Whether it’s your first gymnastics meet or your one-hundredth gymnastics meet, it’s completely normal to feel nervous. However, if your nerves tend to get the best of you, you might be wondering, “How can I calm my nerves before a gymnastics meet?”
With a little bit of preparation beforehand, you can have the confidence to settle your nerves and go out into your competition with your best foot forward. Here are a few general tips for how to calm your nerves before a gymnastics meet.
Practice and Prepare
One of the most important things to do before your next competition is to practice and prepare yourself. Coming to a gymnastics meet unprepared, or out of practice will make you even more nervous. It’s important to go to all your gymnastics classes and make the most of your time in practice. If you need extra time to prepare before a competition, you could try to schedule additional time in the gym to brush up on your skills.
Make sure you practice your routine full-out and exactly how you want to perform it in competition. If there are any skills that you are particularly nervous about, practice them over and over until you feel more confident.
You could also try running just the portion of your routine that goes into the section that you are most nervous about. Running that section a few extra times might help you feel more confident before your meet.
Take the advice of your coaches and listen to them. If they think you are ready to compete, have faith in their judgment. You are ready!
Visualize Your Routine
Visualizing your routine before taking the floor is a great way to help calm your nerves. Visualization means creating a picture in your mind of how you want things to go. For example, you could visualize yourself executing a skill with great form.
Before your gymnastics meet, take some time to visualize your entire routine by doing a run-through in your mind. This will help you to remember every aspect of your performance. You will also see yourself sticking every landing and executing every skill to the best of your ability.
After you finish visualizing your successful performance, you will feel the joyful and relieved emotions of a great routine.
Create a Pre-Competition Routine
Creating a pre-competition routine is a great way to calm your nerves before a gymnastics meet. Before you take the floor, find a quiet and relaxing place to yourself. This could be an empty room or even a corner away from other competitors.
When you are in a quiet, calm space, take some time to yourself to go through your pre-competition routine. Start by focusing on your breathing. Taking deep breaths is a wonderful way to calm your nerves and slow down your heart rate. It can also help you to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand.
You could also take some time to stretch by yourself. If you follow a specific stretching routine during practice, it might help you to follow the exact same routine before you perform. This will give your body a sense of familiarity and comfort. You might even trick yourself into thinking this is just another practice! Keeping as much of your routine the same will help you calm your nerves and feel more confident and relaxed.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Calm your nerves by giving yourself a pep talk! Tell yourself that you’ve got this and that all the hard work you have put into your routine will pay off. Above all else, no matter how you place in your gymnastics meet, tell yourself that you will perform your very best.
You might consider coming up with a mantra for yourself. A mantra is a word or phrase that is meaningful to you that you can say over and over to yourself. You can repeat your mantra at any practice or competition when you feel nervous.
Clear Your Mind
Sometimes, overthinking can make you more nervous before a competition. If you are stressed about every detail of your routine, it might help you to clear your mind. Find space to breathe, shake it out, listen to music, talk to friends and family as a distraction, or anything else to help clear your mind and take your focus off of your competition.
You have trained and worked hard for your gymnastics meet. Trust that you know your routine, and trust the judgment of your coaches and family. You are going to do great!
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