I Don’t Want to Go to Gymnastics

Subject: Don’t Want to Go.
Dear Coach,

I am 9 years old and I am in level 5 gymnastics. I have a question:

On some days I don’t want to go to gymnastics. Do you know what I should do when I don’t want to go?


Wow, this seems at first like such an easy question to answer. But you already know that it is not as easy a question as it seems or you wouldn’t have asked me about it.

The real answer is inside of you, but I can help by giving you some things to think about. Some things in life are more valuable than others.

Happiness and success in life is about finding the balance in your life among all the various elements like gymnastics, family, friends, school and other things that are important to you.

There are a number of things you should think about when you are deciding about going to practice or not.

What are your Goals for yourself in gymnastics?

If you want to be a Level 10, Elite or Olympic gymnast, you need to practice as much as you can and not miss practices unless you have to.

If you want to win Level 5 meets, especially States, you can’t really expect that to happen if you only practice when you feel like it and other Level 5 gymnasts are going to every practice.

How many days a week do you practice?

If you only practice 2 days a week, if you miss one practice you are losing half your practice time and you have lots of other days off.

If you are practicing 5-6 days per week, missing a practice now and then is not as big a deal, if you are satisfied with not trying too hard to win meets.

Why don’t you want to go?

Bored? – Talk to your coach and find out what he and you can do to liven up your gymnastics or talk to your parents and let them talk to your coach.

Not making any progress? – Talk to your coach and find out what you need to do to start improving again.

Don’t like coach – talk to your parents and see if there is another coach in the gym for you or another gym.

Just want to sit at home and talk on the phone to your friends? – Go to practice and do something worthwhile with your life.

No reason? – Yes, there is. Look deep inside yourself and you will know why it is you really don’t want to go. How do you do that? Find a quiet place, close your eyes, relax, and ask yourself why or ask yourself why just before you go to sleep. Sooner or later, the answer will become clear to you. When in doubt, go to practice. You may well find that once you are there you will be happy you went.

How are you doing with your skills and routines?

If you already have your skills and routines down cold, missing a practice will not mean as much than if you have skills you can’t yet do or your routines need work before an upcoming meet.

What if there is some special event or activity at the same time as practice?

At your age and level, there is no reason why you should not be able to miss practice for something like your best friend’s birthday, a concert, a family activity or any other one-time special event.

Doing well in gymnastics can bring you many opportunities in your life that you might not otherwise have. The better a gymnast you get to be, the more extras you may get like travel opportunities, chances to meet Olympic gymnasts, college scholarships and getting in really great shape and looking great.

You should also understand that gymnastics is a relatively expensive sport. Your parents are probably spending a lot of money for you to go to practice and you should keep that in mind, because your parents probably are thinking about it. If you really are finding that you don’t want to go to practice on a regular basis and you can’t solve the problem, perhaps you and your parents should see if there is a less expensive choice with fewer practices available for you.

It is true that there are times, if you are feeling tired or burnt out when taking a day off practice will actually make you come back the next day to practice even more enthusiastic and motivated.

In general, you must think about and decide what is important to you in life. Make your decision according to what you believe you should do, what your goals are and what you need to do to achieve them, your beliefs and feelings about gymnastics and what feels right in your heart and mind.

If you make your decision this way, it will likely be the right one.

Good luck to you.

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