Overcoming Tumbling Fears & Mental Blocks in Gymnastics or Cheerleading
How Mental Training Can Help You Stick Your Landings
Do You Experience Blocks During Reverse Movements, such as Back Handsprings or Back Tucks?
Or a Gymnast (or Cheerleader) Looking to Take Your Routines to the Next Level?
Mind Training for Gymnastics
Beat Tumbling FearMP3 Download
Includes Complimentary Extras valued $75:
• 'Bedtime' version
• 'Sleep Subliminal'
• 1 Year Unconditional Warranty
Personalized Recordings also Available
Cheerleaders MP3 Download
(same inclusions as above)
(includes 5 bonus recordings)
As gymnastics is often quoted as being 90% mental - emotional blocks are very common, at all levels - but since the 90's, I have used hypnosis to help release fear and improve results.
Fear is just a natural self-protection mechanism, which can occur during back handsprings, back tucks, back walk overs, on the beam, fly way dismounts from the bar, and the list goes on - plus often after a fall.
Methods to Rebuild Confidence
The past few decades - gymnasts, cheerleaders, coaches and parents contacted me each week about these issues (including re-building confidence after injuries or falls).
During that time, mind training - the easiest, most convenient and affordable of all options available - has achieved consistently excellent results in this area.
Sadly all the ways talked about to increase confidence, simply do not work or help with gymnastic fears - as they are an involuntary, unconscious (and sub-conscious) reaction.
Motivation, pep talks, affirmations, faking it until you make it, listing out strengths and skills, thinking of past compliments, achievements or positive thoughts... these are all admirable attempts, but sadly none of these work at the subconscious level.
This means they can occasionally bring some temporary improvement - but unless the methods work at the control panel of the issue, they will never remove it - and the anxiety will continue.
Consistency can only return by dealing with the fears at their very source - the subconscious mind.
With a relaxing blend of visualisation and hypnosis, mind training has shown to give gymnasts the confidence & belief to conquer anxiety in reverse movements, skills and routines (and also in cheerleading).
When Performance Flows Perfectly... and Thoughts Which Interrupt the Process
The best gymnastic performances are performed on 'auto-pilot' - a state commonly called 'The Zone'.
The Zone delivers the highest possible standard of performance - which allows movements to flow easily, effortlessly and naturally. The subconscious mind controls this process.
However, if gymnasts dwell on their previous failed attempts, doubts, worries, fears and negative thoughts - or on the weight of expectation from others - these often prevent this auto-pilot process from working properly.
These can often sabotage areas such as backwards passes - eg. back handsprings - as well as other elements, routines, skills, confidence - not to mention cause emotional distress, anxiety and slumps in form.
Most often, various types of negative thoughts can create fear - which prevents gymnasts reaching their highest levels.
Tumbling blocks, along with most other gym issues, can be overcome using a combination of cognitive training methods - such as visualisation, positive affirmations and hypnotic suggestion, which target the fear at the very source.
Common Causes of Tumbling Fear
Falls / Prior Injuries
One of the most common causes are falls or prior injuries, which can cause a psychological impact which can be challenging to overcome with the usual regular methods, and if left unattended, these can manifest into a mental block.
Pressure to Perform
Being in front of large crowds and under intense scrutiny can make the fear of failure, and of not living up to expectations, or disappointing others, even more daunting.
This can occur if the gymnast is constantly practicing or competing without taking enough breaks or if they are experiencing anxiety. This can impact a gymnast's ability to focus and increase worry about possible falls.
Lack of Deep Inner Confidence
This can be come from a variety of reasons - not enough training, not enough support or encouragement, or pressure of expectation - either from others, or from within.
Fear of the Unknown
Last of all, sometimes it can occur purely from being afraid of the unknown. This can occur when a gymnast is attempting a new skill or is unsure of their ability to execute a particular move. This can cause movements to become more hesitant and fearful when attempting tumbling skills.
Lack of Strong Technique
This can be due to bad habits or insufficient technique to handle the routine, which can increase the risk of injury and cause increased apprehension about attempting the skill again.
If a gymnast is physically exhausted, they may not have the strength or stamina to attempt the skills - though more often than not, this is just a temporary issue
Techniques for Releasing the Fear
While gymnasts or cheerleaders may struggle with the mental block to physically practice these moves, luckily the same does not apply to the brain or the imagination - and this is where the positive changes are made.
The imagination easily creates a range of powerful images of successful elements, routines, passes etc which it stores in the memory bank, which the body accesses during actual physical performance.
Visualisation involves regularly and vividly imagining yourself successfully sticking backwards movements, while positive affirmations or hypnotic suggestion work at releasing the anxiety deep at the subconscious level, while you are in a lightly relaxed state.
Both gymnasts and cheerleaders usually find these methods work extremely powerfully at releasing common gym fears and anxiety, when the mind training process is used on a regular basis.
Positive Reinforcement Through Audio
Being a hypnotherapist working with many gymnasts, I eventually found audio recordings delivered the most consistent results, mainly due to the repetition required to fully dissolve the core issues at the source.
It has shown to generally be the most practical, effective and affordable method (such as mp3 programs on this page, or personalized recordings targeting advanced issues), or for the hands-on approach, getting a personal recommendation for a string of private consultations with someone may be helpful.
Importantly, this process helps to overturn the fears at the very source, and replace them with renewed hope and confidence - yes, even for gymnasts who are on the verge of giving it all away in frustration (which sadly occurs far more than it needs to).
Both gymnasts and cheerleaders generally find they gradually regain the confidence to perform their back handsprings or other routines that were troubling them. It also becomes an extremely positive reinforcement of the gymnasts own inner strength, when they overcome the fears themselves - using their own cognitive skills.
Advantages / Uses:
• Regaining Confidence after injury, falls, slumps in belief
• Increased Belief in Ability to perform tumbling or difficult movements
• Stronger Emotional Control - overcoming nerves, anxiety, negative thinking, self sabotage, criticism, or emotional upsets
• Less Reliance on a Spot for difficult elements
• Vastly Stronger Gymnastic (or Cheer) Performances - and results
• Increased Consistency / Concentration in performance, in both practice drills and competition