temporary skills

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Feb 8, 2008
I have noticed that when I do a new skill for the first time I can do it for about a month or less, and as time goes on and I get to be more comfortable with a skill, it gets worse. I make subtle changes in body position or form, and the result is the need to relearn the skill, which can be a lengthy process. This happens to me with 99% of the skills I learn. I know doing a skill and having a skill are two completely different things, but what can I change to keep my skills from changing??

I have lots of examples of this anomaly
I rarely even try aerials, but I did maybe seven of them one day and I haven't been able to since.
The very first long hang kip I tried I made but it promptly left and I didn't get it consistently again for almost two years.
My first RO-BHS-BT's I ever threw were insanely high, and the more I did the more I rushed my set.



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Jan 4, 2008
This is very common and very normal. In particular with skills like aerials and kips. Most gymnasts will get these skills one day and struggle to get them again for a little while. Most will learn the skill and lose them for a little while before getting them back.

The good news is that once you have the skill once you know you can do it. So if you keep working you will get it back.

At first it takes a while to learn exactly what your body must do to master the skill. That is why technique can subtely start to change and then you lose the skill. When you feel your skill getting worse stop doing it and go back to the drills you did to get the skill in the first place.

A great 5 step procedure

1. Check your focus, make sure you are concentrating on what you have to do and not what not to do. Many gymnasts stand there thinking "don;t pullout" or "dont fall off" they are going to cause that to happen by thinking about it. Make sure you are calm and not getting upset or frustrated, take a few deep breaths and try again.

2. Try visualising the skill, picture your body doing the drills and try to imagine how they feel. You can imagine the drills as you do the skill. For example if for a drill you practised an aerial over a box imagine it on the floor as you go for it.

3. Go back to drills and practise the things you did to lead up to the skill. The things that got you there in the first place.

4. Ask for help, another coach, an experienced gymnast. Someone who you don't usually ask. They may see something your regular coach does not.

5. Walk away and try again tomorrow. Some days are brains are just not as in gear as other days.

Another thing to look at is how often you are training. If it is only once a week then it might be time to find a second class. The muscle memory of the body lasts only about 3 or 4 days. If you are learning a skill and then not doing it again for another week then you will in a small part have to relearn it each time.
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