Coaches don’t pressure athletes

This may cause some opposition, but it’s worth considering, so I’ll post it…
Did you know that you cannot cause pressure in your athletes? I have had so many coaches ask me recently what they can do to stop creating so much pressure in their athletes and my answer is, “That’s giving yourself too much credit. You don’t have that kind of power and you never will.”
I just want to invite you to consider that if anyone of us could cause another person to feel an emotion, then we would all be begging to learn that skill.
Humans are naturally gifted emotion readers, so we think we are creating emotions in others, but the truth is that every human gets to decide what they want to feel.
The bar, the beam, the skill, the score, the equipment, the coaches, the competitions, or the judges are always just those things…. they are a bar, a beam, a skill, a coach, a competition, a judge. Those things never create a persons emotions.
We are the ones that add the emotions, the drama, the thrill, the fear, or any number of other emotions to those data points. Our optional story makes those things terrible or amazing.
If a coach could make an athlete feel pressure, then why is it that EVERY athlete doesn’t feel the same pressure when a coach is around?
If a coach words could cause an athlete motivation, then why doesn’t EVERY athlete that gets coached by that coach always feel motivated?
If a coach could create determination in an athlete to nail every beam routine, then why doesn’t EVERY athlete of that coach feel determined to stick beam everytime?
This can’t happen.
So, stop beating yourself up. Stop thinking you are making an athlete’s experience miserable. You are not doing that. You can’t.
What you can do is show up as the best version of you and let the athlete show up as the best version of them.
Take responsibility for how you feel. What you feel will determine how you treat your athletes. How you treat your athletes will determine your own personal experience of coaching the sport.
Do you like the experience and the results you’re creating in your life?
If yes, then great.
If no, then change.
You are that powerful.
You can change you.
That’s it.
Now, many coaches and parents have pushed back on this idea saying I “know nothing about the developmental stages of children and teens”, “I need to take a psychology course”, “I have absolving Larry Nassar of his actions,”, or “these types of ideas are what cause suicide”, and “I must have never experienced abuse or terrible coaches.”
As much as I don’t talk much about the negative aspects of my athletic life, that does not mean I didn’t have any struggles.
I have had coaches discuss a lack of confidence in my abilities because of being overweight, a coach threaten my scholarship, a coach decide I didn’t deserve to go to nationals and didn’t tell me I qualified until it was too late. I’ve had words spoken that could have taken me to a level of negative emotions that ended in quitting gymnastics. But, I know it would never have been the coaches fault. My results are my responsibility and I am so grateful to have understood that to some level as I was growing up. My coaches did not own me, they did not own how I would feel or who I would become. I was never a victim. And I will never be a victim because I know there is no coach, or any human, that can or will ever determine how I feel– they cannot create pressure in me. That is for me to decide. I take my power back and own it at all times. I choose who I want to be and let others choose who they want to be.
If you have questions regarding pressure on your athletes, schedule a free session with me at
have an amazing day,
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