Kristle Lowell on Mental Blocks

One of the better articles I can recall on the topic was written by the 2013 Women’s World Double Mini-tramp Champion, Kristle Lowell.

… For me true mental blocks are all about confidence. When I have confidence my mental blocks are not an issue. When something shakes my confidence I lose all my skills again. …

The best advice I can give for anyone who is going through mental blocks is to surround yourself with people who build your confidence. If you are an athlete, sit down and have serious talk with your coach. For me I needed a lot of positive. I was really hard on myself and was fortunate enough to train with George Drew. …

I have found that screaming and yelling does not fix mental blocks. It shakes an athletes confidence because it makes them feel publicly humiliated. For athletes with mental blocks reprimand or criticism is best done quietly and in private. …

Athletes do not choose to have mental blocks. Treating them like they do have a choice only causes more frustration. …

Reducing stress outside the gym can really help. …

Another trick I picked up from my artistic gymnastics coach Jessica Holtz is to say what I think about out loud. For every double mini pass, I try to have the same mental preparation of what I say to myself. … I have to remind myself to talk to myself while doing skills. Eventually, I do not have to say these verbal queues out loud. When it becomes habit, I can just say them to myself in my mind.

Something unusual I do when really stuck on a skill is to think about an emotion that gets me to run. I think of memories that make me angry or things that make me happy and calm depending on what the pass needs. When I need to do my record 8.0 pass, I think about something hurtful someone once said to me and how I need to run hard to prove them wrong. …

coach George Drew
coach George Drew

Trampoline Pundit – Mental Blocks

Very practical advice.

I find that serious mental blocks occur mostly to females, not males. They start the same with boys and girls, but boys more often find a way past.

Serious mental blocks are most common during competitive season. The stress of the upcoming competition can trigger one. If you drop the skill from the routine, I find it often comes back the week following the meet. This is a good coaching strategy IF you can drop the blocked skill. It’s good to have a couple of different dismounts ready, for example, so if something goes wrong with your more difficult dismount (mental block, injury, etc.) you have a back-up.

I find that coaches who rely on a lot of spotting have more athletes with mental blocks. Withdrawing the spot can trigger one. The coach not being available for workout one day can trigger one.

Confidence means self-confidence, not confidence in the coach.

coach spotting Horizontal Bar goes down

Hard. :-(

Brigham Youngstrom with coach Scott.

figure skating spotting harness

I saw one of these in use at Canada Olympic Park, Calgary. Seems to work well.

Pro Motion Pole Harness

There’s a roof mounted version, as well. Very expensive, I feel, at US$3,499 plus shipping.

Pro-Motion Gold system

fun double layout drill

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via Al Fong)

Trampoline spotters be praised


(via Thomas Hamblin)

quick-reflex Dads

Some of the best emergency spots you’ve EVER seen. :-)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via cheezburger)

great spot on Bars

Claire Martin (FRA) – Barres- Match France/Roumanie/Belgique Senior

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

via GymFever