So after I shared this Guest Post on Lost Move Syndrome in July 2015, I now have first hand experience of what it feels like to have an “inability to perform a skill previously performed with ease”. For me, it started two days after I’d competed my “B” routine. I’m going to try to explain the order of things that happened as best I can, but as all recommendations on this go, I’m trying not to dwell on it at the moment, and we’re just taking a break from what I’m struggling with.
So we’d changed our warm up drills to include routines at the end, so that we can keep the routines ‘ticking over’ until the next time we need them for competition, as it won’t be for a while. I took off for a 3/4 back (the first skill) and suddenly bailed, tucking round to feet instead of landing on my front. After a second failed attempt, I skipped the skill in an endeavour to move on with the routine and complete what was only supposed to be a ‘warm up’.
At first I couldn’t do anything in the Pike shape. I had a pike back (SS) followed by a Pike Barani, and after several really hairy SSs I went from a back SS to a barani. The barani travelled the entire length of the trampoline, landing on the end deck. Now for some people, when they go wrong, landing on the end deck is pretty standard… for me- it is incredibly rare. So much so that even my coach was baffled! “You’ve never done that before, it’s only been 2 days since the competition…” I was confused, and if I’m honest, being so out of control that I landed on the end deck did give me a bit of a fright.
We decided we’d leave it there and go back to these after the warm up. Anyway, I stumbled my way through an easier routine, feeling like I had to psych myself up for all the back SSs and decided to go back to doing my harder B routine later on in the week – it was probably just a blip right?
Not so much… Thursday at training I worked through the routine backwards, like I’m used to, working the newest skills into the mat first, which landed fine and gave me confidence. So after working back from 4-10, I went for the first move, the 3/4 back. Same take off as always, and I bailed again, tucking to feet and falling to H&K at the last minute. Bummer. Not just a one off blip then…
The 3/4 back is something I’m good at (one judges feedback at a comp was that I got zero deductions on all my ‘straight’ somersaults – this included), so okay, take it back a step – I learnt all the progressions for this one… I did a back pullover to front- or at least tried to, that was scary, and I pulled it to feet (just). I couldn’t even manage that from a standstill, another thing I pride myself on, because it’s great to show kids they’re not going to land on their heads if they don’t go high enough when learning a back pullover.
So we’ve started a new week, and I now have all of my somersaults working, bar the 3/4 front. Humph! I’ll keep you posted on my progress… meantime, if you missed it last time, here’s some info I posted about Lost Move Syndrome previously.
TTFN ~ Bella x
Originally posted here, what this blog calls a ‘mental block in gymnastics’ is now well documented as Lost Move Syndrome, or LMS in Trampoline and can affect any performance athlete. Here’s a bit more information about it.
Virtually 70% of high level gymnasts have experienced psychological blocking – the inability to perform a skill previously performed with ease. Only a small percentage of these athletes experience blocking to the point that it disrupts their performance. Nonetheless, for those who do, the experience is devastating.
Research shows that blocking has a number of predictable characteristics (Feigley, Robbins & Berger, 1989):
It generalises backwards within a sequence of skills. For example, blocking on the back somersault phase of the roundoff, back handspring, back somersault sequence quickly spreads to the back handspring and frequently to the round-off itself.
It generalises across skills. For example, a problem on the back salto on the beam…
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