Many parents of gymnasts are familiar with their own anxiety and their child feeling anxious. When their kids are at practice, parents’ minds are often racing with thoughts about what could go wrong and how they’ll be able to protect their little one if anything untoward happens. Children also feel anxious when they learn new routines or during competitions. This article shares some tips on how you and your child overcome anxiety.
Help Your Child Acknowledge Their Fears
Parents should understand that they cannot protect their children from everything.
They shouldn’t shelter them or try and prevent injury before anything even happens, as this will only cause more anxiety in the child. Instead, parents should help their kids acknowledge their fears so that they can overcome them.
If your little one is afraid of doing a particular skill, talk about the reasons behind the fear. Include discussions on what you can do if something does happen at practice. This will prepare them for different scenarios and help lessen their fears.
When you do this, you are validating their feelings and also preparing them for the worst-case scenario. This helps overcome anxiety when trying new things on their own.
Help Your Child Improve Their Mental Health
Many gymnasts struggle with mental health issues, making it even harder to overcome their fears.
If needed, parents must work with their child’s coaches to get children help from a mental health professional.
On your own, you can help improve your child’s mental health by talking about their feelings after practice or competition. A good time would be when you’re doing chores together or when you’re relaxing at home. Having these conversations is essential in helping your child manage their mental health.
Make Time for Your Child to Relax and Have Fun
Parents and coaches should remember that gymnastics is supposed to be fun.
If your child is overly stressed, they’re not going to perform well or enjoy the sport, which will make it even harder for them in the long run.
Don’t push your child too hard. Encourage them with plenty of specific praise when their skills improve. Also, talk to them more so they know they can open up to you about anything.
This way, you’re helping your little one become a stronger person inside while still keeping a solid focus on gymnastics.
Celebrate Their Small Victories
Many gymnasts often feel that they’ve let their team down if they miss a skill or fall during a routine.
To help kids fight this, parents should encourage them to take these falls in stride and celebrate every small victory. Whether it’s learning a new skill, perfecting an old routine, or even being part of a team invited to compete at a meet. Learning how to be grateful can go a long way in improving mental health. Focusing on the positive instead of what went wrong helps your child become more resilient.
Gratitude, resilience, and acknowledging their feelings will make them mentally prepared for whatever gymnastics, and life, will bring them.
How to overcome anxiety is one of the lessons we teach our kids at OMEGA Gymnastics. We support them so they’d continue to see gymnastics as fun and challenging in the positive sense. Allow your children to experience this learning environment and reap the benefits of gymnastics by enrolling them in our recreational program.