Going back to Gymnastics isn’t the easiest of feats. Returning to anything you left off whether work or hobby can be quite challenging.
With the advent of COVID-19, everyone’s life changed for the better or worse. Thanks to the will to keep pushing, a lot of folks out there haven’t given up. And I guess you are part of the strong-willed folks because you are thinking of returning to something positive.
While others watched TikTok crack-ups, played games, and followed their favorite shows, you probably spent your time practicing gymnastics at home with gymnastics tutorials.
Everyone found their way to cope during the long break.
Now things are returning to normal, and gyms are opening back up. It’s been a long time since you last did your stretches and routines.
Maybe you abandoned gymnastics for a different reason. It could have been a bad coach, someone else on the team, an injury, other engagements, or maybe you weren’t feeling it anymore.
But now, you want to resume gymnastics classes and continue from where you left off.
It’s a beautiful decision you’ve got there, but it’s a big one too!
How To Feel When Going Back To Gymnastics
It all good if you feel anxious, happy, or unsure about what you’re trying to do. You’ve been out of practice for a while and have zero idea what of to anticipate.
I have noticed that in the realm of sports, Gymnastics particularly, transitioning isn’t a subject that people always discuss.
However, I know that your coaches won’t want you to be frightened by your decision to return to practice.
Because they’ve been in the field of sports for a while, they certainly understand that strange events affect everyone differently.
Check out these tips from expert gymnastics coaches to go back to gymnastics without any hassles.
Remember Why You Quit
You did gymnastics for 4 years, and recently quit, then returned. But you regret quitting, and now you’re regretting returning. Don’t know if you should stay or quit?
Pause for a brief moment.
You have to go through your thoughts and find the real reasons you quit in the first place. Be honest to yourself and find out why you first regret quitting.
The reason you first quit is the same reason you regret returning. I may not be 100% correct but right now I’m trying to give you a blueprint to figure out why you are unstable in your decision to return to practice or quit forever.
Why did you quit?
Were you overexerting yourself? The practice didn’t give you time for other things? The coach did not help matters? Was it someone on the team? Did you feel like you weren’t improving in your skill levels? Did you hate the idea of competing? Did you move to another state?
Ask yourself these questions and many others to remember why you first quit. Sit down and think if anything’s different now.
Were you at the Olympics level before you quit?
Unlessy you are 5 or 6, it is extremely ddifficult to practice gymnastics and advance to the Olympics level unless you have natural talent. So you’ll need lots of rigorous training for a few years before kicking off properly.
Take things easy
By now, you are sure you want to get back into gymnastics. It’s okay if you are eager to continue from where you stopped in your practice, but don’t overexert yourself.
The best way to get back into everything is by practicing fundamental skills, and conditioning and strength training.
Find the routines that make you feel comfortable. You will know when your body gets stronger, and your coach will detect it too. Only then can you start working on advanced skills.
Do not attempt top-level skills when your body isn’t prepared yet. Doing so will increase your risk of injury.
Sometimes the length of time you abandoned something can affect how quickly you’d get back into it.
For instance, if you quit gymnastics 5 years ago after doing it for 6 years, you’ll need to give your body more time to get prepared for heavy-duty routines.
On the other hand, if you quit gymnastics 3 years ago after doing it for 10 years, you will get back some skills fairly easily, and you’d be surprised how much muscle memory your body has.
Whichever case, make sure you take things easy. Your mind is ready, but your body certainly isn’t.
Slow and steady wins the race – Robert Lloyd
There is no harm in watching yourself before you perform. Many gymnastics coaches recommend gymnasts practice visualizing before, during, and after practice sessions.
It takes some time to master the visualization technique. When you do the visualization technique, you find yourself focusing better.
Relax your body, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Try to imagine yourself successfully executing a routine or skill.
You can make a video of yourself practicing different skills and routines and see how you’re doing. When you do this often, you find yourself starting to feel more confident as you perform.
Visualization is the key to mental clarity.
Tell your coach stuff
Communicating with your coach is crucial if you want to transition. This is because coaches care about your mental health and emotional well-being.
Coaches exist to support their trainees in whatever way they can.
If there’s anything you are struggling with, let your coach know about it. Tell your coach how you feel concerning different issues to build your relationship and improve how you work together.
Prepare your gym bag
Your old grips are probably grim because of abandonment. After all, it’s been a while since you last used them.
Is your gym bag neat, furnished, and good to use?
If they are not, what are you waiting for! It’s time to stock your gym bag with new grips.
If you still think you need the old grips, take them out and gently twist the leather in your hands. If the leather still has its elasticity, you are good to go. If otherwise, purchase new grips.
A Fresh Start Means Fresh Grips!
Invest in new wristbands too. You can always alternate your new accessories with the old ones. This way, you always have clean equipment and backup equipment.
More importantly, ensure your gym equipment are clean and sanitized everytime.
Be kind to yourself
You’ve been out of practice for a while, and during your break, you weren’t keeping up with your regular gymnastics activity level. You have to go easy on yourself with training.
While rested from gymnastics, your body also took a time off. Your body needs time to readjust to training.
The best place to start is to focus on your strength and flexibility. This stage might take more or less time than you expected. It depends on how quickly your body adjusts, so don’t strain!
Chances are, you will be sore from all the practice but be kind to yourself. Set reachable goals and expectations. Also, have fun while you’re at it.
After three years of not doing gymnastics, you may notice you can perform the skills and routines you were able to do before, but your body is not prepared.
Several people that go back to gymnastics after years want to neglect basic training and move straight to core training.
Well, I’m not judging them, but doing such with a sport as high impact as gymnastics can cause major damage.
The best place to start when returning to a high intense sport like gymnastics is spending the first few weeks of training doing basic stretches and simple routines.
Avoiding flips in the first two to three weeks is a recommended way to start.
With optimism and determination, you’ll be back to where you left off in no time! All you’ve got to do is set reasonable expectations and prepare well. Only then will your return to the gym successfully.
I hope that getting back to gymnastics will be an exciting experience for you.
Lots of love!