Bad meets. We all have them.
Whether you scored low, forgot your routine, fell on an event, or just had a bad experience, it's totally normal as a gymnast.
However, the way you respond to these meets makes a difference as to how the meets after that might go.
Here are 4 tips for what to do after having a bad gymnastics meet...
Tip #1: Always Watch Videos of Your Routines Afterwards
The single most important thing to do is to watch your routines and to notice what's going on.
- Did you look nervous?
- Were you looking down for most of your routine?
- How did you walk off the floor or away from your event?
- Did you hesitate, have bad form, or never smile?
These are all important things to look out for and will give you an idea of what you look like to a judge and why you might have been feeling not as confident.
Take notes so that next time you go to compete you can work on the things you noticed by watching your videos.
Tip #2: What Did You Learn From Your Mistakes
Don't just say “Oh, I had mistakes. Oh well.”
This is your opportunity to learn from your mistakes!
Were you rushing your routine and that's why you fell?
Did you not eat a good enough meal before your meet and that's why you were low on energy?
Were you thinking negative thoughts like “Please don't fall” before your routine?
Use your mistakes as information to help guide you for your next meet. Once you know why things went wrong, you can work on changing them in the future so that they don't happen again.
Tip #3: Don't Let Your Scores Decide Your Worth or Decide How You Feel About How Well You Did
I can't say it enough. Scores mean nothing in gymnastics. They are completely arbitrary. As a former compulsory judge, I know how certain things can affect a judge's perception of a gymnast when they're competing.
So don't get hung up on your scores and let that upset you.
Back in 2018 Simone Biles fell twice at Worlds. If she had gone home and told herself that she's a terrible gymnast because she got those low scores, she probably wouldn't be doing gymnastics today.
Mistakes happen. We're human. Just don't let those silly numbers decide your worth.
Tip #4: Decide What You Are Going to Focus On This Week In Practice
Based on the information you gathered from this “bad” meet, what are you going to do this week?
What are some things you need to practice so that when you go to your next meet you can have a better experience?
Remember, every meet is a chance to learn and grow (even the good ones).
If you had trouble sticking your landings, then focus on your landings in practice.
If you rushed through your routines, then practice slowing them down.
If you were nervous and shaky, work on breathing and imagery during the week before your next meet.
ALWAYS use the information from your last meet to help guide you during your next week of practice.
So there you have it. Those were 4 quick but effective tips for what to do after you've had a bad gymnastics meet. First always watch back your routines and examine them. What are some things you noticed or things that stood out to you when you watched your routines? What are some things you can improve on?
Next, think about the mistakes you made and what you can learn from them. The worst thing you can do is have a mistake and never think about what you gained from it.
Third, remember that scores are just numbers and do NOT let them decide your worth. You can perform the same exact routine in two different meets and get totally different scores depending on the judges and the depth of field.
Finally, based on all the information you gathered from your bad meet, what are you going to focus on in the weeks until your next meet? It's important that you use the information from your meet to help you in your next meet.
If you or your gymnast needs support, in addition to the resources below I also offer one-on-one coaching sessions via Zoom.
- Resources: Get gymnastics downloads to help your gymnast work on her mental skills in gymnastics
- Mental Health Training for Gymnasts: Help your gymnast learn about her brain and the fight-flight-or-freeze response.
- Free Facebook Group for Moms of Gymnasts: Join this group to chat with other gymnastics moms and get tips for how to help your gymnast navigate through the mental ups and downs of gymnastics