Life after gymnastics: When to retire and what to do with your time
Rhythmic gymnastics is a young person's sport. In fact, the average age of the gymnasts in the World Championships in Baku was only 18.70, way lower than in most other Olympic sports. Competitive gymnastics is demanding discipline that athletes can't sustain for much longer than that age. It's normal for competitive gymnasts in love with the sport to wonder when their sports career will end. There is many different things to take into consideration, and it's undeniable that every person is different when it comes to stepping out off the mat.
When you don't want to stop training but your current routine is becoming too much
If you are considering quitting, or if you know someone that is, there are two things you may want to take into account: why are you considering quitting is the first one. The second one is, are you sure this is what you want? Sometimes athletes feel overwhelmed by the pressure and the time they are required to train and can't keep it up, forcing them to consider ending their career as a gymnast. This sometimes has to do with health issues, injuries, academic studies, family situations, etc... If you don't want to be fully out of the world of RG, there are ways around it. You can compete at a lower level, keep training but stop competing, or you can start coaching. If you are thinking about your options, going to your coach and telling them in detail how you feel is always a good idea, since they will understand your needs better and they can give you a few different options.
There are two things you may want to take into account: why are you considering to quit is the first one. The second one is, are you sure this is what you want?
When you still love the sport but you are having problems in your club
It's easy to get discouraged if there are tensions with coaches or teammates. Whether we encounter toxic sporting environments within the rest of the gymnasts or a coach, this can manifest confusion; Do I not like the sport anymore, or is it the club where I train? There is a great number of people quitting competing because of this case, so it's important to think about it. If it's the people around you making the experience unpleasant, you can always talk to an adult, and hopefully, you can try to transfer to a different group, coach, or club altogether. Thinking about the reasons why we may want to leave can prevent us from regretting retiring, most former gymnasts do miss training after they quit.
Thinking about the reasons why we may want to leave can prevent us from regretting retiring, most former gymnasts do miss training after they quit.