5 Tips For Motivating Your Gymnast
A Basic Overview
For every gymnast, there is a different motivational need.
This is the same in anything, really -- we all have different
ways in which we are given confidence in ourselves, no matter
what we do. Whether we write or draw, sing or dance, we all
need encouragement. Indeed, gymnasts need encouragement in
their sport more than many, because they are actually attempting
to train their bodies and their minds in order to move correctly,
to be able to take the strain of the sport. As a parent of
a gymnast, there are many ways in which you can motivate your
child. Some of them might work. Some of them might not. Find
what is most comfortable for you and your gymnast and stick
with it. It's easier for you both that way.
First and foremost, in order to motivate a child--most certainly
a gymnast--you need to show interest in what they are doing.
If he or she feels as though you are uninterested in the sport
as a whole, then they may become discouraged all together.
How do you show interest, even if gymnastics aren't your absolute
favorite sport in the world? Actually, it's pretty easy. First,
you can warm up with them before they train. Join in with
their stretches or their jogging, if you can. It feels good
and it sets an example. If you don't want to run around with
them, then you can ask them about their days at practice.
What did they do? What did they learn? Many young gymnasts
will jump at the chance to teach their parents something.
It gives them the sense that you have things to learn from
them, and all around, it is a wholesome feeling. Finally,
it's a good idea to attend at least one of their practices
every once in a while. Make the effort. It will be worthwhile
for everyone concerned. Also, good communication with the
coaches can be established there, which can certainly be beneficial.
Education about the sport is a great way to motivate your
young gymnast! For the enthusiast, this should be an easy
matter. Just take care not to overwhelm your child with too
much information at once. There is no dearth of exciting information
out there about gymnastics, from the types of maneuvers that
can be made in the many variations of the sport: rings, vaulting,
parallel bars, and so on, to the salaries of professional
gymnastics specialists in circuses and theatrical shows, to
the accomplishments of gymnasts around the globe. This can
certainly foster interest. If indeed it does, then encourage
them to pursue it!
When your child is involved with gymnastics, it is always
good to offer them positive feedback, no matter what they
do. Instead of pointing out flaws directly, you should give
them praise for what they did correctly in their drills or
in their competitions. Don't allow them to get down about
doing things incorrectly or incompletely -- instead, keep
their spirits up by telling them to repeat what they did correctly
before. This is usually used in conjunction with constructive
criticism, and it generally works the best out of all of the
motivational methods for the most people. For some, it can
be somewhat irritating; some actually prefer honest criticism
so that they can improve by knowing what they did wrong. For
the majority, it is heartening to hear someone say, "Well,
this was really impressive…"
Used in conjunction with positive feedback, constructive criticism
gives an athlete an idea of what needs improvement in a tactful
and non-offensive way. If your child is particularly sensitive
to criticism, it may be a good idea to just offer positive
feedback, but most generally, the combination of the two works
nicely together. There is a note you must be aware of before
you give your child any amount of constructive criticism,
and that is its timing. It's advisable not to do so right
after they have finished their training session. Wait until
just before they start the next one, so they have some perspective
on what they need to improve upon, without feeling as though
you're ready to "shoot them down," so to speak. They'll definitely
Finally, for the more experienced gymnast, there is the concept
of competition-and-reward in the sport. This is sometimes
used by coaches to encourage their athletes to compete against
one another and to improve, all with the promise of some kind
of reward. It may be a pizza party, it may be a day off, it
really depends upon what level of the sport your child is
in. You can use it to your advantage, too, in just about any
way you can imagine!
Take note that punishment is not one of the recommended motivational
methods. Punishment is always negative and decreases motivation
in the long term. In fact, it may even lead to the development
of phobias or aversions in the future.
With this in mind, I hope that your gymnast is motivated and
If you want to read more about motivation, I recommend you
take a look at another article I wrote giving specific advice
on increasing motivation: Gymnastics Motivation
Or check out my favorite book on the subject: http://gymnasticssecretsrevealed.com/good/motivate.htm
By Murray Hughes
Gymnastics Secrets Revealed
"The book EVERY gymnastics parent should read"
Murray Hughes: If your child is a gymnast and you
enjoyed this article, you will definitely enjoy reading the
zero cost, 5-day course Gymnastics Tips Course written especially
for gymnastics parents by a gymnastics parent. http://gymnasticssecretsrevealed.com
Article Source: www.theoracle2006.com
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