As a dancer and athlete, it’s natural to feel like giving up from time to time. But that doesn't mean you should. Just by fighting it and making some key mindset shifts will allow you to see your training in a whole different way.
In this article, we'll look at six common reasons dancers want to give up. Plus, we'll cover how you can overcome these obstacles so that you can continue to progress towards your future goals.
1. "I Don't Have Enough Time"
I get it. You are busy. You have school, friends, family, hobbies, you name it. That may make it hard to find enough time to exercise. But the truth is, every dancer has twenty-four hours in a day. And so if others have enough time to practice, get strong, and get flexible, then that means you to do.
To overcome this hurdle it’s important to prioritize your dance training and plan it well in advance. Put your training sessions on the calendar so that nothing will interfere with your session.
Once you do this you will soon realize that it is not ‘time’ that is holding you back but the excuses that you are making as to why you have no time.
Make time for it then you will realize time was never an issue in the first place and you just kept putting it off to another day.
2. "I'm Stuck Inside"
Giving the current situation, you're likely isolated indoors, your dance school is closed, and you can't practice alongside your usual dance friends.
If this is your issue then you need to realize that you are relying on others to motivate you and hold you accountable, rather than having the drive to keep things going yourself.
Sure it’s always more fun to dance with your friends. But please remember that Irish dance is an individual sport and now that there is a situation that keeps us all separated, this is a perfect opportunity to work on your own individual weaknesses and come out stronger than ever before.
The take-home here is that if you're not practicing because of your friends then you’re using them for your own motivation when you need to be the one driving your own goals.
3. "I Don't Have the Right Set-Up"
While it's beneficial to have access to a large dance hall and workout equipment, it's definitely not necessary. After all, we have all danced for years with nothing more than a floor and a mirror and so even though your living room may be smaller than your dance hall, or you may not have a mirror to look into, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue on.
After all, you may be stuck in a corner on stage and you don’t have much room to move to, and you do not have a mirror in front of the judges, so skip the excuses and look for the benefits in what you do have to keep your progress moving.
The same holds true for improving flexibility, core strength, and endurance. While equipment can be beneficial, most dancers come from a background of having no strength training experience and so an effective workout can be done by simply doing bodyweight exercises and stretches alone. You may have to be a bit more creative but that is why RNH on-demand was born.
4. "I Feel Overwhelmed as a Beginner"
Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle or tried something else that was new to you? You felt uncomfortable at the beginning, but after a while, it became easier and easier, and now the action feels natural right?
The same applies to when you first start Irish dancing. While you may feel like you'll never be able to dance the way you want to, remember that even the best dancers were once a beginner.
Going from a beginner to an intermediate level dancer is all about repetition and learning a new skill. You need nothing more than a set of steps to practice and a drive to repeat them over and over until you master the skill of the movement. When you have this then you can worry about speed, sharpness, power, and all of those extra skills required, but for now, repetition is your best friend. So keep it simple and don’t worry about running when all you need to do for now is to learn how to walk.
5. "I'm Bored with My Routine"
Enjoying the process is vital for making progress. It makes it easier to stay consistent with your training sessions. The issue, however, is that it can be boring to practice the same steps every time. The good news is that's not what you're meant to be doing anyway.
For years all dancers done was practiced steps. Now, however, there are so many more layers to a dancer's performance. Sure dance technique is important. But nowadays good technique only will not win competitions. You need speed, sharpness, power, and strength to add to that technique and so if your finding that your bored with your routine you either are not aware of all of the other layers that you can be training and your practicing steps alone or, you are aware that you need to do more but you're using it as an excuse that you don’t know what to do.
Extra training for Irish dancers is now everywhere and if you're stuck for a home practice routine and need to shake things up, you can grab a super cheap one month pass on RNH On-Demand that will give you that routine you are looking for.
Now, this excuse is gone also...
6. "I Feel Tired and Lack Energy"
A busy day at school or college can drain energy, and as a result, may make you want to skip your workouts, especially the ones outside of class where you have no one around to make you do it.
Fortunately, some lifestyle changes and willpower can help you overcome all of these thoughts.
Getting enough sleep is one example. Having a good night's sleep boosts motivation and energy so that your training will feel less of a burden.
The same applies to eating healthily. You'll have more energy and a better mood if you provide your body with the right nutrients, which makes a lack of motivation less likely to come up.
Make sure you are in control of both of those things and scheduling in at least one rest day each week. And if so, then ignore your thoughts and keep moving.
The Bottom Line
It's normal to feel like giving up from time to time. These thoughts will come to all of us which is why you shouldn't feel bad about yourself for when this comes into your head. The difference simply comes down to if you listen to it or you overcome it.
Across my career, there were more training sessions that I didn’t want to go to than when I did. But I learned how to not think about it and just keep going. And if I can do that then the good news is you can too.
So, whenever you feel like having an easier day because no one will know about it or giving up altogether, try to use the tips you learned in this article and make sure that you keep focused and stay on track.
If not just let me know. I will be sure to keep things moving.