Gymnastics Mental Blocks and Performance Anxiety

What if football players were judged as they crossed the goal line and had points deducted for less than perfect form? I wonder how many baseball player’s bodies would last past their teens if their training included getting beaned by pitches on a regular basis. The typical golf pro’s career can easily extend into his/her

60’s. Gymnasts’ bodies are usually done by their 20’s.

“They are life long benefits. She is a perfectionist and over achiever however the stresses that go Air Force Academywith that not only impact sports but can impact school and daily life. She has and still is learning to take a deep breath so to speak, recognize what is happening and then acknowledge it and move on without letting it completely destroy the rest of the day, events or whatever else it is applying to.  She is constantly going back and listening to different sessions depending on what is up and coming. She is learning to relax before each event. She has hit personal highs. She even found a way to push herself and score extremely well while having the flue at one of her biggest meets of the season. It has enabled her to progress in her sport and also helped her coaches learn different strategies tocoaching.”  
Jan Jahnsen – coach and parent of 12 year old gymnast

Nadia_comaneci (1)Gymnastics has got to be one of the most mentally-demanding sports there is. How many other sports involve pushing your physical limits to the brink while simultaneously going directly against your genetic programming to not fall and to survive the effects of gravity? And you have to do all of this under a very subjective, sometimes even political scoring system that does not have instant replay.


Rachel started competing gymnastics on the floor again. She didn’t just complete her back handsprings pass she took 1st out of 8 girls!!!! Thank you so much for your help with her.

Michele Overton Brown, Bixby Oklahoma. after Skype sessions.

It is normal and natural for us humans to be afraid to fall.  This response mechanism is regulated by the unconscious mind and comes up in the form of a feeling or maybe a voice of warning. The gymnast can sometimes overcome this through sheer willpower and desire. She can also re-train the unconscious mind through a process of desensitization; that is, falling over and over and surviving without serious injury.

Craig is excellent to work with! He gained trust with my daughter right away! Saw results faster than I ever imagined – Peace for my daughter and her anxiety with several issues. He is one of her biggest fans and she loves this!
Jenny Brown, Bonney Lake WA – parent of 14 year old gymnast

BecominAir Force Academyg mentally tough to compete in gymnastics is to be able to accomplish that and it requires a total rapport between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. Some athletes are either gifted or have situations in their life and training that are conducive to having this happen normally and naturally. Others, have to continually be on guard and train their mind as much as their body.

This “rapport” means that your unconscious mind and your desires to compete and win must be in agreement. When you have negative self talk and fears and doubts about your ability, that is your unconscious mind letting you know that you are going against your own stored values and programs. Some of those are learned and some of those are inborn.  When you get a mental block about a new skill, that’s your unconscious mind kicking into gear and “protecting” you from throwing your body into dangerous situations.

You can talk about your fears and mental blocks until you’re blue in the face but none of that will have any effect if it doesn’t reach the unconscious level of your mind. Your unconscious mind is the domain of emotions and will always win out over willpower.

Hypnosis is the most effective way to achieve that communication

3189549354_21205da29c_oPerformance anxiety happens because of self doubt and this comes from past mistakes or poor performances.

I always teach my athletes that they must have selective amnesia about those performances.  The margins between winning and losing in gymnastics are so slim here and happen in fractions of a second that this sport can easily take it’s toll on the psyche. Gymnasts are even more susceptible to this since they are usually in the midst of huge personal change in their younger years. Perceived failures in life and at the gym get stored and re-triggered at the wrong times and wrong places.

Therefore, emotional mastery and mental toughness is even more important in gymnastics than most sports. Those perceived “failures” have to be cleared or neutralized in the unconscious memory banks. The unconscious always seeks to reinforce what it “knows” to be true. You want it to repeat past successes and learn from every lesser performance so as to improve.  Correct perceptions stored in the unconscious is the goal here.

In and out of hypnosis, together we will:

  • Clear the mental baggage
  • Associate signals to trigger an optimal performance state
  • Teach your unconscious mind that these skills are safe and desirable
  • Create neural pathways that lead the thoughts to confidence
  • Access the consistency mechanism
  • Discover how to purposely find the zone state

You will learn much more than how to win. You get personal development that includes life-time skills to be used in relationships, academics and simply creating more happiness and joy in your life.  The teen and pre-teen years are often the most difficult period of adjustment we will ever make in life. Throw in the pressures of training, body image, and internal and external expectations for winning and it’s a recipe for a lot of stress.

Give me a call or email me to get started on becoming mentally tough for gymnastics…and life

Call 425-205-0024 for an appointment

One thought on “Gymnastics Mental Blocks and Performance Anxiety

  1. Nicole Fry

    My 13 year old daughter is a level 8 gymnast. She has always been outstanding on both floor and vault. She has been doing a full twist on floor for 2 years and a 1 1/2 for about 8 month. At practice over the summer, she took a fall doing this skill and boom~when she developed a mental block on tumbling backwards! Tumbling has ALWAYS been her favorite and she never thought twice before doing a pass. She worked through it, but was never as confident. Now, it is back and effecting her vault! (She flips a tsuk.) She LOVES gymnastics and is so frustrated that her mind is preventing her from doing what she loves to do. Help!


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