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Gymnastics Sport Psychology, Goals, and Motivation
90% mental and 10% physical
It is often said that gymnastics is 90% mental and 10% physical. If this is true, it certainly follows that there should be a certain percentage of training time devoted to the mental aspects of sport and psychological training tools. Despite this reasoning, it seems that even among coaches who believe in mental training, there is more verbal support than actual training.
US National Gymnastics Team Hires Sports Psychologist
The US National Gymnastics Team has been working seriously with sports psychologists since at least 1992, after the Barcelona Olympics, addressing issues such as high expectations, pressure and stress management. In the areas utilized by the mental training program, there appears to be credible evidence that this program has been successful and has contributed to the United States’ success in international competition.
Self-esteem versus cry
One of the most important aspects of a mental training program is creating a positive gym environment. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that a positive mental environment is an essential foundation for training and competitive success, especially for girls in gymnastics and other sports. Despite this, it seems that the typical gymnastics coach is more apt to follow the Bela Karolyi school of shouting, yelling and negative feedback. Perhaps his “screaming” success in the sport has led other coaches to believe that his success is the result of those shouts, rather than in spite of them.
Focus on the positive
Elite gymnasts tend to have particular traits that include intelligence, perfectionism, and keen attention to detail. A well-designed mental training program would include methods to accentuate a gymnast’s positive traits and minimize their negative traits. A variety of mental programs could and should be used to boost confidence levels.
Goal setting is an essential motivational tool
It is a well-established principle that the setting and regular daily review of written goals can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is as true in gymnastics training as in any other field of activity.
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#Gymnastics #Sport #Psychology #Goals #Motivation