Competition season is in full swing for our competitive team gymnasts. It’s when we see the culmination of all of the hard work of summer and fall training come to fruition. Now is the time to be in the zone, the time to put our skills to the test and show what we’re made of.

Twisters has long been one of the top competitive gymnastics teams in the nation, especially at the highest levels. Twisters regularly produces state, regional and national champions at multiple levels, was twice named USA Gymnastics Florida Club of the Year, has produced multiple Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers and boasts a Wall of Fame of decades of scholarship athletes. So how does Twisters stay on top? The answer to that question has many layers, but one of the most important layers of that answer is by creating a winning mentality, not just during meet season, but by choosing to win every day, both in and out of the gym.

Each year, Twisters participates in a staff summit where we share information with each other on how to elevate our programs and take Twisters to the next level in every department. Our optional team head coach, Christy Ramirez, recently gave a presentation on a Winning Mentality – Choosing to Win Every Day. Here is an adaptation of Coach Christy’s presentation, and an inside look at how Twisters athletes are training at the highest levels mentally as well as physically. These skills and habits are not only helpful in gymnastics, but can be applied to life in general, and in elevating your mentality to a higher vibration in all areas in which you choose to succeed.

Twisters Blog - Creating a Winning Mentality in Gymnastics and Beyond - Featured Photo

Choosing to win every day.
Winning and losing are a part of life – in sports, in business and in general . One of the first steps when creating a winning mentality is to ask yourself: Do you actively try to win, or just let things take their course? You can take control of the narrative and actively and consciously choose to create a winning environment for yourself and for those around you.


Understanding Your Habits:
Winning is a habit. Losing is too. Losing can be attributed to not enough skills, focus, courage or accountability.
Winning is a case of competing, learning, discovery, execution, attitude and change.

Become aware of your current habits and work toward aligning them with the habits that will contribute towards your goals.

American Twisters gymnast in red leotard on beam with arms up straight

5 keys to consciously creating a winning environment
Here are five keys to cultivating a winning environment, especially in your gymnastics training. We will dive into each one and how to put them into action below.

-Goals matter! Shoot for the moon.

-Ditch the Negativity and Avoid the Nay-Sayers

-Keep Good Company

-Show Up Ready to Put the Work In

-Always Have FUN!

American Twisters 2023 Level 10 Florida State Champions on Podium

Setting Goals With a Winning Mentality:
-Measurable and Attainable: Achievable goals keep you motivated, so set the bar at a challenging but realistic level.
Speak it, Write it, Make it Real: Saying your goals aloud affirms your commitment and makes them concrete. Writing them down anchors them in the physical world, like a treasure map guiding your actions. Visualization boards, vision statements, or even sticky notes on your mirror can further solidify your aspirations.
Shoot for the Moon! Make your goals as BIG and AUDACIOUS as you want
Short-Term Sprints and Long-Term Marathons: Break down your grand vision into smaller, actionable steps. Set a daily micro-goal, like practicing a new skill for 15 minutes. This keeps you focused and motivated on the daily grind. Meanwhile, hold onto your long-term goal, the marathon finish line that keeps you moving forward on the bigger journey.

Ditch the negativity
Measure the energy of your inner circle. What kind of energy do you bring to your environment daily? Are YOU the negative nay-sayer of your group? Sports and life thrive on positive energy. Ditch the inner critic, the nay-saying friends, and the limiting beliefs that hold you back. Surround yourself with those who believe in you and radiate positivity, like a supportive team cheering you on.

Measure the Energy:
Like a coach scouting talent, take a moment to assess the energy of your environment. Are you surrounded by people who uplift and inspire, or are there negativity drains sapping your motivation? Be honest with yourself – are you sometimes the “Don’t bother, we’ll lose anyway” voice in the group? Remember, positivity is contagious, so choose to be the source of good vibes, not the echo of doubt.

Jump Ship from Sinking Thoughts:

The “don’t go down with a sinking ship” quote holds a powerful message. In life and sports, there will be challenges, losses, and setbacks. But wallowing in negativity is like clinging to a doomed vessel. Learn from the experience, adjust your course, and jump ship from those pessimistic thoughts before they drag you down.


  • Positivity fuels performance, both on the field and in life.
  • Your inner circle shapes your energy – choose wisely.
  • Don’t be afraid to ditch negativity and embrace new beginnings.
American Twisters gymnasts in red leotards at the Sun And Surf Spectacular meet

Keep Good Company
Who are the people you spend the most time with? Are they teammates who push you to train harder, celebrate your wins, and pick you up after defeats? Or are there individuals who bring negativity, gossip, or unhealthy habits into your life? Remember, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.

Shared Values, Shared Success:
It’s not just about having fun (although that’s important too!). Find friends who share your values, your dedication to the sport, and your commitment to personal growth. Do they value sportsmanship, respect for coaches, and the importance of education alongside athletics? Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals creates a positive support system that elevates everyone’s goals and achievements.

Standards for Life
Are they elevating you to be a better version of yourself, or do they bring you down?

Surround yourself with positive people. Positive friends will encourage you to maintain good grades, make healthy choices, and strive for excellence in all aspects of life. Negative influences can pull you down, tempting you to compromise your values and goals. Remember, the standards you set for yourself are shaped by the people you surround yourself with.

Show up ready to put the work in
Winning in everything that you do takes practice, perseverance and discipline. Between the time that you wake up and the moment you close your eyes for the day, you should start with the discipline to show up ready for work and ready to get the job done. For young athletes, this mindset becomes the cornerstone of their athletic journey, shaping not just their skills at the gym or on the field, but their character and success in life.

Showing up ready to work means embracing the challenges, facing setbacks with resilience, and never letting temporary stumbles derail your long-term goals. Remember, every champion has stumbled, but it’s their unwavering perseverance that propels them towards greatness.

Twisters gymnasts and coaches know that they can show up and count on each other to put the hard work in to achieve success together at the gym.

American Twisters gymnasts stretching at practice on floor exercise

You must find a way to create the energy, keep the passion and motivate those around you to work hard, work smart and have fun while doing it.
FUN doesn’t mean slacking off. It’s about injecting creativity into training, turning drills into games, and celebrating small victories along the way. It’s about working smart, finding innovative ways to tackle challenges, and embracing the learning process with a playful spirit. When young athletes approach hard work with FUN, they become more resourceful, adaptable, and resilient. They experiment, take risks, and learn from their mistakes, ultimately finding smarter and more effective ways to reach their goals.

American Twisters gymnast and coaches showing muscle arms and wearing a feather boa

The Twisters mission is to help build happy, healthy, responsible kids inside and outside of the gym each and every day. To learn more about our programs, visit

American Twisters gymnast Nina Simone with medals at National Championships