As I write this, I’m sitting at our Foxy’s booth at the Grand Rapids Gymnastics on the Grand gymnastics meet at the Devos Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is their 10th year anniversary hosting this meet. I’m going on my 35th anniversary of attending gymnastics meets. To be honest, not much has changed... The sights and sounds of gymnasts walking around with matching warm-ups, the clinging of their medals, the crowds of parents and grandparents cheering on their gymnasts, the floor music playing over and over, sometimes enough to drive you mad. It even smells the same. You never forget the smell of musty chalk and sweat. Competing has taught me so much. It wasn’t the wins or times I did my best that taught me the most- it was my fails and falls, the times I felt defeated, the times that I didn’t think I could do it, those were the moments that taught me the most about myself and my capabilities.
The memories flood back as if it were just yesterday that I was the one out there competing. What I remember though the most from competitions is the nerves that would come over me... It’s impossible to turn off the nerves. A little bit of nerves can give be healthy though, and give you the fuel you need to make it through a long day at competition. The trick is to learn to control the nerves so that your nerves don’t get the best of you. Here are some tips to help calm your nerves during your gymnastics competitions:
1. Keep your mind calm and your body warm- Meditate before your competition, even if just for 5-minutes. If you are not familiar with meditating read here. Make sure to stretch your muscles and keep your body warm. Keep socks on between events. A cold body adds nerves and strain to the muscles.
2. Pack your gym bag with all the essentials- Healthy snacks, warm socks, slides, water, gym tape, headphones, your lucky charm, slides, chapstick, and anything else that may comfort you to withstand the long day.
3. Think positively- No matter how each event goes, keep a positive attitude. Don’t let one event get in the way of the next. As long as you tried your best, let whatever happens go and stay positive. Attitude is everything.
4. Be a good team player- Cheer on your teammates and be supportive no matter what happens. We can be good every or bad energy, and we can also pick up on people’s energy, so do your best to contribute good energy for your teammates, no matter how your day is going.
5. Take your competition seriously but remember to have fun- Find balance between the work and the pleasure. Just like anything in life, don’t take it all to seriously. Above everything, gymnastics and life are meant to be enjoyed so keep your chin up and celebrate the fact you’re even alive!
Comment below some of your tips to staying cool, calm, and collect at your gymnastics meets. And don't forget to look for Foxy's Leotards at your meets. You might just find us in one of the vendor booths. If your gyms host gymnastics meets have them reach out to us. We love having our gymnastics leotards available at your competitions. We hear from many gymnasts around the world that our leotards are lucky leotards. Keep one in your gym bag as a lucky charm!