Gymnastics

Helping to Build Self-Esteem in Our Kids

As a gymnast of 17 years and a gymnastics coach of 25 years, I have encountered many occasions where I and my gymnasts have suffered from low self-esteem. One of the questions that remains is why is it so common for some of the strongest girls on earth to suffer from low self-esteem?

In my research and experience, I believe that the answer lies in how we perceive self-esteem and what we believe it is.

Self-esteem is related to how we view ourselves, not to how others view us.

In order for us to best help develop a high sense of self-esteem in our children is for us to remind our kids how strong they are, how capable they are, and how, given the opportunity and dedication they put in to something, worthy and deserving of success they are.

When we tell them how proud of them we are, we need to remind them that they should be proud of themselves, too. Remind them that they are the ones who worked hard and accomplished something. This will teach them to believe that they are capable and worthy of success – learning to think this way takes time, consistency, and effort.

Part of this is helping our kids develop their own goals and their own paths to reach those goals.

We need to teach our kids that their goals are important; the work they put in is important, and the outcome is important. If we don’t teach them this now, then they will not learn to be self-sufficient, strong, and ambitious. Let’s help them by encouraging goal-setting, their work, and their success!

Gymnastics, success saturday

Added Motivation

Competitive gymnasts thrive on being busy, making and obtaining goals, and working hard to reach those goals. As workouts are beginning to shift back to the gym from online meetings, we need to help keep our gymnasts stay focused on the future and her goals.

How do we do this? Here are a few suggestions to keep gymnasts motivated.

Watch old gymnastics championships. Not only are gymnasts unable to have a normal competition season, but the 2020 Olympics have been postponed, meaning that all elite gymnastics competitions have been put on hold. This can mean that gymnasts don’t have many things to look forward to. However, with YouTube, there are many opportunities for gymnasts to watch previous Olympics, World Championships, and NCAA meets. This can be a source of great motivation. As a young gymnast, I don’t know how many times I watched the 1988 Olympic Games when it was a race to the finish for Yelena Shushunova of the Soviet Union and Daniela Silivas of Romania. It was a ridiculous fight between the two of them, each receiving two perfect 10’s during the all-around competition alone! The little gymnast in me was nervous and excited every time I watched ii, and it made me pine to get into the gym to keep working hard.

Find a baseline. Do some preliminary conditioning testing. How many push-ups can she do without stopping and without losing form? How many sit-ups can she do in a minute? How long can she hold a handstand? How’s her press handstand? How many jump ropes can she do in 5 minutes? There are a number of baseline conditioning elements that we can use to test a gymnast so she can see where her strengths and weaknesses lie. In addition, this will help give her a measurable goal to see if she can improve.

Sit down and review goals. Taking some time to think about and write down goals for each event and the upcoming year is important. There are a number of factors that are different about this upcoming year that come into play as gymnasts contemplate what comes next. Sitting down and making concrete and realistic goals will help gymnasts to put some thought into what comes next, and it will help them look realistically at the future.

Stay positive. Read motivational quotes and books. Gymnasts can help fuel their positive attitudes by reinforcing it through inspirational books and stories. Find Gym Rats books here!

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