After the chalk dust settles, your sweat dries, and your adrenaline wears off after a long competition, it is important to take some time to reflect on your own performance. Evaluate yourself. What went well and why. What didn’t go so well and why. All of this should be done without even looking at the leaderboard.
The best kind of feeling is a sense of accomplishment in yourself. It can be after a class workout where you went unbroken on the pull-ups, finished under a time cap, or just completely surprised yourself with how great you felt during the workout. The moment the workout ends, you sit there reflecting on how proud you are of yourself. When you go to put your score on the whiteboard, it doesn’t even bother you if you’re last place in the class, because you know that you gave the workout your 100% effort. That is the sense of accomplishment I’m referring to.
When you have the satisfaction of a job well done and you are so focused on your own self, you won’t need to compare yourself to others.
There are times where I get first place in a workout, but I don’t feel satisfied, because I know that it was not my best effort. On the other hand, I can be dead last in an event, and be the happiest girl in the world because I know that I gave it my very best at that moment in time. Event 3 at Regionals was the handstand walk obstacle course. When I cleared the first obstacle, I felt like I was on top of the world. I didn’t care that everyone else was already on their third or fourth obstacle. I was proud. I worked so hard to teach myself how to walk up and down that incline and up and down those steps. It all came together on the competition floor. I placed 32nd out of 40 women on that event (my worst finish), and yet I was the most satisfied with myself.
It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially in a competition. However, you don’t know how long your competitors have been training for, what sports they played, how many hours a day they train, or what supplements they take. All you know is everything about yourself. Where you started and how far you’ve come. That should be your only focus.
Comparing yourself to others doesn’t change anything. It only makes you feel worse about yourself. You’re wasting your valuable energy on things you can’t change. Instead of wasting that energy on someone else’s life, take that energy and use it on your own life.
Sit down and make a list of everything that made you proud and satisfied in the competition.
Did you hit a PR? Did your judge no rep you but you were able to remain focused? Did the music cut out and you were so deep in concentration, it didn’t bother you? Were you able to stick to your plan? Did you beat your own score when you tried the workout in practice? Were the voices in your head positive and reassuring?
Then make a list of all the lows, everything that gave you trouble.
Was the weight too heavy? Did you lose good technique and start leaking energy? Did you have to fight a negative mindset? Did you go out too hard and weren’t able to catch your breath? Were you constantly talking down to yourself? Did you have a negative attitude? Did you get angry at your competitors or judges?
Take a look at that list. Be proud of all the positives and remember them every time you go into a workout. Are you your own best cheerleader? Use that! Were you able to cycle a barbell like never before? Great! Practice that more with confidence.
What about all the negatives? If it’s strength or skill related, don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep following your programming and make sure you show up on days when your weaknesses are programmed. Take some time before or after class to work on these weaknesses with a Coach. Strength takes time to build, and so does gymnastics. If it is your attitude or your mentality, that is something that you can consciously work on every day. If you talk negatively to yourself, figure out why you do so and get in the habit of positive thinking and positive self talk.
A competition is a great way to learn about your strengths and weaknesses and your mentality/ attitude. Use what you learned about yourself and let that drive your training and focus.