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Luke Carson on Gymnastics Culture Change, Handling Disappointment, and The Olympics/Worlds

In today’s episode of The Shift Show, I welcome Luke Carson from Ireland, a men’s gymnastics coach with a wealth of experience in positive, uplifting coaching techniques. 

A former gymnast himself, Luke is a personal coach to Rhys McClenaghan World, European, and Commonwealth pommel horse champion.

The conversation center’s around the evolving coaching styles and culture in gymnastics and the move away from authoritarian, fear-based coaching methods. 

Luke and I discuss how this shift is important for creating a positive and healthy environment for athletes, where the focus is on achieving high performance while also prioritizing athlete health and well-being.

One of the key takeaways from the discussion is the importance of personal development and accountability for coaches and parents. 

I can’t stress enough the need for coaches and parents to take care of themselves, to ensure they are healthy and able to bring their best selves to the gym. 

This not only benefits the coaches and parents themselves but also creates a positive environment for the athletes they work with.

The conversation also delves into how to deal with disappointment in a healthy and productive way, and how to achieve motivation, skill, progress, work ethic, and commitment to goals in a positive and uplifting manner. 

Overall, the discussion highlights the importance of creating a positive, healthy, and supportive environment for gymnasts, and the importance of evolving coaching styles to reflect this. 

It’s a must-listen episode for coaches, parents, and anyone interested in the future of gymnastics.

Luke’s experience and expertise in coaching pommel horse and men’s gymnastics make him a valuable addition to the 2023 Shifts Symposium which promises to be a must-see for anyone looking to improve their coaching techniques.

He will be presenting a lecture on Advance Pommel Elements.

We discuss:

  • Building character through adversity.
  • The importance of building trust with your athletes.
  • When you understand yourself, that’s when wisdom begins.
  • Having an internal source of self-esteem that doesn’t depend on an athlete’s performance.
  • Don’t be controlled by time.
  • How to change your mindset.
  • Motivation and how to overcome resistance.
  • How to deal with external variables. And…
  • Letting go of the things that are out of your control.

Luke Carson on Gymnastics Culture Change, Handling Disappointment, and The Olympics/Worlds


Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science