Positive gymnastics affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome your negative beliefs and self-sabotaging thoughts in gymnastics.
Most likely you've learned about them already (and if not, then it's time to learn about them).
Maybe your parent or coach has taught you how to incorporate them into your mental routine either during practice or in meets.
But the question is...are you seeing any benefit from them?
You might be reading and saying your positive affirmations but don't feel like you are making any headway with them?
What if you're still struggling with confidence and blocks despite using your positive gymnastics affirmations?
What if your nerves are just as bad as ever and those positive affirmations aren't helping?
I'm here to tell you why your positive gymnastics affirmations aren't working!
Here's the reason why.
The BIGGEST mistake I see gymnasts make in their mental toughness training is using positive affirmations incorrectly.
Positive affirmations are strong statements gymnasts can read or say to themselves that are meant to motivate and inspire them. These affirmations are meant to help increase confidence and feelings of self-worth when used correctly.
But if you are a gymnast who is low on confidence, simply reading positive affirmations won't work because you will not believe them.
Essentially when you read these positive affirmations it may feel like you are lying to yourself which lowers your belief factor and limits your trust in your abilities.
Saying positive gymnastics affirmations, then, can be a conflict between the negative thoughts you're feeling and the positive words you're saying.
For example, if you are a gymnast who is trying to do a back handspring on the high beam but don't feel confident you can do it, then saying a positive affirmation like "I can do anything I put my mind to" or "I can do this" causes more frustration and can actually de-motivate you.
If you repeat this phrase to yourself before trying your backhand spring and then you block on that skill, you won't really believe that you can do anything you put your mind to.
In this particular situation you are trying very hard yet your mind (and body) is not cooperating so this affirmation is proving false to you. That perpetuates a cycle of mistrust in your abilities and can actually lower your self-worth.
So what's the alternative?
The best way to use gymnastics affirmations is to come up with phrases that are aligned with a growth mindset and that you as the gymnast believe to be true in in that particular moment.
Remember, it's not whether a statement is actually true.
It's whether you believe them to be true.
What might work for you one day may not work for you the next day depending on your mental state. So coming up with positive affirmations is a fluid process.
You can add to and modify this list as your experiences and level of confidence change.
Here is an example of the Stick It Girl Mindset affirmations that I created for my Stick It Girl community.
In reading these affirmations, you can see that most, if not all of them are believable by any gymnast in any part of her journey.
They are statements that should feel good to you when you read them. They should resonate with you. They should be statements that you can say to yourself in a moment of crisis to boost your self-confidence instead of tearing it down.
How Do You Create Positive Gymnastics Affirmations That Work?
Sometimes the best way to create positive affirmations that truly work is to try out a sentence and see how it feels.
"I am the best in the world" might not feel as believable as "I am getting better and better every day."
While your desire might be to be the best in the world or to make it on the Olympic team, if you're nowhere close to that goal now then making those affirmations are too far-fetched for you to believe.
However, it doesn't mean you can't include those big goals on your gymnastics vision board. In fact, you should.
Sometimes statements that are more general are more effective when gymnasts have low self esteem. Something like "I can try hard in practice" has a more positive effect than saying "I can do a back handspring" if you don't believe this last statement.
So there you have it. The main reason why your positive gymnastics affirmations aren't working for you is because you don't believe them.
Bottom line is that the positive gymnastics affirmations you read to yourself must feel believable to you. If not, then they will not have the positive effect that they are known for.
Be sure to start by writing things down that feel believable to you and then expand on that.
- Free Resources: Get printables to help you work on your mental skills in gymnastics
- Free Growth Mindset Mini Course for Gymnasts: Learn why a growth mindset is important in gymnastics and tips to help you become a better gymnast
- 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