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Readers Respond: Getting Past a Gymnastics Mental Block

Responses: 91


Almost all gymnasts get mental blocks from time to time on skills. How have you gotten over the fear? Share Your Advice

mental block

I had a mental block on my tuck back after I came back from an injury. I used to be great at them but I just wouldn't do it, after a while I just trusted my coach and beloved in myself and it really helped an now they are fine. It also helps to watch videos of you doing the thing you are stuck on if you can
—Guest gymnast1999

Getting Over My Fear, My Story,and Advis

I was a gymnast for 5 years , but had to quit shortly after breaking my arm, due to mental blocks. When I returned back to the gym after my arm breaking I had realised how nervous I really was. I would not tumble in the same direction as the direction I was facing when I broke my arm. And I would stop running before attempting the skill that hurt me. I was building walls around myself that (what seemed to me like) were impossible to fix and break down. My nerves became so intense that I quit. Leaving behind all my effort and pride. Well, now 2 years later I have joined cheer. When first joining I was nervous about attempting my flip, but I have a strategy i did that helped me. every night I would picture myself doing the flip, this made it way easier to do in person. Now, I am doing that same flip everyday without fear at all. My advise to you is to forget what you are worried about. If I had stopped my fears during gymnastics, I would of progressed so much more now. Try to forget!!!!
—Guest Guest Hannah


I am working individually with a girl who has a serious mental block. In October she fell on her head doing a round off back-handspring tuck on the spring floor at another gym and between October to now she is so scared tumbling so gets scared doing a forward roll. When she goes to do a handstand or a cartwheel, her arms and legs buckle and she cannot hold any weight. She is the definition of a wet noodle. She is being pressured by her parents to get passed her mental block in two weeks. How to I help her through this mental block??? HELP!!!!!!!!
—Guest Unknown

Find what you are comfortable with

I have had a fear of going backward on beam for a long time. It's not even so much going backwards as it is I need my hands to be on the beam. Backwalkovers and back handsprings scared me because I did not know if my hands would land on the beam. Luckily, I ended up having a natural ability for forward skills on beam because I could see exactly where my hands would be on the beam. I currently compete front walkovers and front handsprings on beam while I work at getting over my fear of going backwards. My main advice is that if you really cannot get over your mental block, see of there is an alternative you can work on so that you can build your confidence for the skills you are afraid of.
—Guest Clare

Here is some advice

Watching someone else do a skill you used to be able to do hurts doesn’t it? Watching them do it how you once did and now you stand looking at yourself thinking what happened? You feel got hurt and have mental blocks on and off every day now, but want to know that good part. One day I promise you will be confident again and get it every time and nail it. Trust me I know from experience.
—Guest Kaylee

Trying to get over a mental block

I am currently trying to get over a mental block on a round off back handspring back routie. About two months ago, I could do any back tumbling skill fine with no fear. Even double fulls! One day, I hit my head because I stopped right in the middle of it and now every time I go, I can't make myself do it. I'm not scared of it, I just can't make myself comit. So everytime I don't comit, I just stop after the round off. I really want to do it, but my brain just won't let me go. I get so frustrated over it! Sometimes, pressure helps me go. Like if I'm at a meet, I never stop because I know the judge is watching and so is the whole crowd. Also, my coaches would probably kick me out of the meet if I stopped on it. It is stressing me out so much that my hair is litterily falling out! Please help! Even if I try to imagine a judge is at practice, I won't go because in the back of my head, I know there isn't. Please leave advice! I can't keep doing this much longer.mightquiteventhoughhowgodIam
—Guest Philip Downs

Mental block!!!

In level 5 I was having trouble doing my backtuck no matter what I wouldn't go for it unless my coach was spotting me or standing there of course now I'm 9 and learning double pikes and I was scared!so I just said Abby you gotta do it and I did it and in mind I counted to 3 and did it now I'm learning my layout on the beam and same thing if your coach won't spot you (cause you do it perfectly when they spot you) you just got to throw it!! And it works!!:)
—Guest Gymnast Abby

Realize that you won't get hurt

I have a bunch of mental blocks, like all gymnasts (maybe more than others), but I have also over come a lot. What I've figured out was when you are scared of a skill, realize that if you do it right that there is no possible way you will get hurt. i.e. if you are scared of doing your flyaway because you don't want to hit your toes on the bar, understand that if you freak out and let go too late, you will, but if you relax and do it how you are trained to, you will be fine :) Try to relax and take deep breaths before your skills. Also, when you are getting spotted on a skill, remember that you WON'T get hurt, especially if it's a simple skill to spot (It's easy to spot back tucks, so if you are scared of throwing that, remember that your spotter won't let you fall!)
—Guest Hilary

You can do it!!

I always get different mental blocks here and there but one that's been bugging me a lot lately is my roundoff flip flop back tuck. I've been doing it for almost 3 years but i always have an on and off fear of it! I'll be scared of it for a week or 2, then i will get over it and do it all the time, then i'll be scared again, etc. Right now I'm in the scared phase again and every time i go to floor i freak out and i never want to go for it! I try visualizing and having my coach spot me and all kinds of stuff but it still won't work!! I am really worried I won't be able to get over this but I'm just going to stay positive and really commit to getting it back, even if it scares me!
—Guest -overthinker

How I did and help

I just went through a mental block on beam for my back handspring with mats all the way up. I only got freaked out on the first one but my coach didn't want to spot me. This happened after Christmas break so I went maybe 2-3 weeks without doing it. I was also somewhat scared of my first backwkover. Then one day another gymnast at my gym helped me. She is a level 10. It was so stupid as to what helped me but it worked. She slowly counted to three and I went. Just like that. Now it's better! But now I have a problem with my tucked flyaway. I am a new level 5 and I'm going to repeat this level. So the optional girls are in season and we didn't go to bars for 2 whole weeks. The first day back I did the only and first flyaway with my coach spotting. Yesterday I missed the 1st one did the 2nd but I got freaked out for the rest. Same thing today. I'm glad I'm at least doing one but I wish it was more consistent. Good luck to everyone else. I go thru a lot of blocks
—Guest Ari

Do you really want to do it?

That might sound like a dumb question, but really do you want to do it. Think about it really hard if you want to do it you will. That's just how is going to happen, but you have to want it before the skill during the skill and after the skill. You can't just motivate yourself to stay the skill and then be like "Okay I want to do this." and as soon as you start you think everything is going to turn out great. You have to stay aware of what's going on throughout the whole skill. Hope this helped.
—Guest Tatianna

Mental block

I recently got over a mental block. No matter what I tried I just couldn't do my fly away. I had it great before and I lost it. Then I just went to pit and worked timers just landing on my back then in when to a fly away. After awhile I just went to they regular bar and just went for it and finally did it. Just work what ever you are scared of in little steps!
—Guest Gymnast99

mental blocks

I get mental blocks quit often with any backward tumbling. I am able to get through them by talking about it to my coaches and just telling myself that I can do IT, but they come back like once a year. I want to do the skills and I know I can do the skills but somehow I just can't go for the skills consistently. My coach told me to do anything that I felt comfortable with, which help me calm down and be less nervous for the skills. I find that setting goals helps with mental blocks, I tell myself before practice that I WILL do a certain amount of the skill that I am affrayed of and I force myself to go for them.
—Guest Julianne

Talk your self through it

Im terrifyed of back tumbling, I have a back tuck in the end of my routine and I just tell myself, stay comited go for it.GOOD LUCK
—Guest Lakes Area 5


Girls I am a coach I got on here to try to help one of my girls overcome some of her blocks and I Just think it's important you ladies know how awesome you are if you are a gymnast you are special it's not easy what you do and you just have to believe that you are enough you are talented and special and strong if you a level 4 or a level 10 you are special toGod and you are special to your coaches try to talk to them be as honest as you need they do this because they love you faith in God and faith in yourself is so important to help you through this it doesn't mean your weak it's just a test and you will be stronger not only as a gymnast but as a person when you do (and you will) pull through this!!
—Guest Hannah

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Getting Past a Gymnastics Mental Block

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