Have you ever experienced a situation where every effort has been made to accomplish something and it just doesn’t happen? Whether it be regarding yourself or a student your working with? This can be a very frustrating experience. So what should be done? Should the person simply give up? This should be the very last option to consider. If a person has a goal to accomplish- Do Not Give Up!!
When I was a competitive athlete, I had many goals that were important for me to accomplish if I was to make my dream come true and make the Olympic Team. As all athletes know, there are always obstacles to overcome in the pursuit of success. Many of these obstacles can be severe which may create huge swings in attitude and motivation.
These obstacles can come from anywhere and at anytime. One example may be an injury. Some injuries are serious enough that it may take months to recover. The most severe may actually end a career. However, the majority of injuries can be overcome and an athlete could rehab back to a normal and healthy status. However, it may take a lot of time and aggressive rehab to recover. This certainly is not easy. The serious athlete will not give up and do what is necessary to overcome this type of obstacle.
Another challenge many athletes have relates to progress in skill development. As skills become more advanced, athletes must spend more time in development. It may take months and in some cases years to develop particular skills. In many cases, athletes that struggle learning a particular skill may become frustrated and develop feelings of giving up on it. For skills that are required, this scenario may be the cause of an end to the career.
This is the main reason why we see such a drop in participation in the sport of gymnastics and other sports as the levels get higher. Skill development not only intensifies as skills become more difficult, but the emotional effects can be extreme. Many athletes struggle with the mental toughness needed to overcome fear factors involved with the higher level skills. There are many gymnasts who may struggle with learning and accomplishing the back walkover on the balance beam – to name just one example. However, through proper and progressive skill development through drill training, these fear factors may be overcome.
When an athlete is struggling with skill development or experiencing a sense of disappointment or failure, it is the position of the coaches, parents, and peers to help lift the person out of that train of thought. This is a common experience and effects most every athlete. It could be related to burn-out or some other factor as mentioned above. Regardless of the reason, every effort should be made to re-motivate the athlete so they can proceed to achieve their goals.
We, as coaches, will hear the words “I want to quit” or “I give up”. I have had these feeling several times throughout my career. If it wasn’t for the support of my coaches and peers, I may have done just that. However, I was able to overcome these emotions which allowed me to achieve the dreams and goals I had from early childhood. We need to support the attitude: Don’t Give Up!! It is amazing how this simple approach can motivate an athlete. This is how champions are created.
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The best leotards for recreational gymnastics!!