Rhythmic Gymnastics Training for Success: Mental Training
In the gym we train our physical abilities and skills in order to create the perfect routines. Many gymnasts work tirelessly in order to improve their flexibility, strength, co-ordination rhythm, etc... But some don't manage to do all that well in competitions. We sometimes see lack of motivation, anxiety, frustration, low-self confidence and poor problem resolution. These are all mental barriers that stop us from doing our best. Sports psychology is becoming increasingly popular every decade, because people seem to understand more and more how the mind plays a huge role in sports. Incorporating mental training and approaches is important for athlete's optimal performance and their mental health. Imagery and observation are some of the most used psychological techniques in sports because they are easy and effective.
How many gymnasts do great routines during practice and in the moment of truth, during a competition, the nerves get the better of them? If you think this can not be avoided, think again!
We encourage anyone to practice some imagery, mental rehearsal or observation. Coaches and gymnasts can benefit from these. Studies have repeatedly found that imagery can increase attention, motivation, self-efficacy and arousal levels. You don't need to be a licensed sport psychologist to use these during training, but that does not mean we don't need to get informed to do it properly, as if done incorrectly some athletes may fall into negative imagery.