Updated: Aug 25, 2019
by Coach Sahil M.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could eliminate fear from every aspect of our lives at anytime we wanted? Not only would this help our tumbling, but just imagine all of the possibilities this would open up.
Asking out your crush on a date would no longer be the scariest thing in the world; you'd simply walk up, say how you felt and suggest a date. No sweaty palms or weird butterflies to worry about. Got a bad grade on your report card? No big deal. Sure, your parents are going to be upset, but you are confident you'll turn things around next semester. What's there to be afraid of? You believe in you!
Sounds perfect doesn't it?
Unfortunately, with all that good also comes the bad. While you'd open yourself up to a world of possibilities and intense tumbling, you would also be opening up yourself to a world of pain. Feeling fear my be an inconvenience in this day and age, but it's what has kept our species alive.
Without fear you'd jump off the cliff without a second thought
Without fear you wouldn't start running for your life when you saw a lion
Without fear you would act way too overconfidently when attempting you first double back tuck
As you can probably guess, there's a very good reason fear exists. Fortunately, there are ways we can subdue fear so that we can live up to our fullest potential. You no longer have to be a prisoner to your mind.
Fear is such an important subject matter when it comes to battling mental blocks. After suffering from two myself and years of coaching with countless hours spent with athletes overcoming fear of tumbling, there were 5 main techniques that proved most effective in getting past the mental prison of fear and doubt. These are discussed in detail in the 5 Secrets To Becoming A Fearless Tumbler, my free e-book available for download on www.tumblingcoach.com/fearless
One of these secrets is the HOW TO USE THE POWER WORDS technique:
1) Create a massive list of words (or tiny phrases) that have a positive and motivational meaning to you. These words should “snap” you out of your funk. Some examples include: Fierce, Courage, Confidence, Slay etc.
2) Before your training session, pick and write down a Power Word (or phrase) on the inside of your wrist with a marker. I suggest using a Sharpie so your sweat doesn’t rub it off. Here’s an example of one of the Power Words that I chose:
3) Turn to your Power Word whenever fear, doubt or negativity pops into your head. Use it in a positive phrase then visualize yourself accomplishing your goal as if you truly were fearless. If you were using my Power Word above, you could say “I’m determined to get my Back Handspring, and will do whatever it takes!”
4) Visualize yourself doing the skill at its best at least 3 times. Don't rush this part. Really imagine how a truly determined tumbler go about achieving their goals. Would they quit? Would they give up? Would they let their fears stop them or would they fight back? Would they stop at rep number 10, or would they do 50 if that’s what it took to be successful? After your positive statement, you must visualize success: research has shown that achieving success in the mind is as real to your body as achieving it in the physical world.
This is a technique I use with athletes during private lessons and allow them to pick their own Power Word at the start. Whenever their fear, anxiety or frustration level is rising, they reference back to their Power Word to regain focus and motivation.
BUT IT DOESN'T STOP AT TUMBLING.
Here’s a recent personal example: “I’m determined to release my Fearless eBook, and get it into everyone’s hands by the promised launch date!” I then visualized athletes, coaches and parents around the world reading it on their phones, laptops and tables, applying the secrets and achieving great results.
Now wait a minute, why use the Power Words technique during writing? Because a writer’s block is just another form of a mental block: the fear of the blinking cursor on an blank empty page is the same fear of missing that landing. Setting a deadline is just another form of creating a modification to challenge yourself. A Power Word in this case can help you re-focus so that you don't get distracted by friends, texts and social media.
So as you can see, this secret strategy isn’t just useful at helping you become fearless at tumbling. It’s useful for becoming fearless at life! To read about the 4 other secrets to help you become a fearless tumbler, download the Free eBook on www.tumblingcoach.com/fearless
Coach Sahil M. is a certified Gymnastics coach, founder of TumblingCoach.com, and a prior record setting Powerlifter. He travels the World doing clinics and helps coaches implement the most cutting-edge training practices, safe spotting techniques and advanced tumbling progressions so their athletes can achieve maximum performance at competitions.