The Mental Game of Gymnastics

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The Mental Game of Gymnastics

 Mental Gymnastics - Ohio Fitness Garage

The Mental Game of Gymnastics

If you’re familiar with the sport of gymnastics, you’ve probably recognized that it’s as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one. It takes tremendous focus and courage to do many of the skills asked of gymnasts starting even at the earliest levels of the sport. Throughout their careers, gymnasts can develop a number of fears for a number of reasons. How they deal with those fears can be the difference between a passing phase and a long, hard, battle.

So, how should your gymnast deal with her fears or mental blocks?

  1. Don’t obsess over it

Usually when fear reaches out and grabs hold of a gymnast, their first reaction is panic. They immediately begin to worry that the skill they are afraid of will never be within their grasp. They feel like they don’t have any control over their fear and they begin to obsess over the “failure” they see their fear to be. Talk to your gymnast and explain that fear is a natural part of gymnastics. Explain that if they stop constantly worrying about it, they will have an easier time overcoming it.

  1. Go back to the basics

One of the quickest ways to get over a fear in the gym is simply, to go back to the basics. For example, if the source of the fear is a cartwheel on beam, the gymnast can take the skill to a line on the floor, perform it at least 10-times on the floor, and then 10-times on the floor beam, 10-times on the low beam, 10-times on the resi-beam, and then attempt it again on the high beam. Continue to repeat this pattern until you can get to the high beam and perform the skill without fear. It might not happen right away, but it will happen.

  1. Visualization

The mind is a powerful thing and while it can work against you if you let it, it also can work for you. Using visualization is a hug component of overcoming fear and mental blocks. Being able to exert power and control by visualizing successful execution of the skills that instill the most fear provides an outlet for that fear. It allows gymnasts to begin to see that their fears can be overcome.

These are just a few of the ways for gymnasts to handle their fears. The most important thing to remember here is that every gymnast deals with fear, and each person has to conquer their fears in their own way. You WILL overcome your fear and you WILL progress in your sport, just be patient, be forgiving, and stay positive!


More Post from Heather Traves

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