WAG A Little Piece of Advice Here

RedRising

New Member
Former Gymnast
Gymnast
Oct 8, 2021
2
So I really think I’m just overthinking things here and am just in a bit of a mental block but I just don’t know what to do.

I was a former gymnast who made the switch to T&T eons ago and made it fairly high in the sport but after my gym closed I went back to gym for a year or so just to keep my tumbling skills up and then went to college for a year and competed there. It absolutely destroyed me. I walked out of there with PTSD and would throw up even thinking about tumbling ever again. Well a couple months after I quit I found out I had a serious injury and that halted my entire athletic career all together.

Flash forward probably 5 years and by fate I’m at a new T&T gym and they want me to come back and compete with them as an adult. But here’s the thing. I love it and the kids are super attached to me, but I have so many mental blocks it isn’t funny. I know I have the skills to be so much better, but I panic trying to do a back tuck on the double mini (or back skills in general I’ve managed to work up to rudis). On floor, my body is barely holding up on a handspring series and overall my form isn’t where it used to be. I told myself going in that I didn’t care that this was just for me to get over some of the damage my college team did and stay in shape, but it’s really bothering the perfectionist in me competing the same level at 7-9 year olds in my 20s when I can do so much more. The Olympics absolutely did not help with this and I think triggered things and made it worse.

Plus due to that college thing, I have this deep rooted fear of competing again. So it’s completely possible I would get out there and just freeze or get so shaky that I just stop.

As a former coach, I know what advice I would give my athletes.Like I know I will never be back to where I was before I’ve accepted that, there have been too many injuries I just don’t know what to do though, is it time to hang it up and walk away for good before I get too attached again?
 

MuggleMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
633
Virginia
I think that it is perfectly OK to do the parts of the sport you love that bring you joy and not do the rest. So if coaching and practicing bring you joy keep doing that and if competing does not let that part of the sport go. IF the kids or the gym really push that say that at this point competing is not something you need to be a part of this sport and you are really enjoying the coaching aspect and want to focus on that and making sure the girls have a better experience than you had in the sport, but if you change your mind they will be the first to know. I would say something like, I know you just want me to be happy but trust me when I say competing won't make me happy so let me focus on the parts of the sport I really enjoy.
 

GreggP

New Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Jan 11, 2020
11
Ohio
Regarding the mental aspects, you are experiencing a lot of pent up interference that is on an unconscious level. It's like someone getting scared by a clown as a kid, and they develop a belief/fear that grows and sticks with them through life. That is why you can know what to say to yourself, or know how you want to perform, but the automatic feelings and behaviors keep holding you back from that. As a coach, you've probably seen other athletes dealing with fears and blocks in that way. If you really want to overcome all that, I'd highly recommend you work with a sports psych or mental coach. Someone skilled enough to help you make changes on a deep level.
However, whether you take steps toward that or not, why not just continue to do the things that really bring you joy in the sport? Let yourself get more attached to all that. You have obviously made some amazing progress, being able to come back to tumbling after everything you experienced. Competing doesn't have to be the end all be all of a sport. If you were to simply enjoy all the things you personally love about T&T, and find other ways in life to fulfill the competitive spirit, what would be so wrong with that?
 
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