Prepare for Perfection by Jordan Draper
Prepare for Perfection
written by Jordan Draper
Being a gymnast is very much a lifestyle. In gymnastics, we are taught to be consistent in all aspects of our training. We eat the same. Get the same amount of sleep. Do the same warm-up. We wear the same braces, wrist guards, grips, whatever it may be.
Being consistent in training allows us to strive for the ultimate goal: performing our routines consistently the same way every time.
Though these tasks can sometimes be difficult, the way to prepare ourselves for this aspect of gymnastics is to prepare the same. That means having the same positive outlook and perspective walking into the gym every day.
My name is Jordan Mae Draper and I am a junior on the women’s gymnastics team for the University of Oklahoma. I have been a gymnast for a little under two decades and have had hundreds of competitions to figure out what works for me. I am going to key you into what works for me in my preparation for perfection, which is the most basic way to explain gymnastics. The goal is to earn that perfect 10 and though I have not done that yet, I am still on the way to making that happen. Preparation can change for sure, but these are the ways I have prepared recently for my college gymnastics meets.
1. Look good, feel good!
If you have ever watched college gymnastics you have probably noticed that we all wear makeup. In most of the other female sports, makeup isn’t much of a requirement, but that is just a part of our sport. Our appearance goes into our performance. We put on a ‘show’ therefore we have to look the part.
I really like getting ready earlier than needed. It allows me to lower my stress level going into a meet day. I usually give myself two hours or so, even though it takes me about an hour to get ready. I always start with foundation and finish with a nice lipstick. I used to change the lipstick I wore, however now I use the same one because I found the PERFECT one.
As gymnasts, we do put on a lot of makeup and make ourselves look as good as we can. My idea on this is the theory ‘when you look good, you feel good’. When I feel beautiful, I think that transfers over into the performance of my gymnastics routines. Even if this isn’t true, I still like the way the pictures come out.
2. Motivation from Momma
Ever since I was a freshman in college when the confidence was low and I was timid, my mom would send me a message of motivation before every gymnastic meet. Somehow moms always know when you need it the most. Now that I have gained confidence and have built up immense trust in myself, I do not really need that motivational text or call. My mom still does it and I appreciate it. My most favorite messages always have that bible verse that is PERFECT for the situation. It never hurts to get a good luck or go get ‘em text… they go a long way. I know when I get these messages that all is right, and I am preparing myself for success.
My advice for any young gymnast would be to find a family member or friend that can motivate you for a meet. It never hurts to have someone removed from the situation that can motivate you. Mine is my mom and I would never take that for granted.
3. Songs of Strength
A thing that never fails to happen is to sing a song with my teammate Karrie Thomas. She was a transfer student from Maryland and came to OU my sophomore year. We always play the song on the bus usually right before we get to the competition arena. The first song we sang together was “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans, then our junior year song was “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson. I am pretty sure we will stick to the same motivation area of strength next year too. Karrie picks the songs and I approve them. Every time we sing it, it somehow hits different and means more.
Pretty sure our dance moves get better too and I am sure our teammates could attest to that. These quick three minutes to pump myself up helps me to embody strength going into a meet. I also think by having someone to listen to the song with me allows us to grow closer and create more memories.
These are a couple of things I do to prepare for a meet. I am big into creating relationships and relying on a connection. Even though the gymnastics part on that competition floor is all me, it never hurts to lean on others to help you prepare. You can’t do it alone, so bring someone on the ride as you prepare for perfection.
– Jordan Draper