How to "just go?"

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Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
How do people "just go" for that one skill that gives you trouble? Well, for me it is more than one skill. I have problems with just getting myself to go. It is usually on floor.

Right now, i am struggling with back layout full twists. I am doing them off the end of the tumble track. I do a round-off and then the full off the end. I just can't get myself to go though! I know that if i at least DO the roundoff i will do the layout and the full. I just can't get myself to take the first step having the thought that i will do the full in my head. My teammate just goes! Well, she is only 10 years old and i am 14, but does that mean that i HAVE to have fear, just because i am older? I have struggled with so many skills because i just can't get myself to go.

My fellow level 7 teammate always gets skills before i do (but i eventually get it.) I am tired of always being "the scared one!" on our team. It is really frustrating, because i just stand at the end of the tumble track for EVER! I know it bothers the people in line behind me, but i try to only go to tumble track when no one else is there so they don't get annoyed. But what bothers me is that my standing around probably annoys ME more than any one.

Does anyone have any advice on how to just go for it? On any event, because i have this problem with lots of skills, just usually on floor. Does anyone else have this problem?


I used to always be the scared one too. it took me 4 months for me do even do a flyaway in the pit, 3 months to get a backwalkover with spot on highbeam and 2 months for my RO backhandspring tuck. with these skills and others skills i usually collect my thoughs and say to myself you can do it or you've got this. count to 3 sometimes and do it. sometimes the first time is had but after that it just gets easier and easier! Good luck! hope this helps.


Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
((((Hugs)))) to you! You sound like you could be my DD! She is always the last to get skills due to fear/mental blocks. She's training L8 right now, but will be competing L7 again due to "not going for" skills. It frustrates her to no end too!!! But she never gives up, b/c she loves the sport. She always gets her skills eventually...but on her timetable...not everyone elses. So if you love gymnastics...don't give up! Even though you might feel like you are the only one with these issues, you are not alone! Keep a positive "I CAN do this attitude". You are an individual...unlike anyone else! Don't compare yourself to others. Look at all you have accomplished to make it to L7. You are a great gymnast!!! You can do it!!!!:D
Oct 6, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
The most important thing is not to just chuck it. That's a really good way to injure yourself. If you're having negative thoughts before you go (seeing yourself falling, "I can't do this", etc.), you need to take a step back and really gain your confidence doing high layouts and halves, being spotted, etc. If you're just having a hard time up and doing it... take a moment to visualize yourself doing them correctly and successfully. Visualization works... we did an experiment in my sports psychology class the other day, shooting foul shots. Without any mental prep, I was 0 for 10. Then, we had to go and build our confidence. I visualized myself making every shot - sure enough, I was 4 for 10 that time. You may feel silly doing it at first, but believe me, it's worth it!

Basically, it's all in how you're mentally preparing for the skill. Try and focus on that full, and that full alone. You will get it... don't get down! You just need time. PM me if you have any questions. Good luck, and hope I helped! :D

(edit: by the way, I HIGLY recommend the book "Going For It" by Mark Gibson - it's really a great book, specifically dealing with psychology in gymnastics! I love it - I would not still be doing gymnastics without it. :D )
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Feb 8, 2008
There was about a month last year when I just stopped throwing my FHS FTs because I was suddenly scared, although I had no reason to be. As the problem was all mental and not at all physical, the only thing my coach would tell me is "you have to want it more than you're afraid of it." Hence my signature.


Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2009
Phoenix, AZ
My daughter is also usually the last in her group to get the new skills. The last time she had a mental block we asked her if she wanted to have a private with any of the coach that she felt the most comfortable with for that skill. The private coach that she selected is not her regular coach but she felt most comfortable with this coach for this particular skill. So we signed her up for a private session. After just half hour of private she got the skill and felt comfortable doing it.
Another skill on bar that she was having problem was giants. Up to two weeks prior to her TOP National test she still did not have this skill yet. However, after going through several private sessions she got her giants just two or three days before going for the National test. In fact most of her TOP national skills requirement she learned within a month prior to the test. I am so proud of her and also thanks to her coaches that are willing to make extra private sessions for her to get all her skills.
Good luck and don't give up. Eventually you will find the best way that works best for you.



Here's a variety of approaches I use when my gymnasts have fears centering around layout full twists. Please make sure you are supervised by one of your coaches!
- Limit your roundoff to 1 step (2 max) hurdle layout, or try the skill from two backhandspring - both approaches are meant to slow the skill.
- put an 8" mat at the end of the tumblke trak so that the mat is higher than the TTrak. With supervision, a standing 3/4 layout to a stomach drop. This drill pulls the arch out of most layouts for a better twisting shape, Hands will stay over head. Next, do a hip snap hollow motion in the standing layout 3/4, together with the arm motion your coach chooses to a 1/2 turn back drop. The twist will take place AFTER you see the floor and pass the 12 o'clock with your toes. The spotting helps to reduce the fears!
- If you tend to overrotate the full wildly, raise your landing surface!
- remember to visualize the layout full in your head as a layout with the twist starting when the toes reach 5 minutes before 12 o'clock, and the full finishing no later thatn 5 minutes after 12 o'clock.
- handstand full pirouettes with the head tucked into the shoulder, but eyes on the floor may or may not help. Depends on your layout take off, etc.

Finally, remember that most fears are the result of not knowing the outcome, or not knowing what action produces the desired outcome. The more you understand the mechanics of a skill, the less fear the skill will have over you. Knowing that you can make the same exact motion over and over by choice - not by accident - empowers you to own the skill!
I have the exact same problem. A month ago I got my flyaway by myself, and then all of a sudden I got scared and I can't do them any more. The stupid thing is I know I'm capable, I just won't go! So I feel your pain! By the way this is an awesome thread!


My friend has the EXACT same thing!! to help her we tell her that she is in a meet and if she dosent do it she wont win the meet. It works for her. We also have to constenly tell her just don't think about it just go. I dont have that problem on floor but I have a problem on bars like that.
Sep 12, 2009
I don't have this problem, but I think I might have good advice. When I'm doing a trick I don't think about it. Just watch some of the others who can and get that picture in your mind. Just think about the picture in your mind while doing the trick and thats it! I hope I helped. :D
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