Watching my brother Josh this weekend at the Midwest Regional Wrestling Championships has inspired me to write this blog post. He has been such an inspiration to me and he possesses all of qualities needed to be a successful athlete. These qualities pertain to any sport or activity including gymnastics.
Everyone always says that hard work and a positive attitude are the key to success. It is so true!
My brother, is currently wrapping up his Wrestling career as a senior in college. This weekend he punched his ticket for the NCAA Division III Championships. He is ranked in the top 10. However, four weeks ago he suffered a knee injury significantly decreasing his chances of qualifying for the NCAA Championship. Nobody wants to go out their senior year on a bad note and I am so happy he was able to get healthy enough to lay it all on the mat to qualify for the NCAA’s for the 2nd time.
Talent certainly helps but you can also be a “good” athlete who turns into a “great” athlete by setting goals for yourself and working hard. My brother is the perfect example of this.
Not every practice is going to be a good one but what is important is how you handle yourself when things aren’t going your way. If you throw a fit or get down on yourself every time things get tough, you are hurting your progress for achieving your goals. I truly believe that you need to fail in order to succeed. When mistakes are made, you want to reflect on those mistakes and learn from them. It is ok to be disappointed but you want to quickly turn that into inspiration to get back at it even harder so you can overcome your challenges.
In order to achieve your highest level of potential, every practice and every turn needs to be done with focus, confidence and maximum effort. You want to practice everything you do with excellent form as well. It is amazing how much improvement can occur when an athlete works their hardest day in and day out.
Other qualities necessary for success are…
- Being a supportive teammate
- Good sportsmanship
- Staying healthy/rehabbing injuries
You want to be confident in what you are doing but you don’t want to be have an attitude that rubs people the wrong way. Have good sportsmanship with your competitors.
I think being a good teammate, leadership, sportsmanship and coach-ability go hand in hand. In order to reach your individual goals, you need to have a good support system which is where your team and coach will come in. You spend a lot of time with these people so you will want to give and earn their respect. Be a supportive teammate and be proud of their success even if you don’t have the best day. Having excellent leadership skills really go a long way. You are setting the tone for your other teammates, especially the younger athletes in your gym. Being a good leader includes having a good attitude and respecting your coaches. Having coach-ability qualities means that you listen to your coaches’ advice even if you don’t necessarily agree. If they give you corrections, you will want to do your best to implement them to show that you respect their opinion and are willing to do what it takes to get better. It is never a good idea to argue with your coach.
It is important to be confident and aggressive in sports, but you never want to be cocky. You want to be confident in what you are doing but you don’t want to be have an attitude that rubs people the wrong way. Have good sportsmanship with your competitors.
Visualization is a great tool to use when you are in line waiting for your turn or even at home before you go to bed. Just close your eyes and picture the skills or routines you are about to do or even picture yourself on the top of that podium at a competition. It is even a good idea to write your goals down in a journal or make a poster to hang in your room to remind you of what you want to achieve.
Patience and discipline are a given. You will want to avoid missing practices and make sure you are doing your conditioning and stretching properly. Patience can be hard sometimes but if you keep working hard, your patience will pay off.
One of the most important ingredients for success is staying healthy and rehabbing your injuries properly. Stretching and warming up properly before you work out or compete is so important. Keeping your body conditioned allows you to protect your body when doing your skills. If you do get injured, you will want to do the necessary exercises and rehab to get yourself back in competition as quickly as possible.
I can honestly say that I have first hand seen what putting all of these important qualities together can do for somebody and it is really remarkable what can be accomplished. Try your best to bring these qualities to your gymnastics and it will truly pay off for you.
I have seen too many gymnasts including myself be their own worst enemy. Make the decision to change that! Be proud of what you have already accomplished!