Keeping Kids Safe in the Sport of Gymnastics with Lisa Mitzel

Welcome back to another episode of PerformHappy Podcast where we bring you insights and conversations with experts in the world of gymnastics. I’m thrilled to have a special guest with me today, Lisa Mitzel, a former elite gymnast, four-time NCAA champion, former head coach at Stanford University, and a mental performance coach. In today’s episode, we delve into the crucial topic of keeping kids safe in the demanding world of gymnastics, along with exploring the intricacies of mental performance. 

Lisa Mitzel’s journey in gymnastics is nothing short of remarkable. As a former elite gymnast and a key member of a four-time NCAA champion team at the University of Utah, she has experienced the highs and lows of the sport firsthand. Transitioning to coaching, she led Stanford University’s gymnastics program and has since dedicated her expertise to empowering athletes through mental performance coaching.

The sport of gymnastics demands precision, strength, and flexibility, making safety a top priority. Lisa shares valuable insights into how parents, coaches, and gymnasts can work together to create a safe training environment. From proper warm-ups to the importance of supervised training, she emphasizes the significance of a holistic approach to gymnastics training.

In our conversation, Lisa addresses the importance of age-appropriate training and skill development, ensuring that young gymnasts progress at a pace that aligns with their physical and mental readiness. This approach not only safeguards the athletes but also lays the foundation for long-term success in the sport.

Beyond physical safety, Lisa Mitzel sheds light on the mental aspects of gymnastics. As a mental performance coach, she discusses the role of mental toughness in navigating the challenges that gymnasts face. From competition stress to overcoming setbacks, Lisa provides practical strategies for athletes to strengthen their mental resilience.

During the podcast, Lisa shares anecdotes from her own experiences and coaching journey, illustrating the transformative power of a strong mental game in gymnastics. Whether it’s dealing with performance anxiety or staying focused during competitions, her insights offer a roadmap for gymnasts at all levels.

We touch upon the importance of age-appropriate training, supervised practice, and creating an environment that fosters both physical and mental growth. Lisa’s expertise reinforces the idea that success in gymnastics is not just about executing flawless routines but also about developing resilient, well-rounded athletes.

A huge thank you to Lisa Mitzel for joining us on this episode and sharing her wealth of knowledge. As parents, coaches, and gymnasts, let’s prioritize the safety and mental well-being of our young athletes to ensure they not only succeed in gymnastics but also enjoy a fulfilling journey in the sport. Stay tuned for more insightful conversations on the PerformHappy Podcast. Until next time, stay safe and keep those flips and tumbles coming!

In this episode, Coach Rebecca and Lisa Mitzel talk about: 

Flipping Perspectives: Navigating Gymnastics Triumphs, Retirement, and Compassion.

How to Transform Gymnastics Culture.

Empowering Gymnasts through Decision-Making and Learning from Mistakes.

Mental Health Education for Coaches. 

Fostering Autonomy.

Unlocking Confidence with Essential Mental and Emotional Tools.

Exploring Mental Training, Emotional Intelligence, and Resources from Lisa Mitzel.

“You can’t tell what’s going on, on the inside when we are only looking at it from the outside.” Lisa Mitzel.


Lisa Mitzel website:

Dr. Lisa Damour – The emotional lives of teens:

Brené Brown PHD, The Gifts of Imperfection Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are: