tumbling mental block

Welcome to our Cheerleading Community

Members see FEWER ads... join today!

Oct 18, 2010
i can't tumble by myself on the tumble track. my coach yells at me and tells me its easy and there is no reason why i shouldn't be able to throw a handspring or a roundoff handspring on it. i can do it by myself and i know that but i can't throw it. i want to so badly.
i have my standing on the floor and i just can't do it. i've done it before but i can't just throw it. i want to so badly. i don't know why it doesn't just go. i really need help
Debbie Love has really good advice on her website www.fortheloveoftumbling.com but you really just have to get comfortable with it again. is there a reason you dont throw it anymore like an injury or something?
nope no reason. i do it once in a blue moon but otherwise no matter how empty my brain is how much i concentrate i just bail.
i had your problem when i started outtt. Just practice practice practice. I knew i could do it without the block, i was just scared to. Go to every open gym, practice with anyone who will spot you and gain confidence in yoursself. Tell yourself you can and will do it without the block..
sometimes you have to tumble through the fear. ive had a tumbling block for 7 years, and trust me its hard. but im now front tumbling consistently again but im scared every time i throw, even though i know there is no reason to be. sometimes you just have to commit and make yourself go.

set goals for yourself, and start them small. so maybe its 5 times in a row on tumble track with someone standing there. then 5 times with them further away, and so on. you have to get yourself to tumble SOMEWHERE. like ill throw on tumble track into the pit for standing backs, but not onto the mat, so now im working onto the mat without a spot because i can do it with one.

dont stress. i know its frustrating, trust me, I KNOW. but getting stressed and worked up about it isnt going to help anything. relax and dont put pressure on yourself, sometimes just tumbling for fun again helps.

But at the same time that your not putting pressure on yourself, sometimes coaches putting pressure on you helps. like i used to need to be yelled at to throw, or at least one of them to say "go" or "throw" as im starting my pass. i still do sometimes. but usually im fine, but i need him to be watching me. also, if you put it to counts it helps a lot. start on a 5 go on 1 or whatever, and for me it help if someone else aka my coach counts because if im counting in my head i can start over, but he gets mad when he has to start over so im more likely to throw because of the pressure.

and lastly, DONT BAIL. thats how you get hurt. once you start, you need to finish because more then likely, your going to land, if not youll maybe land on your knees, no big deal!
mental blocks are really tough to get through in my opinion, and i've had three so i would sort of know. and i'm kind of like you in that i have it by myself but i won't do it without a spot. but the best thing you can do is just chuck it and get it over with, cause after the first one the rest are easy!
You just gotta find a way to push yourself through it. I'm a boy and have mental blocks occasionally. My coach would yell at me because I'm a guy and she KNOWS that I can do more than what I have. I would throw things one day and act like I've never attempted on the next. She would yell at me and tell me that if I didn't throw it, I'm off the competition team; she'd spot me, even though I didn't need it.

Trust me, if you just throw it (especially on a tumbling tack), you'll break your fear. Just keep your arms locked out, that's all that matters. The worst that can happen is you hit your head and it's not like it's on a basketball court.

Don't think about it, just do it.
I understand the mental block thing but what do you do? My daughter's team has a cheerleader who tried out and made a youth 2 team because she only threw her BH, due to a "mental block". She was on Y2 last season as well. Well, through some means, she is granted another tryout where she throws her standing tuck, standing bh series to a tuck and running ro, bh, tuck/layout. Well she gets to go on Youth 4. Then she gets her mental block again and refuses to throw anything - She marks everthing unless a coach spots her. We have kids who are busting their butts to get their standing tucks solidly, learning whip throughs, step outs etc.. and she doesn't even try to tumble. Its so frustrating to watch when some kids get in trouble for not throwing all their tumbling all the time and she is not even made to attempt.
What helps me is to just tell myself i can do it and have my coach stand there and to be there for me but not to spot me and then i usually can do it. hope this helps
urgh! the same thing has happened to me now, i could throw ro bhs series perfectly for a like the week that i had it before comps then at the warmups for comps i bailed out of my roundoff really bad but i still threw it at comp and hit it perfect, but now I think that my experience at warmups has come back to haunt me because i can't do standing series i can only do one and i can only do a roundoff for running :(
I can't spin off the tumble track. I sat straight back and sideways if I do and land a full on my feet on the concrete. Not so fun. Not painfull but scary. To me a tumble track is just not necissary for certain people. Learning it on the floor is so much quicker and you know how to controll yourself better. I had a block on a full on the spring floor for three years(had it for a week and the next it was gone), but now I have a standing handspring to full and a runing whip thru to full. Once you get passed it you should progress very quickly. I just started hoping for the best every time I throw any skill and thinking about that every time before. SELF CONFIDENCE! Think whatever I do has it comming cuz i am bigger, better, smarter, stronger, faster, and there's nothing it can do about it.
i know exactly what you're going through...I have a layout and close to a full but i still get mental blocks...so bad that i won't even throw a backhandspring by myself. its the most frustrating thing in the world...i recently had one before going off to college, and the best way to get over it for me was to be retrained. my coach made me do things that i thought were so silly, like a roundoff on a thin mat and all these strange things that i thought would never help, but the drills themselves werent to help me. my coach was helping to retrain my brain and have me to different things. i get really bad anxiety with tumbling, especially when things are changed. so she would make me do different things to overcome my fears. the other thing that helped me get over this mental block quickly was repetition...i would have private lessons with my coach every day so that i wouldnt go just once a week or whatever...usually my mental blocks last months on end, but thankfully this one was only a few weeks long. basically, your body knows what to do, you just have to find a way to trick or distract your mind so you can get over the mental block. really hope this helps you, because i know how bad mental blocks are!!! :(
LIke most of the other people who replied to this thread I have also had a mental block, well have one. I have never been comfortable tumbling even though my coaches tell me my tumbling is perfect and I have n reason to be scared. I used to go to every single open gym, did tumbling classes, privates, go spots on everything. I found that if i actually only tumbled once a week or so I'm more likely to throw something by myself. Mental blocks are different for everyone. Take everyones advice on this page and find what works for you. Something might not cure your block, but if it makes something slightly less scarey then it did its job. Remember that you're there to have fun, try not to stress out too much.
I understand what you're going through. At the end of the season last year I had a really bad mental block with one of the skills I had in our routine and I used to get some pretty bad ones as a gymnast before I started cheering. Some of the things I used to get through mine were setting goals for myself, key words, and practice.

Setting goals really helps as it can get you through the block by taking small steps and working up to doing the skill you're having trouble with.

Key words are something my coach introduced me to. I had three words for each skill, one for the beginning, middle, and end. They really helped to keep me from bailing as they gave me something to focus on.

Last but not least, practice. With my last mental block it helped to take a step back from the skill and do the skills that worked up to it. My issue was with my two to full, so I stepped back and worked two to tucks and layouts and slowly worked my way back into the skill. Sometimes taking a step back or a break from a skill can work wonders.

I hope this helps :)