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Mental Blocks

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melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Anyone have dds that are going through them or have gone through them??
We have had our share already of mental blocks and we are only in level 4.
She will get a skill like her squat on the lower bar to jump to the high bar and lose it for a while and then get it back...
Her most recent skill she suddenly freaked out about was her roundoff backhandspring, backhandspring and so on...
She is the best tumbler on the level 4 teams... She flies across the floor and probably is ready to start training roundoff bh backtucks... But she suddenly is having some fear issues with anyone else being on the floor when she is tumbling... Last night she finally worked through it and did the roundoff backhandspring backhandspring without a hitch.
Sometimes, I think she went through a new skill increase in that she has great repulsion and now she just flies across the floor and maybe that started scaring her about her own speed and power... I don't know but it was really frustrating to watch the best tumbler freak out about it when she has girls on her team that are slow, with horrific form and practically on their heads doing them without a hitch. She also has the best backwalkover backhandspring stepouts too.
She still has her kip on bars too but lately it is a bit weaker than it used to be but they don't get to work on them until after they have done their level 4 bar routine a billion times to the coaches liking so she just might be tired by the time they get to work on their kips. I just don't want to see that skill go away, we have had it for 1.5 months and I would like it to get better over time not worse for next year when she moves up.
She also used to have her cartwheel on beam early last spring and now she is deathly afraid of it. They work it after they work their level 4 beam routine but she is so piked that she would never get her feet on the beam.. which is another mental block from fear.
I get so frustrated with them because she can do it.. She just gets scared and gives up...
 

Rainee100

New Member
Sep 22, 2007
41
NY
It sounds like she has the skills to be a level 5. Is there any reason she hasn't moved up? In response to your question, yes my daughter has had and is having mental blocks as well. She is having trouble with her cartwheel on beam and also with her kip. To compound the problem, her hands are so tiny, she can't get used to the dowel grips. I'm hoping it's just a phase and will pass soon. I read, in this forum somewhere, that having them do a beam skill over and over on a line on the floor and then progressing to the low beam is a good approach. Then moving to the high with mats on the sides, then no mats. I'm sure the coach knows this, but maybe because they are focusing on level 4, they aren't as concerned with the level 5 skills. Good luck!
 

gym_mom2one

New Member
Aug 23, 2007
46
Country
USA
It does sound like your daughter has all her level 5 skills. The level 5's at our gym are working on their kip still. Our level 4's haven't been introduced to the kip yet. They are doing cartwheels on the low beam and back walkovers on the low beam but no kip and no double BH...
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
We have a gymnast in our gym that is a complete perfectionist and this has caused some blocks for her. She competed level 6 last year and would compete 7 if not for her blocks she has had over the last 6 months. Our coaches went back to the very basics after she lost her flyaway on bars, back tuck and then her bhs on floor (she had her bhs on beam prior to the blocks). They also had her visualize the skills, which seemed to help. She is tumbling again, but it took time and patience and she will only tumble with the coach on the floor. She does seem to be getting better - she has her flyaway back ... but every once in a while she freezes when it comes to doing her passes on floor- yesterday she did great until the last pass - ro, 2bhs, layout. She started to step into her run and just broke down. The coach has suggested her sitting down with a sport pshychologist to see if that may help. All of the moms of our experienced gymmies L8-10's have said that blocks are just something that come with gymnastics...

my dd - I guess I never thought of it as a block before, but guess it was - had her cartwheel on the high beam and then saw another girl split the beam and completely lost it - even on the middle beam for at least 2 months & she was very frustrated... she went to the line and back to the low beam and eventually did work her way back up, but it was only after she became patient and did not let it get to her - you can not relearn the skill when you are frustrated about it.... the difference is that now her cartwheel on beam is very consistent - she learned that you get a skill, may lose it, but when you get it back it is there to stay - maybe even better then before:p... but you have to be patient and not put so much pressure on yourself. Gymnastics should just be fun, when you start feeling the pressure or frustration, the fun just drains out of it... tell your dd to just go out and have some fun, and her stuff will all come back and be as strong if not even better then before:D
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
She wasn't moved up last spring because she didn't score high enough last year as a 1st year level 4.
She had to score 35 in the AA and only scored 33.85 as her best meet which was her state meet with a fall on beam. Anyway, she did get most of her level 5 skills over the summer but they didn't work on everything so they didn't move her up. She is in a group called level 4 stars in which they are all second year level 4's who didn't either score high enough last season or they were moved back down from level 5 when they didn't have their skills to stay by the Aug 31st deadline.
I sometimes think we should have switched gyms because she probably would have been moved up but she is very close to a few girls and didn't want to break that.
One of her other teammate's mom and I are thinking about switching gyms next spring but figured we would just stick it out here and let them compete a 2nd year at level 4 and hopefully score extremely well and get both the girls confidences up before moving to level 5.
We both feel that our girls should have been moved up last spring especially when Emily turned around and got her kip before 10 of the girls that were moved up to level 5 from her level 4 team.
Quite a few were moved back down and the once 6 girl level 4 star team is now 15 girls.
Thank you for your responses...
The coaches are working on her mental blocks... it is just hard for me to watch her go through them.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
As for the mental blocks, some of it can just be too much at one time. Right now, I'm sure she is focusing on getting those L4 routines just as good as they can be. Then they start piling on the L5 skills and it can really stress the kids out. An example would be what my daughter and some others went through at our old gym trying to get L7 and L8 skills to move up. They all said they felt rushed/pushed etc. and kids who normally have no problem with a skill would start backing off. One girl got so freaked doing a tsuk, that she just stopped vaulting completely for a few weeks. So, what happened? Girls have left that gym or quit completely. One of the coaches on CB mentioned taking your time and doing the progressions for each skill. So, start the cartwheel on the floor and then move it to a low beam and let her get very comfortable, then up a little higher etc. For the RO-BHS-BT----she just needs to work on learning nice solid back tucks through progressions, then gradually introduce the RO-BHS. There is no rush if she won't compete L5 this year.

As far as moving up, I believe the USAG states(altough not clearly) that gyms cannot set their own "move up" scores. To go from L4 to L5 there is no mobility score even from USAG. Now, the coaches could come back and just say she doesn't have all her L5 skills and let it go at that. I would be wary of a gym that sets "move up AA scores."

Anyway, I would tell her to just do her best with the L5 skills and not put alot of pressure on her to get them all right now. They will come---she may just need some time.
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
thanks for the suggestions...
My friend and I are about fed up with some of the policies of our gym right now and their inconsistancies with the own rules... So we both think we are moving our daughters after next spring's state meet in March.
We have really large level 4 and 5 teams which is probably why they set the score rules... Our total level 4 team including the 2 groups of 1st year level 4s is like 38 girls. However, as of right now... The only girls competing in the first meet on Oct 20th are the level 4 star girls(15 of them) and only 2 of the first year level 4 girls. The rest of the new level 4s aren't ready. None of them have their front hip circles or their beam dismount. Last year when my daughter was a 1st year level 4, only like 6 of them didn't compete in the first meet for 1st year level 4s. This year it is a good thing they have quite a big group of 2nd year level 4s because otherwise they wouldn't have much of a team.
They do work on the lower beams for cartwheels and she can do it fine there... It is when she moves to the high beam... Like a different world for Emily. I think she is the type that you almost just have teach her off that bat on the high beam.
 

Eveningdew

Parent/Coach
May 17, 2007
53
California, MD
Head Games

I returned last evening from Region 7 Congress. I attended several seminars hosted by Dr Arnold, herself a retired Level 10 gymnast. The mental block, (loose mind, subconscious protection) can stem from several reasons. Dr Arnold says when a gymnast balks, she is in a "loose mind/loose body" state and the subscious will protect her from serious injury. My dd is a 12 yr old 6/7 and balks at her flyaway, nothing else. She is capable of the release from the bar and beautiful BT's on the floor, we know she has the skill.

Dr Arnold's website for help is www.headgames.ws

I "re-programmed" my dd last night, she was happy to do it. After some probbing with truth/false questions watching her body reaction, what came to light didn't surprise me and I assumed was at the bottom of her balk. She had witnessed her best friend, also a 6, have 2 near disasters on her flyaway. My dd's subconscious protects her and she simply drops from the high bar without opening her shoulders. She repeats while in a tight body/tight mind, "I am a great gymnast. I can do flyaways." She says those over and over and over while visualizing the bad about the skills until the visual peters out and the words fill her revamped hard drive. While executing the trick, she will tame the monkey with cue words, "tap, swing, tap, swing, tap, swing, open, release, tuck, stick." The cue words are in sync with the trick.

Dr Arnold talked about a the conscious mind when not focused as a "monkey going on multiple field trips" rather than focused. The monkey needs to keep it's focus so you feed it treats (cue words for the skill being balked) ie: kips, BH, BT or whatever it may be.

She is available for clinics at your gym to help gymnasts, coaches and parents since that is a triangle of success. You can't help one without helping the other 2 and all being on the same page of success. Anytime there is someone losing, the triangle is broken and needs to be fixed. Too many times, it is the gymnast as the adults argue and fuss over this and that, each feeling they have not been heard and refusing to give in to the other. Not feeling like your side has been heard is usually the most common complaint.

Maybe that will help, I'll let you know how it worked with my dd after tonight. ;)
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Thank you for your suggestions..
I honestly believe something happened to trigger some of these mental blocks esp the one if someone else is on the floor with her tumbling simeoultaneously(sp?)
I honestly think she was doing something at school on the playground and fell or someone ran into her but it was not serious enough to get the school involved or anyone had to go to the nurse's office. She used to tumble all the time outside and now is apprehensive about it and I think it is from doing it at school...
 

Rainee100

New Member
Sep 22, 2007
41
NY
Dr. Arnold just visited our gym a couple of weeks ago. She was wonderful. She did a clinic with parents and then with the gymnasts. She also stressed that there is more to life than the gym. She made me feel a little better about missing states last june for a wedding the girls were in!
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
Tx for posting Dr. Arnolds website! :D She has some excellent articles on head games that I am going to pass on to some of the girls in our gym.
 
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