Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Luck!

To all athletes competing this weekend- Good Luck!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

6 More Practices!!!

Only 6 workouts until Southern Zones!!!!!

Dealing with Fear...Again

I thought I would re-post this because we seem to have some fear issues creeping around the gym.

Back-spring gremlins???
So fear is a universally bad thing in gymnastics...right? Fear itself has proven quite useful throughout human history (and pre-history), as evidenced by the fact that we are still around. Fear prevents us from doing the really stupid things that would most likely get us killed- rational fear that is. There is also another type of fear, an irrational type that, in gymnastics, can be debilitating. It can be like a little gremlin in our heads that prevents us from doing what we know we can do. An example of this is the "beam back-spring gremlin" that sneaks into our heads when we try to do back-springs on beam. And it comes at the oddest of times- like when we know that we can already do a back-spring on beam. But, for those fearful of you out there (and here I'm talking about irrational fear (I'm certainly not advocating jumping off roofs)), you needn't fear- all is not lost. There are a few specific techniques that you can use to overcome irrational fear.

Firstly, the ideas is to concentrate on the process rather than on all of the possible outcomes. That means that you shouldn't worry about all the possible ways in which you can hurt yourself, rather, you should think about those things that your coach has been telling you. Take the back handspring on beam as an example. Rather than thinking about all the ways you can fall off, think about what you are going to see and feel as you go through the motion. Think about what your legs are supposed to be doing as you jump. Think about seeing the beam before your hands hit. Think about watching for your back foot coming back down to the beam. And lastly, think about the solid and sharp finishing position. Of course, unless you have super-human information processing power (the thing your brain does when you think), that might be too much to think about in such a short period of time. So, just pick one or two things (your coach will normally give you a cue as to what you ought to be thinking about) and concentrate on those.

The second thing you need to do is trust your coach. Your coach has been involved in the gymnastics thing for a tad bit longer than you, and therefore she (hopefully) has more information than you. As a result, she knows when you are ready to learn a new skill. She also knows when something is unsafe. All this just means that she is in a better position than you to assess whether or not your fear is rational or irrational. So, if you don't trust your coach, either get a new one or adjust your perspective. Because, without trust, you're not going to get very far.

The last critical ingredient is to believe in yourself. By and large, you are your own largest obstacle to achieving your potential in gymnastics. By staying positive and focused on your goals you can be an asset to your own progress, rather than an impediment. I am often leery in quoting the man (he was a bit of a bigot), but, as Henry Ford once said, "obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

So, to recap: 1) Process, not outcomes, 2) Trust your coach, and 3) Believe in yourself. Oh...and one last thing....please tell that back-spring gremlin to take a hike- he kinda creeps me out.

This is David Sykes, filling in for Becca- she said she didn't know what to write and threw the computer at kinda hurt...but I'll get over it...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Get Better Soon!

To Tiana P-

Hope your nose and your toe feels better soon and you make a Super-D-Duper quick recovery!!!