How to Mentally Prepare For Meets
Are you “meet ready”?
You may have answered:
“Yes, I do daily conditioning, run through my routines daily and work on my skills in every training session.”
Those things are necessary for all gymnasts but those things only mean that you are in “physical meet shape.”
To be fully in meet shape you must also be in “mental meet shape.”
The reason why most gymnasts fall short in their performance is due a lack of mental preparation…
Suzy H. is a high school gymnast who never misses practice…
Suzy works hard to be in peak physical condition, she performs her routines with consistency in practice and works hard to develop her overall gymnastic skills.
Unfortunately, when it comes time to perform in meets, Suzy falls apart…
Suzy’s practice routines are almost flawless but she makes uncharacteristic mistakes during competition.
Suzy even has lapses where she forgets her routines and is often devastated in her inability to perform like she does in practice.
While Suzy is in physical meet shape, she has not spent the time to condition herself to be in mental meet shape…
What gets a gymnast in mental meet shape?
One way to get into “mental meet shape” is to practice your routines in meet-like conditions.
One major factor that affects performance is that you practice under one condition and compete under totally different conditions.
If you can narrow the gap between practice and meet conditions, you will be more mentally prepared and confident to performance at your peak in meets… That is what is meant by “mental meet shape.”
Maryland Women’s gymnastics team recently under-performed at the 2017 Big Five Meet where the team finished last and scored its lowest total since mid-January.
Maryland freshman Alecia Farina was quick to point out that the team was not “out of meet shape,” but their mindsets or mental game conditioning was lacking.
Maryland coach Brett Nelligan decided to test a new strategy, silent practices, in an effort to get his team in mental meet shape.
During practices, Nelligan decided to replicate post-season meet conditions, where teammates cheer farther away from the gymnast performing her routine, limiting the cheer noise level in the gym.
In addition, Nelligan urged his team to mentally calm down by taking exaggerated deep breaths before routines.
These deep breaths are aimed at relaxing the body and clearing the mind to enable the gymnasts to focus more effectively.
Farina felt Nelligan’s strategies were effective in putting her in a proper mindset immediately before her routine.
FARINA: “[Nelligan] always talks about doing one skill at a time and slowing it down but sometimes when you’re cheering and you get all excited, you rush your skills. Not cheering helped because it gave you a second to breathe and focus on what you were doing.”
It is not enough to be physically prepared to compete… To fully be in “meet shape,” you must also be mentally prepared.
Mental Meet Shape Tip:
Once a week, practice under meet conditions. This can range from one routine where you perform your pre-performance routine before approaching your apparatus to conducting a practice meet where you wear your competition leotard.
The key is to see, feel and hear those things you will experience in a meet.
The closer you can mimic the real experience of competing, the better prepared, mentally and physically, you will be for meets.
Learn Mental Game Secretes to Unstoppable Confidence in Gymnastics!
Are you ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in competition?
Check out The Confident Gymnast Program!
The Confident Gymnast CD and workbook program was developed not only by Dr. Cohn, but with the assistance of former gymnast Olympian Wendy Bruce.
The Confident Gymnast is ideal for any competitive gymnast. But not only do gymnasts benefit from the program, coaches and parents do as well!
- Gymnasts: Get the mental edge by learning how to take control of their confidence, mentally prepare for competition, and preform with composure under pressure
- Coaches: Boost your gymnasts’ confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
- Parents: Help boost your athletes’ performance. Don’t let their mind hold them back any longer!
- Mental Coaches: Learn a proven system for helping your athletes boost mental toughness.
The Confident Gymnast is a complete brain dump of the TOP 8 mental training sessions we teach our gymnasts to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency- from how to mentally prepare for compeition to perorming under pressure to building unstoppable confidence.
What are mental coaching students saying?
“It was amazing!!! Before the show, I really felt like I was becoming the part. I was oddly calm, which concerned me because I thought my nerves might kick in on stage! But, they didn’t! I stayed focused in each moment, and remained calm, and actually did the difficult tricks better than I ever have! My coaches were all so proud of me and the one who I know the best was marveling at my calm, poised manner throughout the ballet. They said it seemed like I was doing it for the 15th time, I looked so comfortable. This is the result of my work with you! You gave me the tools to tackle this huge mountain of a role, step by step! I am beyond happy!”
~Professional Ballerina, Student of Dr. Cohn in 2013
What All Gymnasts Must Know to Overcome Perfectionism
- How your mind can be your best or worst asset in competition
- If perfectionism is holding you back from reaching your peak
- The top 6 perfectionist mindsets that sabotage success
- How to use perfectionism to your advantage, not your demise
What are gymnasts saying?
I really appreciate your mental game tips. It is very informative and useful, helped my game so much.
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students and parents saying?
“I am so grateful for your insights and experience. My focus is sharp and I feel relaxed but ready to meet whatever challenge comes up. If I make a mistake, I am able to let it go and move on immediately. You have really helped me a lot to get back on track and get things going again.”