, it has to be about her, so I will shut up and vent to you all. Dd2 says she's just "ready to be done," and I'm going to respect that. However, I do not get why this kid is leaving the sport.

She is in middle school and our middle schools have no extra-curricular activities, hence no conflicts. She isn't leaving to do something else. She's always been able to play softball, the other sport she likes, because the seasons don't conflict.

She loves gymnastics and wants to spend every minute of her last month at practice.

Last night, she landed a back tuck on the beam. Last week she did a front giant. Level 8 would be really easy for her.

You'd think the kid would have wanted to be done those years as a mediocre compulsory. Nope. Give her a strong season with a lot of 1st place finishes, and NOW she's out? On the bright side, she's not a victory junkie.

Ok, I won't mind the extra money. We're actually going to take a vacation this summer. Next year is a band trip year for dd1. No problem. I won't even have to fund-raise, just write the check. Dance team? Hey, the whole year is less than 2 months of tuition.

I'm not going to "discuss" this with dd2 because that will amount to subtle pressure to stay.

Anyway, thanks for listening.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I feel your pain, so vent away.

My DD#1 is training Level 8 and has been complaining about "how hard it is". It's not like she's never done these skills before. I walk on eggshells thinking, each day could be "the day". The day she says she's had enough. Sometimes I test her, and when she complains, I ask do you want to quit? She always says no.

At her middle school, we also don't have any extra curriculars. This fall, I even relented and I'm letting her try out for the town competition team (because it doesn't conflict w/the level 8 season).

Maybe your DD just needs a break. Maybe it's the tween/teen hormones talking? Maybe she'll miss gym so much she will find her way back.....
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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Just a thought...maybe now that she's told herself she is quitting the pressure is off? Not saying that you, coach, teamates pressure her...maybe it's just within her? She obviously loves the gym to stay there for this long. Maybe it's such a part of her life she's having fun with it now knowing that anything she does good or bad won't affect her training, scores and competitions. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in that she will be really be "done" soon? Maybe one week after retirement she will begging to go back. I haven't been down this road yet, LOL, I'm just starting out, but I think it's great that you are letting her figure this all out on her own. I'm sure seeing how wonderful she's doing now and knowing how much potential she has for advancing, it's hard to sit back and watch what might be the end. Sending you a cyber *HUG*
 
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bpatient

Guest
Dd2 says she's just "ready to be done," and I'm going to respect that. However, I do not get why this kid is leaving the sport.

Good for both of you. I hope that when my daughter is "ready to be done" that I can handle it as gracefully as you are.

I suppose each kid leaves the sport for somewhat different reasons, but they all leave. Most team gymnasts are younger and less advanced than your younger daughter, who--like her sister--stayed with it and worked longer and harder than almost all those future Olympians that started at level 4. I think somewhere around 85% of USAG gymnasts are 14 years or younger, and about the same percentage are Level 7 or lower; clearly most of the girls are "ready to be done" by middle school, or earlier.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Ya know - I've been following your posts and wondering the same thing myself. It sounds like she is doing great and having fun. Then it occurred to me - so many girls leave this sport because they are not doing well or because of injury - maybe she is smart enough to realize that and figures she might as well go out on a high note. I hope it all works out for her and she is happy with whatever she ends up doing. Oh - and if she isn't going to be using all those great level 8 skills she's gotten recently - she can throw some over this way - my dd could use some, lol.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Ya know - I've been following your posts and wondering the same thing myself. It sounds like she is doing great and having fun. Then it occurred to me - so many girls leave this sport because they are not doing well or because of injury - maybe she is smart enough to realize that and figures she might as well go out on a high note. I hope it all works out for her and she is happy with whatever she ends up doing. Oh - and if she isn't going to be using all those great level 8 skills she's gotten recently - she can throw some over this way - my dd could use some, lol.

There's probably a lot to what you said.

Dd2 did just watch her sister go through a very rough "break up" with the sport. (Dd1 needed to move on. Nobody could argue that one.) Dd2's exit will be far less traumatic, for everybody. She's walking away on her own terms.

Dd1 will probably always suffer some knee pain. Dd2 doesn't hurt--anywhere. She will be getting out before she suffers injury, whether caused by a single event like a bad fall or just overuse. (As one of the lvl 10s said one day, "It's just tendonitits. We ALL have it.") Gymnastics is tough on the adult body, and dd2 still doesn't have one of those!

And rbw, good point. We have "beaten the odds," so to speak, twice. Both girls competed as optionals, something that only about a third of those starting level 4 ever do. It does make them part of a small, special group.
 

Aussie_coach

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There could be so many reasons. Gymnastics is a very full on sport that requires a hug committment. One of the biggest things for middle schoolers though is the time committment. They are reaching the age where kids start to go places, have lots of sleepovers, want to go out together on the weekends and your daughter may feel she is missing out, or going to miss out. She may hear them talk about all the things that normal kids do like play video games, watch TV shows, have free time and want to experience it.

There could be some well hidden problems at the gym too. Maybe there is some bullying going on between the gymnasts, maybe the coaches are putting too much pressure on the kids, maybe there are other parents putting kids down.
 
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