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Barclay Stockett on the ‘night and day’ difference between her Dallas runs

She shook off the pressure and remembered to just have fun.

The Dallas City Finals of American Ninja Warrior were a bit of redemption for Barclay Stockett. In the Qualifiers, she fell on the fourth obstacle, the Tuning Forks. While the run still nudged her through to the City Finals, she was visibly disappointed in the performance.

Over her Ninja career, Barclay has felt all the highs and lows the course has to offer. During her season eight rookie year, she was out early in the Qualifiers on the Log Runner. The audience barely even saw her. In season nine, she became a break out star in San Antonio. She moved on to the National Finals and almost completed Stage One when she timed out on the Flying Squirrel.

Season 10 seems to be offering Barclay some more valuable experiences. She stepped up to the City Finals course with almost a smirk on her face. It was like she knew what the obstacles were capable of, but she also had discovered her ability to wave them out of her way. The run was great. She moved on to the back half of the course, falling at the Nail Clipper, and getting another shot at the National Finals

Here’s what Barclay said about that change up in her mental state and how she’s preparing to continue her success on Stage One.

“My season has been disappointing at some points and also really great. But also disappointing. I’m really excited to get another shot in Vegas. Even though I didn’t hit any buzzers earlier this year, I have another chance to. I feel really prepared for it. I’m trying to be the comeback kid right now.”

“My favorite memory from City Finals this year is after I did the Bouncing Spider and I did the roll-y cartwheel thing off the sides of the mats. I didn’t plan that at all. It was a night and day difference from the way I felt on the course in Qualifiers.

I felt very rigid and like I was trying to be something that I wasn’t. I felt so nervous. I felt almost like I was trying to fake it to make it. I didn’t feel like myself the first night. So being silly and goofy and just kind of dumb on the course in between the obstacles is much more like me. Whenever I was doing those little dumb things. The laché off Crank It Up. I bounced off my butt off the platform instead of stepping off. That’s the kind of stuff that makes me realize I’m happy. I’m doing what I love to do. Feeling confident and doing it because I love it. Not doing it to please anybody. I think the difference between Qualifiers and City Finals is the pressure I felt.

Qualifiers was too much for me. City Finals I was like, ‘I’m not going to feel that because I do this because I love to do this.’ When I started being myself on the course that’s when I started feeling the best.”

“It feels amazing to be back in the National Finals. Vegas is always so special. Last year I didn’t really feel super prepared for Stage One, this year I do. I feel really confident going into it. Really excited to tackle it and see if I can hit a buzzer.”

“I would remind myself that expectations are just another form of support. I felt like I had a lot of expectations on myself. Which means I believe I can do great things. I felt a lot of expectations from other people, which also means they just support me and also believe I can do great things and I can hit buzzers. Instead of adopting negative feelings from expectations, I wish I would have grabbed them like, ‘Oh, you believe in me too! Awesome!’ Use that to lift me up instead of scare me.”

“Preparing for City Finals, I train a lot more upper body endurance, long courses that are really hard. Training for Stage One specifically is really what I focused on the most this year. I felt more prepared for the later stages than Stage One. Cardio is an issue... It’s rough. I worked a ton of track workouts. Bleachers, sprints, all kinds of stuff that I didn’t as much of leading into Qualifiers and City Finals. That’s why I feel really prepared. A lot of lower body endurance, lower body power stuff. I usually am pretty good on trampolines so I didn’t focus too much on those. I was really working on cardio. I definitely feel a lot more prepared for Stage One. I feel pretty confident about Stage Two as well.”

“I believe I can hit a buzzer (on Stage One). So many of us are capable of it. I’m not going to say I will hit a buzzer because we don’t know. I’ve said that for countless courses and I haven’t done it yet. But if I do, it will be my first buzzer ever on American Ninja Warrior. It would be very special to me. I’d probably cry.”