By: Kylie J. 

have been dancing for 10-years. Dance is my life. I've learned a lot from being on the stage and practicing. It's taught me how to become a better person, work harder and most of all to be confident. 
I believe that dancing has it pros and cons.  
Dance requires lots of movement. So according to studies dance is listed as one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Dance has the same amount of strain that it puts on a body as any other sport or athlete. That's why it takes years and years of practice to become a master at dance.  
From personal experiences, I've learned that I do better when I have stretched before my danceI have had injuries from dancing. I have twisted my ankle, pulled a muscle and popped blood vessels in my finger. All of this hurt very bad. But there are consequences to everything. My mental injuries were forgetting the dance on stage and having a whole mental breakdown before getting on stage. 
I always make sure to eat a healthy snack before dance but not too much. I think a healthy snack always makes you feel better. So to compete at your best you need to prepare both mentally and physically.  
Before I go on stage at every competition I meditate. Meditating helps me stay calm and do just as well as I do in practice.  
Studies say that when you are calm you perform better. So, if I perform better that means that I will have a better chance at achieving my goal. Staying focus is also a big part of it.  
I believe, my mindset needs to be positive because I perform better with a positive attitude. I feel it is just like taking tests at school if you don't study and you have a negative mindset you might not do your best. But if you study and have a positive mindset you have a better chance of passing. 
must believe in myself and be very confident even when I'm under pressure. I'm still working on mastering my fears and reaching my full potential. I’ve learned even when I have self-doubts, I must remember that there's always a positive side to most experiences and to just keep dancing.  

By: Libby D. 

My name is Libby, I am 14-years old and I am in high school. I have played basketball for almost eight-years. I play basketball year-round. I play metro in the fall/winter and then AAU in the spring/summer. I have experienced many situations where mentality has been a huge component in my sport.  
I believe, mentality is key to persevere in sports. I have learned with good headspace comes a successful outcome which gives growth in the many skills found in sports. 
I have also learned, that there are many distractions of the mind, in which the mentality will become disrupted. Once disrupted it is very hard to become successful again.  
The things that can be distracting are the crowd at games but also bad coaches, bad practices and bad teamwork. Players with either bad skills or a bad character can be a distraction from your own game. When experiencing these complications there might be a point where you cannot learn anything so you as an athlete will have to challenge yourself by doing something on your own to continue to grow in your sport. This might be working on our own skills, our own way of thinking, our own attitude and our own way of pushing ourselves. 
I believe there are times when we have control to make the situation better and to strengthen ourselves. A key point that I had wished to know before joining certain teams is that you do not always get the coach you wantWhen this happens, you must adjust yourself to the way the coach works.   
If you allow yourself to learn from your coaches and to have a good attitude your coach can’t say you aren’t giving your all. This is especially important if you have a bad coach because if you have a good attitude and try hard, they can’t blame you for their failures.  
There are always moments where your mind will become clouded and things will seem to fall apart for you as an athlete. Most of the time, I have found that it is the way I am thinking. It is not the reality. 
 Having a weak mentality is giving in to all the thoughts in your head that are against you. But I think when you have a strong mentality you will fight against your corrupt thoughts and perhaps get better.  
It is always difficult to clear your head but from my experience if you just continue to tell yourself positive thoughts, even out loud, your body will soon believe it, which will make your performance spot on.  
There is another way to clear your head that is usually not as affective or at least it isn’t for me. This tactic is hyping yourself up. 
I guess us girls look at all the ways it could go wrong but by telling ourselves that “you can do it” or “your better than this” in hard moments there will be an impact that will help us do better.  
I challenge you, the reader, to find a motive to improve and help your mentality.You must find in yourself a way to keep going because we are all different and have different motives. 
See you on the basketball court! 

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