Do you have big gymnastics goals this summer?
If so, then you'll want to do everything in your power to make those goals happen.
Commitment is when you push yourself to do whatever it takes to reach your gymnastics goals. And if you've set some big ones this summer, then you'll need a plan for how to achieve them.
Many gymnasts have a desire to become better, but don't necessarily commit fully to their goals so they often fall short.
For some gymnasts, it might be that they don't have a plan and therefore don't know exactly what to do in order to achieve their goals. And for other gymnasts, it's because they don't take the time to be intentional with their goals and to follow through by staying committed.
In order to become the best gymnast you can be, you need to make a commitment to do the things necessary to become that way.
I've outlined some steps you can follow so you can stay committed to your gymnastics goals this summer. By doing these steps you are creating a Summer Roadmap that will guide you towards your goals.
Step 1: Name Your One Big Goal For The Summer
It's good to start out with a broad idea of what you want to accomplish this summer. We'll get more specific later on as far as which skills you want to target, but for now think of your overall goal for the summer.
Are you trying to move up to the next level?
Do you want to get past a mental block in gymnastics?
Are you trying to develop more strength and flexibility?
Whatever your one big goal is this summer, you should write this down so you are clear on what you are working towards. Take a piece of paper and then at the top write down "My Big Goal." Underneath it write in your goal (see the photo under Step 2 for an example).
Step 2: Set Your Intention
In order to be committed and to get better in gymnastics, you have to start with setting an intention.
It's proven that people who are intentional tend to accomplish and create more in their lives than those who are not intentional. If you do not set intention, then you will be less focused this summer and you won't have your mind as an ally in achieving those goals. But when you set an intention, you guide your mind towards your goals by giving it a framework for what it should be focusing on. Your brain works better with intention.
One way to set intention is to come up with 3 statements that describe how you would like to act, be, and feel this summer if you had accomplished your one big goal.
You can start these statements with the words "I Am..." and then finish with something that describes who you would be, think, and feel if you achieved your goal. The idea is to keep these statements in the present tense so when you repeat them back you are telling your brain that you ARE these things.
For example, here are some statements you might use:
I am strong.
I am confident.
I am happy.
Pick words that resonate with you and that make you feel good when you say them. Think about your one big goal this summer and how you would feel if you had achieved it.
Write these statements down on your paper underneath your one big goal with the header: My Intention.
Step 3: List The Skills You Need In Order To Achieve Your One Big Goal
After you've set your intention for your thoughts, you must then decide which gymnastics skills you want to learn this summer.
Think of the one big goal you have for this summer and the skills you need to learn in order to get there.
Do you want to go up in level? If so, what skills do you need to learn to get to the next level.
Perhaps you want to relearn a skill that's been causing you trouble. If so, what are some smaller elements or skills you need to work on.
What are some other skills you need to improve on?
Write these skills down just below your intention statements on that same piece of paper under the header: My Skills.
Step 4: What Mental Skills Do You Need To Learn This Summer To Accomplish Those Goals
Mental skills are often overlooked but are an important part of summer training. Looking at your goals, think about what mental skills you need in order to achieve those goals.
Do you need more confidence?
Are you struggling with motivation?
Do you need to be more brave or stop doubting yourself so much?
Also ask yourself whether there are any mental habits that you have now that aren't serving you?
Are you engaging in negative self-talk often, letting your mind wander during your routines, or giving up quickly?
Then, after looking at the mental skills you need, think of positive thoughts that can help you get those mental skills. You will write these down on that same sheet of paper under the header: My Thoughts.
For example, if you listed "have more confidence" then you might write down a thought like "Chin up and go."
If you listed to be more focused then you might write down a thought like "Here and now."
Your thought should be cues to help you remember that mental skill you're trying to develop.
Write down one thought for every mental skill you need.
Again, you are creating a roadmap that will help guide you towards your one big gymnastics goal this summer.
Step 4: What Physical Skills Do You Need
Think of some things your physical body needs in order to achieve your big goal.
Do you need to do more conditioning so you get stronger?
What about your flexibility? Do you need to work on your splits or shoulder flexibility.
How is your nutrition, your hydration, your sleep?
Do you need some days off? Is your body feel burnt out.
What about physical therapy? Are there certain exercises you need to do in order to strengthen an injury or maintain balance in your body?
Should you be icing more or taking salt baths for sore muscles?
List these things down under the header: My Body.
Step 5: What Are Some Obstacles That Might Get In My Way And What Is Your Plan To Get Over Those Obstacles
It's always important to think about what obstacles you might bump up against while working towards your goals this summer. The reason I encourage you to do this is so that you are prepared with a backup plan in case your journey goes a different way.
When gymnasts meet up against roadblocks, it tends to set them off course and then they lose sight of their goals.
But not you! You are going to be prepared ahead of time so you can easily adjust and get back on course in case any obstacles come your way.
Obviously it's impossible to plan for any and every obstacle that might come your way, but try to think of obstacles you've faced in the past that might creep up again.
During the summer are you usually as motivated to train as you are doing the regular season?
Do you tend to get more sore during your summer training?
When you learn new skills, do you often get afraid or does an old mental block sometimes creep back in?
Think of things that you've felt were obstacles in the past and then write them down on your sheet inside a "rock." The rock symbolizes a big boulder that might get in your way.
After you write these in inside the boulder, then cross out this boulder with a big X.
Now, underneath a new header called My Plan you will write in something that will counteract your potential obstacle.
So if you wrote in having fear of a new skill, you might counteract that by "breathing and saying my confident words."
You want one plan for every obstacle you wrote down. This "plan" is part of your roadmap and will help you know what to do if you are faced with any of those situations.
Step 6: Write Down 1-3 Big Commitments That You Will Live By This Summer
Now that you have an entire roadmap planned out, you should finish it off with 1-2 commitments that you will live by this summer.
Take a minute to scan through your roadmap so far and see what sticks out the most to you as something you want to commit to.
If you notice that mental training is something you are lacking in then your commitment for the summer might be "I am committed to reading my affirmation cards daily."
On the other hand, if you notice that taking care of your physical body is a priority then one of your commitments for the summer might be "I am committed to listening to what my body needs this summer."
You want to sum up your roadmap into 1-3 commitments so you train your brain to focus on achieving these commitments. These commitments will help you get to your overall goal for the summer.
Under the final heading, write in My Commitments and then list out 1-3 commitments that you are making this summer.
Your final Roadmap should be colorful and feel good to you when you read it! You can color in designs around the roadmap or type it out and paste each header on a different colored paper. Hang this roadmap up where you can read it every day, especially before going into gym for practice.
Remember, your mind will believe what it sees and reads as long as you keep teaching your brain what to believe.
Good luck this summer in your training! You've got this!
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