Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Power of Communication

If you have a gymnast at the competitive level in your family, you can see how much time and effort have been made in order to pursue its career.  Its success deeply relies on the collaborative effort of a circle of supporters including knowledgeable coaches, skillful gymnastics office managers, caring teammates, and the last but not least, families.

Needless to say, as gymnast's parents, we do what we have to do as an simple example of transportation to practices and meets.  Although we don't expect the return other than the fact that our daughters enjoy sports, a little acknowledgement eases our daily duty.  The communication is the key.

First of all, not only our own daughter but other gymnasts greet adults with eye contact.  It is a great sign.  Hello and Thank You are simple but it can be difficult if they are not reenforced until it becomes the habit.  Girls in our team are learning respect.  It makes me smile. 

Second, parents always appreciate coaches and staff members communication.  In the car ride to home, I would hear a lot of remarks and advices that received during the workout.  It is the evidence of her coaches' effective communication.  The gymnasts trust and care about the coaches advice therefore they remember.  The effective communication happens and work well in the trustful relationship.  I know building relationship is not a over night job. 

Third, the teammates count.  Girls' ages, skill levels, learning styles, length of attention span vary in the team.  But they are focused on their accomplishment.   They complement when succeeded.  They cheer while trying.  They encourage when they fell.  And they share smiles.

Above all are great reasons to keep me going, however, I found out another powerful communication that impacts the dedicated gymnastics' family life.  It is to self.  You may want to call it as self talk or self reflection. 

Me: Is the TOPS skills harder than last year?
Gymnast: Yes, the bar mount is harder.
M: Oh, that is what you told me your accomplishment.  It sounds like you are ready for the test.
G: No, I mean, I did yesterday, but I need "consistency". 

She kept talking to me as if she is talking to herself, "The head coach thinks I am good because he watches only when I do well.  It is not right!  I want to twist my body more and, you know, I need to be consistent on this skill."

That is, what I call, the "Communication to Self". Although technically she was talking to me, she  was deeply connecting (communicating!) her inner voice.  It is built on the first three communication skills.  While I am proud of her, I pat my shoulder as a part of her team