Exercise Tip Of The Day

Exercise workout and fitness techniques give young gymnast an edge

At age 11, Natalie Lacuesta was the youngest and least experienced gymnast on her team, and it was her first year on the team. She needed some way to steady her nerves and improve her concentration.

Natalie’s mother, Dr. Evelyn Lacuesta, took her to the Exercise course on the advice of three sisters-in-law.

“They are graduates of the course,” Dr. Lacuesta explained, “and had been telling me for a long time that we should take the course.”

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So in order to give Natalie an extra edge, they took the course. Natalie subsequently won the U.S. Junior National Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship, beating out the older, more experienced competitors. By the age of 13, she had been ranked number one in the nation in rhythmic gymnastics, junior division, for two consecutive years.

Her next goal was to compete in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. When Natalie inquired about trying out for the Olympic Games, she learned that her age worked against her.

While everyone was impressed with her accomplishments, the rules specify that only senior division athletes can try out for the Olympic team – and you must be 15 years old to j oin the senior division. Natalie wouldn’t turn 15 until a couple of months after the Olympics were over. Once again, programming came to the rescue. With hundreds of Exercise graduates in the Chicago area programming for her, she won a chance to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team Unfortunately for Natalie, only one athlete would be selected, and the committee selected one of the older girls.

Mental practice has paid big dividends for Natalie when it comes to competition. When she is standing at the edge of the mat, ready to begin her routine, she is relaxing and programming. “I go to my level to relax before I go on the mat,” she said. “It helps me to focus on my routine more and to keep my nerves down. I use my Three Fingers Workout and Fitness workout and fitness technique to calm myself down and to concentrate on my routine,” she said.

Then, with the image and the feel of a perfect routine imprinted strongly in her mind, she proceeds to give a championship performance and shows everyone why she is ranked number one in the nation. She often programs before going to her practice sessions. “Before I go to the gym,” she said, “I do the Long Relaxation Exercise, and then I go through my routine in my mind.”

She also programs every evening. “I program that when I am doing my routine, I stay focused, I stay relaxed and am not nervous.”

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