It’s All About The Attitude
An athlete’s attitude going into a practice, a game, or even competition can determine the success of the athlete.
Your attitude affects the way you perform in a way that will help you and bring you to the gold. Or it can bring you down and lead you to some of your worst performances.
Unfortunately I learned this first hand.
In my last blog I had just finished writing about how I won the All-Around, Bars, and Floor in my Massachusetts State Championship competition. My journey, however, did not end there.
I had qualified to travel to the New England Regional Championships, which included the best of the best from all of New England and New York.
I was not excited about this competition as it had a bad reputation for being poorly run, and with my back causing me more pain than it ever had before, I was not looking forward to competing. Since I had already been picked to join the Massachusetts Senior National Team competing in May and New England’s was the end of February, my body and my mind were dying for a break after four long months of competing.
I had a week to prepare for the competition but my mind was not in it. This, as I would learn, would be one of my biggest mistakes. As my coach and I arrived at a local high school in Connecticut on a chilly, snowy, Saturday morning, our mood was tired and not ready.
Looking back I ask myself why I wasn’t more excited for such a big competition as it was an honor to qualify for it. To this today I regret not going in with a better attitude.
At any rate, we arrived at the meet and I started on bars. This was good, this wasone of my strongest events. So when I clapped my hands together and a cloud of chalk exploded from them I thought I was ready. I turned and saluted the judges. The routine was over in about 45 seconds, but I had fallen once and hit my feet on the floor during one of my skills. I hadn’t done that all season and as a result received the lowest score of my season.
I went to beam next, and once again fell during my routine. I didn’t even want to look in the stands for my parents, wanting to avoid their disappointed faces.
After two bad events I was ready for a come back on floor. So I pulled it together and did a nearly perfect routine receiving a great score. Last, however, was vault, where I pulled off one mediocre vault and then fell on my second one. With the meet over I received my lowest all-around score of the season, when it should have been the opposite.
My parents weren’t disappointed because of how badly I did, but because of the mindset I entered the meet with. I could have fallen five times on all events and my parents would still have been proud as me as long as I went in with a good attitude.
Although this was not a highlight of my senior year season I did learn a very valuable and important lesson. So because of this I was even more ready to go to Nationals so I could prove just how much I deserved to be there.