Gymnastics is a fun and intense sport. Many gymnasts may feel pressured to be the best on the mat, but that
pressure can lead to fears of failure as well as injury. Here are some
easy ways to help your young athlete work through her fears.
Don’t ignore the fears, embrace them.
When anyone has a fear or anxiety, it is hard to shake the feeling. If
people around you only have the advice of “just forget about it,”
then you are likely to focus even more on your fears. Encourage your young
gymnast or athlete to look at their fears head-on and not run away from
them. When they have a fearful or anxious thought, help them to recognize
it and breathe through it. If they can talk themselves through the moment,
they will have a healthier approach to anxiety and worries.
Recognize where the fears come from.
Another step in working with any fear comes from recognizing where it came
from. Did your athlete hurt herself during a gymnastics class, or was
she cut from the competitive gymnastics league? Just because these moments
happened in the past does not mean they will happen again. Help your athlete
recognize what she is afraid of so she can confront it directly and move past it.
Work to become better, not perfect.
Many athletes have a fear of failure. Whether that fear came from failing
once or never wanting to fail in the first place, it can be a very unhealthy
fear to have. In the end, the drive to be perfect may actually harm your
athlete physically and psychologically. Encourage her to strive for her
personal best instead. No one can ever be perfect, but they can train
to be better than they were in the past.
We at California Sports Center hope to encourage the best from our gymnastics
students in San Jose. Bring your athlete down to one of our many locations
to see if our
gymnastics classes, diving lessons, or dance classes can help her accomplish her
athletic goals. We are available for your call at (408) 280-5437.