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How to get over flipping fears

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newbiebeluga

New Member
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Aug 8, 2018
3
55
Country
USA
Hello! I was a gymnast for a few years (I still love the sport and admire people like Simone and Aly) but now I am doing cheerleading since the gymnastics team at my school was very competitive. However after I quit gymnastics I took a whole year off for a break. I didn’t do any sport that required flipping. I recently decided I wanted to do cheerleading because I was interested in it for awhile. When I tried out I made the team! However my fear of flipping is relevant now. I can still do my Roundoff Back Handspring Back Tuck, but not as easily anymore. Every time I attempt to do it I get scared, and even if I complete it, I’m thankful it’s over. I used to do the skill with ease (before my break from gymnastics), but after the break I took, now I am hesitant to do it and worry I’ll fall on my head or something crazy will happen. How do gymnasts get over the fear of flipping after they took a break? (Also, I’ve never landed on my head before, I just have the fear of something MAYBE going wrong). Any advice is appreciated!
 

newbiebeluga

New Member
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Aug 8, 2018
3
55
Country
USA
Hello I am a nervous (cautious) person. I used to be able to do flips but I took a break. Now I am getting back into tumbling again. I used to do a Standing Back Tuck and Roundoff Back Handspring Back Tuck without even thinking. But now I am hesitant to do it. I’m worried I’ll die from it. Isn’t that crazy?!? I used to love watching people do it and trying it myself but now I’m such a wimp. I still attempt it but when I finish I’m like “thank gosh I’m alive”.
Like seriously, what can get me out of such a stupid mindset. I want to get out of this and flip freely like I used to. I try to tell myself you will be fine every time I attempt a flip (I have not become injured from flipping before). I always am fine, but what if something went wrong. I’m a very nervous person in general, and I’m going to do meditation every day. What can make me relax like I used to?!?
 

Tumbellina82

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Dec 9, 2013
101
36
Country
Australia
I suggest visualisation. Pick a nice calm, relaxed time and space, like in bed before you go to sleep or in the bath. Imagine yourself doing your skills and make it really vivid. Think how it will feel, in terms of muscle activation, acceleration and orientation (i.e. aerial sense), interaction with surfaces. Think what it will look like. Think what you will see. Use all your experience of doing the skill successfully and all the drills and progressions you will have done to make it seem really real and technically excellent. This has a real training effect and it can make it feel more familiar and less scary.

It is important that you do it when your feeling calm and positive so that you get to experience that feeling around the skill. If you're feeling nervous and do it right before attempting the skill you might end up just psyching yourself out more.
 
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