Nastia Tip: Stay Focused

This past year one of Makenna’s gymnasts was plagued with one injury after another . . . rheumatoid arthritis in the knee, wrist pain, pulled hip flexor, sprained ankle, sprained ankle again, etc.  Although she didn’t have broken bones, the accumulative time-off and missed meets began to haunt her. She had two choices (1) Lose hope or (2) Stay focused. She chose the latter and didn’t let the hurdles become road blocks.

Whether your child is facing fear, dealing with injuries, or feeling overwhelmed by change Vision Boards can be a great tool in helping them to stay FOCUSED on their dreams and not dwell on their immediate problems.

Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist, encouraged the use of Vision Boards when she shared “Help your little one stay focused — in a fun way” as one of her 5 Tips for Parents of Budding Gymnasts with People Magazine. She explained, “This is something that I always did because having that visual helped me to stay focused on what I wanted to accomplish.”

Tips for helping gymnasts with Vision Boards | Gym Gab

1. What are Vision Boards?

Vision Boards are a visual representation of the desires of one’s heart. These collages are created on poster boards, magnet boards, chalk boards, or cork boards, with word strips, magazine clippings, photos, and more. Ideally Vision Boards are hung in a highly visible place, as a constant reminder of hopes and dreams that one is working towards or things one identifies with.

2. Why are Vision Boards Useful?

Vision Boards can motivate and inspire athletes even on the hardest of days.  They can redirect thought by forcing attention to things gymnasts WANT. Vision Boards help define a purpose to an athlete’s efforts. Not every child loves the sport for the same reasons or wants to be the same kind of gymnast; a Vision Board allows youth to decide what is important to THEM.

3. How can I help my Gymnast Create a Vision Board? 

PROVIDE MATERIALS

Provide your gymnast with an array of magazines and images they can choose from. Helpful gymnastics magazines include: USA Gymnastics, Inside Gymnastics, and International Gymnast. But, don’t limit them to just gymnastics magazines . . . you’d be amazed at what you can find even in your junk mail! You can also help your gymnast hunt online for images or sayings that speak to them. If your child has a specific trait they want to emulate, print it in their favorite font. | Find our favorites HERE |

INCLUDE NON-TANGIBLE GOALS
It is important for your child to include how they want to feel and what kind of gymnast they want to be. Encourage them to use adjectives as well as nouns. The hard part can be depicting non-tangible desires. If your child wants to be happy, help them find a picture that evokes that emotion such as a sunset, a smiling face, a picture of them during a happy moment, or you can include the word “happy” in their collage.
TEACH THEM HOW TO VISUALIZE
Encourage your gymnast to pick an item on his or her Vision Board each night. Have them close their eyes and imagine that their desire has already been achieved. What does it feel like? What emotions are they experiencing? How did they accomplish their goal? Have them express gratitude for the experiences that delivered their dreams.
Visit {HERE} for a look at University of Utah’s 2013 Gymnastics Vision Board.

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