The most common problem I help gymnasts through is FEAR. It come in two forms:
1. Fear and Mental blocks in practice
You’re the gymnast that has miserable practices because you get stuck on skills. You know your body is capable, but you can’t make yourself “just do it.”
It’s a fear you can’t quite describe except it’s like you hit a wall, or you stepped off a step that wasn’t there. It’s jarring and scary. It’s also dangerous because it can lead to you bailing out in the middle of a skill. When it gets bad, the fear or block can even transfer to other skills and events.
You’re tired of people rolling their eyes at you when you ask for a spot or another mat. You feel totally out of control when you can’t make your body do what you want it to. You just want to do your skills and be done with the fear. Interestingly enough, you’re probably the gymnast that does great under pressure, but you never know what to expect at practice. Or…
2. Competition Anxiety
You’re the gymnast who is great in practice. Predictable. You finish your assignments, not a lot of drama. Then when the pressure is on, you become a completely different gymnast. You melt down. You shut down. You can’t go big. You get so worried about messing up, that it messes you up. You might even get so tense that your parents and teammates can’t talk to you before you compete or you’ll freak out. If only you could compete like you practice, you would be on that podium!
Here’s why these situations are so common:
Coaches are great at perfecting the physical side of gymnastics, but you’re missing some critical mental skills. If the mind-body connection isn’t strong enough, you can’t live up to your maximum potential. Mental training is so individual that even the most skilled coach can’t address everyone’s needs.
When you add in mental toughness training, you don’t have to wonder if you’ll melt down. You will know exactly what to do when your heart starts to pound, or when you start to feel that doomy, pit-of-the-stomach feeling.
My main passion is working with gymnasts.
I wasn’t one of those gymnasts I just described. I was both. I would stand on the beam shuffling my feet back and forth, wiping the nonexistent sweat off my hands for 15 minutes, and then still not end up going for my skills. I can’t tell you how many rope climbs I did because I wouldn’t go for stuff. I also shook so bad at my first meet that the judges deducted for wobbles. It was not pretty.
I have been a competitive gymnast, a coach for compulsory, optional and Xcel gymnasts, and a High Performance Coach with a Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology. I specialize in helping gymnasts come up with a customized mental game plan to reach peak performance and maximum enjoyment. I’d love to give you some ideas that can help you maximize your gymnastics career.
Interested in seeing if I’m a good fit to work with you or your child? Let’s chat!Schedule a FREE Call
My 14-year old daughter is a level 10 gymnast and developed mental blocks and was losing confidence in herself. She was losing the joy in the sport that she has been passionate about for years.
Talking with Rebecca helped my daughter regain confidence as well as restored her love for the sport. She learned how to manage her fears and build mental toughness. My daughter was very reluctant to talk to anyone, but after the first consultation with Rebecca, she quickly changed her mind. She was very happy to talk with someone that could relate to what she was going through and to have some practical guidance for her. She looked forward to the sessions.
I love that Rebecca was a former gymnast and can relate to the issues that my daughter was experiencing. I really liked the consult that enabled us to decide if her methods would be a good fit for our daughter. The Facetime sessions were convenient and worked out even better than I had imaged they would.
Our daughter seems to be much happier with herself in and out of gym and has regained her love for the sport. She has developed so much more self-confidence and has learned new methods to help her problem solve and cope with difficult situations.
I would absolutely recommend Rebecca. No only is she very easy to talk with and relate to, she has effective methods for problem-solving and confidence building. The Facetime sessions were so easy and convenient to schedule also.
I am so glad that I found Rebecca and I really think that she helped my daughter with more than just gymnastics.Parent of a 14-year-old gymnast
My gymnast daughter was a tight ball of stress. She loves gymnastics and didn't want to give it up, but was also putting quite a bit of pressure on herself to move up to the next level. The resulting pressure made her tense up so much that she lost skills she'd had before, she started despairing she'd be able to progress at all, and gymnastics was becoming less and less fun for her. It was really hard to watch her struggle and beat herself up for not make progress, week after week. And yet, she also couldn't imagine herself being anything other than a gymnast. My support for her was only limited in its effectiveness. I'm not a coach and I'm not a psychologist, and I knew she needed help that was beyond what I could give. Enter Rebecca!
My daughter learned how to think about how she was thinking and what she was thinking, and to question the negative messages she was giving herself. She learned how to remove value judgements from her assessments of herself, and to focus instead on small, achievable and objective things. She learned to visualize her own success, and she was able to delve into the possible roots of her tension. Rebecca also taught my daughter that the mental side of a sport is maybe even more important than the physical side, and that mental skills take regular practice too. By the time we were finished with our sessions my daughter had relaxed. She started getting her skills back, plus some new ones. She was able to return to her optimistic self, and felt hopeful about her gymnastics future.
I like that Rebecca's work with my daughter was just between the two of them, and I trusted Rebecca to be working in my daughter's best interests. As a mom you want to be able to fix everything, but you can't always. I appreciated that, with Rebecca's help, I could kind of stop worrying about "helping" my daughter and start just being my daughter's mom. And I'm sure a result of my confidence in Rebecca is that I stopped worrying so much too--surely a good result for everyone in the situation!
Rebecca inspires confidence. She's a mom herself, so knows how it feels to want relief for your child. She's also a former gymnastics coach and a former gymnast herself, so she knows that world from the inside, from every angle. When my daughter talked to her, she felt like Rebecca really knew what she was talking about (because she does!). Part of my daughter's and my confidence in her surely comes from the fact that Rebecca is good at explaining things. She's relatable. She's nice. She's friendly. Sometimes when a child is trying to get over a mental hurdle, the help can actually start feeling like part of the hurdle--just another thing to handle. But with Rebecca, the help really felt like help, like relief.
I like that Rebecca's work is all about giving kids additional skills--skills that will help them in their sport, but more importantly, in their life. Sports are a great metaphor for life, with challenges and rewards, problems that are hard to solve plus great joys, all bundled together. I really feel like the skills Rebecca teaches are about more than just sports. Kids are going to grow up and maybe keep doing their sport into adulthood, and maybe not. Either way, the skills Rebecca teaches are applicable in a million other ways.
Three other benefits I noticed:
- Mindfulness. I feel like my daughter was able to look at how she was thinking and how that affected her body and even her circumstances.
- Control. My daughter really likes to feel like she's in control, and being so beset by stress was making her feel like she was out of control. Working with Rebecca taught her that she hadn't used up all the possible solutions--that there were more things to try! That fact alone made my daughter start to feel like she could start to wrangle her challenge.
- Support. Who doesn't want to have one more person in their corner? Rebecca was that additional person. She was happy for every little victory and compassionate about every challenge.
I would ABSOLUTELY recommend Rebecca to others, without reservation, for all the above reasons. She's terrific! Thank you Rebecca! I've got my hopeful girl back!Parent of a 14-year-old gymnast
If you can relate to the above examples, or just want to get a mental edge over your competition, let’s chat.Schedule a FREE Call