Despite combining strength with flexibility, gymnastics also trains you psychologically. It may sound bizarre, but it’s true. Unfortunately, the sport is not for all as it requires training from childhood. Due to the risk involved, consistency and the tiny bits of progress are crucial.
It is unknown to many, but mental training plays a significant role in getting that medal. To find about the latest developments on gymnastics and their benefits on mental health, keep reading this article.
In simple words, mental firmness is referred to as resilience. Generally, life can bring about various setbacks. From business failure to losing a loved one, recovering from such difficulties is not always easy.
Fortunately, those with this unique trait can find it easier to remain standing. It guards one against shattering moments that may take you off balance. Moreover, resilient people rarely suffer from mental health issues such as depression.
What other better way to arm yourself with resilience other than engaging in gymnastics? According to reports, one in every five adults has experienced a mental disorder at least once in their lifetime.
As athletes develop in gymnastics and compete, the young generation may find stressors challenging, according to Allison McDavitt’s research in 2016 entitled ‘Psychological Aspects of Gymnastics as Perceived by Athletic Trainers.’
The stressors include the embarrassment of performing poorly and the pressure to win. Keep in mind that injuries and other complications also fit into the category. According to McDavitt (2016), injuries result from the physical effects and mental stress involved due to muscle tension. As a result, the recovery process is prolonged.
The research also exhibits that gymnasts are presented with the opportunity to go a step higher regarding psychological skills since sporting activities are usually a lifetime engagement and start from a young age.
According to other studies on the same topic, gymnastics brings about mental rigidity, which removes fear and encourages determination whenever they lose or get injured. Additionally, and according to McDavitt, gymnasts develop self-confidence due to the repeated exposure of handling the unprecedented pressure. This is in part thanks to the regular competitions that take place from a very young age.
Training can facilitate the ability to handle stress, but it should be done gradually for it to be effective. This is called progressive training. With the experience of sports psychologists and coaches, athletes can learn psychological strategies to combat mental health problems.
McDavitt (2016) mentioned that the plans include setting goals, relaxing, visualising, and finally, positive reinforcement.
The most significant achievement in gymnastics is mental training through arming oneself with various tactics to eliminate tension. As mentioned earlier, training should be progressive. And with time, trainers can also develop a comprehensive mental program for better results.
We may experience stress often – either in the long-term or short-term. Since gymnastics is a lifelong skill, this continuous exposure to stress can positively impact physical health. When faced with challenges often, you may realise that there is a way of getting through anything. Resilience can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and even increased cortisol levels in the long run.
Moreover, and in the case of long-term tension, your friends and family may feel the effect. They say that one can change their habit in only 21 days. However, no one mentions the struggle involved. Therefore, why not arm your children from a young age?
As a parent you are advised to train your children on how to control stress properly. Even better, allow a sports activity to do the work for you. With your support, the results are greater – the mind and body greatly influence each other.
Although we tend to focus on physical health, psychological health is also of importance. Traditionally, no one talked about mental health, which is contrary to the present day. As a result, even sports science is seeking to define the connection between the body and mind.
If you have a gymnastics club near you, why not enrol your child? You might unlock potential that you never thought was even possible. Furthermore, it will nurture their mental health. Find a club that is passionate about young people and whose dedicated staff may guide your child to greatness!