How to Overcome Tumbling Fears in Gymnastics - with Mental Training
(Now also Cheerleaders)
Do You, Or Your Child, Experience Fear During Reverse Tumbling Movements, such as Back Handsprings?
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, or 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, cheapest and most convenient of all options available - has achieved consistently excellent results in this area.
Tumbling fear is unable to be overcome by motivation or pep talks, no matter how much you try - as the fears are a totally unconscious, or sub-conscious, reaction.
Consistent results only come by dealing with them at the very source - the subconscious mind.
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 fear and achieve the most difficult gymnastics and cheerleading elements and routines, such as tumbling and reverse movements.
The best gymnastic performances are performed on 'auto-pilot' (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, many gymnasts know only too well that negativity can prevent this auto-pilot process from working properly - when their conscious mind is bombarding it with doubts, fears and negative thoughts - sabotaging elements, routines, confidence, and causing fear and slumps in form.
Most often, negative thoughts simply create fear - which prevents them from being at their absolute best.
This fear can be overcome using a simple combination of mental training methods such as visualization, positive affirmations and hypnotic suggestion.
These methods work powerfully - and gymnasts find they gradually gain the confidence to perform the routines that were troubling them.
As the fear disappears, their attitude begins to reflect a new expectation of success and inner belief - knowing they will perform each element and routine strongly.