So we’ve all had those moments where we are on the pole, ready to go and desperate to do that one move we’ve been working on and hoping to nail… And then all of a sudden we lose the nerve to do it.
Whether you are a complete beginner or absolute pro we all get these feelings of nerves and fear.
It’s so frustrating when this happens as it can often take quite a while to get your confidence back. A lot of the time, our body is ready for more long before our mind is.
How Do We Stop It?
Well firstly, fear is a good thing. It’s the part of you that will help you survive. If your mind is worried about a move, your body will help protect you. You know that feeling when you slip or fall on the pole, and somehow you manage to grab on without even thinking about it? Well that’s most definitely the part you want to keep hold of!
So while we don’t want to get rid of it, we do want to be able to control it. Let me give you an example…
I am working on a Cartwheel Flip. I’ve been trying it over and over again. I know I have enough strength to do it, but I can only get to the point where my legs want to go over but something in my body stops me – I usually end up in a Jack Knife position. The fear is just stopping me from going over. The problem I have is that I need to take my bottom hand off the pole as I flip over but I think I’m going to fall straight down. I’ve landed with a thud many times before – you kind of have to flip and fall to see what happens with your legs, or at least I do! In theory falling doesn’t really bother me, but in practice it seems to!
I tend to over exaggerate a lot of things in my mind… I have visions of falling on an ice rink and losing my fingers – someone once told me this could happen so now I don’t like skating! I’ve got lots of example like this but we would be here all day.
So back to the point…
How Did I Get Over It?
1. Have help. If you are worried, the best thing to do is to have someone with you at all times. Even if they are only there to make sure that you are okay – this really helps. I quite often ask my partner to come in and just watch and make sure that everything goes okay! There are also times when I definitely need him to spot me, and he is there for those as well.
This is probably the best way to get over the fear. Having someone there helping you is like a security blanket – you might not need it but it is really important to have there.
2. Break down the move. Do this really, really slowly. Figure out each little part of the move and add it on piece by piece, do not worry if you can’t do the whole move at this point – you want your body to get used to it first.
Even if you can do the beginning and the end but not the middle, this will help you a lot. Most of the time there is a sticking point in a move – that point where you simple can not move through it, due to lack of momentum, strength, confidence and more.
You can work through the sticking point slowly. For example – if you are working on your Chair spin, you might be able to lift off into it and land gracefully but the actual middle part of the spin is the bit that takes the effort. You can work through this slowly trying to increase the spin every time you do it.
3. Safety is key. Use mats all the time. When you are inverting make sure that you have a mat under you. If you are worried about a spin, pop a mat down. This will make you instantly feel more confident to try your moves.
If at any point you feel unsafe stop. This is key – there is a big difference between feeling unsafe and being nervous.
4. Confidence. Believe in yourself. You really need to want to do the move that you are trying. This sounds silly but if you are inverting you have to believe that you want to do it. You need to think about rocking back to get upside down. It’s that little motion of tilting that will really help.
If your body and your brain don’t match up in what they want to do, then you will find it so much more difficult to nail any move. So let’s take a deep breath, be safe and give it a go! 😀