How Audrey Tolbert Copes With Challenges
Gymnastics can be such a mentally-draining sport…
Sometimes, you are nailing routines and other times you feel it is impossible to perform a halfway decent routine.
To add to the difficulty of gymnastics is the pressure heaped upon gymnasts from coaches and parents.
It is no wonder that many gymnasts battle with wavering confidence and feel overwhelming pressure.
West Virginia University senior gymnast, Audrey Tolbert, understands how mentally tough gymnastics can be and the toll it can takes on one’s confidence.
Tolbert is a level 10 gymnast and four-time Junior Olympic National Championships qualifier. In 2013, Tolbert entered her first year at Ohio State University.
As a freshman, Tolbert competed in 11 meets and scored a career-high 9.775 on floor at the Big Ten Championships. The following year, tough times hit…
Nagging injuries, home sickness, high expectations, an increased sense of pressure and a higher load of intense conditioning started weighing heavily on Tolbert. Tolbert saw less in the lineups and only competed in four meets as a sophomore.
Tolbert saw her confidence plummet and she eventually withdrew from OSU.
TOLBERT: “There were a lot of mental roadblocks in my way. I had to learn the hard way. I had to learn how to get through stress, which was hard because I get very stressed out very easily… As a freshman, everything seems like it’s the end of the world.”
Tolbert decided to return home and train with her club team where she rediscovered her enthusiasm for gymnastics. Extra repetitions and positive comments from her coach helped boost her confidence.
Tolbert decided to return to college gymnastics at West Virginia University with higher confidence and a new perspective towards the sport. Tolbert also realized something needed to change mentally.
Ultimately, it is Tolbert’s new mentality that has her achieving personal best scores as a senior and being a valuable contributor for the Mountaineers.
What did Tolbert do to manage those high expectation and demands she was experiencing?
Tolbert did three specific things to manage all the potential mental difficulties in gymnastics:
First of all, Tolbert focused on having fun instead of achieving certain results.
TOLBERT: “I was just goofing around and having so much fun. I started to remember that college gymnastics was supposed to be fun, like the reward for all the hard work you put in over the years.”
Secondly, Tolbert committed to being more positive and not allowing the negatives dominate her thinking.
TOLBERT: “[My coaches] never focused on the negatives, and I wasn’t used to that mindset. I now focus on the positives and what I am improving on instead of all the things that hold me back.”
Lastly, Tolbert took back control of her gymnastics instead of allowing negative emotions to dictate her athletic experience.
TOLBERT: “This summer, I decided that since this was my final year of gymnastics, it was time for me to dictate how the year was going to go… You want to go out doing your best gymnastics. I knew I had nothing to lose this year.”
No matter what Tolbert achieves this year, her story is one of success.
If you are feeling burdened by pressure or experiencing hardships or have lost your zest for gymnastics, you can turn things around.
Changing your experience in gymnastics and improving your performance requires that you do something different than you are currently doing.
Maybe a change in mindset is exactly the remedy you are looking for!
Try This to Lessen Your Sense of Pressure
Find your fun – Mentally revisit what made gymnastics so fun when you were younger.
What can you do now to bring the fun from the past into the present?
If you can accomplish this task on a regular basis, you will regain your enthusiasm and feel much less pressure.
Let go of the expectations you feel from parents or coaches to be great all the time.
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The Confident Gymnast CD and workbook program was developed not only by Dr. Cohn, but with the assistance of former gymnast Olympian Wendy Bruce.
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The Confident Gymnast is a complete brain dump of the TOP 8 mental training sessions we teach our gymnasts to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency- from how to mentally prepare for compeition to perorming under pressure to building unstoppable confidence.
What are mental coaching students saying?
“I am so grateful for your insights and experience. My focus is sharp and I feel relaxed but ready to meet whatever challenge comes up. If I make a mistake, I am able to let it go and move on immediately. You have really helped me a lot to get back on track and get things going again.”
What All Gymnasts Must Know to Overcome Perfectionism
What are gymnasts saying?
I really appreciate your mental game tips. It is very informative and useful, helped my game so much.
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“It was amazing!!! Before the show, I really felt like I was becoming the part. I was oddly calm, which concerned me because I thought my nerves might kick in on stage! But, they didn’t! I stayed focused in each moment, and remained calm, and actually did the difficult tricks better than I ever have! My coaches were all so proud of me and the one who I know the best was marveling at my calm, poised manner throughout the ballet. They said it seemed like I was doing it for the 15th time, I looked so comfortable. This is the result of my work with you! You gave me the tools to tackle this huge mountain of a role, step by step! I am beyond happy!”
~Professional Ballerina, Student of Dr. Cohn in 2013