For Coaches Fear: How far/long do you push?

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Proud Parent
Jun 29, 2008
I have a student who had a round off tuck consistently without a spot (all star cheerleading by the way) and all of a sudden she has fear issues. She has not fallen or done anything to cause this issue. She will not only no longer do her round off tuck, not even with a spot, she will not do her standing bhs series or a round off bhs or a round bhs series. She won't even do it with a spot. She just stands there for ages until she cries. I watched the videos that another member posted on here in dealing with fear, I've tried all the techniques, none of them work. Do I push her to the point of crying each time? I don't want her to leave miserable every practice and her parents don't either. I've tried having her work on other 'new' skills that she has not mastered and now she won't do those either, with or without a spot. I'm worried it will get to the point that she won't do anything anymore. It mainly has to do with connecting skills. I can get her to do 1 single standing back handspring and a single standing tuck, even a toe touch back handspring, but anything beyond that and she won't do it, not even with a spot. No handstand snap down bhs, no cartwheel handsprings, etc.


She is 8 years old, and a very sensitive one at that lol, if you needed to know.



With one that young I'd be doing roundoff-stop-backhandspring, roundoff-stop-back tuck. Did she fall tumbling at school or anything? Can she tell you why she's scared? Did another spotter (at a gym, or a friend spotting her) drop her? Is she growing?

With older kids (like way older) I'll be more firm, or with refusal "well ok. It's your back tuck, I can already do one". But the little ones see that as mean, rather than as trying to help them work through the fear.

Students of ALL ages with fear issues, I'll redo some trust building stuff if they're afraid of being dropped. If they don't trust themselves, we go back a few steps.

Good luck.
Sep 21, 2008

I handle these situations very similarly.

She may have seen someone get hurt, she may have been watching youtube a little too long... whatever it is, something got in her head that what she is doing is not safe, and you need to find out what it is.

Growing issues certainly can be the greatest factor as well.. she may not be aware of her body right now because she doesnt feel the same.

Good good response!
Oct 12, 2008
doing "slow-mo" bhs may help. Just hold her in her bhs position and stress that you are not going to drop her or allow her to get hurt. Speed it up gradually until she is doing them by herself again. Maybe do BT into a pit or onto a large mat as those are harder to do in slow-mo. A lot of times it is because they have thought about what might happen if/when they do fall, and they need to go back through the progressions to reinforce themselves with the knowledge that they CAN do it. Best of luck!
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