10 Tips for a Successful Season

free advice

FREE: everyone likes free!

ADVICE: not so much!

One of the perks of being the owner of a gymnastics club and not being the head coach is that while the coaches are busy with final level determinations, cleaning up their choreography and crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s heading into the optional season, I get to do things like think about what advice I want to give these determined and devoted athletes going into their season.

After I finished writing it, I thought it might be useful beyond my group of 16 athletes, so I share it here.

Of course, like all free, unsolicited advice, take it for what it is worth; but, please know that it comes with the best wishes and hopes for a fantastic season for all of the kids who give so much to this wonderful sport.

  1. Set goals. You wouldn’t set out on a trip without a map, so don’t set out on your gymnastics season without goals.
  2. Make a written commitment. This might seem simple, obvious even. But there is psychological research that proves that when you write down you goal you are more likely to achieve it.
  3. Expect to fail. There is a 100% guarantee that you will fail on the road to achieving your goal. There will be bad practices and rough meets. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s great because it means that you have the opportunity to learn from these experiences. Fend off discouragement by reminding yourself that if you don’t get the result you want it just means that you need more time or an adjustment to your plan. It’s just feedback, not the end of the world.
  4. Look at obstacles as challenges to conquer not barriers that cannot be climbed. There are going to be injuries, slumps and even blocks that you will bump into on your journey. They are not walls that are impossible to climb, they are just hurdles that you will need to jump. Remember: if plan A fails, there are 25 other letters!
  5. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Allow yourself to hear the constructive criticism of you coaches and your teammates. If you perform poorly, don’t make excuses or assign blame to someone else. Take responsibility for your actions.
  6. Stay humble and stay hungry. When things are going well, it is easy to get complacent. Don’t. Keep working hard and look for ways to get better each and every workout. Just because you won the meet last week is no guarantee of next week’s results. The humbling thing about gymnastics is there is no achievement of perfection, just the pursuit. So, even when you are doing well, there is always something you can do to be better.
  7. Forget about rewards and focus on actions. While medals and high scores are exciting, measure your success on the thing you can control: your effort. The results will be what they will be. You cannot control how the judges score or who else is in the meet.   All that you can control is your attitude and effort.
  8. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on his or her own journey. Someone else’s success is not your failure. Instead use their success to inspire you and spur you to work harder.
  9. Think about which teammates you spend the most time with and what your influence is on the team. There is a saying that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Hanging out at practice with teammates who are not working hard, are whining or have a bad attitude will rub off on you. On the other hand, if you are positive, hard working and determined, you will help set the tone for your group.
  10. Act like a success to be a success. Remember: successful people are successful because they are willing to do the things unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Find joy in working hard on the right things—deliberate practice—and the journey will be a great one.

I’d love to know if any of these tips are useful to you or if you have any other you’d like to share!

Again, best of luck for a happy, healthy and successful season.