One of the biggest mental mistakes I see is gymnasts practicing, conditioning, and training without a purpose. It is sad because there are many gymnasts who are hard-working and passionate, but they fail to improve much. Usually it is because they are doing things without a good purpose.
You can go through a whole season of practices without improving much at all. I hate to say it, but many practices are simply a waste of time for many gymnasts. Now this doesn’t mean, you should practice less. It simply means – Have a purpose each time you train.
Each time you walk into practice, have something that you are trying to accomplish (i.e. cleaner form, increase consistency, learn a new skill, improve endurance, etc.). Spend at least a few minutes before, during, or after practice improving that area. This is called deliberate practice and is one of the key factors in developing an elite performer.
When you head to beam, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to simply finish your assignment as quickly as possible, or do you have a purpose for being there for yourself. What can you focus on while you are on that event that will get you closer to your goal? A new skill? Not bending your knee in your flight series? Not bobbling on your turns? Sticking your dismount? Pick one thing each practice, and make purposeful progress.
Mindset Tip: Before each practice write down at least one thing you are trying focus on or accomplish. It will make a world of a difference!
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