WAG Mental Block

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Oct 30, 2022
16
Hi, I'm a gymnast and I have the biggest mental block when it comes to back handsprings. I'm terrified of jumping back onto my hands, and whenever I do it with a spot I just kind of 'flop' back. This is mainly because I'm not flexible at all (my back and shoulder flexibility is the worst). I stretch all the time but it doesn't really help. I've never had any mental blocks when learning tucks/aerials and my front handspring (right now for back tumbling I just do round-off tucks, without the bhs), it's just this one specific skill that keeps getting me stuck. I need to get it in like 1 month to try out for optionals (level 6/7) it's one of the only skills that I'm currently missing. Any advice?
 
Nov 9, 2022
77
16
Don't have much advice really, but I'm kind of in a similar spot. I lost my ROBHS and have states soon. Hoping to get it back soon. Ankle injuries just prevent too much reps sadly
 
Oct 30, 2022
16
Don't have much advice really, but I'm kind of in a similar spot. I lost my ROBHS and have states soon. Hoping to get it back soon. Ankle injuries just prevent too much reps sadly
Oof, I'm sorry. I had two injuries on my right knee (not very serious, one had me take a week off gymnastics and the other one two days.) but doing conditioning on my legs still hurts and so do some skills where I land in a squat position - so I get it. But hopefully you'll get it soon and good luck at States!
 
Nov 9, 2022
77
16
Oof, I'm sorry. I had two injuries on my right knee (not very serious, one had me take a week off gymnastics and the other one two days.) but doing conditioning on my legs still hurts and so do some skills where I land in a squat position - so I get it. But hopefully you'll get it soon and good luck at States!
Ahh, injuries are really the worst part of gymnastics. (At least for me). Thanks, hope you get it soon too!!
 
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procmadz

Gymnast
Fan
Jan 11, 2021
37
DD is a weirder case, but it took her over a year to get even just a BHS w/o a spot on a trampoline. She had (sometimes with the help of coaches and other teammates) to find a specific way to word corrections and tips. Envisioning and knowing exactly how and what to do also helped her. She had to see someone do it, have someone explain the mechanics of the skill, do constant drill work, have (sometimes multiple) spotters, and see videos of her doing it so she could see the problems. Work up to the skill in stages. Go slow and steady and results will show. One coach was a great explainer for her bars and vault, but couldn’t explain anything welll on floor. We talked to the other team coach and the way she explained it helped DD. Sometimes you just need a different approach. Try things out, it doesn’t hurt to try. (Ps. We tried everything and even had to take extra tumbling classes, privates, and tumbling classes at a different local gym with better equipment)

Start with getting solid BWO, then try it with both legs moving together(back limber), then do it with a little jump, then do a BHS into a pit with spots, then do it on a trampoline, then move it to a solid ish mat, then to the floor. Take small steps over time. Rushing the process means you’ll lose the skill more and it will be harder to clean up and work into harder skills.
 
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Nov 15, 2022
46
Take small steps over time.
This is what I would recommend as well. Instead of thinking about learning how to do a back handspring, think about learning how to do:

* Back limber
* Bridge kickover (jump with feet together)
* Handstand holds against a wall
* Jump back onto a resi mat
* Back handspring over a barrel or lemon mat

You probably know how to do these things already. But can you do them well? How consistent are you? Adding ankle or wrist weights can improve your strength as you dissect these various components of a back handspring.

In addition to these drills, I would practice back handsprings with a spot on the trampoline, tumble track, and wedge mat. Work your way up to new surfaces based on your fear level. Try to get comfortable without a spot before graduating to a harder surface.

Obviously, you should work on your shoulder flexibility, but that takes time. Thankfully, back handsprings don't require a tremendous amount of flexibility. It's far more important to have a strong legs for jumping back, strong arms for blocking your landing, and a strong core for the tight arch-to-hollow "snap". Your fear of back handsprings might stem from a physical weakness in one of these areas. You will likely need to build extra strength to compensate for your flexibility limitation.

Good luck!
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
448
My daughter struggled mightily on her ROBHS (much much harder to get than her kip, cast to handstand, BHS on beam, etc.).

The thing that helped her was
1) increased shoulder flexibility (may not matter to you)
2) figuring out how to do a perfect RO out of a power hurdle (running made it harder for some reason)
3) drilling a standing BHS to death on tumbl trak (her coach was incredibly picky to a degree that I'm not sure most kids could handle)
4) putting the power hurdle RO together with the BHS on the floor
5) Finally adding the run
 
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