Step Up and Deliver: What Gymnastics Taught Me About Performing Under Pressure

Here’s the killer conclusion to Jason Shen’s 3-part series on the lessons he’s learned through gymnastics:

… Gymnastics is a sport about delivering under pressure. …

When you raise your hand and salute before your routine, it is all on you. … I estimate that I’ve had saluted for nearly 1,000 routines over 16 years of competition …

David Sender was my teammate and 2008 USA National Champion in the all around. He’s one of the greatest clutch performers I’ve ever met.

Jason explains how to HIT under pressure under these headings:

• Practice how you want to perform.
• Create the performance environment.
• Visualize perfect performance.
• Prepare all equipment carefully and ahead of time.
• Get lots of sleep, eat well, leave early.
• Practice recovering from mistakes.

In the Moment:
• Be aggressive.
• Don’t try to make yourself better.
• Don’t make a big deal out of the event.
• Walk in knowing you’ve done your best to prepare.
• Have a few phrases/ideas to focus on.
• Don’t worry about the competition / distractions / outside stuff.
• Use music to put yourself in the zone.
• Don’t let the past distract you.
• Don’t try to be perfect.

This is another must read.

The Art of Ass-KickingStep Up and Deliver: What Gymnastics Taught Me About Performing Under Pressure


#1 Jason Shen on 04.07.11 at 8:50 am

Thanks for sharing Rick. I’ve learned a lot from gymnastics and am trying to give back. Would love to hear anyone’s feedback or thoughts on the post!

#2 Vaughn on 04.07.11 at 8:37 pm

I love these posts Jason. We’re into competition season and some of my boys are preparing for their peak meet. These articles you’ve written have excellent words of wisdom which I like to use for mental training for my athletes. They really enjoyed hearing about how overcoming fears carries through after gym. I want to read them parts of this latest post next training! Thanks Jason.

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