For high school, college, and all-star athletes alike, tumbling has become an integral part of cheerleading. Coaches love it, crowds love it, and judges want to see it performed safely and correctly. There’s just one problem. No matter how many hours you spend in the gym, you still struggle to land that perfect pass. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned cheerleaders struggle to hone their tumbling skills.
So what gives? As it turns out, most tumbling problems are just as mental as they are physical. In order to breakout of your tumbling rut, you need to retrain your body and your mind. We think these tips will help.
Visualize success. Sports psychologists agree that picturing perfection can help you achieve it in real life. Imagine yourself landing the skill. What does that look like? What does that feel like? At your next practice, reflect on your visualizations. Then, go for it! Chances are, you’ll come much closer to landing it.
Lights, camera, tumble! Bring a recording device to your next practice or tumbling lesson. Ask a coach or friend to tape you while you perform the skill. Watch the tape, and use it to identify any technical errors. Videotapes can also help you visualize. Once you land the pass without error, tape it again. When you start to doubt yourself, use the new tape as a reminder of your abilities.
Take it slow. Rushing into advanced skills can lead to sloppy form and injury. Give yourself time and space to build your repertoire, and always seek advice from a trusted tumbling coach before leveling up.
No matter what, remember: you are in control. Gear up mentally, and the physical performance will follow. Good luck and happy tumbling!