Can BWO on beam fear be "non vestibular"

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Proud Parent
Mar 19, 2009
I guess Dunno, being the vestibular expert, can probably answer this, but anyone else feel free to chime in.

My daughter is all of a sudden afraid of the bwo on high beam. What is odd is that she is not afraid of backhandsprings on high beam (step-out or two foot). So it doesn't seem like a fear of going backwards, spatial awareness vestibular thing. She will even do back tucks on low beam.

She is fine doing them on low beam, can make 15-20 in a row. She can also do her bwo parts (where they stop in the bridge with leg up, split handstand, needle up) fine on mid beam and though she isn't as consistent, she will at least do the bwo on mid beam.

Additionally she seems the most terrified (to the point that she only did one yesterday) with doing it out of the balance transfer in the L6 routine.

I have no idea how to help her psychologically and she has a very short amount of time until she starts competing L6 so ignoring it until it goes away isn't really an option.

Also she has not grown, as I know this can cause issues. She has maybe grown 3/4 of an inch in the last year so there is was no sudden growth spurt. And she has not had a hard fall of any kind.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :confused:
anything is possible.

Did she ever have a fall doing that move it doesn't have to be a hard fall or has she observed another taking a bad fall doing that move? That is a biggie in fear of doing a specific skill.

My DD was awhile getting her back hand spring but could do back walkovers on beam without a second thought. Ask her to do a cartwheel on beam and her knees are knocking - she was so glad to get out of L5 so she didn't have to do it anymore and wouldn't you know her coach wants her to have one in her L8 routine with connections to other moves. A round off no problem and a front walk over no problem.

I really think alot is just in her head and she has psyched her self into being afraid. All you can do is be supportive, I use to give incentive items (ok a bribe) if she could do it and the coach said it looked good on some of her fear items. Small items she wanted like going bowling, ice cream, shopping at the mall etc.
Let me take a guess that she's not either a preteen or getting close to that age where random fears just show up? If she is, they seem to come and go. A lot of patience and reinforcement seems to help but I don't have any real answers.
Oh how I wish you were right Todd, but she's only 9 and not an insanely mature 9. That's almost part of the problem, she can't even articulate why she's afraid.

I think Cher might be right that she's gotten herself psyched out for some reason, but I didn't want to just assume it was mental. It just doesn't seem vestibular... Or can that issue just affect a single backward skill?
How long has the fear been going on? If I am reading your post correctly, she did have it on high beam and now is scared? Also, if she is just starting to work on connecting it that is a biggie. It may just be the pressure of trying to connect it. It is completely different to do a BWO and a BWO connected to the previous motion. It took my daughter a few meets in L6 to get rid of her "pause." My daughter actually preferred BHS to BWO on the beam as well which I too thought was odd. She explained it to me that she doesn't like watching it all in slow motion. Also, she was fine with the going backwards part, it was the putting the feet on for some reason that she said she was scared of. I have noticed it is not uncommon with my daughter and her teammates for fear issues to temporarily pop up during predictable seasons of high-stress. I can always count on the last week of summer being an issue because the goal is to have all skills mastered by the last week of summer to compete that level. Also, it seems that the week that the sign-up for the first meet of the season triggers it as well as right before states. Often the issues only last a couple of days or a week or so and the girls just work through it.
@gymtigermom - The fear is just the last couple weeks, but 2 weeks of fear when you have to compete in 3 weeks isn't helping the situation. They have been training full L6 routines for months, so she's had the connection. It's odd too, Friday they all had to do a full beam routine with no warm-up, and she was fine... But Saturday she was in tears standing up there terrified. She was squeezing her hands so hard together above her head it looked like she was praying to the Gods for help.

You are probably right though, she is likely just stressed and needs to relax.
It really sounds like she is approaching that age where they develop fear over nothing really. My dd hit it around age 10 and it lasted until about age 12. It was a long 2 years. Bu t now she seems to be over it and is doing the skills she needs to do. Still has fear in general when it comes to beam and that L8 tumbling connection pass that starts with some type of cartwheel that looks like it pop up a bit (hard to explain) Not her favorite move. I told her to talk to her coach and see what else she can do but no she says she will get it (why is 14 so stubborn or is it just pre teen and teen gymnasts in general LOL)
as many coaches are aware of, there are some kids that perform their back walk over very, very quickly. like on speed.

the coach says "slow down" cause they're to fast.

the above poster's child is experiencing vestibular difficulties that come from the transfer problems of working between bwo's and flip flops.

it is now in her sensory hardware to go fast. it's more comfortable than going slowly.

so, if you ask her to perform it very fast like a/her flip flop, don't be surprised if she can perform it perfectly.:)
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