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Cue Words

Hey Gymnasts:

Today we are going to talk about a few important keys to cue words.

A cue word is just a word that you choose to tell yourself in order to bring your thoughts in line with what you truly want. Super simple right?

It’s a higher brain or prefrontal cortex functioning–which is what we always want to be using when working on skill consistency and development.

That’s the part of the brain that is capable of long-term thinking.

Actions follow our thoughts and images. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. This is the goal of cue words.

You want to practice your cue words by placing yourself, mentally, in a competitive situation so you can practice for an actual event coming up.  

This helps  you prepare for an actual competition mentally. You want to know how to keep a control and  command on your mind, especially during a competition.

You need to experience what it will be like when you take your skills into an arena that is outside your comfort zone. You know what your gym feels like, sounds like, and creates for you. However, going to an opposing team’s school and hearing the audience cheering so loudly that you cannot hear your own floor music is a completely different experience.

If you’re not mentally prepared, then doubts and distractions will make a typically flawless routine feel off.

When I’m in a gym, I often have moms come to me and say, “My daughter can do her routines so well here at gym, but when she competes, she falls apart.” This is typical.

It’s simply an untrained mind. You must practice environmental changes to your daily routine in order to truly understand yourself in every situation.

Often times you may have no idea what your mind is telling you; you just  know how you feel, your hands are sweaty, your heart is racing, or your stomach is doing flips.

This is a great place to stop for a minute– ask yourself what you are feeling, why you are feeling that way and then deciding what you want to do next.  Do you want to keep feeling whatever it is you are feeling? If not, then start practicing thoughts that generate the feelings you do want during competitions, so you can have them handy anytime you need them.

I want you to think of one or two words that summarize exactly what you WANT to feel, then you will be able to do the action you want to be taking. So, think of the cue words that you need in order to take that action.

This is called your “Cue Word for that skill.”

Also, you only want one word per skill.

Tell yourself something that seems to work whenever you stick a specific skill. You may have to try many words, but come up with a one-to-two-word phrase that you will say out loud. As soon as you say the word out loud, then prep and go.

Be patient as you search for the right word that signifies exactly what you need to command your body to do for you.

Practice this cue word creation for every move of your routine so your body responds in a desired manner and eventually on automatic.

That is when you delegate that cue word to your subconscious– so you don’t have to try to remember it any more. It just comes as you are about to do the next movement. Vocalize a command and your body will perform consistently.

A cue word may eventually stop working.

This is because you  may have gotten stronger, faster, or more confident, so your rhythm changed. Once this happens, you just need to change your cue words.

Remember how we talked about massive action. Sometimes gymnasts will say, “something’s not right, it feels off, it used to work when I thought this and now it’s not.” That is totally normal.

Especially when you have used a cue word for awhile and it’s gotten you to a new level. That is what its for… creating another version of you. A stronger, faster, more powerful version.

And when you 100% believe in your capabilities at one level, then things will need to change, because your goal just became a fact- your CTFAR model just aligned. We talked about CTFAR model in the past. I would suggest going back to read about it if you don’t know what this means.

You reach for a new cue word to see what else is possible for that skill.

The more you say your cue words, the more I believe you will experience the idea that “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

Your mind responds to what you allow to enter into i It will find evidence for why your thought is true.  You mind loves to work for you when you give it a task. So if you ask it to look for reasons why what you are reaching for might work, then it will.

If you wonder if what you are doing will work, your brain will start looking for evidence why it might and why it might not. It’s always easier for your brain to find reasons why it might not work because that is its default– looking for possible future pain– its supposed to do this. So, you want to continue to also re-direct your brain to look for why your desires are possible, why your choice of action might work this time. Instead of worst case scenarios, think about the best possible outcomes. Then, you can decide which to focus on and which feels better. They are both always available to you to think.

If you need help getting your cue words together for this season, just go to and schedule a free session.

We will get you consistent and confident in no time.

Have a Flippin’ Awesome Day!

Amy Twiggs

Sports Performance & Weight Loss Coach