How to Overcome Tumbling Fears in Gymnastics - with Mental Training
Do You, Or Your Child, Experience Mental Blocks During Reverse Tumbling Movements, such as Back Handsprings or Back Tucks?
Or Need to Revert to Having a Spot for Routines?
Fear is a natural self-protection mechanism, which can occur during back handsprings, back tucks, back walk overs, on the beam, or fly way dismounts from the bar - and often after a fall.
The past few decades - gymnasts, cheerleaders, coaches and parents contacted me each week about these issues (including re-building confidence after injuries or falls), and the good news is - during that time, mental training - which is the easiest, most convenient and affordable of all options available - has achieved consistently excellent results in this area.
Tumbling fears are unable to be overcome by motivation or pep talks, no matter how much you try - as these mental blocks are a totally unconscious, or sub-conscious, reaction.
Consistent results only come by dealing with these fears at the very source - the subconscious mind.
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Other methods only create temporary improvement - because they do not work at the very core, or control panel, of the body's movement.
Mental training, using a potent combination of visualization and hypnosis, has shown to give gymnasts the inner confidence and belief to conquer the anxiety and achieve the most difficult elements, skills and routines (in gymnastics and cheerleading), such as tumbling and reverse movements.
The best gymnastic performances are performed on 'auto-pilot' (a mental state commonly called 'The Zone' - which delivers the highest possible standard of performance) which allows movements to flow easily, effortlessly and naturally.
The subconscious mind controls this process.
However, gymnasts know only too well that if they dwell on their previous failed attempts, doubts, worries, fears and negative thoughts - these often prevent this auto-pilot process from working properly. These can often sabotage backwards tumbling passes such as back handsprings - as well as other elements, routines, skills, confidence - and cause emotional distress, anxiety and slumps in form.
Most often, negative thoughts simply create fear - which prevents them from being at their absolute best. Tumbling blocks can be overcome using a combination of mental training methods - such as visualization, positive affirmations and hypnotic suggestion, which target the fear at the very source.
Visualization involves regularly, and vividly imagining yourself successfully sticking tumbling passes, while positive affirmations or hypnotic suggestion work at releasing the anxiety deep at the subconscious level, while you are in a relaxed state.
While gymnasts or cheerleaders may struggle with the mental block to physically practice these moves, the same does not apply to the mental side. The imagination easily creates a range of powerful images of successful tumbling passes, which it stores in the memory bank, which the body accesses during actual physical performance.