Gymnastics Mental Blocks… Last Minute Training

   I cannot teach your level 8 daughter a yurchenko vault in an hour to compete at states in three days!

   It takes years to develop the strength, flexibility, speed, and technique necessary for that vault. And it takes numerous drills and progressions to learn that vault. Originally only  level 10 and elite gymnasts were allowed to perform that vault. When the vault changed to a table that rule was adjusted, but the risk still exists.

   A level 8 gymnast AFRAID of the vault should NOT be asked to compete it at a state competition. Why would adults ruin a child’s day and have her literally risk her life for scores, especially at level 8? I learned she is already getting a 36AA score, very respectable.  Let her perform the easier vault and enjoy the day!

   This is NOT the Olympics. Let her enjoy her day at states rather than worrying, losing focus, being upset, and likely injuring herself. An injury is not a badge of honor, it’s painful, time consuming, stressful, inconvenient, and expensive.

   People do not realize the risk in the sport because when they see the Olympics on tv those gymnasts make everything look easy. That’s the art of the sport, to make difficult skills LOOK easy. It takes an average ten years of non-stop, intense, appropriate training to get to level 10 and even more to get to elite.

   Parents, you MUST appreciate the risk and stop pushing your kids to do things they are desperately afraid of just for a score or YOUR ego. You could literally kill your child by pushing them like that and I cannot be part of that.

   I am available to help train your children and do have great success with my private clients, but will not do last minute teaching for a state meet. It is NOT the same as cramming for a final exam in school, there are real-life consequences to telling a kid they must perform a dangerous skill at a stressful competition. Injuries happen when focus is compromised by fear, lack of sleep, lack of energy, and dehydration.

   As a parent you should encourage your kids, but you should NOT try to force them to compete skills that they cannot perform comfortably on their own for several months in advance. Remember, it is YOUR kids SAFETY at risk.

   If they are afraid, there is a good reason and they need more time, drills, technique adjustments, and spotting in order to become comfortable with the skill. They also might need more sleep, water, and high quality carbs to stay focused. (Click here for article on focus.)

Click here for info on training with Karen in NJ.

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