Flipping over the butterflies

What's the point? -Thinking positively is essential -It’s important to stay calm to improve your performance -Mistakes can happen, and it’s usually not a big deal

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Flipping over the butterflies

Zoe Kedrowski

Even though I have vaulted thousands of times, I still get extremely nervous before meets. My palms get sweaty, tears stream down my face and I shake with terror, wondering if I’ll make it to the other side.

Gymnastics requires both mental and physical strength. Flipping over a 4-inch beam or sprinting toward a stationary object and somehow making it to the other side can be a daunting task.

Many practices are filled with frustration and tears when I cannot complete a skill. I quickly learned this frustration is detrimental to my success.

At one meet last year I was warming up my tumbling when all of a sudden, my brain went blank and I second-guessed myself in mid-air. Next thing I knew, I fell hard on my back and awkwardly landed on my wrist.

For the rest of the season, waves of fear and anxiety rushed over me at even the thought of doing that tumbling pass.

Many people overthink even the smallest actions, especially when it comes to schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

When this happens, it can affect your performance and you will likely get a negative result.

This was proven to me in my last home meet when my coach asked me to compete on the uneven bars. Bars is my weakest event, and the minute I got up on the bars during warm-ups, I panicked and could not stop crying.

Although I was physically capable of doing a bar routine, my hands peeled off the bar during mid-swing because my nerves got the best of me.

Many athletes get nervous before a big meet or game. Sometimes it can be detrimental to a performance.  It’s important to stay calm and think positively.

Getting worked up is not going to help you and it will probably give an unfavorable result.

My gymnastics career has been filled with many ups and downs over the course of 11 years.

Despite being such a tough sport both physically and mentally, its nature is very gratifying.

Finally succeeding in a skill you’ve been trying to perfect for months is very rewarding.

Although I’ve made several mistakes, I have used them as a learning experience on what I can do better next time and have stayed positive throughout all of it.

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