Tight Mind Monday: How To Get Inspired In The Gym


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Doc Ali’s Tight Mind Monday 3-6-17: Inspired

Think about the last time you witnessed an inspired performance. It might have been in gymnastics or another art like singing or acting, or maybe watching a speech. An inspired performance gives us the chills. It appears as if the person is connecting to something greater than themselves. When was a time you felt Inspired in gymnastics? You might have felt as if your gymnastics was effortless, hitting was easy, and you were in the flow.

The word Inspired comes from the Latin root spiritus, which is a combination of breath and spirit. It is when we utilize our breathing, brain, and body to get out of the way and allow a little bit of spirit to enter into our gymnastics. Inspired performances may seem a bit magic, but can they be created? This week, we will look at three factors that contribute to the triangle of inspiration. When all of these properties are in place, you are more likely to get into the “Inspired Zone.”

Here are your Tight Mind Tips:

Factor #1: Presence

To get into a place of total flow the mind must not be focused on past or future thinking. You cannot be worried about what happened on the turn before or what might happen if you make a mistake. When you are in the present, you simply focus on what’s right in front of you, one skill at a time. Before every routine today, take a second to take a deep breath, notice what’s right in front of you, and get present.

Factor #2: Purpose

After you are in the moment, set intention by saying a statement inside your mind that is a declaration of purpose. It could be something like, “I’ve got this routine”, or  “I will do this”. It could also be a statement that declares you are getting yourself out of the way so inspiration can move through you. Something like, “Allow it”, or “Let go and let God”.  

Factor #3: Play

One characteristic of feeling inspired is a state of joy or intense happiness. It’s hard to feel in the zone when you are worried, nervous, or anxious. Before every routine, harness a state of play or gratitude. It might be the feeling you felt when you first started gymnastics, had an amazing meet, or even a playful fierceness. When you get into a place of “playing gymnastics” you are more open to inspiration. This week, access the play and get out of the way for inspiration to move through you.  

Utilize the three tools, presence, purpose, and play, and feel the magic of performing in the Inspired zone. This week, get into the flow and GET INSPIRED!

Alison Arnold Ph.D. has been a mental toughness consultant to USA Gymnastics since 1997. If you have questions or want more information about her work go to www.headgamesworld.com