Breaking Through a Mental Block

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What is a Mental Block?

Many times we have fears when we tumble. We all will have fears every once in a while. When we start to overthink about our fears it can cause us stress and anxiety. 

A mental block is when we have an overwhelming amount of anxiety about a skill or tumbling pass. We have difficulties performing and may not be able to perform at all. A mental block is not contagious or even permanent, it is a result of our thoughts. 

Our thoughts become our beliefs and we perform according to our beliefs. 

Once we have gotten to the point where we feel we have a mental block, it is important to know that we can uncover the thoughts that are causing our anxiety and we can work to change them. 

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What worries you?

We can be fearful of failure, fearful of success, and even fearful of injury. These three categories are where we will start.


Fear of failure is when we are worried about losing, falling, making mistakes, etc. The fear of success is when we worry about what will happen if we do accomplish our goals. The pressure of having to be great may cause us to doubt if we are capable of such a great responsibility. 

The fear of injury can happen when we see someone else get hurt or we don't want to re-injure ourselves. 

The worry about failure can cause us to focus on what we don't want to do.

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What do you WANT?

Thinking about what we don't want to do doesn't help overcome fear and can continue feeding anxiety. It focuses our attention and energy on future thoughts. Since the future hasn't happened yet, we can create the future we want. 

What do we WANT? If we don't want to fall on our head on a standing tuck, then what do we want to to? We want to land on our feet. 

Great, how are we going to do that? 

How to HIT!

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Know HOW to learn.

Know HOW to do the skill.

Know HOW to do the skill.

When things are difficult and we struggle, it is an opportunity for us to learn. We may not like it, but struggling and figuring things out is a great way to gain knowledge. Deeply focusing and thinking about how to fix the problem fires the neurons in our brains.


When we first develop a mental block or fear, we may wonder if we are every going to get through it. We may doubt in our ability or feel we aren't good enough to be on the team.


These are all normal thoughts, but they are lies. We may not know why we have fears, however we are strong enough to overcome and we are capable of learning what we need.


Struggling teaches us how to be resilient and rebound after difficult times. It teaches us how to be flexible and just to situations. It teaches us how to be persistent and work in hard times. It teaches us that our minds, thoughts, and feelings can change and continue to learn throughout our lives. It teaches us to be patient and trust in ourselves and the process. 


Most importantly it teaches us to learn. 

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Know HOW to do the skill.

Know HOW to do the skill.

Know HOW to do the skill.

For our skills and routines to be consistent under pressure, we will need to KNOW every part of HOW to perform.


  1. KNOW how to technically make the skill work. To be able to perform a skill safely, we need to know the physics of how the skill works. On a standing back tuck, we will want to know how to set, jump, flip, and land. We will want to know the rhythm and timing that makes each skill successful. 
  2. KNOW how to adjust and fix mistakes. Once we know what makes the skills successful, we will want to practice them so we know how to adjust if we are off. Since it may be impossible to perfectly perform the same exact skill overtime, we will want to know how to work and fight.
  3. KNOW how to repeat. When we know the technique and we know how to adjust, we can work to repeat these skills. When I know I can repeat my skills and I know what to do, it can grow my confidence. 

One reason that fears and mental blocks enter into our lives is because we didn't KNOW how to HIT our skills. 

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Know HOW to peak.

Know HOW to do the skill.

Know HOW to peak.

When we are at our BEST, how do we feel? Are we energized, relaxed, focused, calm, etc? When we are able to free our minds from the worry, we allow our bodies to do what they were trained to do. 


When we are anxious, our bodies may respond with the fight or flight response. This is when our sympathetic nervous system and gets us ready for battle. Our fight or flight response speeds our heartbeat and breathing. It pumps adrenaline and blood into our arms and legs and gives us a burst of energy. 


Our body also may 


However, many perceive this feeling as something that isn't good. We think that if our body is reacting in this way that we must be in danger. Why else would our bodies prepare for the fight to flight of survival? 


What if we looked at our sympathetic response as a good or great things? When we start to feel this boost, we can perceive it as our body is preparing to train, work, or better yet...PEAK!


Learning how to manage our systems can help us get pumped or calm down when we want to. First we will want to know our Optimal Energy State, then we will practice on training to reach it on cue.