Starting gymnastics young taught us many lessons in discipline. Alarm clocks set at 4:30am, juggling school and training as well as sacrificing social events.
Generally, if you are putting in more than 10+ hours of training per week into an athletic endeavour you are showing some level of commitment to your goal. However, time alone as a measure of discipline is limiting. You can pour hours upon hours into an endeavour and but unless your mind is in the right place and your practice is extremely deliberate- you may see some average results but never discover your true potential.
We were taught that our success didn’t depend on purely just showing up and going through the motions. Our effort was noticed in every single movement we performed in a session. This meant perfect alignment in stretches, complete body tension during core work and our attitude towards training partners. It even meant standing and walking was graceful and emphasis was placed on correct posture.
Two important lessons
It’s not what you do, it is how you do it.
How you do something, is how you do everything.
If you were "that" girl who needed the coach to be there watching and keeping you accountable for every piece of your training. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before you gave up on something important. Your advanced goals would slip from your grasp and it would be because the correct attitude wasn’t a part of the small actions, so it wasn’t a part of you.
Patience towards goals was a given in our gymnastics experience. There was no skipping ahead and attempting skills outside of an athlete’s strength capability. Not even once. You were never allowed to ask your coach if you could attempt a skill because ‘you wanted to.’ More importantly, none of us wanted to skip ahead. We didn’t want injuries and we wanted the decisions to be left up to the coach instead of our ego. There was no sense of urgency in our training environment. However what it did have was a deep sense of importance and seriousness.
That small action and drill we were performing was just another piece being added to a future masterpiece.
This is something now ingrained in our teaching philosophy and it is something we are very proud of.
Proper progression and patience are keys to success and the ones who are rushing ahead to stay at the pace of somebody else or a false idea of their own capability are destined for injury and don’t succeed in our program.
Questions to ask yourself
Are you in a training environment that supports proper progression?
Is your practice deliberate or random?
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