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Randeep Walia

Complete mental shutdown during backflip training

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Randeep Walia

I have done thousands of backflips in my career. I have had to relearn it multiple times because I keep getting injured, taking time off, and coming back into it. I've started stretching more and doing Foundation, and I feel like this has kept me injury free.

 

2 years ago, the day I came back from an ab injury that knocked me out for  few months I started working my back tuck again. I kept under-rotating and to fix it I tried to jump higher. I stalled in midair and landed on my face. The physical damage was temporary but the mental scars have had an effect. I've done hundreds of backflips since then on all kinds of surfaces from spring floor to grass and I feel like there is always a slight tinge of fear in the back of my mind.

 

Well cut to today: my back flips feel better than ever before. I'm spotting in front of me on launch, and spotting the ground when I land. The whole reason I started this was to put them into my Capoeira game, so today I started working an Aou (cartwheel) into the backflip. I did a couple in the foam pit with substandard form, took a break, and got back to it.

 

For some reason I could not tuck. I did the cartwheel, popped up and just jumped back into the pit. I cannot explain what was holding me back but I must have tried 20 or more and just couldn't do it.

 

Frustrated I decided to just work on a few standing back tucks to get the feel and I could not even do a simple standing back tuck... into the foam pit! I think I had 20 failed attempts. I would just jump straight into the air and it's like my brain froze up. Sometimes it happened when I squatted down getting ready to explode up. I could feel my heart pounding when I tried and felt a cold sweat on my skin. It took a lot of psyching myself up before I could muster finally tucking. There was just no way I was going to try to do this on the floor.

 

I don't even know if there is a question here- I guess I'm just humiliated and frustrated. Part of me dreads that return back to the gymnastics facility. I'm 35 years old and I feel like I really haven't come far for the work I have put in (probably need to find a good coach but there aren't many that want to train adults). I guess any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated... sorry for the long post.

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Fred Mak

i think if you just treat this as an off day, you will be fine.  it seems like you are someone who probably overanalyzes things.  i am also like this.

 

have you ever thought of trying some meditation?  it might help.  vipassana meditation is good.

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Coach Sommer

I disgree with your statement that you have had to relearn a back flip multiple times. All of these issues and injuries are indicative of the fact that it was never learned correctly in the first place.

In regards to technical acrobatics there is no substitiute for a good coach who will take you through the proper series of progressions and hold you accountable for mastering each individual progression before allowing you to move on to the next.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Cody Ward

I disgree with your statement that you have had to relearn a back flip multiple times. All of these issues and injuries are indicative of the fact that it was never learned correctly in the first place.

In regards to technical acrobatics there is no substitiute for a good coach who will take you through the proper series of progressions and hold you accountable for mastering each individual progression before allowing you to move on to the next.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

It's too bad that most coaches aren't like you. It usually goes something like.. "Just do it." or if you're lucky you can get spotted.

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Coach Sommer

Unfortunately that is certainly the norm.  

 

That is also why the vast majority of coaches will never win Nationals or become a National Team Coach.  They spend far too much time looking for the easiest way to teach instead of the best way; which usually ends up being the most difficult and labor intensive on the part of the coach.

 

For example, I literally have no idea how many thousands of press handstands I have hand-spotted or how many thousands of rope climbs I have personally supervised.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Kate Abernethy

...not to mention how many seminar attendees you've rescued ;-)

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Oldrich Polreich

Coach, could you please outline some progressions you use for teaching standing back tuck? For people like me, who can't come across good coach, your instructions are pure gold. 

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Daniel Burnham

Coach may use different progressions but here are the ones I use.

Step 1 tuck:

1. Hollow to tuck drills on floor.

2. Backwards rolls on floor or down an incline mat focusing on getting knees up and over the head.

Step 2 set:

1. Start with straight jumps that swing the arms behind and extend overhead while jumping into a hollow body.

2.set from part 1 into a elevated mat placed behind. Should end in a crouched sit.

Part3: set and rotation

1.set to half rotation. Place mat at mid back height behind and set up. Instead of jumping onto mat, bring knees up quickly as was done in the floor tuck drill. You should land on your back on the mat. Do not start setting backwards or arching. Make sure the shoulders go up and don't lower to try and complete the flip early.

2. Spotted back tucks.

Can be done off elevated surfaces like a panel mat, but try not to. It is important to get the lift you need without aid. Bring knees overhead fast and grab them as they come close to body for better rotation. The lift from knees and hips will provide rotation.

3.tucks into pit

4. Tucks on floor.

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Daniel Burnham

For mental breakdowns. I recommend stepping back and going through all the progressions again with a coach prodding you to continue and making sure you have not missed something. Then practice the skill, or progression, until you are comfortable with it and are certain you mastered it.

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wallcrawler

Unfortunately that is certainly the norm.  

 

That is also why the vast majority of coaches will never win Nationals or become a National Team Coach.  They spend far too much time looking for the easiest way to teach instead of the best way; which usually ends up being the most difficult and labor intensive on the part of the coach.

 

For example, I literally have no idea how many thousands of press handstands I have hand-spotted or how many thousands of rope climbs I have personally supervised.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

 

 

So Coach, since you acknowledge that the coaches like you who care enpugh to demand proper form as opposed to the quick solution are few and far between, will any of your future courses in fact teach the progressions for specific technical acrobatics that one could use to show their instructor to help them guide the student properly thru the progressions?

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Graham Smith

Gotta agree with coach on this one.  20 years ago I broke my spine in two places doing a double back sault that I had practiced numerous times before.  I had a fleeting moment of doubt which caused me to cease rotation followed by extreme pain.  Now at 36, I can do a perfect standing back sault provided that I have a spotter.  The spotter doesn't need to do anything but stand there, I have a severe psychological block to backward rotation.  I am overcoming this by doing extensive repetitions of more basic broken down components of the movement until I have the muscle memory strong enough to overcome my brain!  It is working, and it is remininding me strongly of the humbling breakdown of movements I am going through in foundation.  I am quite surprised that although I am not even halfway through F1 the improvement to my tumbling has been astronomical.

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Coach Sommer

So Coach, since you acknowledge that the coaches like you who care enpugh to demand proper form as opposed to the quick solution are few and far between, will any of your future courses in fact teach the progressions for specific technical acrobatics that one could use to show their instructor to help them guide the student properly thru the progressions?

 

No.  Gymnastic Bodies primary focus is on Gymnastic Strength Training™, not technical gymnastics instruction.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Sean Whitley

 

Coach, could you please outline some progressions you use for teaching standing back tuck? For people like me, who can't come across good coach, your instructions are pure gold. 

 

This is the best youtube tutorial I've seen for the backflip (for people without a coach or trampoline). It really drives in the importance of the basic progressions to get used to the motion and defeating the panic reflex.

He also has a similar style tutorial for if you have a trampoline

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