Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Overcoming Fears and Mental Blocks in Gymnastics

A lot of gymnasts I come across on yahoo! have developed fears of certain skills. If you're one of those gymnasts who is currently going through some weird stage where you fear a particular skill or event, I just want you to know you're not the only one!

When I was a level 6, one day I suddenly became afraid of the vault. I had been practicing and competing a handspring vault very successfully for over a year, and out of nowhere, I had developed some crazy fear. I know this happens to a lot of gymnasts; whether it's fear of a certain move or of an entire event, or whether you took a bad fall and are afraid to get back up there.

Everybody is different in how they deal with these situations, but the one thing that we all have to remember when overcoming fears or mental blocks is to trust ourselves. You KNOW you can physically perform a move, it's just the psychological part that's holding you back. Trust that your body has the capability to safely perform the move with precision and focus. Remember that your coaches are trained to know when you're ready to do a certain skill. If they tell you that you're ready, you probably are, whether you believe it or not. Ask for a spot if you have to... Whatever you need to do in order to get past your fear. Most likely the more you practice it, the less you will fear it. Even the best go through this.

So I hope you're all overcoming your fears and tackling the psychological aspect of gymnastics, which we all know is absolutely huge. Good luck to everybody!

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