I just read an interesting ARTICLE about a successful competitive ballroom dancer, a few of the steps he took to improve his performance during competition. This is NOT about WINNING, but about improving. It was really an interesting process. It may or may not work for your team, but I figured I’d throw it out there and I quote:
“The goal must be realisable for the mind to accept the idea and then translate that goal into action. It would be foolish for instance for a couple normally placed 151 in the British Championships to have a goal of being British Champion in one week. It would just not be realisable, therefore, the mind would not accept it. The goal must be realisable and the mind must be saturated with the idea. And from this, coupled with desire, hard work, and persistence, the thought will be transformed into action and success will be forthcoming.
The type of goal is important.
For example, to write down I want to be British Champion is not specific. Better would be, I want to dance well enough to be British Champion. I want to dance a soft, lilting Waltz, a dynamic strong Tango, a classically elegant Foxtrot, a scintillatiing Quickstep. Every dance must have superb crystal clear line and powerful rhythmical movement.” I took his words and broke down this advice for your teams:
A week or two before your next competition, take these steps:
A) Praise your team for the awesome job they are doing
B) Have each girl write down a specific goal that they have for their next competition: it can’t be to WIN. Examples include:
- Complete a perfect extension (or other movement)
- Dance in better sync with my group
- Listening to the beats of the music and moving better
- I want to dance a SOUL LIFTING performance
- I want to dance a perfect tap step
C) Dancers can share their goals with the team
D) Every day the dancer looks at their one or two goals and memorizes it—like a mantra
E) While performing, if they feel themselves becoming nervous, distracted, or otherwise, they can reach for the goal that has now become memorized.
“We know that the above technical factors can usually be improved when the desire, goal and motivation are strong. The influence of the mind, the motivating force behind all others, cannot be overestimated. This will to succeed, the motivating drive, the desire to be the best, is the greatest single factor upon which top-class competitive performances depend.”
Richard Gleave, The Psychology of Competing
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