Athletes, Don't Give Up, Dreams, Mental Training, Motivation, Success

Achieving Success Has Many Challenges: Don’t Give Up!!

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.

Scott Johnson – 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist

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.

Scott Johnson

f you are interested in a personal training session or consultation with me, we can Skype a lesson. Private message me or email me at: scottjohnsongymnastics@gmail.com

My new Beginner Tumbling Training Guide is published and ready for all to use. This is a great training aid for any and all programs who offer tumbling training. If you would like to order your copy, follow this link: http://scottsgoldmedal.com

I recommend these wrist supports for pain relief and discomfort due to aggressive training. The neoprene material provides warmth and support with the obstruction of a buckle or thumb hole. It really works!!

The best leotards for recreational gymnastics!!

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Athletes, Dreams, Motivation, Sports, Success

The Path to Olympic Success: What Was My Motivation?

All aspiring athletes have goals they want to achieve. And to achieve those goals, the athlete must be very motivated. How an athlete gains that motivation is a personal experience. So what motivated me to achieve my goals and become a National and Olympic champion? There were many things, as with all successful athletes, and it can come from anywhere.

For me personally, there were many things that motivated me throughout my life. Here, I will share some of those moments and factors that steered me toward success in sports. This is the first post of a series I would like to share.

The Beginning: For as long as I can remember from my childhood, I always had a desire to be the best. I was very competitive in everything I did and I wanted to win – always!! I think I was just made to be that way. As a child (and still as an adult:), I was very small. I was the smallest kid in school, even through High School. I was often made fun of and it gave me a complex. Maybe this was one reason I had the desire to be great one day.

I was certainly a very hyper-active child and sports was a great release. I loved most all sports and began playing competitively at an early age. Baseball was my first experience. I don’t remember much about it and think I only played one season. I was also on a swimming team. Although I learned to swim well, I actually did not love this experience. I remember it being an outdoor pool, and growing up in Ohio, the water was freezing. I used to hide during practice so I didn’t have to get in. This certainly wasn’t the sport for me!!

My favorite sport? It was football!! I loved the game and still do. It was active, exciting, and aggressive – all the things I loved. I played on a pee-wee league team when I was in the 4th grade – and I was good too!! It was full tackle football and my position was safety. I was fast and wasn’t afraid to tackle, or get hit. One problem – I was tiny!! My father had to glue 2″ thick pads in my helmet so it would fit my tiny head ( no one can say I had a big head:).

This idea of wanting to win was my motivation. At an early age, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to become, I just knew I wanted to be successful. Then, on one day, I discovered Gymnastics!!

It became obvious from the start that I had a natural ability for this sport. This is such an important factor when one is trying to decide what they want to become. First, one must have a strong desire for something. Secondly, having some type of natural ability is certainly favorable for success. I had both and it was the beginning of a great adventure.

The next post in this series will focus on the things that motivated me on my early start to gymnastics success. Stay tuned…

Scott Johnson – 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist

If you are interested in a personal training session or consultation with me, we can Skype a lesson. Private message me or email me at: scottjohnsongymnastics@gmail.com

My new Beginner Tumbling Training Guide is published and ready for all to use. This is a great training aid for any and all programs who offer tumbling training. If you would like to order your copy, follow this link: http://scottsgoldmedal.com .

The best wrist supports for those suffering from pain while tumbling training. This neoprene style is non-obstructive and comfortable

For recreational gymnastics, this is the best leotard for your little one.

Improve Weaknesses, Skill Development, Success, Training

Improving Your Weaknesses

Achieving success is not an easy task, at least for most of us. For the athlete to achieve success, it may take many years of hard work and dedication. If the goal is to become competitive and achieve success at the highest levels of competition, like the Olympic Games, the time it takes may be much longer. However, even at the elementary stages of participation, success is accomplished by focusing on one major factor: Improving Your Weaknesses.

Most successful athletes have some type of natural talent which allows them to progress quickly. However, although some parts of the sport may come easy, there are other parts of the sport that may be very challenging.

For many sports that entail several or many different physical attributes to accomplish, this is a common scenario.  For example, the sport of gymnastics has different apparatus which requires totally different physical attributes to achieve.  Tumbling, for example, has no physical relation to pommel horse in men’s gymnastics.  The same may apply to bars vs beam in women’s gymnastics or hip hop vs ballet in the  dance industry. Athlete’s may be strong in one aspect or event of the sport, but is challenged by others.

For an athlete to excel in all parts of the sport, it is imperative that a major focus should be on training and improving the weaknesses. Although this may not be as fun as working your strengths, it is necessary to achieve success. In my own personal experience with competitive gymnastics, my strengths were tumbling and the rings. Skill development was easier and more comfortable to achieve. However, my challenges were the pommel horse and high bar.

Early in my competitive career, I realized that in order to achieve my dreams and goals, I needed to excel in these challenging events. I would spend almost twice as much time training on my weak events than my stronger events. The philosophy I developed is that one must maintain their strengths and improve their weaknesses. This certainly worked for me as I was able to achieve the goals I had set and become successful in the sport.

Each athlete and coach should find the perfect training schedule designed for each athlete that maximizes their potential. There needs to be a balance within the training environment where the athlete can continue to be motivated and enjoy their experience. https://scottjohnsonsgymexperience.com/2018/05/04/setting-goals-the-path-to-success/ Please note, focusing only on weak and challenging areas can quickly create negative emotions within the athlete. This can certainly effect a person’s motivation and cause consistent frustration. The result will be a decrease in effort and could cause the athlete to quit the sport.

I always stress that training environments need to be positive. Even in challenging area’s, the training atmosphere should maintain a positive experience. It’s not easy to become a champion. It takes a lot of hard work and consistent motivation. Maintain Your Strengths and Improve Your Weaknesses.

I am in the process of publishing my first training manual: “Beginner Tumbling Training” .  This will be a useful tool in training for all and any needing to learn proper technique and safety. Great for gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, martial arts, and more. I will keep you posted on that progress.

In addition, if you would like a personal training session or consultation with me, we can Skype a lesson. Private message me or email me at: scottjohnsongymnastics@gmail.com


Athletes, Communication, Parent, Sports, Stress, Success

Parent and Coach Influence on an Athlete's Success: To Push or Not Push

Happy child athletes

It is always great to see parents involved with their children’s activities. Not only do the children (younger children) love it when their parents watch and support their activities, many depend on it. However, there may come a time in an athlete’s development when the parent should take a step back and allow their child to develop more freely.

One challenge the parent may have in the development of their child’s sports activity, is not understanding the true emotional desires or feelings of the child. There are many cases where the child may not have the desire to participate in the activity. It is important that parents attempt to introduce several different activities, throughout the early years, to allow the child to determine what they like best.

As an athlete becomes more serious and involved with their sport, training will become more consistent and serious. They will learn many things that are important and pertinent to that sport which will allow them to grow both physically and emotionally. They will learn the specifics of every aspect of the sport – things that the parent may not be aware of or have knowledge of since they are not actively involved with the day to day training atmosphere.

There are many aspects of development in an athlete’s pursuit to succeed. The physical aspect is only one part of development. The emotional aspect is another part of development and can be considered the most important and sensitive. As an athlete grows in their sport and begins to participate in competitions, the emotional aspect intensifies. For many athletes, the competitive arena can be a scary one and it may take time for the athlete to understand how to deal with and control the stress in those environments.

parent with child athlete

I have many conversations with parents regarding their child’s development. One of the most common question and concern is the issue of ” to push or not to push”. This issue is different for every athlete but most common for athletes in early development. The parent should be able to recognize if their child is serious about the sport or activity and this will help guide whether to push the athlete for greater achievement.

I truly believe that a person will only be successful at something they love and desire. This comes from the heart, which is internal motivation The Motivation Factor. Athletes that have this type of attitude will usually have the motivation to push themselves without much outside influence. Throughout an athlete’s career, there will be ups and downs – there will be success and failure. There will be injuries and burn-out. All of which are factors that can influence an athletes drive to succeed. Patience is important to allow the athlete to work through all challenges. Achievement is a process that takes time, experience, and consistency.

woman stressed

When an athlete is pushed hard to train for success, it may result in the athlete having a negative attitude. Especially if there has been a series of failures. This could result in continued failure and eventually and end to a career. As an athlete grows in their sport and reaches higher levels of competition, pushing the athlete can be beneficial. All great athletes need a good push periodically. It is the younger, more inexperienced athlete that may be more sensitive to being “pushed” to succeed.

However, not pushing your athlete may result in a lack of motivation or cause a lack of interest. Younger students do not understand the process of commitment and sacrifice, so they must be guided through the process. It can be a sensitive issue and one that must be properly determined by the parent.

parents cheering runners

I believe that athletes should be pushed and encouraged in their pursuit of success. But how hard to push and when to push is the issue. Every child is different and what may be beneficial to one may not work for another. The parents and coaches need to recognize this in their children and students in order to positively affect the pursuit of their goals. We want the best for all children. Some will become Champions, and many will not, but every one of them are Stars!!

I am in the process of developing manuals and videos on tumbling skill development that will be useful in training. I will keep you posted on that progress. In addition, if you would like a personal training session or consultation with me, we can Skype a lesson. Private message me or email me at: scottjohnsongymnastics@gmail.com

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Athletes, Benefits, Competition, Evaluation, Lifestyle, Preparation, Sports, Success

Choices A Parent Should Consider for Their Child's Development: Sports: Choosing the Right Path for Your Child

youth baseball player

Which direction should I go in?

How do I get there?

Am I making the right decision?

So many choices
So many influences
Mixed messages from coaches and friends

These are just a few of the questions that many parents and students ask themselves in the pursuit of success in a sports career. The truth is, there is no clear path to anyone’s success. A major question to consider is, what is the objective? Where is the motivation coming from? This is key in determining which path to take. Is it coming from the parent or is it coming from the child? This is an important factor in determining the strength of the motivation (The Motivation Factor).

The age of an athlete is very important in determining which direction to go in. For example, a student at the age of 5, 6, or 7 years old typically will not have the maturity or understanding to know how to make these types of decisions. For children of this age, it is important that they experience as many activities as possible, so they can determine what they like best. This may take several years to determine. It is not uncommon for a child to have a passion for one activity and in several month’s make a change to participate in a different activity. This can be frustrating for the parent if they are trying to persuade their child to pick one solid destination.

multi sports youth         I often tell parents that are clients in my own program that it is important that their children experience different activities, so they can experience as much as possible while they are young. We have many students in our program attend classes periodically throughout the year because they are involved in different sports activities which conflict with our schedule. I believe this is a positive way to approach where the children are going with their lives.

As a child gets older, these decisions become more defined. They begin to figure out who they are, and in many cases, determine what their likes and dislikes are. The preteen ages, especially for the boys, is a great time to start figuring out which direction they may want to go into. For girls, this decision may come earlier as girls tend to mature at a much earlier age.

baseball player hurt

Another factor to consider is the burnout and injury factor associated with students starting a sport at an early stage in life. Sports can be aggressive and physically demanding. If you are involved with sports, you are going to have injuries. It comes with the territory (Injuries: Prevention and Repair). The body, with all its complex physical anatomy, can only take so much wear and tear. The earlier the student begins to participate in sports the earlier the body begins to experience the impact of physical demands. At the higher levels of sport, the greater the impact of stress on the body (.

I often tell parents when they are considering whether their child should pursue a competitive atmosphere, I let them know that the earlier the children get started, the earlier their career may end. It is important not to rush this decision and I personally believe that starting a child in the competitive atmosphere at the age of 6 or earlier is not necessary for them to reach success. Not only is the competitive atmosphere physically demanding but it is also emotionally demanding.  Most young children do not understand how to cope with this demand.

vollyball girl serious look

Okay, so the goal has been set and the child has determined what direction they want to go in. Now the decision needs to be made on what it’s going to take to achieve that goal (Setting Goals: The Path to Success). There are so many factors that go into play here. Is the sport offered by the school, or is it a club scenario? If the program is offered by the local school system, the child can participate with much lower costs and easy accessibility. However, if the program is a club system, the costs could potentially be much higher and accessibility more difficult.

In addition, the club programs may offer a higher level of coaching and instruction. These programs, in most cases, are for-profit organizations which make it more appealing for high level coaches. However, if your child is not at a particularly high level of sport, the club program could wait until the level of sport requires this type of training. Much like the High School football and basketball player who excels in their sport. These athletes may get the opportunity to progress at a higher level with a successful collegiate program.

A life in sports can be a great life.  It can be very rewarding and teach lessons that can be applied in all aspects of life.  Many successful athletes have become successful in their professional lives as well.  Sports teaches discipline, focus, and an understanding of hard work to achieve goals.  Whether a sports career ends with great success or not, the experience is enough to make all participants Champions.

showcase medal ceremony