FS -- Athena Chen -- If You Could Learn Stuff Faster...

Today I got my roundoff back handspring tuck back for the third time! (Also this is going to be a super long one)

I know, I know. How is this relevant to anything at all? Well, this is a thing that I've been taught a lot of times, and I've tried to apply it to my life, but I guess I wasn't really trying. Visualization is a great thing. I've been taught that if I visualize me tumbling with perfect form many, many times, then my brain won't be able to tell fantasy from reality, meaning that I'll be able to do it. Easy thing. And oh, believe me, I've tried. This is basically the same thing as this; If you go into doing something believing that you won't do it, you won't. I didn't believe that for the longest time, mostly because I believed that if you were physically able to do it, then why wouldn't you do it? Yeah, look how wrong I was. Going into every cheer practice, I never wanted to tumble because, hey, I couldn't do any tucks on the floor anymore, so why should I waste my energy? Of course, I am physically able to do it, pretty much everyone who is well conditioned is. We were stretching our flyers, so I thought 'At least we have some time before tumbling starts'. Sucks for me, I'm not a backspot, so I don't get to stretch my flyer. Instead, side bases had to do 10 punch fronts (front tucks). Oh no! Punch fronts are literally my worst enemy. I've had a mental block on that since forever ago, but in Texas, I was able to do them. Weird how tumbling works, seems that you get a skill, you lose a skill. Going into that, I did about 7 on the trampoline, when my coach said to do them on the rod floor, which is a bit more bouncy than a spring floor is. 'WHAT,' was my instant response. 'I can't do that, I'll die on there!' I did it into the foam pit, and my first one wasn't even on the rod, but my second one was, and 'HOLY CRAP I LANDED IT!' Instant happiness, When we went into tumbling, we started with tumbling lines, but then we went to work on whatever we needed to work on. Mine was... Roundoff back handspring tuck on the rod... With a spot, thank goodness! The whole time, I practiced my roundoff back handspring rebound, and when it got pretty high, I asked one of my coaches to spot me. My other coach said to do one more pass before stopping and getting water. She spotted me, and it didn't feel as high, but my coach said it was really good! I debated on whether to just go and get water and save myself any more trouble or not, but ultimately, I thought, why not one more time? I did it again, but without a spot this time, and I actually did it! Though I freaked out in the middle and stopped rotating. I then decided I was going to get it on the rod today, no matter what. Besides, I already have done it before. It took about three tries because I bailed on the first two, but then I did it! And all of you should know how good it feels to get a new skill in something, right? Anyways, the conclusion to this very long thing is that I now truly do believe that pretty much everything is pretty much more than 50% mental. When it comes to tumbling, it's about 70% mental and 30% physical. You kind of just need to accept that. My question is, if you could just not think about anything, do you think you could learn stuff faster?

Posted on October 14, 2016 .