As in many sports, it is extremely helpful for gymnasts to be able to put any mistakes they might make, in competition, behind them, and immediately move on to focus on the rest of the routine, without having an negative emotional and mental effect.
Forgetting Mistakes Results in Better Meet Performance
The primary reason, that gymnastics mistake amnesia is a very good trait to have, is that any time a gymnast is thinking about a mistake they made, whether it just happened or a mistake that happened in warm-ups, an earlier meet or in practice, is that they will then have taken their focus and concentration off what they are currently doing in the routine.
Thinking of Past Mistakes Interferes with Gymnasts Successfully Competing
This loss of focus will never be a good thing to happen to any gymnast, and any negative feelings and emotions, which the gymnast feels as a result, will likely result in a loss of confidence. Never a good thing for a gymnast competing in a meet. Negative effects from falls often include nervousness, loss of confidence, loss of focus, distraction, inability to get “into the zone” and even forgetting part or all of the rest of the routine.
Gymnasts Need to Practice Mistake Amnesia
While it is true that some gymnasts naturally are able to forget mistakes while they compete, most gymnasts, first, will need to be aware, that this is something that they need to do and then practice it, both in competitions and in practice meet situations. This is a positive psychological trait that coaches and gymnasts need to develop as an integral part of their training program.
Gymnast Should Practice Amnesia During Every Routine in Practice and Meets
In order to successfully practice this gymnastics psychological success method, gymnasts need to use every gymnastics practice meet and pressure situation as a tool to practice putting mistakes behind them and continue to focus on the remaining part of the routine. This is particularly true if a gymnast has suffered a bad (but not injury producing) fall during a practice routine. This is one of the most difficult situations in which a gymnast will need to be able to refocus on continuing their routine.
Breathe, Relax and Focus
Gymnasts are allowed to take up to 30 seconds to remount the apparatus during a gymnastics meet. The refocus process does not have to happen immediately. It must simply take place within that time period. Gymnasts who have been trained to use a breathe, relax and focus method of controlling their emotional reactions and refocusing their concentration on the remaining routine will be able to successfully move on mentally without negative effects.
Practice and Use Gymnastics Amnesia
Gymnasts and coaches must understand the problems that an inability for gymnasts to put mistakes behind them can interfere with successful competition. Since most gymnasts do not naturally have this trait and ability, it is necessary for them to practice. Practicing forgetting mistakes is an ongoing process and gymnasts should especially work on doing it, whenever they are practicing full routines and, of course, always in competition.
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