How to conquer fear of tumbling on the hard floor

[Edited transcript below]

Q: Why can I do a bunch of skills on the trampoline, but then when I try to do a simple lower level skill on the floor, I get scared?

What do athletes call the floor? The DEAD MAT!

It’s like, the worst thing a tumbler has to confront. Just the term “dead mat” brings up all sorts of negative connotations. But when I cheered, tumbling on a spring floor felt like a treat compared to the hard floor. However, with access to safer surfaces like tumble tracks and spring floors, athletes have better options today.


How to be more positive about tumbling on the floor

It’s crucial to shift your mindset away from the negativity associated with the hard floor. Even if you’re using safer surfaces like the tumble track or rod floor, don’t dwell on the potential challenges of the hard floor. Instead, see it as a progression—a step up from the tumble track. Yes, it may be tougher and hurt a bit more, but your body can adapt and learn just like it did on the tumble track.

Negative self-talk can greatly impact your performance. If you constantly tell yourself that tumbling on the hard floor is difficult and painful, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, focus on positive affirmations like “I’m excited to master this challenging surface” or “I’m learning to love the hard floor.” By changing your mindset, you can approach the floor with enthusiasm and energy, leading to better results.


How team culture can influence your tumbling mindset

Even if others around you express fear or negativity towards tumbling on the floor, be the change you want to see. Start a new path by setting a positive tone and encouraging your teammates. Remember, being a good teammate isn’t just about your individual performance—it’s about uplifting the team as a whole. By fostering a positive environment, you can inspire others to do the same and create a supportive team culture.

How to overcome fear of tumbling on the dead mat

Transitioning from the tumble track to the hard floor may seem daunting, but it’s an opportunity for growth and development. By changing your mindset, overcoming negative self-talk, and setting a positive example for your team, you can conquer your fear of the floor and excel in your tumbling skills. So, next time you step onto the floor, embrace the challenge with enthusiasm and confidence—you’ve got this!

That's it! Now it's your turn.

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