Mentality of Gold Medal Wushu Practitioner
To repeat a same routine 20 times a day and accepting different constructive criticism of the execution is no easy feat. Unlike Mixed Martial Arts, where training is 90% physical and 10% mental, Wushu training drains a practitioner 90% mentally due to the repetition of the choreographed sequence.
The criteria of evaluating a Wushu performance consists of elegance, strength, precision and agility. While it is impossible to perfect a subjective performance, most judges agrees that the tenacity and will to outperform has always been the key to success in this area.
The Winning Mentality in Wushu
It goes without saying that gold medalists bloom in an enjoyable environment. The drive to constantly improve is what sets them apart from the one-time Gold medalist and a constant gold medalist. While Wushu competition does not enjoy a quantifiable outcome like the rest of the martial arts competition where knocking your opponents out would make you a winner, Wushu competitions does have their own loopholes. Impressions are lasting, and if the first impression of your performance stands you out of the crowd, most likely judges will remember you for the delightful first impression. Given that there is only a limited number of qualified wushu judges per country’s general Wushu association, you are more than likely to be judged by the same few judges across competitions. Always make the best first impression.
Count Your Success
A winning mentality is developed over time with counting small successes, each step of the way. For Wushu beginners, participating in multiple Wushu competitions for a start is a good build up of momentum and winning mentality. More exposure would acclimatize performers to the competition’s atmosphere and knowing where the performer stands amongst fellow athletics.
In Singapore, Wushu competitions are held on school level and national level. The entry level for performers to compete on in the school division is a good starting point. Most schools maximize their student’s participation in school level competition to encourage students. Small successes like a silver or bronze builds a good momentum for encouraging students, and a gold is a bonus. Of course, there are also certificate of participation in these competition so no one will feel bad for not winning.
Dealing with Disappointment
The right mindset starts with not getting too carried away when winning and not getting too down when you’re not. Adversity is a fact of life and there is no 2 ways about it. You’re not special, the universe does not have a special set of rules for you.
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown
That being said, your belief that you will come back stronger and that you will improve and win the next time round is what sets you apart from the rest. Your hard work and practice and tweaks of the routine will be fruitful with the right instructor. Learn to manage your expectations.
After all, it is not the end of you. A common lie I often tell myself to feel better is that I’d win the next one, and the one after. It might be true for me, but I’d choose to lose gracefully over wallowing in self-pity any time.