Think about this scenario from a gymnast:
“Vault used to be my strongest event, but now it’s my weakest.” What changed? She said she hit her head on a yurchenko. I asked her, “Did you get hurt?” She responded, “No, it just scared me.” After talking through the facts, she realized that her “strongest event” didn’t immediately become her “weakest event” after the incident. What happened? She felt something different. She had a different thought. She felt unsafe. She thought something negative might happen in the future. This thought and feeling led to the idea that she held onto very tightly…. “It’s just my weak event now, my coach will even tell you it’s true.”
What if there was no such thing as a “weak event” or “mental blocks” or “slow twitched athletes”? We have gymnastics specific cultural phrases that we use to mean something that might not be producing the results we want.
Are these phrases true?
Maybe, but maybe not.
Either way, for your athlete, believing they have a “weak event” immediately closes access to the possibility that the said event could become their strongest.
Or at the very least, believing something to be weak may be actually weakening them physically which will prove their belief true and perpetuate the idea.
Just a thought to all you parents— what if we never refer to an athlete as having a weak event, but rather 4 strong events that are just getting better everyday. What if it was possible that an athlete that competes all-around must be strong on every event in order to be competitive at all?
How might that be true?
How might that serve you and your athletes better?
“Weak”, “Strong”, “Slow”…these words are all relative and limiting.
Watch out for the gymnastics cultural phrases that we assume are just the way they are. Believing these types of phrases is a sneaky way of living in our past and our past doesn’t have to be true today.
Have a great day!
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