gymnastics competitions. For those with that goal in mind, here are a few tips for preparing to shine at upcoming meets.
Mentally rehearse whenever you can. Performing well in gymnastics competitions isn’t just about physical rehearsal; you’ve got to get your mind right as well. Visualize yourself doing a perfect routine, with calmness and impeccable showmanship, and feel what you want to feel when you are actually at the competition. Also rehearse the choreography in your head with as much detail as possible. Studies show that athletes experience as much improvement through mental rehearsal as they do with physical practice. The best part of this is that you can mentally rehearse wherever you are!
Increase mental focus. Find ways to improve your mental focus and to avoid distraction. Many athletes meditate so that they can learn to be present and pull their mind back whenever it gets off track. This is helpful preparation for gymnastics competitions, as it will help you to stay in control of your emotions when there is a moment that you may be upset or feel stressed. Controlling your mind is an essential skill that helps in every aspect of life. If you don’t want to learn to meditate just yet, try simple deep breathing and practice bringing yourself back to your original focus.
Work on getting in the zone and staying there. Right before the competition, it’s critical to get into the zone—and you know what that is—as much as possible. Whether you’re in class at your school for gymnastics or at home, you have to get in a state where the fear and pressure doesn’t shake up your confidence and affect your performance. Do more visualization of yourself performing well, and also of the people competing before you and after you. Don’t forget to picture yourself receiving an excellent score!