What Fears Do You Have in Gymnastics?
Do you under-perform in meets compared to how you perform in practice? Do you perform tight or scared to make mistakes in competition?
Performance anxiety is a mental game issue. If you perform well in practice, but have a difficult time taking that performance to meets, you most likely have performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety can cause you to perform tight, nervous, or anxious when in competition.
Your fear of losing or embarrassment will cause the tension in your performance. We feel that performance anxiety for gymnasts comes from an underlying fear of failure.
This fear of failure can cause many performance barriers for gymnasts. Fear of failure is very common with perfectionist gymnasts. Gymnastics tends to be a perfectionist sport, so we come across many gymnasts who struggle with fear of failure.
Fear of failure could come from a fear of being rejected or a fear of not being accepted by others.
Some gymnasts claim that a fear of failure is what pushes them in practice. Although it can cause you to be highly motivated in practice, it is a unhealthy mindset for performance or competition.
For many gymnasts who struggle with fear of failure, it can make competing difficult. Instead of thinking about the actual performance, they become more focused on the outcome, worried about how they will be scored.
Also, gymnasts who struggle with fear of failure tend to worry about what will happen if they don’t perform as well as they hope. They stop focusing on what they need to do to prepare for a routine and start looking at all the ways it could go poorly.
Some experts instruct gymnasts to do visualization or relaxation drills before competition. Although this may help band aide performance anxiety, it doesn’t address the root of the problem. If your fear of failure stems out of a need for social approval, you need to address that head on.
To overcome performance anxiety, you want to first understand the underlying fear. Whether it’s a need for approval, perfectionism, or fear of embarrassment, you need to address that specific issue.
Once you understand the real fear, you can address it head on and take charge.
Check out our CD and workbook program, The Fearless Athlete, to help you overcome your fear of failure and performance anxiety!