Without a doubt, there are a lot of tasks and things in this world that we do that are boring and mundane… but that are also good for us.
Whether it’s conditioning, flexibility or repetitive drills, these things all have incredible value that can lead to long-term success and payoffs with the gymnasts. While doing them just seem dull, repetitive and boring. It is being great at the boring and mundane that makes a gymnast successful.
Now a lot of things can be rewired to become inherently interesting to us and gymnasts – especially if the stakes and consequences change. But the fact remains, sometimes you just have to “do the work” when it comes to repetitive things.
There’s the common saying of “work hard, play hard”, my interpretation of the message behind that is to be consistent in your WORK. The strength, flexibility and basics that we use as a base for all the other skills.
The advanced level is just mastery of the basics.
Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini
Being exceptional with receptive drills and exercise will build an exceptional gymnast.
At every training camp there is always one gymnast who is super flashy and has a great skill or event. Every coach can’t wait to work with her. Then training starts and the gymnast has no basics. She is a one trick pony and one change in FIG code of points from having no usable skills.
The best gymnasts have a variety of skills derived from a variety of basics. The better their base the better they tend to be in competition because they can handle the pressure, they can make adjustments.
A gymnast and coach must become a master of the mundane.
Sure, doing a double back is important but without huge repetitions of good hurdle, roundoff and back handspring will they be consistent enough in their double back to be able to advance to more difficult skills?
A coach must realize that the boring and mundane is often the most important. As a coach there is not a lot of FUN or CREATIVITY in conditioning or flexibility. Spotting thousands or cast handstands, press handstands or clear hip circles is difficult and physically challenging for some. If you are not going to pay attention to these things and be willing to work hard you have severely limited their future.
Boring success is better than exciting failure
If you need further convincing, look at strength, flexibility and basics like building a house. You wouldn’t shingle the roof before you lay the foundation. In the gym, you can’t get ahead of yourself. You must have a clear plan of what you are doing, what comes next, AND WHY. Before you can start adding a a bunch of skills to a routine you must lay the foundation.
Embrace the boring
Embrace the tedious
Embrace the repetition
Mastering the mundane separates the good from the great