As a coach, the first thing I do is teach kids how amazing the sport of gymnastics can be. Once you fall in love with gymnastics, your passion only grows deeper and deeper, because the more you learn the more you want. You can’t stop thinking about it. You feel that there’s no life for you without gymnastics. You love being in the gym every day. You can’t wait until your next practice where you will actually torture yourself by doing very hard conditioning, stretching and feeling pain, and struggling on new and difficult tricks. After all this, you know that tomorrow is another day.You get back in the gym and you feel refreshed, you hit all your routines, you shine in every skill and feel like the best gymnast in the world. I know there are many gymnasts around the world that can share in my passion of gymnastics. I know they love the sport for those everyday ups and downs, not only for medals and trophies, which come afterwards.

Trust your coaches. Without a doubt, coaches have much more experience in gymnastics than you do. Coaches have more knowledge in the sport, and you can learn all of it from them. Coaches know what is best for you. Keep your ears and eyes wide open so that you will not miss any important messages from your coach. Be a good listener, and respond by showing that you can make every correction the first time.
Maybe it was too much, but back in Russia all athletes have to follow these rules:
1. Coach is always right!
2. If you think coach is not right, go back to rule number one.

Believe in what you do. Believe in your goals. Don’t let a bad practice or an unsuccessful competition ruin your confidence and your belief in yourself. Gymnasts learn more from a bad experience; so appreciate every day of your life. Whether a good day or a bad day, you can’t replay it!

Be yourself:
Gymnastics help you to learn about:
1. What type of person are you?
2. Are you strong enough?
3. Are you a hard worker?
4. Are you confident?
5. Do you know exactly what you want?

Usually, we follow examples that we see around us, or maybe on television, or someone that we’ve been told about. Build yourself around observations of positive gymnasts and the knowledge you receive from your coaches. Create your own vision of every skill or move that you have in your routines, and master them in your mind. Try not to act like someone else, just be you. Do everything in the gym with passion, show your personality, and don’t be shy!

If gymnastics is coming from your soul, then you will be an unforgettable gymnast, a gymnast with your very own style.

– Natalia Yurchenko