Mental Blocks

Discussion in 'Skills' started by CB3541, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. CB3541

    CB3541 I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Have you ever seen anyone get all of their skills back after 3 years of having a mental block? Literally a level 6 World's athlete to now a level 1/2?

     
  2. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Tagging some former Worlds team parents and some coaches. @quitthedrama @CheerBank @tumbleyoda

    My biggest advice and this is just as someone with HS coaching experience:

    *I've found that the more privates/tumbling clinics/etc. kids attend in an attempt to get over a block, the more blocked they become.
    *Sometimes you literally have to start from square one - BWO, rolls, round offs, cartwheels and work back up just to rebuild confidence.
     
  3. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    Yes to this - I have a gymnastics background and that is their philosophy. Blocks don't happen as often though since progression is so much slower. My kids have been fortunate - my oldest stopped tumbling for almost two years after she had a severe injury from tumbling but she was fortunate enough to have a really great coach come in to her life and get her through it so I can't personally speak for blocks caused by something other than an injury.
    I caught hell for this on twitter, but a lot of times things such as blocks come from the pressure put on the athlete from the parent and then the coach who has to make tough decisions about the athlete gets blamed. I have seen a lot of posts from different parents bringing this up in the same sentence as the sexual abuse instances. I think that is counter productive to getting the powers that be in this industry to make the necessary changes needed. There is a huge difference between mental abuse geared towards eventual sexual abuse from a coach than when a coach removes an athlete from a team or changes their level. Coaches shouldn't be blamed for issues that stem from parental pressures and/or their perceived role of their athlete on a particular team and to try to add coaches to any type of list via USASF for those situations does more harm than good IMO. There are coaches who some people may find mentally abusive - nearly every coach out there has had someone accuse them of mental abuse while others may consider them very differently, but I'm not of the opinion that is something USASF can really control - certainly not the same was as they can a sexual predator.
     
  4. luv2cheer92

    luv2cheer92 Moderator Staff Member Bracket Winner Video Curator

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  5. CheerBank

    CheerBank Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I’m lucky in that my kid never had a block but she also was never a tumbling wunderkind at a young age. She progressed slowly in getting each new skill and was never pressured to throw something she wasn’t ready for, which is why I think she never had a block. She worked hard to get a double and maybe threw it once on her own on a crash mat on the floor but that was the extent of it. Once she made Stars though she never even had a cross tumbling pass or threw anything during the routine more difficult than a hand full either year even though she had specialty to full - because there were kids with so many more beautiful tumbling skills. And once she was a high school senior there was no reason to even keep working on progressing her tumbling skills beyond what she had because in college cheer you can’t double.
     
  6. tumbleyoda

    tumbleyoda Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    My answer is yes, I have. The challenge is getting to the true root of the mental block. They are numerous and each one presents different challenges to overcome them successfully. That is a team effort of coach, athlete, and parent working positively together.

    Mental blocks can come from many different things applying pressure to the athlete - both internally and externally. Usually, with a drop-in skills that large as you mentioned, the athlete is constantly beating themself up mentally that they are doing what they used to do. They feel that they are letting down the team, the parents, the coach, themselves, yet their fight or flight response is stuck on the flight position. Even if they say they are not, the mind wrecks havoc on their ability to get back to where they once were. This then requires a reset or rebooting of the athletes' mental approach to what they are doing.

    What has worked in all my cases regardless of the cause for the mental block is patience, finding individual ways for that athlete to be successful, focus more on drills and shaping than the actual "skill", create fun and different ways of working the skill that removes the fear of actually doing it, minimizing parental interjection in the reset process, and ultimately making tumbling fun again. Once it stops being fun, the athlete checks out.