With pretty glowing faces all over social media, it’s an easy trap to fall into thinking that some things are easier to achieve than others, especially when it comes to cheer skills. The 8-year-old with a standing full, or worlds athletes that throw doubles like it’s nothing. Fact is, nothing in life comes easy, even for them.
Think back to your first tumbling class—this might have been this year, or many years ago! Your first forward roll, handstand, bridge… everything seemed like a hard skill. It’s necessary to train your body and your mind to achieve even the simplest tumbling. And the drills! Oh my, the drills! They looked so simple for everyone else but your legs were like a baby giraffe learning to walk. And now? Some of those skills are so easy you don’t have to think, and others are… well have you ever seen a level 5 athlete try to do a back walkover?!
Over time, your brain and body hit the sweet spot and you’re strong enough physically and mentally to be able to execute skills without excessive effort. Without fear. And that’s the biggest hurdle we all have to overcome: fear.
But fear is not always a bad thing. In fact, fear keeps you safe in the gym and is a signal from your brain to your body that you might not be ready to put a skill on the floor. It’s also a positive sign that you’re learning new skills and moving up levels because you’re meeting and overcoming fears.
So, how do you conquer fear? Well, don’t chuck it—that’s the number one rule! You need to understand the fear, respect the feeling, and trust your coaches when they say you’re ready.
And as for all the other girls? They may not be as fearful of tumbling, but you don’t know all parts of their journey. Remember, social media is a highlight real, not a diary.