Regaining Trust & Confidence
Today, we are going to hear from Raegan, an athlete who regained trust and confidence after a few months in the PerformHappy Community. Here’s her story:
How I Lost My Confidence
I was working in the gym and one day, my coach was pushing me super hard. She wanted me to do a back handspring backhand spring back tuck. I’d never done that before, but I said, “OK. Let’s try this out.” I did the two back handsprings and then I freaked out. I wasn’t ready. I asked if I could try it on the trampoline first, and she said, “No, you’re fine. You can do it.”
I tried to tell myself, “All right, let’s do this,” but she wouldn’t even spot me, so I was trying to figure out how to do it by myself. She kept yelling and yelling at me to keep going and pushing me to go. I just cried. I started bawling my eyes out.
I Lost My Voice
I lost a lot of confidence at that point. I was so young and I couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t know what to do about it. I sat there and just let it happen, and when I lost a lot of my confidence, I lost my voice – I couldn’t speak up when I needed to. When it came to tumbling, I lost everything.
I stayed at the gym for another year or two. Of course, I had a mental block at the time. I couldn’t do back handpsrings; I just couldn’t get myself to do it, and I couldn’t really trust any of my coaches anymore. They’d say, “Oh ya, you can do it. Do it by yourself now.” Or they’d pull away in the middle of a skill and say, “See you did it! Now do it again!” As soon as I got the skill and was doing it again, I pushed really hard to keep going and keep connecting, but my coaches kept pushing me to keep going forward.
Tricked by a Good Day
I’d have a really good day – I’d have my back handsprings and I’d pull a tuck out of nowhere. I was getting encouraged by my coaches. The next day I’d come back, they’d see the skills and they’d say, “She’s good! She’s back!” And then they’d push me really hard, and it all just went back down. I’d be pushing myself really hard because if I just did it, why couldn’t I do it again?
It was just a lot to be pushed – I had a lot of pressure.
How I Felt About Mental Training
I tried a bunch of things. I went to a hypnotherapist where they hypnotized me. I was like, “This didn’t work. What is this?” Then I went to a website and took quizzes where I had to answer questions. I thought it was stupid and I didn’t want to do it anymore.
When you came up and said, “We can talk through this, work through this. I’m here for you,” I thought it was stupid. I was very upset at the thought of doing this. The first call or two I was still not wanting to do it. I thought to myself, I’ll be nice, I’ll be open to it I guess, but I don’t want to do this. I honestly didn’t think you would work. I just thought this would be like one of the things I did before where I’d do it a couple of times and it just wouldn’t work.
A Shift Happened
I would talk to you about it and you would understand. Knowing you understood what was going on was super helpful. You’d say, “You need trust, you can trust me.” When I told you, you helped me find what to do to get myself trust. You helped me figure out a bunch of things I didn’t know about myself – me not trusting people, I knew that, but why I couldn’t was something I didn’t focus on. I just knew I couldn’t.
I started taking what you said and applying it when I was in the gym and tumbling. That’s when I realized the change and realized, “Oh! This might actually work!”
What I Liked About PerformHappy
You make the calls fun, they’re not boring. The other calls are boring. You make it fun! You laugh and you listen to our stories. It’s not boring and not working, its fun and improving. I love it when I tell you about a new skill because you’re so happy which makes me so happy about it. That’s the difference.
What I Discovered About Myself
I discovered I actually can do these skills, but it takes me some time. If I don’t get it the first or second time, I need to take a step back. I don’t have to push myself super hard. I also learned that just doing my skills, not correcting myself and making it perfect is what is going to get the skill back. Doing it consistently over and over, repetition, not perfecting it, just keep on doing it. When I’m confident enough, that’s when I start making little changes and adjustments.
Getting My Voice Back
I lost my voice with everything. I couldn’t speak up or say anything. My coach would say, “Ok, let’s do this. No spot,” and I’d say, “Ok,” but I’d get super blocked and couldn’t get myself to go. It was really hard.
Finding Trust Again
When I got to talk to you and moved to my new gym, I had you and a new coach that I really liked and said that I could trust him. He said, “This is your journey and this is your progression. You tell me where you want my hands when I spot you. Where exactly do you need me to be, where do you want me to be. Tell me exactly what you need and I will provide it. I will be there. This is you telling me how to get yourself through what you’re going through.”
You were telling me I have to speak out when I need something. If I was afraid to be on that surface, I just needed to say, “I’m not ready yet, I need more reps, and then maybe, if I get more confident, I can move on to a different surface, but I may need you to spot me a couple of times first.”
I gained this voice where I could say, “I need you to spot me, but not a lot.” I finally was able to tell him exactly what I needed and he would understand and not get mad at me for it. He understood what I needed. I’m glad that I speak up now because it helps so much.
Confidence Outside of Sport
I used to not speak out up cheer or in general. At home or school, I couldn’t ask for help at if I needed it. I’d try and figure things out for myself so I didn’t have to speak out. Things get better when you speak up when you need it.
A few months ago, I could barely do tumbling. I couldn’t do my backhand spring by myself or on the trampoline. I was in a shell. Now I’m doing standing back round-off backs, multiple handsprings connected, roundoff tucks. I’ve made more progress than I ever thought I could with this.
Speak up and if you don’t trust your coaches and you don’t want to be spotted, tell them. It may sound rude or mean, but you have to speak up because the person spotting you is very important. If you don’t trust them, it’s going to make things worst. Being with a person you trust is helpful. Also, don’t push yourself too hard just for your coaches.
Don’t be quiet or hold back. Talk to your mom, your coach – when you speak up and you tell them what’s going on, they will help you get the help you need and make a lot of progress.