How to help your child perform under pressure

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How to help your child perform under pressure

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It was important for me to help Gabrielle recognize that pressure can be positive, but it can also be negative, and so, I always tried to help her understand that the most important thing was for her to enjoy what she was doing. Pressure's a reality; of course, you're going to be nervous. If you weren't nervous, I mean, you probably didn't care about what you were doing. So, I just tried to help her find a way to deal with the stresses of competing. So, we would do things like meditation. We would also recite positive affirmations. So, I would write down things that she wanted to see herself doing. So, she wanted to see herself do a wonderful landing. So, I would write down a positive affirmation that she would speak out loud so that she could hear herself say it, and it would be, "I'm going to land each dismount beautifully and I'm going to execute it with precision." And I just think it's important because you will believe yourself faster than you will believe someone else, generally. And so, it was important for me that she heard the words coming out of her mouth so that they would be meaningful to her.

See Natalie Hawkins's video on How to help your child perform under pressure...

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Natalie Hawkins

Mom & Manager

Natalie Hawkins is the mother of Gabrielle Douglas, 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist.  Virginia Beach native and single mother of 4, Hawkins faced many struggles putting Gabrielle through Olympic training, giving up everything she had to see her daughter succeed.  Hawkins allowed her daughter to leave their Virginia Beach home and close family bonds to pursue her dreams, train with Chow's Gymnastics in Iowa, and become the Olympian she is today.  Hawkins has since been honored in the P&G “Thank You Moms” campaign. 

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