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The Unbeatable Formula For Conquering Mental Blocks In Tumbling

It’s frustrating isn’t it?...

At one point you were fearless; getting new tumbling skills almost every other week, and it seemed that nothing could stop you.

This article was originally written by Coach Sahil M.

From and is Republished under permission,

grented to GRT Inc. on Deceber 23, 2015.

And then one day it happened – you went to do a tumbling pass you’ve done a hundred times before, but your brain simply refused to let your body do its thing.

You froze coming out of a simple round off. And no matter how many times you tried, you just couldn’t convince yourself to do something you’ve been doing forever.

Your coaches were yelling at you to “just do it” and your friends were all confused, because they’ve seen you do that exact skill countless times before. What the heck is going on?

Well, it seems you’ve encountered a mental block.

And I know you’ve heard the horror stories: How it can be career-ending (especially for tumblers), how it could take years before you’re back to “normal,” how it can eat away at your confidence, and so on.

You’ve probably also asked yourself things like, “Will I ever recover?”, “If so, how long will it take?”, “Is my spot on the team safe?”, “What if I get kicked out?”

Well today, I’m here to tell you that regardless of how bad your block is, it can be overcome. Thousands of athletes have done it, and I’m confident that you can too. In fact, my personal success rate when it comes to helping defeat mental blocks is 100%, and today I’ll show you the exact formula I use to make this happen. Below is an example of what happens when this formula is applied properly:

In return, I only ask the following three things:

1. That you take the time to really understand the information in this article. Don’t skim or speed-read through it just because it’s a bit long and detailed.

2. That you have patience; I said I’d help you defeat your mental block, I didn’t say it would be overnight.

3. That you share this on Twitter or Facebook so that others may benefit.

Look, I’m as competitive a person as they come – just ask my own athletes. They know that whether we’re playing dodgeball or connect 4, I’ll show them no mercy. I play to win, baby. But when it comes to mental blocks, I would never wish that upon my worst enemy, so let’s help put an end to them. Can you help me do that?

Great, then let’s begin by understanding mental blocks at a deeper level.

It’s All About Pain & Survival

Here’s a little secret: your mental block is not something that recently popped up, nor does it mean that you’re suffering from some type of psychological condition. In fact, if you’re currently suffering from a mental block (or had one before), it means you’re functioning normally!

It’s a good sign.


Because it means your brain’s survival mechanism is alive and well. Think about this for a second: have you ever had a mental block about walking? No?

How about running? Ever just freeze up during a sprint? Didn’t think so.

Ok how about something a little more advanced, like sitting down? Ever look at a chair and as you went to put your butt on it, your brain went “NOPE! not gonna happen, too freaky!”

I’m guessing the answer to that is a definite no as well. But do you know the reason why?

It’s because inside your brain, those activities aren’t associated with a survival mechanism that kicks in to keep you alive. But the motor pattern of a back tuck (or whatever tumbling skill you’re have trouble with) definitely is.

Regardless of how trivial you think a back tuck is (I’ve done thousands of them in my time), there is still a part of the brain that knows it’s a dangerous maneuver. It knows that regardless of how good and competent you are, there’s a slight chance you’ll land on your face which could lead to serious injury or death.

And thus, it will stop you from doing it the first chance it gets. Don’t believe me? Ask a complete stranger to do a back tuck and see what happens – 99% of the time, even if they’re really committed, their brain will stop them, and they’ll spaz out.

If you’re fortunate enough to remember you first few back tuck lessons, then you knowexactly the feeling I’m referring to. So don’t beat yourself up or start hating your body for your mental block. It’s there to protect you. Tumbling is a completely new and unnatural way of movement. A hundred thousand years from now, if we keep tumbling, maybe our neurology will become as comfortable with it as walking, but until that happens, we have to deal with our ancient mental barriers.

“when it comes to mental blocks, I would never wish that upon my worst enemy” (Tweet This)

Now the obvious question is, “If everyone has these survival mechanisms, why do they suddenly kick in at random for one person, but not for another?”

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The reason mental blocks kick in is due to a trigger – something has to have happened which convinced your brain that if you do XYZ skill, it will result in pain and suffering.

And trust me, your body will do a lot of crazy things to avoid pain and suffering. Here’s a list of the 6 most common triggers:

1. Bailing and/or Getting Hurt

If you’ve never hurt yourself on a tuck before, but suffer your first fall, this can be a powerful trigger which would make your brain go: “Ok, so I thought this inversion was safe, but now I know it’s not, so there’s no way I’m letting you try it again.” And now you’re tasked with convincing yourself that it was just a freak accident, and that back tucks are safe.

This is why if you’re learning something for the first time, it is absolutely essential that you take all the safety precautions necessary to prevent yourself from getting hurt – not only for your physical health, but your mental health as well.

2. Being Dropped During A Spot

If you’re an athlete, this is almost never your fault. Coaches, this is why you never spot a skill unless you’re 100% certain you can save them. This trigger shares a lot of similarities with the first one, but with the added consequence of a loss in trust.

3. Emotional Pressure

Coaches: saying things like “just do it or you’re off the team!” is fine once in a while – fear of loss is definitely a

strong motivator – but w