GYM MOM QUIZ SCORING GUIDE

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1. Do you wish your daughter was more talented?

Favorite Answer: If talent is in the eye of the beholder, I believe my daughter has all of the talent she needs.

Not everyone has the same overall aptitude for the sport of gymnastics, and that’s okay! The trick is to acknowledge individual strengths and encourage gymnasts to seek improvement rather than perfection. This is sometimes easier said than done, as we (coaches and parents alike) all too often use comparison as a measuring tool for praise. Check out Anne Josephson’s article titled Not Trying To Be Good.  and Tracy Cutchlow’s “WHY SOME KIDS TRY HARDER” for insights on this concept.

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2. Gymnastics success is . . .

Favorite Answer: A happy, healthy, capable child.

Of course we can’t deny that EVERYONE loves to see their child on top of the podium with a huge smile on her face. We also like to see our children strive for excellence, but the trick is not to become too distracted by achievements that we lose sight of what is most important.

Anne Josephson shares a fabulous poem to accompany this subject, titled, Make the Ordinary Come Alive.

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3. After practice your most common question concerning your daughter’s workout is. . .

Favorite Answer: What the most rewarding thing about class was.

Enjoying the journey is important and (perhaps surprisingly) not contingent on what Sally, Molly, and Guinevere are doing. Find out what fuels your daughter’s desire to be a gymnast, what she loves most about workout, and how her experiences in the gym contribute to her self worth!

For conversation starters, check out Gym Gab’s 25 Questions to Ask Your Gymnast.

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4. Do you often get impatient when your child struggles with skills?

Favorite Answer: I see it as a learning experience.

Some gymnasts skill acquisition happens at a rate of three-levels per year, and some others are on a three-year-per -level plan. Either way, patience, determination, and creativity is more important than the time-table.

Empathy for our frustrated gymnast is healthy, although not a comfortable emotion. We often want to “help” by coaching at home and prematurely (or too frequently) seeking private lessons. If we offer solutions too soon or too often, we rob our gymnast of the opportunity to work through the challenge and unintentionally portray distrust in her abilities to succeed in class.

Remember, skill mastery usually requires repetition and a variety of workout assignments – be patient with the process and supportive of your gymnast’s continued efforts.

With that said, private lessons can be a helpful tool for the occasional skill, fear, struggling event, or routine clean-up. The goal of private-lessons are to increase confidence without creating a private lesson-dependent child.

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5. You are MOST proud of your gymnast for . . .

Favorite Answer: Overcoming her weaknesses and/or fears

We are all proud of our athletes – or at least should be! They work hard, they overcome challenges, and they do things that may seem impossible at times. But unfortunately, our pride is all too often communicated through comparisons.

Expressing pride in our child’s placement, age, or title can be dangerous. It sends the message that her value is dependent on her peers’ performances. This can be a scary thing for the child as it may be in her favor today, but she has no control over her standings tomorrow. Winning is dependent on the performance of OTHERS, learning a skill at “a young age” is determined by the median age OTHER gymnasts perform the skill, and being tougher, stronger or any other “er” or “est” is dependent on the abilities of OTHER people you are comparing her to.

For more on this topic, read 13 Steps to Being a Winning Parent.

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6. A gymnast in your daughter’s group moves-up mid season. How do you respond?

Favorite Answer: I am sad my daughter won’t spend as much time with her friend at gym.

We all want our child to have the best environment for growth. Training with friends under coaches that are deemed “the best” would be everyone’s ideal. Unfortunately if everyone is granted the ideal, you may end up with a group of 1,000 athletes with skill ranges from level 1 – 10 all training under the direction of two coaches –  not so ideal anymore, is it?

If you trust the program you’re in, you have to take the sometimes less ideal situations with a bit of faith. At some point your child may train with her beloved friend again. If not, she’s been granted a golden opportunity to test out the girl scout’s golden rule, ” Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”

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7. A gymnast in your daughter’s group moves-up mid season. How do you respond?

Favorite Answer: I see it as a learning experience.

This is one of the those times when it’s really easy to become one of THOSE moms. We all want our child to have the best environment for growth. Training with friends under coaches that are deemed “the best” would be everyone’s ideal. Unfortunately if everyone was granted the ideal, you could end up with a group of 1,000 athletes with skill ranges from level 1 – 10 all training under the direction of two coaches –  not so ideal anymore, is it?

If you trust the program you’re in, you have to take the sometimes less ideal situations with a grain of salt. At some point your child may train with her beloved friend again. If not, she’s been granted a golden opportunity to test out the girl scout’s freindship song, ” Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”