Causes / Symptoms of Gymnastics
Tumbling Fear and Anxiety
One of the toughest things for the parents of child gymnasts (and often cheerleaders, as well) is to watch their child suddenly experiencing ongoing crippling fear about performing reverse or backwards tumbling movements such as back handsprings, backtucks, etc - on the floor or beam.
These may even be movements the child may have been doing fairly comfortably in the sport for some time.
Even more difficult for the parents is the fact that they feel almost totally unable to truly help their child with this issue, in any shape or form - as encouragement, motivational pep-talks and emotional support unfortunately do not really help a great deal with this issue.
This is because the fear that causes these issues is much like a computer 'program' which lies at the subconscious (software) level of the mind - and this means it simply cannot be reasoned with, and does not respond to motivational methods.
This is because fears do not reside in our conscious (rational) mind, and so 'logic' and hard work simply do not overcome the issue. Instead, the fear is more like an involuntary, emotional reaction - and in order to release the fear and move forward, these must be addressed at the source of the issue.
To further explain this (in adult terms), as an example of how the subconscious works - let's say an adult has some kind of phobia, or even an addiction, they are struggling with - eg. a fear of spiders, public speaking, dentists, etc - or an addiction to smoking, drugs, gambling etc.
The mental 'program' running those particular fears or addictions reside within the the subconscious mind (the software that runs most processes in our body) - which is why these issues often require more than simple encouragement or motivational talk to help them break the powerfully ingrained habit. The same principle applies to gymnasts and cheerleaders who have a fear of tumbling or backwards movements.
These fears re somewhat natural in many ways, as they are actually a type of instinctive 'self-survival' mechanism that is designed to protect us by alerting us to recognize impending danger, in order to warn us to move away from it to safety.
Other causes of tumbling fear include when it sometimes occurs after a gymnastics fall, accident or injury, or simply happen as a consequence of the maturing child experiencing a growing realization or awareness of the perceived 'risks' involved in their routines or elements.
Often the gymnast may have been doing the very same routines for years, before the issue arose- but more often than not, the fears are triggered by attempting difficult new routines, which cause increased stress.
Gymnastic fear can take various different forms in behaviour, such as:
experiencing varying degrees of anxiety before routines (or even before going to the gym)
fear (or even panic), partial or complete avoidance of particular movements
motivation problems (eg. not wanting to go to gym)
suddenly needing a spot, for routines they used to do easily
shutting down communication
or even wanting to give up the very sport they have loved so much - sometimes without admitting the cause, and creating a false reason.
While there is no magic pill for this situation, we have found relaxation and self hypnosis techniques have had excellent results in reducing the symptoms of anxiety, and increasing the levels of inner confidence and belief. A good counsellor or psychologist may also be of assistance in this area.
We have also had excellent responses over the years to our Mind Training for Gymnastics (& Cheerleaders) mp3 hypnosis programs (see info on these) and for more difficult or long term issues, our customized, personalized hypnosis recordings targeted towards the gymnast's exact issues.
Mind Training for
* Intro to Mental Training
* Daily Hypnosis
* Bedtime Version
* Sleep Subliminal
"All of a sudden she just completely stopped doing movements she had loved doing for years. She would be crying and so unhappy, and we just had no idea what to do or how to help. I was so thankful when a parent of one of her gym friends mentioned your hypnosis recording".
B. Wilson, WI, USA
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