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Motivating Child Gymnasts
A Brief Lesson In Child Motivation For Gymnastics Parents by Murray Hughes
Today I'm going to give you a few quick and easy tips for child motivation - I didn't make these up, they are based on psychological theory.
When we think of motivation we think of an audience of adults chanting, "I can do it" at a Tony Robbins seminar, but motivation is just as important for children. As a gymnastics parent, you probably already realize how important motivation for children is. Teaching your children about motivation and goals at an early age will help them to become fulfilled and successful adults, but how? Let's discuss a few ideas right now.
To start with, introduce your kids to the concept of setting goals by having a discussion about them. I don't mean lecture your kids, but have a back-and-forth discussion about what they would like to achieve - don't be too serious, they get plenty of that at school. Keep it simple, fun and light, and remember to let your kids have their say, listen to their ideas about achieving goals and help to develop them.
Next thing you can do is set up a goal system --> using the goals you created during your discussion, make up a chart of attainable but challenging goals and place it somewhere every one can see it.
Ideas for goals can be learning a new gymnastics skill within a certain time frame, ranking in the top 10 gymnasts at the next meet or achieve a certain grade level in the next school report card. It's also a good idea to set rewards for each goal – include that on the goal sheet too.
When a goal is achieved, give your child their reward and put a big check mark, smiley face or stamp on the goal chart and gather every one in the household around to witness the momentous occasion and give encouragement.
When a goal isn't achieved, let your child know you can see they're working hard but they need to try harder - also make sure the goals aren't too tough!
Finally, set goals for yourself and follow them to completion. You can't expect your child to achieve if you have no discipline or self-control yourself.
A great way to achieve goals together is to take on a project at home. It can be painting the garage, planting a new garden or even a craft project. The idea is to show your child that great things are achieved from consistent work over a long period - too many kids nowadays give up if something can't be achieved during the commercial break!!
If you want to know more about motivation I suggest you check-out my favourite book on the subject by Jason Michael Gracia: http://gymnasticssecretsrevealed.com/good/motivate.htm
Copyright 2005 Murray G. Hughes