Letting Go of Mistakes in Gymnastics
During practice or competition, do you have a hard time forgetting and bouncing back from mistakes? Do you find yourself dwelling on what you did wrong and how you could have done better? Does this dwelling cause you to make more mistakes or have a bad practice?
Many gymnasts struggle with letting go of their mistakes.
They focus solely on what they did wrong. They beat themselves up over their missteps and start to doubt their skills and abilities. Their performance takes a nosedive because they worry too much about making mistakes and lose confidence in the skills they have practiced.
It’s important to know that there is also a positive side to making mistakes. Making a mistake can help motivate gymnasts to try and push harder. It also gives gymnasts an opportunity to evaluate their performance and their skills.
They are more likely to work harder on the skills they mess up on, making their overall performance better.
Gymnasts tend to lean towards a perfectionist mindset. Because of this mindset, they have a difficult time finding the positives in their mistakes. They tend to focus solely on the mistake and they start to beat themselves down.
How do you teach yourself to bounce back from mistakes in gymnastics?
- After a competition, cool down. Allow yourself to reflect on the whole competition, not just the mistake.
- Start thinking about the things you did well in your competition. Did you stick your landings the way you practiced? Did you score really well on vault?
- Start talking about the positive things in your performance. If your parents or friends came to watch you compete, tell them how great you felt after you nailed your Arabian double front.
- When you are in the middle of a competition, don’t focus on the mistake you made in the last skill. Focus on your current skill. Don’t let the mistake dominate your thinking, tell yourself that you can work on it later, but right now you need to wow the judges with your next skill.
- Remember that your performance in gymnastics does not define who you are. Gymnastics is just something you do; you are more than your performance or your mistakes.
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