beam back tuck fear!

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New Member
Dec 4, 2007
I have been working on putting my standing back tuck on the beam. I can do it on the floor beam without spot perfect all on my own and i have no problems. but as soon as i move up to a beam slightly higher i won't go even if i have a pad and a coach. I don't know why i clam up and get scared becausei know i can do them i just can't get myself to do the first one. any ideas on how to get over this fear



Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
Have you tried stacking mats all the way up to the level of the high beam? You could try that with a sting mat on the beam. Then with no sting mat on the beam. Then try taking away one mat at a time using the pad. Working down to no stacked mats and the pad. Lastly take away the pad.

If this doesn't help, maybe you just need more time. Fear is natural, you just have to work through it. Have you tried visualising you doing the skill?

Just some thoughts, good luck, I know how hard it is to get stuck on a skill.


That is a great idea! if you have a large mat (we call it a whale or resi) or stack several 8 inchers... start with a pad or the sting then start taking things away... keep at it! you will get it!


Nov 12, 2007

Aside from the mentioned drill, I personaly would have you try going from the floor beam to a slightly higher beam, then a medium beam, and then the high beam. Its a daunting task from the floor beam, which is safe as safe can be (assuming back tuck is good and solid, which i am sure it is) to go straight to the high beam. If you progressively move up in height of the beam then soon it the height wont be such a problem, and you can do the same drills and setups explained by bogwoppit and coachamyamerican with any beam height, and then progressively get the courage to do it on the high beam. This is a lenghty process and its up to you how fast it goes.


Excellent points everyone! Gymnastics is all about repetition, so maybe you just need to do tons on the low beam, and gradually work your way up. You've got the skill--it's just about building the confidence. Believe in yourself and make yourself go--try counting to 3 when you have a spot...don't let yourself not go once you reach 3.


Before I do my backtuck on beam I count to 3. Each count I think of part of the back tuck and picture it perfectly.
1. Set up straight
2. Tuck your knees
3. Land perfectly
If you picture yourself falling, walk to the end of the beam and back to your starting place and start over.


Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Dec 8, 2007
Your coach wouldn't have you doing it up there if they didn't know for sure that you COULD do it.

And also
Make the beam fear you.
It sounds funny but it really does work. You can't let the beam get you scared & make you fall off. Its a four inch piece of wood.


Well-Known Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
Don't stand there for a long time beforehand. You know whether you're going to go or not. Once you know you aren't going to go, walk up, shake it off, refocus and try again. I've never stood there for like 2 minutes and then actually gone (this was usually a problem with series for me, at some point I knew I was only going to do the BHS, or I was going to do a tuck instead of a layout, or whatever. So it was kind of dumb. I definitely had to work to stay out of the mindset of, I can just stand here, give up, and change my mind). I did lose my standing BT once (already had it at that point) and it was basically like what you describe. I would stand there, paralyzed, knowing I wasn't going to go. But here's the thing, my coach would say, stay there until you do five (as in on the event, not on a specific beam), and I would just stand there on high beam knowing I wasn't going to go until I started crying. That's really not productive :) It would be better to get down, do it on line, low beam, work it up, whatever, because every time you lack the confidence to do it and then go stand there anyway in a half-hearted "I know I'm not ready" kind of attempt, you reinforce the fear in your mind and make it that much harder to get over next time.

I kind of had an issue earlier this year with some beam stuff (including BT!!) after taking some time off, and I waited until I knew I would do it to prep for it on high beam. I always do this swing tuck jump land thing as a lead up so I kind of know then whether I'm going to do it or not. But the best advice I ever got on beam (this was for FWOs, but it helped me on BHS series too) was "the beam will be there." Just think about that. The beam's not going anywhere. You know where it is. You're fine.


Feb 8, 2008
If we were just standing there and not going for a long time our coach used to make us get off the beam, run and touch the wall, hop in a circle three times, compliment someone, and then get on the beam and go.


like people said, try to take away one panel from the panel mats next to the beam and so on until you get there. do not stand there too long, you should have "words" to say before you go...ex/ i do bhs layout step out...see step in look finish...and when you get up there for your back tuck wipe off your hands, say the words and go. the longer you have to let negative words come into your head the worse. try to do like 5-10 with the mats at a certain level then move them. then 5-10 on the next level. JUST REMEMBER...THE COACH WOULDN'T MAKE YOU DO ANYTHING YOU WEREN'T READY AND CAPABLE OF DOING.


Jul 20, 2008
canada!... eh
when learning my backsprings i had the same problem but to get over my fear i would not take the time to think about what could go wrong. i would take a deep breath then go.


Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
What Bogwoppit and coachamyamerican said are two good things to try. Myself, I have never been a competitive beam coach. I've had my fair share of vault shy kids though, and the same shpeel applies. I think when fear gets to the point that it stops a gymnast from a skill, a change in perspective is called for.

The definition of apparatus - [SIZE=-1]equipment designed to serve a specific function

I really love the wording here, notice 'to serve.' Beam, bars, table, springboard, mats...whatever is in the gym exists to serve you. It's sole purpose in creation is to wait for the will and ability of a gymnast to put it to use. Developing a fear of what is essentially a tool is giving that tool too much credit for the skill it merely enables you to do. It's not a question of 'can I do this?' because a coach wouldn't have a gymnast there that couldn't. A surgeon wouldn't let their scalpel dictate who they could operate on, nor would a mechanic turn away a customer at the insistence of his wrench. Just as a gymnast shouldn't let a piece of equipment dictate what skills they can or can't do, which is essentially what fear of it does.

If you must assign greater importance to an apparatus than a tool, think of it as a partner. As far as partners go it's pretty good when you think about it. It's straight, solid, enough height for an awesome dismount, and absolutely will not move on you. Ever. Whatever you do, put that beam in it's place in your mind, because it doesn't deserve your consideration beyond simply being there for you to bring your skills to life on.
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New Member
Jun 20, 2009
Utah. bleh
this is going to sound REALLY weird, get off the beam, take three deep breaths, bounce up and down a little, (this clears your head) then shake ur feet and roll your head, tell yourself to just go and that you can do it and then get on the beam take a deep breath with ur eyes closed and just go.


right now im in the middle of a rough spot, learning a back handspring on beam, and i know it is nothing like a back tuck, but what i do it count to three in my head, and that always seems to help my go.

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