Overcoming the Fear of Injury in Tumbling and Stunting

[Edited transcript below]

Understanding the Fear of Injury

How do you get over the fear of getting hurt during a skill, whether it’s tumbling or stunting or anything else? This is a biggie. With fear of injury, athletes typically fall into three categories:

  1. Never Injured but Afraid
    There’s the bucket where they’ve never been injured, and they’re afraid of getting hurt just because it’s dangerous. Right. You’re stunting. You’re going up in the air. Or your flipping your body backwards. There’s a lot that’s naturally dangerous about the sport.

  2. Currently Injured
    The second bucket is you’re currently injured, dealing with maybe just a tweak. It’s not a break. Or maybe you’re just really sore. That could even fall in that bucket.

  3. Recovered from Injury
    The third bucket is you’ve been injured, but you’re fully recovered and ready to return. You worry about reinjury or notice you are more tentative and fearful about trying skills. 

How to overcome the fear of injury

Bucket 1: Never Injured but Afraid

If you’ve never been injured but you’re afraid of getting hurt, which is where most people, I think, fall, ask yourself: How many times have you done this skill without getting hurt? How many times have you done this skill safely versus how many times you’ve gotten hurt doing it? Your brain’s primary purpose is to keep you safe, so it focuses on potential dangers. But the reality is you’ve done this skill 1100 times, or whatever the case may be, and you’ve never been hurt before. There’s a 99.9% chance that you’re going to do it safely. Doing a little reality check can be really helpful in these situations.

Bucket 2: Currently Injured

If you’re currently injured, the focus should be on healing correctly. Give yourself grace and understand that taking time to heal is best for you and your team. You might feel pressured to return quickly to avoid hurting your team or losing time, but focus on what you can do each day to contribute to your recovery. Ask yourself, “What does my 100% look like today?” That will help you stay motivated, contribute to the team goals, while prioritizing your health. 

Bucket 3: Recovered from Injury but Worried about Reinjury 

Athletes who have recovered from an injury often fear re-injury or favor the uninjured side, which can lead to more mistakes and increase the risk of injury. Focus on the fact that you are healed and safe. Shift your focus to the actual skill at hand. For instance, if you’re doing a heel stretch, concentrate on the specific actions required: lock, push, lock, strong core. This helps redirect your focus from the irrational fear of getting hurt to performing the skill correctly.

Let's talk about fear in tumbling and cheerleading

Fear is not fun at all, but it’s not a bad thing. It is natural and good.  

Fear is proof that your brain is working and doing what it was designed to do, which is keep you safe. But you don’t take that fear and sit in it and say, “Oh, I feel afraid so that means something bad is going to happen.” When you recognize fear happening, don’t attach a negative outcome to that feeling.

That’s just your body doing what it’s designed to do. Instead of being overcome by fear and allowing it to hold you back in your skills, you want to process it in a way that’s helpful and to move through it in a healthy way. 

Overcoming the fear of injury involves understanding which category you fall into and applying the appropriate strategies. Whether you need a reality check, a focus on healing, or a shift in focus from fear to skill execution, addressing your fear head-on will help you perform better and more safely.

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

Decide right now one way that you will use what you learned in this training to try something new this week at practice. What did you learn in this training that stood out to you? What will you do differently at practice this week to apply what you learned? I would love to support you and offer you a little accountability, so share that with us in the comments below. 

If you liked this training and found it helpful, would you do me a favor? Please share it with a friend or two who could benefit from this message. Also, please comment below with your thoughts on this video. What did you like most? I will be personally engaging in the comments, so drop your biggest questions so I can get those answered for you. I would love the opportunity to hear from you and am so excited to connect.

Thanks again for being here. Would you like to be 1st to receive new content, trainings, and mental game tips delivered right to inbox? Then join my email list by clicking here

Until next time, remember that a mental block is simply a challenge you are working through. You are strong, can do hard things, and have totally got this!

Like this? Questions? Comment below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *