Synergy: two or more elements coming together where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So how does this physics and chemistry term come into play when talking about gymnastics? Whether it be a group of athletes, or the relationship between athlete and coach, we effect each other. When a group of athletes pushes themselves to the limit, they become better than if they would have remained training individually. That is one of the beautiful things about gymnastics. We can challenge each other and make each other better.
There is a great quote by Marianne Williamson in which the last two lines really support ideas about synergy. “As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” I had this quote sitting by my desk for years. I view it as our responsibility as teammates and coaches to “let our own light shine” so our light becomes contagious! As we break out of comfort zones, or radiate positive energy, our teammates think, “If they can do that, I can too.” Or as we push through our own fear, it helps lift and inspire our teammates to do the same.
This week, think of everything you do as a synergy builder or synergy breaker. Do your part to raise the synergy of the team by taking your skills to the next level. Synergy makes you and EVERYONE around you better!
Alison Arnold Ph.D. has been a mental toughness consultant to USA Gymnastics since 1997. For more information of Doc Ali and her summer on-line bootcamps, go to www.headgameswebcamp.com