And we did. "WE" quit gymnastics. Well, the "ME" part of "WE" did. She kept going. She kept working and winning and falling and getting back up. She pushed through severs, and broken fingers, broken toes, and beam bites. She worked out sick. She worked out while others played. She competed scared. She competed injured. She competed strong. She woke up early and she stayed up late. She set big goals and met them so she made more.
I would love to give them advice. I would love them to know there is plenty of room for all of us on this crazy bus. Unfortunately, it seems more often than not they have to figure it out for themselves.
They have to figure out how the seating around here really works. What level your child competes, what spot on the podium they stand, it doesn't have anything to do with how good a parent or person you are or aren't.
(I could even argue it says almost nothing about your child either, but that is another conversation entirely. One would also need to witness a true victory like Bronte's last floor routine, Maddie's first-ever cast to handstand on bars, Claire's bars at State 2017, Beach's one-footed dismount on bars due to an injury on floor, or Sophie's wreck off beam, remount to finish with blood dripping down her face at Pike's Peak, you would have to see these things to even begin to relate.)
Did you know our head coach does not assign levels to the optional team? He doesn't have to, they know where they are in the program. In the fall he has them tell him what level they will be competing.
There is a difference between being supportive of your child and pushing them. A difference between being proud of what they can do and being dishonest about it.
Pushing isn't just about the things you say to your child after practice it can be the pressure you put on her coaches to push or promote before your child is ready. It can be in the things you are saying about her teammates.
I have a kid who more often than not has all the skills to compete the next level up. What she doesn't have is the temperament for it. She is conservative. Sometimes timid. Thank dog her coaches recognize and respect it!
If you are a pusher of any type this is my caution to you. Your child is
I don't agree with everything my child's coaches and the gym does but overall I know we are in the right program surrounded by the right people. There are a lot of messed up programs out there! Teammates who have left for other gyms are returning. Each left for a different reason. But they all returned for the same one: to put their child's needs first.
My job is to cheer at meets and not spill my coffee while doing it. When she "wins" my job is to listen to her tell me all about as if I hadn't seen it for myself. When she falls my job is to tell her how proud I am of her and how much I enjoy watching her compete. When she asks me if I am disappointed I can say, sometimes I am sad for you but I am NEVER disappointed. How hard you work at every practice and every meet makes me proud.
I am proud of the things they don't give medals or awards for. Like caring, and sharing, and being the best at helping teammates with mats. At working hard even when the head coach isn't looking. At making friends with other girls from other gyms at meets. For being true to yourself.
I am really glad WE quit gymnastics.
I was never any good at it anyway.