What is it going to be this year? Master your hand spring? Hold that Aeyesha? Flatten your Jade Split? Climb to the top of that 4m brassy? All admirable goals for the upcoming year. You’ve got the photo of the move you want to perfect on your wall, pinned in your phone and indented in your head. You are determined, dedicated, willing to do whatever it takes. you WILL achieve it this year. You WILL master it. Happiness fills you head, your heart, your soul when you think of how you will feel when the that move is conquered. A smile even sits with satisfaction on your face just reading this. But here’s a question: what then? where will that single move-achievement take you? What if something gets in the way of perfecting that goal trick or move?

There is an expression I love in relation to physical goals: You Get What You Train For. I always remember in my early fitness instructor days being told about some elite swimmers who had their training type changed. It ended in disaster. They were taken out for a run. These were people who were use to literally the fluidity of the pool. No impact. No sweat. No movement that required them to push forward repeatedly from a hard uneven surface that is the ground. They ended up with shin splints, sore calves, blisters, and had little stamina because they were doing an activity that they never trained for. Put them back in the pool and they were like pigs in mud or fish in water!

So, how does that relate to your 2022 pole goals? The last few years, with all the various lockdowns, we were prevented from perfected an isolated trick or move so during 2022 maybe look at the bigger picture. Look at all that pole is comprised of: Flexibility, strength, flow, grace, stamina and yes perseverance, practise and a great smile.

We all want to feel satisfied that we are progressing with our skills, even on those days (or weeks) where we feel we have plateaued or gone backwards, or is those days we may find ourselves in iso (hopefully no more lockdowns though)! By looking at the bigger picture rather than just individual tricks and moves, you set yourself up for success, satisfaction and a more relevant and broader skill set.

For instance: how do you finish your moves? Do you KER THUMP to the floor? Do you land like a goblin? Do you drag yourself off the ground? Think about the discipline of finishing a move with finesse. Step to the ground with deliberation. Land with fairy lightness. Find at least 5 ways to get off the ground (without grunting), that look refined and controlled.

What about just generally looking at improving your form? Take all your favourite moves – those that you are really great at, or those that you love – and video yourself doing them. Scrutinise them with love. What can you do to improve your form? Take the move/combo slower? Stretch further? Hold it longer? Change the angle of your arm, your leg, your head? Smile? Point your toes? (thats me).

By just dedicating time, thought and energy into the two suggestions above you will gain confidence, control, stamina and thoughtfullness in how you move during 2022.

What about the lack of strength or flexibility you seem to have in so many of the moves that other polers just seem to get? Rather than just continue to try the move over and over and over (hows that going for you?) find out (get guidance) Why aren’t you getting stronger/more flexibile for this move? What do you need to do to get stronger or more flexible? What are you missing? Shifting your focus laterally will be more beneficial to your outcome than constantly repeating the same things you were doing unsuccessfully last year (and probably the year before that) which is just unsatisfying, emotionally and mentally depleting.

By embracing all these attributes of the sport you love, your goals become more realistic, achievable, relevant and will take you to those fine tuning moves (eg aeyesha) in a more wholistic way, therefore getting you what you are training for during 2022.

Written by Brandy Hicks

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