There are so many things I want my athletes to learn in 2019 besides just new skills in the gym. If I were to write them a letter going into the New Year, I believe it would go something like this…
Dear Gym Babies,
As I watch you all continue to grow as gymnasts and little ladies, I can’t help but notice the different talents and passions each of you possesses. We spend many hours together as a group each week. You all reside within the same culture and live on the same meticulous schedule, yet despite all the sameness, you all thrive so differently. This is exactly what makes my job so magical.
You see, I made a vow to myself when I began my coaching career that I would never treat my athletes like one cookie cutter unit, but instead cherish them as individuals with different goals, passions and learning styles. Watching how each of you has blossomed over the years lets me know that I must be doing something right.
Here are some things I want you all to remember as we kick off 2019:
1) You’re stronger than you think you are.
God will never give you more than you can handle. On your good days, your bad days, your sad days or whatever days come your way…I have full faith that you can handle it head on. If He brought you to it, He’ll bring you through it. I know sometimes things get hard but you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You know those days when our cardio circuit makes your legs feel like they are on fire and you push through anyways? That’s because you’re STRONG mentally and physically and can get through anything. At some point, life will be just as hard as that cardio circuit, but you’ll get through it just fine.
2) Don’t ever let anyone put you in a box.
What people think about you means nothing. What you think about yourself means everything. I don’t care what anyone says about you, they do not determine who you are. You are capable of doing anything you want to do as long as you put in the work. Nobody has the power to tell you what you’re good or not good at. You have 100% control over your actions and decisions. If you want to be an astronaut…do it. If you want to be a stay at home mom…do it. If you want to go to medical school…do it. If someone tells you that you can’t…do it anyways. The world is yours. Go for it.
3) There is no such thing as “I can’t,” only “I can’t yet.”
Tailing off what I said above, you can do anything. Never say you can’t. If you can’t do something right now all you have to do is work for it and someday you’ll be amazing at it. Life is about putting in the work and being dedicated to your dreams. You CAN do anything. Even if you can’t do it now…you’ll be able to do it after you practice it. Always remember that.
4) It’s okay if someone has more talent than you do, but there’s never a good reason to let someone work harder than you do.
Yes, it’s true that some people have God-given talent but that doesn’t make them any better than you. Someone might learn how to do algebra quicker than you or run faster than you on the playground, but that does not mean that you can’t be just as good. Great things come to those who work for them. Someone may have more ability than you but that is not a good excuse for you to be lazy. You can always work harder than your opponents if it’s important to you. Always.
5) What you DO is not WHO you are.
You DO gymnastics but that is not what defines WHO you are. Your BE is your talents, passions and values. That should always be the foundation of WHO you are. If you fall off the beam at a meet, that does not make you a bad person. If you have a bad day at practice, it does not mean you are worthless. Don’t ever let what you do define how you view yourself. What you do will help shape you but it does not determine your worth in the world.
6) Perfection isn’t the goal; learning from your mistakes is.
There is no such thing as perfect. Perfect is boring. If you have no ups and downs, you don’t know what it’s like to be alive. It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are how you become successful. Don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace failure and learn from it. If you mess up, learn a lesson and try to fix the problem. Being perfect isn’t what life is about, learning from the journey is.
Always remember how important you are to me and never stop chasing your dreams. Lets make 2019 the best year yet!