How Perfectionism Can Hold You Back

Gymnast Psychology

Overcoming Perfectionism

One of the biggest issues with gymnasts today is their expectation of performance when competing. They expect for their performance to be perfect, even though this is an unreachable expectation.

Although there are some advantages to perfectionism, there is also a major downside. Perfectionists tend to have a willingness to learn and improve, a strong work ethic, commitment to their goals, etc.

They work very hard and push themselves to achieve their goals. Because of this strong desire to succeed, it may be difficult to understand how this mindset is negatively affecting your gymnast.

Perfectionism can stifle your gymnast’s success and performance. They push too hard to get every detail right, creating nearly impossible expectations of themselves.

Some of the disadvantages of perfectionism in gymnasts include:

  • very high expectations
  • fear of failure
  • increased anxiety
  • too much focus on results
  • high frustration
  • also lowered confidence

When perfectionist gymnasts fail to meet their nearly impossible expectations, they tend to get frustrated with themselves. They feel as though they have failed, which in turn negatively affects their self-confidence.

Sometimes this also affects how they feel about themselves as a person, they look at the mistake they made and consider themselves a failure.

Perfectionist gymnasts tend to only focus on the negative aspects of their routine without focusing on the positive. After a competition, they may only talk about what they did wrong and never even talk about any of the positive aspects of their performance.

A perfectionist gymnast has a hard time feeling satisfied with their performance, they tend to always try and improve in some way.

If your gymnast tends to get frustrated when they make a mistake and has trouble keeping composure or moving past the mistake, they may be struggling with a perfectionist mindset. This mindset may be blocking them from reaching their true potential in gymnastics.

Three tips for helping your gymnast work through a perfectionist mindset:

  • Explain to them that mistakes are a normal part of gymnastics. Let them know that all of the best gymnasts out there have made mistakes.
  • Help them to focus on the positive aspects of their performance. If they start talking about what they did wrong, try talking to them about all the things they did right.
  • After a mistake, tell them they have five minutes to be upset about it, but then they have to move on. Let them have their moment of frustration but teach them that it’s okay to move past it.

Learn about the top 6 perfectionist mindsets that hold your gymnast back with our free Gymnastics Mental Toughness eBook!

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