142 Is Striving for Perfection a Good Thing in Gymnastics?


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In episode 142 of Demystifying Mental Toughness, Dr Alessia Bruno and David discuss perfectionism in gymnastics as well as across other sports and walks of life. We go on to look at healthy perfectionism, as well as the downsides to the trait where we share some advice for gymnasts, athletes in general, coaches and parents.

Key Learning Points

  • Gymnasts are judged on their performances which can go on to impact their self-esteem.
  • The intensity of their lives can mean some gymnasts run the risk of burnout.
  • Characteristics of rigidity and control can lead people to be more vulnerable to other people's judgments.
  • Perfectionist traits can suck the fun out of sport.
  • Social approval can be a big problem for some athletes where they spend a lot of time worrying about what others think.
  • Striving for perfection can lead to excessive self-criticism.

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Relevant Podcast Episodes

Ep014: Alessia Bruno – The Yips, Crashes, Trauma in Sport there is hope for Athletes

Ep122: Prof Camilla Knight - Helping Your Children Get The Most From Their Sporting Experiences

Ep129: David Charlton – How to Deal with Self-Criticism using Self Compassion – PT1

Ep130 David Charlton – How to Deal with Self-Criticism using Self Compassion – PT2

Ep131 David Charlton – How to Deal with Self-Criticism using Self Compassion – FINAL PART

Other Relevant Blogs and Resources

Blog: How to Stay Relaxed as a Gymnast When the Pressure is On

Blog: How to Overcome Psychological Blocks in Gymnastics

Blog: Body Image in Sport

Blog: Bullying -The Dark Side of Sport

Gymnastics Psychology Library

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