14 Things to Try When You Don’t Love Gymnastics
Hi everyone! Coach Sara here. I wanted to reach out to you today, a few days before Valentine’s Day, to talk about love – love for your sport, and sometimes, the lack of love for your sport.
Sometimes you love gymnastics, and sometimes you don’t. It can be heartbreaking when the sport you love no longer makes you feel happy. This might even be a time where you start thinking about leaving gymnastics. Your relationship with gymnastics is yours so you’re the only one who truly understands your feelings. HOWEVER – if you’ve lost the love for gymnastics, it’s usually a good idea to try to find that love again before you make a decision like stepping away for good.
But how can you and gymnastics fall in love again?
14 Ideas for Falling Back in Love with Your Sport:
- Watch a video from when you were younger. Look at how much fun you were having!
- Make a list of all of the reasons you love the sport. You might not be experiencing all of those things right now, but write them down anyway.
- Hang out with gymnastics friends outside of the gym.
- Build connections with your coaches. Sometimes they end up seeming like the “bad guy” but chances are, they want to see you do well. By improving your relationship with your coaches, you may notice you feel better about heading into the gym each day.
- Find a hobby or restart one you used to love (drawing, rainbow looms, making slime, etc.).
- Start a gratitude journal and write down 3 positives from practice each day.
- Make time for non-gymnastics friends and activities, even if it’s just once a month.
- Make a highlight list of all of the positive experiences and gifts that have come from your time as a gymnast.
- Set aside time each week (or month) where your calendar is BLANK. When the day comes, do something fun or just relax.
- Get outside. Go for a walk, bike ride, or head to the playground. You spend enough time indoors!
- Make a poster of gymnastics inspiration: photos of you, other gymnasts, quotes, and anything that makes you happy.
- Create a pre-gym playlist of all of your favorite happy and upbeat songs.
- Take a mini-break, like a week or two off (this is easier when you’re not in season). You might find that you miss the gym!
- Focus on small, daily goals that you have a good chance of accomplishing every day.
Give Yourself Time
When your relationship with gymnastics is on the rocks, these are great strategies to use – no need to wait until you full-on want to break up. But, if you are at that low point, give yourself some time to try these ideas to see if you can find that love again. If you need more support, don’t forget that the coaches at Complete Performance Coaching are here to help!
A Note to Parents
Many times when athletes come to me wanting to leave gymnastics entirely (“quitting,” but I hate that word), it’s because they’re feeling burnt out and leaving feels like the only solution. Try to catch burnout before it happens by encouraging the ideas above, but if your athlete isn’t happy, then it’s time to tackle this as a family.
Take some time to look at your athlete’s schedule to see where you can adjust. Maybe for the month, you take off one practice a week and they have more time to themselves or to hang out with friends. Perhaps you plan a family trip or you sign them up for an activity they’ve expressed interest in. Gymnastics can be all-consuming and if your kids feel like it’s all-consuming, then this is when the burnout is likely to occur. Providing some balance to your athlete’s life is an important way to help the relationship with gymnastics stay positive.