As another school year is now underway, our kids schedules have changed from carefree summer days with often times earlier gymnastics practices, later bedtimes, etc. to school schedule with getting up earlier, longer days with practices and homework after school. It’s often challenging and difficult to transition schedules, this year maybe more than most due to last school year looking very different for many, so we wanted to share these 4 habits to implement for greater success this school year. We hope you find these helpful and are able to put them in action in your daily routines!
Journaling has so many benefits! It’s a helpful way to get your feelings out – positive, negative…and everything in between! Journaling assists with helping train your brain in reaching your goals. The more you write and think positively, the more those things will come to fruition in your daily life. Setting and writing goals in your personal and gymnastics life is vital because it helps train your brain to positively think about the goals you would like to achieve. Our Mindset & Meet Journal is perfect for any gymnast and has many tools to help you improve your mindset both in and outside of the gym! You’ll find more than just regular journal prompts in this unique gymnastics journal. Now is the perfect time to set your goals for your upcoming season and school year!
@jillygymnast posts on Instagram that she uses our Mindset & Meet Journal as part of her pre-meet routine before each competition:
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An important component in training your brain for success both in and out of the gym, is visualization. Training your brain is like strengthening muscles for skills – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The more you visualize your goals, the more you train your brain at realizing that you CAN do these things. You can visualize yourself completing a skill correctly, achieving a goal, etc. You can also create a vision board to help with this so that you can look at it everyday and visualize yourself accomplishing each of the items on your vision board! Regardless of the medium in which you practice the visualization — and actually it doesn’t hurt anything to utilize multiple methods — it’s definitely an important component for achieving your goals.
A tip we have in our Mindset & Meet Journal is to spend 10 minutes a day visualizing your goals – set a timer, close your eyes and visualize yourself completing a skill you’re working on or whatever your goal is. Watch yourself complete the skill or goal perfectly, over and over again until your timer goes off. Do this every day and see how much improvement you make!
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@gymnast.ari_anna ‘s mom wrote (check her reply to our comment),
“I wish I had it on video, the highlight of our meet was watching our daughter use your exercises to relax herself. She was in line for vault facing the audience and she closed her eyes and began taking slow deep breaths.”
3. Practice a Little Every Day
High level, elite and Olympic gymnasts all have similar strategies or habits – one being that they practice a little everyday outside of the gym. The more you practice (both inside and outside of regular practices) the better you will be! It’s amazing how working a few minutes extra each day adds up. If you work on your stretching for 5 minutes each day, that ends up being 1,825 minutes per year, or 30.42 hours! It doesn’t seem like much on a daily basis, but those little blocks here and there definitely add up!
Our SkillTrakker gymnasts have raved about how practicing just 10-15 minutes a day with our SkillTrakker program to focus on improving your form for basic skills that we tend to focus on, is a great benefit to seeing improvements in the gym. Laura, @skye.high.gymnast ‘s mom, one of our long-term SkillTrakker gymnasts, says,
“You will not be disappointed!! She has improved her scores, flexibility, strength, and confidence. We love GymHQ and wouldn’t leave unless they end the business. Thank you GymnasticsHQ for all your love and support for Skye!!”
“This before and now picture is one of my favorites. It truly shows that hard work and dedication pays off!! I want to thank #skilltrakker@gymnasticshq for the great workouts that I have done for almost 2 years everyday!! The challenges and extra workouts show in the gym as I only practice 2 hours a night 3x a week. If you are not a Skilltrakker member you should surely check it out!! They are effective and only take 10-15 minutes a day!!” – Laura, @skye.high.gymnast ‘s mom
4. Plan Your Success
Goal setting is so important not just for gymnastics, but for life in general. Goal setting ties into all of the above components we’ve discussed in this article. It’s important to know what you want (big goal) and then know the steps that you will need to take to make that goal happen (smaller goals). Every day we make a million little choices that are either to our benefit or they are detrimental to our goals in some form or fashion.
In our Habits that Stick month for SkillTrakker, we taught our gymnasts important lessons from this story,
“A teacher filled a jar with rocks and asked her students if the jar was full. They said yes. then she put some pebbles in the jar which fell into place beside the rocks. She asked her students again if the jar was full and they said yes. Finally, she took sand and poured it in the jar and it filled in all the empty spaces between the rocks and pebbles. She asked them again if the jar was full. Their answer was yes once again (and this time nothing else could fit).”
How does this story apply to planning your success? The rocks represent the big responsibilities that you absolutely have to do each day. The pebbles are the things that are important but not a necessity. The sand represents the fun things that you’d like to do but are really just for fun. Find time between your rocks to get your pebbles accomplished – this could be doing homework in the car on the way to gym practice, or getting some stretching or your SkillTrakker in while you’re waiting for dinner to be ready. You could stretch or get some skills in while you’re watching TV winding down for the night.
The important part is to map out your goals for success. We recommend setting a big goal or two for the school year or gymnastics season and then break that goal down into smaller goals. The little goals add up to progressing towards the big goals and before you know it, you’ve succeeded at achieving your goals!
We hope you utilize these habits to implement into your daily routines, both in and out of the gym!