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Gymnastics/Should I let my daughter quit to try rhythmic?


My 10 yr old daughter has been in gymnastics since 5 yrs old. She quickly showed a talent for it and progressed very quickly, joining the team and started competing in 1st grade. We are not in the US so the system is very different.
She loved it and couldn't get to the gym fast enough! She has made great friends and has smoothly progressed through her skills minus a few fear issues in the beginning.
She is now I guess the equivalent of a level 8 going on level 9. She placed 2nd in AA at the last state comp and is about to compete in a  big regional comp that if she places in the top 30 she will go to nationals.
The problem is that she injured herself about 3-4 months ago broke a foot bone while doing a back tuck on beam and had surgery to repair it. Was out for a while and has recently started training full capacity again. Now she is scared she will do the same thing and can't seem to get over it.
Also after having some time out she seems to have lost her enthusiasm and interest for gymnastics and wants to try something else (rhythmic gymnastics) .
She is very emotionally sensitive and vulnerable to stress and while recovering she had panic attacks and headaches etc. at that stage she had alot of time off from practice and took it slowly.
Her coach can be quite negative but after alot of discussion he has started to change his ways.
However i feel it is too late and she has gone past the point of keeping at it to see her results.
When i go to watch the practices she seems happy and chats and laughs with her friends  and does all her conditioning and stretches as normal..everything seems fine. But then at home she says she wants to quit after this next regional comp, regardless of if she gets into the national comp.
Do you think at 10 yrs old she is a little too young to see if she will regret leaving at this stage where she has huge potential?
Her coach is absolutely against her quitting.
She is a leader in her team and is supporting 2 younger girls who look up to her.
Where we are, coming back after a year off to try rhythmic may not be an option as this is a small town with few clubs and her coach has already said something to the effect of it being extremely difficult to come back after being away from the sport.
We are planning a 2 week vacation after the competition anyway to help her relax and her coach is not happy about that either.
She is convinced that rhythmic gym is for her because her strong point is her floor..her expression and artistry(she also learns ballet once a week) and there are no high apparatus for her to fall off.
I wish she would continue just one more year until graduating elementary school and see if she gets some good results from all this hard work.
I hate to see her quit something she is so good at.
Doing rhythmic at the same time is also not an option because her team currently trains 20 hrs a week.
What do you think I should do?

Hi Katrina,
If it were my daughter I would let her make the decision.  She is still very young and regardless what the coach says now if she wants to come back later I bet she could.  Your daughter could subconsciously set herself up for another injury if the issue is forced and she is not allowed to do what she wants.  Then she would still get her way but it would be under difference circumstances.


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Robert Davis


I can answer questions about technique, strength and endurance training, healing from injuries, and competitions. I can also answer questions from parents of gymnasts, as I have six children of my own now. I plan to write a freely downloadable ebook or guide soon, go to to tell me what you want help with!


I competed in gymnastics for 16 years, from age 8 to 24, the last six of those years on the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team ( After almost a 10 year hiatus I've returned to competition, see


I have a BSE and MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. During those 6 years I was a member of the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team as well.

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