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Tight Mind Monday: What Is Success?

Tight Mind Monday: What Is Success?

Oct 15, 2017

Tight Mind Monday: What Is Success?   

Competition season is right around the corner, and for all of us that brings excitement. But for some gymnasts, competition season brings stress as well. In my work with athletes, I’ve come across many gymnasts that want to succeed so badly that they tend to sabotage themselves with fear of failure.

What is fear of failure? Fear of failure is wanting to hit, win, or please so much that you tend to be overly tight in competition. When this occurs, your mind focuses on what you don’t want to happen so much that to your dismay, it happens anyway! Remember the statement, “What you state, you create.” You might be thinking, “I have to hit, I can’t fall,” and all of a sudden you find yourself falling off of the equipment and onto the mat.

So how can you overcome this type of pressure? One way is focusing on how you personally define success.

Here Are Your Tight Mind Tips

Think about the athletes your view as most successful. What qualities do they possess that you admire? Are they super hard workers? Do they show a positive attitude at all times? Have they overcome tremendous adversity? When you see the qualities you value you will understand what success means to you. Next, write these qualities down and choose a word to be every day in the gym. When you compete, commit to those qualities and rate your success on how much you embodied your definition of success.

Focus on what you can control, not what is outside your control. You can't control scores and places. You ​can​ control things your effort at the meet, having totally confident body language, and recovering from mistakes quickly.

Finally, if you feel too tight, release it physically! Jump it out, shake it out, stretch it out, and then take a deep breath and say a statement like, “I compete free,” or, “Go all-out.”

John Wooden said it best: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.” Maybe you didn’t do exactly how you want to do, but when you give big effort you are always successful.

Alison Arnold, Ph.D. has been a mental toughness consultant to USA Gymnastics since 1997. For more information on Doc Ali and her work, go to www.headgamesworld.com or www.headgameswebcamp.com