How Doubt Is a Gymnast’s Greatest Enemy

Gymnast Psychology

Overcoming Doubt in Gymnastics

Almost everyone struggles with doubt at some point in his or her life. When gymnasts struggle with doubt, it can cause many issues when competing.

Once a gymnast opens the door to doubt in their mind, it’s very difficult to close it. Having confidence in your skills is essential to doing well. Sometimes watching other gymnasts at competition can enable doubts to enter into your mind.

Watching another gymnast perform a skill and fall or mess up can lead to doubting your own skills. Even if they perform well, you may start doubting that you can compete on that level.

When a gymnast starts to doubt, he/she will begin to start performing in safe mode, in fear of mistakes.

It’s important for gymnasts to perform their skills and routines they way they have rehearsed and practiced them. When you start to make last minute changes in your routine, it might not have the flow you want.

If you decide not to perform your routine they way you did in practice, you could end up coming up short on a turn or jump, which could lead to falling or not hitting your mark the way you should have.

Also, gymnasts may also end up going the other way when doubts start to enter the mind. You may start thinking you need to change something in your routine because you want to score better than your competitor. Changing something last minute in your routine is not ideal.

Doubt is even more difficult to deal with for perfectionists.

Since perfectionists have such high expectations for their performance, when one little thing goes wrong, they find it difficult to move past that.

They typically have a lot of difficulty moving past their mistakes and focusing on the present routine or skill.  Because many of the skills and routines gymnasts do can be dangerous if not done correctly, full focus needs to be on the current routine or skill.

If you’re a gymnast who struggles with doubt when performing, you can learn how to overcome it or move past it.

  • Focus on your skills and routines that you have already mastered.
  • Focus on the present routine you are on, don’t dwell on past mistakes.
  • Before performing a routine or skill, visualize it in your head just the way you practiced it.
  • Remind yourself that you have put in the effort and practice to master this and there is no reason for you to not perform it exactly the way you practiced it.
  • If other competitors make you doubt, you should make an effort to not watch others perform their routines or skills. Instead, listen to music and visualize your routines.

Improve your confidence in gymnastics today with The Confident Gymnast workbook and CD program, co-written by one of the nation’s leading sports psychology coaches, Dr. Patrick Cohn and Olympic gymnast Wendy Bruce.

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Learn Mental Game Secrets to Unstoppable Confidence in Gymnastics!

Are you ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in competition?

Check out The Confident Gymnast Program!

The Confident Gymnast Workbook Program was developed not only by Dr. Cohn, but with the assistance of former gymnast Olympian Wendy Bruce.

The Confident Gymnast is ideal for any competitive gymnast. But not only do gymnasts benefit from the program, coaches and parents do as well!

  • Gymnasts: Get the mental edge by learning how to take control of their confidence, mentally prepare for competition, and preform with composure under pressure
  • Parents: Help boost your athletes’ performance. Don’t let their mind hold them back any longer!
  • Coaches: Boost your gymnasts’ confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
  • Mental Coaches: Learn a proven system for helping your athletes boost mental toughness.

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