Don’t worry, no one is looking
Many times new students will be intimidated when they enter an unfamiliar training space. Sometimes this is warranted; I have worked in Judgey places where you feel those eyes as soon as you walk in the building. Thankfully the place where I am currently teaching, SLAM, is not like that at all. But it can still feel very scary entering a new space, especially if you feel that everyone is better than you. Now that may or not actually be true (it’s probably not) but let’s say it is. If you walk into wheel class and everyone is doing tricks by themselves that you are just learning, don’t despair, we have all been there. Every other student in class with you has had similar struggles. Yes, sometimes people learn certain tricks faster than others, but that’s just how it goes. There is always somewhere where you will be challenged. And that’s a good thing to find. Whenever you find something that makes you squirm, make a note and see if you can figure out the commonalities. Do you hate discomfort, speed, instability, the belts; figuring out what you don’t like is a good way to distill the tricks you are going to love.
I’ll admit a little secret joy of mine. ☺ I love when a big strong MAN comes into class, and due to his strength and lack of a self preservation instinct, he will very quickly learn monkey rolls and other strength and size based tricks. Then I’ll have him work on Freehands right next to the smallest girl, and she will absolutely destroy him. Now I don’t do this just to be spiteful and because I have a deep seated mistrust of guys I think would be good at football… It is important to remember that at different times opposite attributes can be advantages or drawbacks.
So notice what is going on around you, but don’t get sucked into the “they are better/stronger/prettier and I don’t deserve to be here” game. It is important that your circus moves at your own pace; over pushing can lead to injury and bad habits. Try not to look outward for your pace, find your own rhythm. However some competition can be great and if you find that friendly push, it can really help you get better faster. It is great to have circus heroes and to have goals and dreams, but make sure you check in with yourself and figure out the best way to train for you. Everyone has a different learning style; it’s important to discover yours.