- 11 year old gymnastic daughter has lost her confidence
Perhaps their is too much pressure on her to succeed?Posted 4 years ago
My daughter is in to trampoling and the pressue to perfom at competitions gets to her, we have started to make it clear it doesn’t matter how she performs as long as she enjoys herself, and this has seen her performances improve.BunnyhopSubscriber
It happened to my niece (at the age of 11)but she ended up with Chronic fatigue syndrome and couldn’t carry on.
Have you got a good quality trampoline? If so just get her back onto that, bouncing away, having a bit of fun and hopefully the moves and confidence will come back.Posted 4 years ago
Hi,Posted 4 years ago
Can anybody help my 11 year old daughter who is at a decent level in gymnastics has apperaed to lost all her confidence at the minute and seems to struggle to carry out some moves which i know she is capable of doing.
It all seemed to strat after a British championship qualifier in Scotland when she did not get pick for one discipline and failed to land another move, since then it is a subject she refuses to discuss and gets very upset about the whole situation.
Has any parents out there been in a similar situation who could advise, she has the British Championships next month so not much time to turn things around.spooky_b329Member
seems to struggle to carry out some moves which i know she is capable of doing.
it is a subject she refuses to discuss and gets very upset
British Championships next month so not much time to turn things around.
It does sound a tad like there is pressure from you as well as from peers/instructors…I’m not a parent but perhaps she is going 5 days a week as she feels she has to. Is 5 days a week normal or the equivalent of cramming before an exam?Posted 4 years agotheotherjonvSubscriber
Flip side / devils advocate. At that sort of age, and if she is at junior national level, its a key stage in her gymnastic development. If she falls back now, this might be ground that is very difficult to make up. Difficult to say because at that age and in the next couple of years she may ‘develop’ in other ways that might make her less suited to competitive gymnastics anyway. But while there is chance and if SHE has ambitions beyond where she is now, might it be worth trying to get some time with a sports psychologist to see what is causing the block, rather than letting a block become an immovable obstacle.
Agree with above. Being a competitive gymnast is extremely hard on the body and there may be costs in later life. But if it is something that she has a real chance to achieve something in, that might be a cost worth paying. Conversely, gymnastics as a ‘hobby’ is a different fish. My daughters both go to a club and while the two coaches that competed at high level still suffer the after effects, I’m hugely jealous of the ones that have kept it up socially and have amazing tone and flexibility as a result. Whereas I can’t reach far enough to tie my shoelaces without wondering if I’ll need scaffolding to get me back upright.Posted 4 years agotheotherjonvSubscriber
PS proviso to all that in case it isn’t clear is that it has to be her choice. If SHE has ambitions, our job as parents is to facilitate and clear the path to give them a chance to do it. Which in this case might involve being pushy with her club, or with the regional / national body to see if you can get here some time with someone qualified to deal with whatever is causing the issue.Posted 4 years agomolgripsSubscriber
I know I love riding my bikes but the idea of racing is the very last thing I’d do.
Quite obvioulsy the OP’s kid is not like you then!
It’s very hard for non-competitive peopel to understand the drive to compete.
Not sure how to help the OP – I suffer from head problems doing some things and there’s no way around it for me other than just focusing entirely on the thing you’re trying to do and not being distracted by thoughts of lack of confidence.
On the other hand – she may be wondering what the point of it all is. When I was about that age I used to do everything that was on offer, because it’s in my nature to say ‘yes’ to everything. However one day I just thought ‘sod this’ and gave almost everything up, because I realised that I didn’t really enjoy it all even thought I had, and I thought I did.
Sometimes we offer encouragement to kids and they think it’s approval so they get involved in this stuff but they don’t have an opinion as to whether or not they really want to dedicate their lives to it. At about that age they start to realise who they are and what they want to be as adults, and that might not include whatever it is they’ve been into.Posted 4 years ago69erMember
My son used to come CX and XC racing with me. He was really good and would win or place regularly.Posted 4 years ago
After a particularly tough race I asked him ‘are you enjoying this or doing it because you think I want you to?”
His answer was the latter. I told him I’d be totally happy if he stopped, or carried on. The choice was his. He stopped shortly after.
He has grown into a healthy, happy independent young man., with his own hobbies and interests.
Not an identical situation to yours but my ethos is it’s best to let them make their own choices as they mature. I believe as a parent you are there to gently guide and support. I think in your case I would remove ALL pressure (see comments above) and allow her enjoyment be the driving force to a return to competition.
Don’t underestimate how stressful it may be for her. It could be a glitch, it could be she’s feeling the pressure of fulfilling your aspirations for her.
Athletes always go through periods like that. If she was my kid I would give her the choice of not competing as performing badly will probably damage her confidence even more. Maybe removing the pressure will then give her the chance to get back into it again. At that age, the majority of kids progress faster if they are having fun.Posted 4 years agoemszMember
Qualis are hard and they’re supposed to be. I’ve seen loads of fantastic club gymnasts just do really badly at routines that they nail everytime back at the gym. Happens to boys and girls. Loads of hugs loads of “love you’s” . Back to the gym and back to grinding it out. Also that’s about the age where it gets serious, the competition from now on is fierce!! Good luck I hope she gets through it
Have you spoken with her coach? What’s her view?Posted 4 years agoShredMember
My wife is a top level Gymnastics coach and judge. Most of her most talented kids could not carry on due to confidence issues. Most of these went on to be very good in other sports ,one became an amazing ballerina.
Gymnastics is an amazingly difficult sport, from a physical and mental point of view. If she is a determined, head strong person who through her life has made things work, then keep encouraging her. Else, maybe look at other options.Posted 4 years agoclubberMember
Similar to spooky, I read some pushiness in there too. Not bad (I saw plenty of that when I was a kid doing a sport pretty seriously) but it can be enough to put pressure on and the fact that she’s only 11 and doesn’t want to talk about it with you suggests that may be an issue.
Make clear that it doesn’t matter (because at 11, it doesn’t really, no matter how it may seem while you’re caught up in it) and that if she wants to skip the Brit Champs this year then that’s fine and that you maybe even think that’s the right thing to do…
And again, having been there, I know exactly how you’ll probably read this but you need to take a step back. Unhappy kid athletes rarely make successful happy adults unless they’ve burnt out early and quit the sport by their teens…Posted 4 years agoMiffyMember
When I was a girl I was a competitive gymnast, although not quite at the level of the OP’s daughter, but I did compete in some national competitions.
It’s hard sport to be in and requires a lot of training and commitment, and she really needs to want to do it.
IF she is training 5 days a week I would recommend giving her a clear break from training for 3 or 4 days, also go easy on her strength and condition regime she does at home. So she (body and mind) has a good rest.
Hopefully after this break she will be desperate to get back in the gym as she has missed it and have renewed energy and be there because she loves being there, wants to ‘fly’ and wants to nail the moves she was struggling with.
Also speak to her coach. If the coach is not already aware of what the OP daughter is going through they can plan the gym sessions accordingly. The coach might no realise what she is going through especially if there is a large number in her squad and may think that your daughter is not interested anymore.
Finally the OP should talk with his daughter, me and my Dad had lots of long deep conversations in the car to and from the gym the 4 times a week he took me. Get her to talk how she is feeling, what is going through her mind when she is attempting the moves, she might be over thinking it and just needs to relax and trust her ability.
She also might be feeling frustrated and disappointed with her performance (good gymnastics have to be perfectionists otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do what they do)so she may just need to talk through what went wrong and what she could do to change it.
Finally unfortunately puberty is lurking around the corner, that’s a total game changer for her and it may lead her to stopping 🙁
Good luck to you both !Posted 4 years agoTreksterSubscriber
Finally unfortunately puberty is lurking around the corner, that’s a total game changer for her and it may lead her to stopping
This and the pushy parent syndrome sprung to mind as I was reading through this I’m afraid.
My son was good at quite a few sports. When he suddenly decided to quit badminton we were surprised. At the time he was a training partner of an age group champion and capable of winning games at club level against the boy. The reason he quit was due to the pressure he was coming under from the club coach to enter competitions, something he did not want to do. He was, at the same time rowing every day and racing at weekends, winning a boxful of cups. Badminton was just for fun as was his bmx, cubs, scouts, ice hockey, DofE etc
My daughter on the other hand was never interested in sport but is a good swimmer and was also capable of beating the boys inc club players at badminton during school pe lessons.
Other questions to ponder is the coach relashion ship and is there any bitching going on amongst the squad? As a swimming teacher for a number if yrs what goes on in the changing rooms, the group dynamics and friendship issues especially with girls of that age can also have a huge effect.Posted 4 years ago
Many thanks for all your comments, never thought I was a pushy parent but possibly are, the puberty thing is lurking around the corner as well, think I will just back off and let her make her own mind up. 5 days training and conditioning at home is probably to much but she seems to actually enjoy it.
She has been down the ice skating route and was getting quite good but seemed to loose interest, but I may be an option to take her back possibly with some of her friends to take her mind off things.
She’s a young woman and none of us men can claim to understand women, if we could life would be so much simpler.
Thank you al, for your responses it’s being thought provoking.Posted 4 years agowrightysonMember
My parents never supported me enough during sports, was playing in county tennis tournaments and recall having to walk back about 5 miles one time as they were busy at work and couldn’t pick me up. Also with football on being selected for south peak trials I couldn’t get due to no lift. Still grates me a bit now so make it my goal to be at everything our kids do so longs as they enjoy it. Gymnastics costs us nearly a grand a year for both of them, neither will become a gymnast but both love it so that’s why we stump up the cash and support them.Posted 4 years agoianvMember
5 days training and conditioning at home is probably to much but she seems to actually enjoy it.
Its not if she really does enjoy it and is motivated.
Assuming you are not being an overly pushy parent. One area I would be looking at is the coach and their attitude as it seems to me that quite often coaching is just a numbers game. Pressurise the kids, expect some collateral damage/fallout in the hope that you find one or two with the mental and physical capabilities to succeed.
It does no one any good to have an average kid forced to be competitive when really they only want to have fun, and will only make up numbers at the back of the field come comp time. Yet it seems to happen a lot.
Edit. That said, to be really good at any sport nowadays you need to start young.Posted 4 years agovickypeaMember
I started gymnastics when I was 8 years old, until 16. I wasn’t particularly good, but I loved it and did it at least 3 times a week, and 5 times a week if a competition or display was coming up. My parents used to ferry me to and from the club but as they had zero interest in sport I had no pressure or even much interest from them. All the training was entirely my choice and I enjoyed it. So, I’d suggest you maybe back off a bit and see if your daughter is still motivated.Posted 4 years ago
I agree with the comments already made about it being hard on your body. I ended up with loads of niggles and pains that still persist now I’m 44 but not ready to give up exercise just yet!
To the comment above: some people enjoy competing even if they are “making up the numbers at the back”. I am middle of the field in MTB events, and was the same in running, but I am still competitive!mtbtomoMember
The advice my other half gave her neice (who is a similar age and does a smilar amount of serious gymnastics each week) before a competition was to focus on her breathing as a means of calming the nerves. My other half was a trained basoonist and used to performing under pressure, so this was fairly transferrable advice. So maybe get her focussing on something else, that would be beneficial, rather than ‘what happened’ and there’s ‘only a month to go’?Posted 4 years ago
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