Performhappy With Rebecca Smith



Im Rebecca Smith, your podcast host, and high-performance coach. Im Director of Complete Performance Coaching and founder of the #PerformHappy community for sport parents.Im sharing with parents, coaches, and teen athletes of all abilities how to achieve their personal best to perform happy.These are the tips and mental toughness strategies that my clients tell me help them most. Im also providing insights for parents and coaches who want to support their kids and their teams.Performing well is a blend of talent, skill and mental toughness. Ill talk about how to use all 3 to be the best athlete you can and have fun competing in your sport.I believe mental skills translate to all areas of your life.I believe that if kids are taught skills to cope with stress & emotion in a sport context, they will be better prepared to thrive in all areas of their life.I want kids to find personal success and passion.I help people maximize personal potential.Kids need an outlet to talk about their feelings, but they dont necessarily want it to be their coach or parents. I believe that examining the stories we tell ourselves, and taking a look from different angles, can change everything.Maybe youre a gymnast with a fear of going backwards. A swimmer who cant seem to go any faster. Or a parent who is clueless about how to help your child succeed. You might be stepping up to tougher competition and looking to raise your game.This podcast is going to help.


  • Parenting Through Mental Blocks Day 2: Do's & Don'ts for Parents EP 300

    23/09/2023 Duration: 23min

    Today Coach Rebecca continues the discussion from the last episode, addressing parents who are navigating the challenges of supporting their children through mental blocks. As parents, we have tremendous influence over our kids. Everything we say and do leaves an impact. Even our well-intentioned efforts can put on more pressure and discourage them.  “The way that you show up as a sport parent is demonstrating certain beliefs.” – Rebecca Smith  Drawing on her experience as a former athlete and a coach who has worked with athletes for decades, Coach Rebecca provides invaluable insights into the subtle ways parents can unknowingly create pressure that affects their children's performance.   Here are three of the points Coach Rebecca shares:  Small things we do or say that negatively affect our kids  Focus on praising their character, hard work, and progress  Productively compare your athlete only to their own selves  Navigating the fine line between offering support and unintentionally

  • Parenting Through Mental Blocks Day 1: How Simone Biles Overcame Her Mental Block (Twice!!) and How to Keep from Backsliding EP 299

    16/09/2023 Duration: 21min

    In this episode, Coach Rebecca provides invaluable guidance for parents who are supporting athletes struggling with mental blocks. A mental block is a challenge where the athlete's mind and body fail to work together; the body is fully capable, but the mind stops the body.   “Mental block isn’t rational, but it is very real and very frustrating.”-Rebecca Smith  Using the remarkable journey and career of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles as an example, Coach Rebecca emphasizes several crucial points:  Mental blocks are a universal experience shared by every athlete, from beginners to Olympians. They are a part of the sports journey.  Mental blocks shouldn’t be seen as a sign of lack of talent or not being good enough. Even the most accomplished athletes face them.  Mental blocks often come from suppressed emotions, fears, negativity, depression, and anxiety. These emotional factors can create mental barriers that hinder an athlete's performance.   We also delve into strategies for athletes to ov

  • How to Coach a Gymnast Through a Mental Block EP 298

    12/08/2023 Duration: 24min

    Today Coach Rebecca delves into a topic that every athlete and coach encounter at some point: the dreaded mental block. We’ve all witnessed it – those moments when we look at our athletes and see how tough and capable they are, and we can see from the outside that what they’re going through is a perspective issue. But helping them get through it can be frustrating.  “You start with what you can do, and any progress forward is progress.” -Rebecca Smith  When we look into how perspective plays in overcoming mental blocks, often these challenges are less about physical ability and more about how the athlete perceives their progress.  Some things you can do:  Normalize setback.  Stop trying to make the skill. Start trying to get closer to the skill.  Focus on what you can control.  Coach Rebecca encourages athletes—and coaches—to view setbacks as valuable opportunities for self-discovery. Rather than focusing solely on achieving new skills, aim for consistent progress. Every step forward

  • Gymnastics Coaches: The RIGHT Way to Stop the Balking EP 297

    05/08/2023 Duration: 21min

    Balking, also known as a mental block or a dip in confidence, occurs when an athlete struggles with a skill they’re fully capable of performing. Today Coach Rebecca responds to a coach's question about how to handle a student grappling with balking.   She shares her current philosophy and two-balk rule, which includes a private discussion follows the first balk, and then the athlete is done for the day after the second balk. She also discusses the reasons why athletes balk.  When balking happens, it reveals a fixed mindset, creating a black-and-white perspective. The brain perceives risk in the situation, triggering a fight, flight, or freeze response. It shows that the brain lacks confidence in the athlete's abilities, leading to a fear-based reaction rather than a rational one.  “When you freeze up on a skill, you hesitate. That’s your brain sending a loud and clear message, “I’m not ready yet. I need to build more confidence first.” -Coach Rebecca Smith  Here’s a three-step process for addressing

  • How to Help Your Athlete When They're Struggling with Confidence (But They Don't Want Help) EP 296

    29/07/2023 Duration: 16min

    As parents, we all want the best for our young athletes, especially when they're going through tough times. But what should you do if your child resists the help and guidance we offer? In this episode, Coach Rebecca addresses this common concern and provides valuable insights for parents seeking ways to understand and support their athletes effectively.  During their pre-teen and teenage years, it’s entirely normal for children to seek some distance from their parents. This developmental phase is marked by their quest for independence and the shaping of their identities. It's essential to recognize that their resistance might have a biological basis as their brains undergo significant changes during this period.  In some cases, kids may not even realize they need help. We need to allow them space to recognize when they can improve and understand when to ask for help. Instead of arguing with them when they insist everything’s fine, try to agree with them while gently encouraging deeper reflection on their

  • Making Conditioning Fun with Gemma Coles EP 295

    22/07/2023 Duration: 23min

    Today Coach Rebecca is talking with Gemma Coles. She’s the creator of the Shuffle Up Gymnastics game. Together they talk about her game, why she developed it and why fun is the secret to success.  Gemma shares her gymnastics coaching background. She’s always loved gymnastics and it’s been a fun part of her life. She had such good memories of her childhood gymnastics experiences she knew she wanted to be involved as a coach.  Coach Rebecca and Gemma also discuss coaching styes and why she wanted to coach the way she was coached, with an emphasis on fun.   “The happier they are, the better they perform.” -Gemma Coles  Gemma’s game is all about bringing fun to conditioning. There are cards that outline what the specific skill is and how to do it properly. There are 14 different games you can play with the cards. You can work independently and try to beat your own skill or with someone else. Even non-gymnasts can get involved!  Some of the outcomes of using this approach:   Reducing injuries.  

  • Building Resilience with NCAA Gymnast Sydney Ewing EP 294

    15/07/2023 Duration: 32min

    Do you want to develop unwavering mental strength and bounce back from setbacks in your gymnastics journey? Are you seeking a solution to build resilience and overcome challenges with confidence?   Look no further! Today, Coach Rebecca is delighted to introduce Sydney Ewing, an expert in building resilience in gymnasts. She'll share valuable insights and tips to help you develop the mental toughness needed to achieve remarkable results. Get ready to unlock your inner strength and soar to new heights in the sport you love!  Sydney Ewing is an inspiring example of resilience and determination. From her early days of gymnastics as a child, she navigated her journey through a series of injuries with courage and positivity. Despite having her sights set on becoming an Olympian, she found new paths to pursue when she encountered obstacles. Now a proud Michigan State University alum, she shares her wealth of experience and insights from her 19 years in gymnastics with budding gymnasts and their parents.  In

  • How To Stop Stressing Over Things You Can't Control EP 293

    01/07/2023 Duration: 14min

    Today, Coach Rebecca is doing a great training to help you stop stressing over things you can’t control. This episode is great for parents and athletes. Things happen that we can’t control, but here’s a go-to strategy you can use anytime.   Stress shows up when we spend energy trying to control things that we can’t control.  You may fall into the “control freak” mode. Trying to force and manage things so everything is “perfect”. Another mode is the “worrier”, and sometimes we’re both! The bottom line for both of these is they’re created by fear.    When fear runs the show, it creates so much wasted energy either trying to be perfect, or worrying about every little thing that might happen.   Coach Rebecca shares what you can do instead of giving into fear.  Strategy to Reduce Stress Grab a piece of paper and begin to make a list of things you cannot control. For example, parents can’t control how your kid will perform, you can’t control decisions the coach makes. Kids, you can’t control what your

  • How to Help Your Athlete Build Confidence From the Inside Out EP 292

    24/06/2023 Duration: 23min

    If you're feeling frustrated and helpless as your young athlete struggles with self-doubt, anxiety, or lack of confidence, then you’re not alone!   The good news: building inner confidence is a learned skill that can be cultivated with targeted strategies and support. That’s what Coach Rebecca is covering in today’s episode.   The Inner Confidence Formula  Parental involvement is essential in shaping a young athlete's sense of self-worth. Coach Rebecca discusses building inner confidence in young athletes and what parents can do to support that process.   She shares how important it is for parents and caregivers to offer love, support, and affirmation to young athletes, regardless of their performance. She also highlights the negative impact of social media and conventional norms on athletes' self-esteem and gives practical tips on how to cultivate a growth mindset and embrace failure as an opportunity for learning.   In this episode, you’ll learn how to:   Bolster your kid’s inner confidence.

  • Mom and Daughter Gymnastics Duo - How Liz and Maribelle Balance Family and Gymnastics EP 291

    17/06/2023 Duration: 37min

    What’s better than one gymnast in the family? Two of course!   In this episode Coach Rebecca is talking to the mother and daughter duo who are both competing in level 10 gymnastics. For everyone who’s been told they’re too old, Liz is going to prove otherwise!  Liz shares her gymnastics journey that started when she was a kid. At 12 she began really pursuing higher level gymnastics and hasn’t stopped since, except to have her 2 kids.   She’s proof that starting at 12 can work, and staying with it can work too. It’s okay to commit to your gymnastics training at any age.   Maribelle has been doing gymnastics from a young age. She didn’t start training until she was 6 and that was when she told her parents that she really wanted to. She’s now level 10 and is a second alternate for nationals.   She says that being in the gym with mom and dad coaching works, and it’s an on-going process for all of them.   When should you stop training?   Liz said that after having her first child she thought it was

  • A Gymnastics Take on Toxic Coaching - Brook Weinheimer's Story EP 290

    10/06/2023 Duration: 46min

    This episode is for anyone who’s had trouble with a coach, or found themselves worried about going to practice, obsessing over being perfect and more. Brook shares her story and how she became the coach she always wanted for herself.   Topics discussed:   Understanding how to manage fear  Expectations of compliance, how it can hurt and how to deal with it  When shaming and rigid rules don’t work and a better approach  Creating a space of respect so kids feel okay talking to their coach  What’s a positive coaching mentality, and how it can help  How you can claim your power and ask for the help you need  Brook has become an advocate for changing the culture of gymnastics after her personal experience. Coach Rebecca shares her story and how she’s now changing the way coaches can work with their athletes.   Brook started gymnastics in 4th grade and continued to compete all through high school. Hear how injuries impacted her career and how she related to Simone Biles when she was at

  • Why Confidence Ladders Don't Work EP 289

    03/06/2023 Duration: 17min

    Today Coach Rebecca explains why the confidence ladder approach doesn’t work and can even backfire. She’s breaking it down AND explaining what will work instead.   Parents, there’s a better way to overcome mental blocks that works, will help your kid, and make things less stressful for both of you.   If you aren’t sure what a confidence ladder is, Coach Rebecca breaks that down for you. It’s meant to create a confidence snowball and it sounds like it will work in theory, until it doesn’t.  Here’s the misconception around using this tool; it focuses your motivation on a specific thing which sounds good, but for many kids it feels like a pass/fail situation. Awareness comes first, before confidence can show up.   A mental block is temporary. When there’s an inflexible goal (step one or two on the ladder for example) the teen brain doesn’t always respond with confidence, so now there’s the feeling of failure.   Hear how Coach Rebecca explains the problem-solving process. It’s based on trying, paying a

  • Are You One of THOSE Moms? EP 288

    20/05/2023 Duration: 20min

    You’ll do anything for your kid. You want them to be happy, healthy, successful, and supported, but your athlete is still struggling.   Today we’ll talk about if you’ve accidentally became one of those moms. The ones that are unknowingly and accidentally adding pressure, and I’ll explain how to modify your support to help your athlete overcome their struggles!   The goal here is to make sure you’re a part of the solution. We’ve learned in the last year how much parents can impact a happy, healthy, successful kid. We’ve seen it over and over. When parents change their approach, the athlete gains confidence and excels.   Here are 5 questions to ask yourself. Track how many of your responses are a yes.    Do you think about your athlete’s sport more than your own hobbies?  Do you spend a lot of time trying to find solutions to your athlete’s problems?  Do you secretly wish that they would quit and put you out of your misery AND also know that if they did quit, you’d be devastated? 

  • The 5 Keys To Overcoming Fear EP 287

    13/05/2023 Duration: 14min

    Today Coach Rebecca goes over the 5 keys to overcoming fear.  If your athlete struggles with fear or mental blocks, these are the 5 things they need to have a big breakthrough. Without them, it will be very hard to overcome an obstacle.    You need:    Optimism. This applies to the athlete AND the parents. Recognizing that a small setback is just that and tomorrow everything can be better is going to help you much more than a gloomy outlook.   Desire. Wanting something really bad can help athletes override the fear, which is why we sometimes see kids do well in competition even when they're fearful in practice. This can also happen when the stakes are low, like hanging out with friends and trying a skill you’ve avoided for a while.   Communication. No one knows what’s going on in your head. There has to be some practice (this is step one in our 8-week challenge) to learn how to talk to your coach so you can explain what’s happening and get the help you need.   Trust. Your paren

  • Super Quick Exercises to Help Your Athlete Stay Focused and Reduce Anxiety EP 286

    06/05/2023 Duration: 16min

    Do you wish your athlete had less anxiety and more focus? What if Coach Rebecca told you that there were short exercises YOU as a parent could do to help your athlete with focus and anxiety? Today Coach Rebecca gives quick and simple exercises that will make all the difference!

  • NO SPOTS ALLOWED - What to do if Your Coach / Gym Refuses to Spot Your Child EP 285

    29/04/2023 Duration: 23min

    Does your athlete's coach or gym not believe in spotting an athlete? Today Coach Rebecca gives you the 411 on how to handle a coach or gym that refuse to spot your athlete when you feel they might need it.

  • HELP! My Athlete Lost Skills Days Before The Big Meet! EP 284

    22/04/2023 Duration: 08min

    Just days before a big meet and your athlete has seeming lost their skills? Don't fret, in this episode Coach Rebecca discusses all things regarding lost skills right before a big meet.

  • Coaches - What NOT to do if an Athlete is Struggling with Mental Blocks EP 283

    15/04/2023 Duration: 29min

    Coaches, this one is for you! Coach Rebecca is always giving advice to parents with kids struggling with mental blocks. Today Coach Rebecca is giving Coaches the "What Not To Do" guide for coaching an athlete with a mental block!

  • What to Say When Your Athlete Fails Big Time at Competition EP 282

    08/04/2023 Duration: 13min

    Supporting our athletes when they win is easy, but knowing the right thing to say when they fail can be a touchy subject. Today, Coach Rebecca gives you the right information to be able to talk to your athlete in a supportive way when they fail.

  • Sport Parents- Change This Immediately If You Want To Help Your Athlete Reach Their Potential EP 281

    01/04/2023 Duration: 23min

    What if Coach Rebecca told you there was one thing you could do to help your athlete reach their potential? Well with this tip Coach Rebecca will give you what you need to know to help your athlete reach their full potential.

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