Psychological preparation prior to competition.

Having a solid routine prior to acting is one of the keys to the mental preparation of a gymnast that favors the fulfilment and maintenance of a high performance. The mental preparation of a gymnast involves the development of psychological factors, such as self-confidence, concentration and motivation, that impact on his/her performance.

Gymnastics is a discipline dominated by the technique and psychology of the athlete. Therefore, at Gymnastics Camp we practice and repeat preparation routines during our training sessions that enhance the acquisition of confidence and security for their subsequent execution. These routines are based on psychological strategies that prepare the athlete to be fully focused in the performance and to achieve consistency.

These types of routines are very practical by giving gymnasts a sense of familiarity that reduces pressure, in addition to focusing their attention, increasing their sense of control and confidence and automating the performance. At Gymnastics Camp, we work and rehearse these types of routines during workouts so that gymnasts can apply them naturally in their future competitions.

Here are the main steps to follow to establish effective pre-performance routines:

1. Performance description: describe and record internally the detail of the exercise that has to be completed, that is, the sequence of movements to be done to achieve a successful performance. In this way, the gymnast becomes aware of his/her performance and of those movements that must be reinforced. This description enhances their motivation and confidence and generates positive emotional states.

2. Physical and emotional self-assessment: to become aware and to recreate the physical and psychological aspects necessary to achieve an excellent performance. Similarly, at this stage, children are asked to reflect on effective solutions that they can apply to replace negative feelings that may arise.

3. Development of self-dialogue: reflect on what positive thoughts should accompany their subsequent performance and promote their conduct and success. Self-dialogue will allow them to maintain positive thinking, concentration and trust.

4. Visualization: this last stage integrates all the psychological aspects worked previously. Taking into consideration all the aspects worked before, the gymnasts will try to develop an optimal psychological state that reinforces their motor performance.

It’s important to ensure that the pre-performance routines are applied in a specific and personalized way in each athlete, according to their profile and sports environment.