August 10, 2018
Mental blocks are probably the worst experiences for a cheerleader. Sometimes you don’t even know why you get blocked. It’s just one day you wake up and you just can’t get past a skill or you’re too scared or you “forget”. I’ve actually known a few athletes that have experienced this.
For me it was neither. I knew exactly why I blocked.
I dislocated my middle finger doing a back handspring on the cheese mat. Prior to this injury I had only seen injuries happening to other athletes around me. It’s different when it actually happens to you. I’d never been injured to this capacity before and one thing I knew, I NEVER wanted to feel this pain again. So that’s how it started. First, I started asking for less privates and making excuses to just mark my tumbling during practice. Then, I got away with it for so long I got to the point where I thought I forgot my skills and when asked to try, got too scared.
I love cheer and really wanted to progress. Especially when I was watching so many of my friends getting new skills every day. I wanted that to be me! I knew I needed to get past this and I did. It’s all mental.
You can’t win physically if you’re losing mentally.
I knew I needed to change my thought process. Instead of asking for less privates I asked for MORE. I practiced at home on my trampoline and tumble track until I started to gain my confidence back. I even gave MYSELF pep talks! Whatever it took. Now I’m back and stronger than before. Another injury to my knee happened after I dislocated my finger, but I was determined not to let myself block after I was cleared to go back to tumbling. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s you can’t let mental blocks control you. You have to confront the problem and turn the mental blocks into building blocks. Be positive; always!
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