I fell into gymnastics by accident (pun intended). My mom tells me I’d be doing flips in the waiting room while my older sister did her gymnastics class until she finally figured… “What the heck!” And at 3 years old, my big adventure began. I took off running as I raced up the ranks from recreational to provincial to national.
From the start of my career to my retirement, I had big goals, a killer work ethic, I crushed competitions and I always showed up no matter how tough things got. But other components of my mental game were not as strong… and I developed a nasty habit of driving my coaches, my parents, my friends, and myself crazy 😬 My gymnastics career was, undeniably, an emotional roller coast 🎢
As I got older, the pressure of competition increased, the expectations I had of myself increased, the difficulty in my sport increased, and my confidence decreased. I lost the healthy perspective I had on my sport and my self-image became very negatively skewed. It got to a point that people did not question the quality of my performance but whether or not I was going to perform at all.
I battled through my fears, anxieties, and self-doubt all the way to Team Canada 🇨🇦 🙌 But this battle was costly to my mindset and I started to perform “safe gymnastics” aka “holding back.” In gymnastics, holding back usually means a crash landing and a crash landing usually means some discomfort to say the least 😖. One day I crashed too hard and I tore my ACL and meniscus. My work ethic took over and I knew I could battle my way back from surgery and 6-month rehabilitation.
I took on the challenge of my physical rehabilitation head-on, but I didn’t have the knowledge or guidance I needed to strengthen my mindset. I didn’t have the tools I needed to tackle my fears and self-doubts. I wasn’t sure why my imagery was not working the way it supposedly should. I didn’t know how to get back to that healthy perspective and accurate self-image I once had. Ultimately, I didn’t trust my body like I had before my crash and I felt the impact of my mindset when I showed my vault at my first international competition back in the game… I crashed again and tore out the same ligament 😒. The impact of this injury was greater than the first and the road to recovery was going to be longer and not guaranteed.
After my second fall, I decided to hang up my gym suit for good. Although I didn’t know it yet, retirement was going to challenge me new ways and open new doors for me to explore. In my last years of high school, I found myself asking questions about my mindset during my gymnastics career… Why was I so nervous for competitions? Where did all the pressure come from? What is a mental block? How do you find your confidence? Do other athletes struggle with stuff? I took all my questions and I hit the books 🤓 I studied all the way to a master’s degree in psychology and then took what I learned and brought it back to the sport community. Now I work with athletes of all levels and disciplines to help them answer their questions and guide them to discover their mental strengths 💪
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a mental performance coach is that potential is not something you get, it’s something you already have and with the right mindset, you get to access it.💡 I didn’t get to know my potential as a gymnast, which is why I’ve made it my job to help other athletes access theirs. I help my clients see their strengths ✅ understand their emotions ✅ and take pride in who they are and what they do ✅. Sports provide an endless amount of opportunities for us to learn and grow. I believe that with guidance and practice, every athlete can make the most out of their journey and use it to discover their confidence, motivation, courage, and the power of their mind 👊