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RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
864
DD is working on her BHS BHS on beam and it's the first skill in a long time where she's really hitting a wall of fear. It's not a mental block at this point, but she's really anxious about getting the skill for next season. There is no room for a different beam series at her gym, so she's going to need it and I'd love some advice on helping her through this fear and any tips (obviously she's getting corrections from her coaches, but sometimes gymnasts here or coaches have different points of view and tips that can help).
 

JBS

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Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,337
Wisconsin
I always recommend talking through it with words. We have a white board that the athletes write their words on so they can practice. Practice the series with the words on the floor or a wide soft low beam until they have lots of confidence. The words are different to each gymnast... stuff that means something to them. Some gymnasts use words as simple as "and... go... hands... feet".

words.jpg
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
810
Virginia
Lots of reps on the floor don't try and push it before you are ready. Slow mentally strong progress is better than fast but I'm still petrified progress ( I know from my kiddo who did it but never felt good doing it so it was hit or miss!).

What JBS said is good too. We did some mental toughness stuff with a lady and she talked about having words a lot. When your brain doesn't have a job its when worry can get in and spiral (your brain will make up its own job which is usually not helpful) so if you have your words you are giving your brain a job so it won't get in the way of your body doing what it already knows how to do. That resonated with me. Its like the same concept of you dont worry till you lie down at night and your brain has nothing to think about so all the "what if" scenarios set in.
 

ProudGymnast

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
130
Here is a portion of my reply to someone else. This advice goes for any beam fear

"there is a rule my gym follows for new skills on beam. And that is start training early, and don't move up until you are bored of where you are and can make 5/5.

for example, I started training my bhs loso in level 7. Had it nailed on the floor before we moved to beam with mats, and every step up from that I needed to be completely confident and bored of the step before. We actually had to ask the coaches before we moved up, bent legs? nope you have to stay where you are until you fix that, slightly crooked? fix that before you move up. I now have it consistent as a L9 for when I need it.

My coach would never stand with us on high beam because she said that if were scared enough to not do it alone, we shouldn't move up high yet.

My point is, coaches that push you to move things up too fast and don't teach you proper technique create inconsistent, fearful gymnasts."


^I love this approach so much because it creates rock solid skills.^

More advice:

Say words. I used to say "straight, go, stick" for my bhs bhs series. And then I would remember to jump straight back, go for second bhs, then hold my lunge. As I said it my body naturally followed along. Tailor words to specific fears or weaknesses so you have cue words that guide you.

Repetitions, repetition, repetition. Make sure you are not avoiding the skill due to fear, that makes it scarier, and then when the time comes you NEED it you have to rush and that creates an inconsistent, fearful skill. That being said, you don't want to overdue reps on days, (don't want injury issues) but what you want to do is consistently work on it and not skip days.

Visualize!! I think about what it looks like to go for the skill (in 1st person) before I do every time. It helps me go for it and not back out due to fear because I know what to expect and I am not caught off guard doing the actual series.

Good luck to your daughter, its truly a tricky series.
 

Kolabola29

Proud Parent
May 12, 2022
51
40
This can take a LOT of time. The keywords can be huge. Having something you say when you practice on the floor (like "look at the end of the beam" or "square hips") then saying that same thing when you go up to low beam and then the high beam can really help. Good luck!
 
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