Mental Preparedness vs Physical Preparedness
As coaches we occasionally see students who are above average on their physical capabilities. They hold amazing handstands, throw back handsprings, or have great switch leaps. However, when their mental capabilities don't quite match their physical capabilities there becomes a misalignment that can lead to bad habits or possible injury. By mental preparedness we speak of things like the capability to listen to instruction and carry it out appropriately (sometimes without a physical demonstration), or understanding that a coach is not demeaning you (as a person) but is correcting your body movements. Parents are wonderful cheerleaders for their children and want them to achieve great things, but sometimes mental preparedness gets glossed over and forgotten.
Why does this matter? If your child is physically able to throw a back handspring, but mentally isn't assessing whether the situation is safe to do so (obstacles in the way, enough space, energy level, etc) this can lead to mental blocks and possible injury. Furthermore, if your child isn't mentally prepared to do a skill each time, they might "cheat" on a skill because they are nervous, or they want to achieve the skills. This can create bad habits with improper technique which not only takes much longer to "unlearn" but can also lead to injury.
We know as parents that you want the best for your children, and so do we: a safe and healthy child both physically and mentally. Sometimes it can be good to be a big fish in a small pond.
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.