What Is A Block in Gymnastics

In everything we do, there is always the risk of making a mistake or failing. No one is born already having the talent to do something perfectly, like a complicated routine in rhythmic gymnastics. Not one athlete has joined a sport and never made a mistake, especially when he’s just starting to do the sport.

These failures range in intensity. In some sports, it is not very noticeable. If our young athlete missed a shot, strike out, or dropped the ball, those are mistakes not physically harmful to our children. In a sport like gymnastics, however, a missed landing on the beam, a slip on the rings, or a miscalculated tumbling could have serious physical consequences to our precious young gymnast.

Gymnastics is a dangerous sport, but accidents are easily preventable if we, as parents or coaches, watch them closely and teach them proper discipline on not trying routines outside the gym without proper supervision. The dangers this sport present to our children continuously increases in level as they progress up through the levels in this sport. Once overcame, however, these dangers help increase the degree of skill difficulty that our children can perform, which gives them a bigger chance to win if they decide to compete.

Countless professional gymnasts has already retired due to injuries, so it is understood that fear is a constant companion of this sport, and sometimes, even if the gymnast was able to do a routine before, just suddenly one day they cannot do it anymore. Although they would say that they are not afraid of the routine, it is actually a deeper fear that they are not aware of, and this is called a block.

Gymnastics Block

What is a Block?

A block is pretty common and it happens when our young gymnast could not do a certain trick. It might be because of a multiple reasons. It could be that they saw someone got injured because of it, or they themselves have been injured from the trick before, or they have been shouted at by their coach because they couldn’t do it before. Anything that is physically or emotionally upsetting to a gymnast could cause this.

When our nervous system senses danger, we will reflexively respond like all mammals do, by trying to protect ourselves. If our kid is standing at the beginning of the vault runway or getting ready to mount the apparatus for the start of her event, she could not possibly fight or flee. In this situation, a third survival instinct automatically kicks in: the freeze response. The gymnast suddenly could not go for the skill, and they have no conscious control over this as this is a biological response to danger.

Coach motivates gymnast

What Causes a Block?

There are possibly countless of reasons why this happens, but here are some:

1. Past scary physical or emotional events in the gym

-Personal injuries, scary close calls, or seeing other gymnasts get hurt or upset.

2. The coach’s or the parent’s response to the gymnast’s block

-As this is a frustrating phenomenon, sometimes coaches or parents become angry. They might say mean things and refuse to spot the gymnast, because it would allegedly make them more dependent. This response only fuels the gymnast’s block.

3. The gymnast’s response to herself

-Gymnasts are perfectionist, and if suddenly they could not do a skill anymore they become frustrated with themselves. They might even mentally beat themselves up because of it. This would cause their mind to stay closed, thus not allowing themselves to perform the skill.

At Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy, we make sure that our young gymnasts are properly taken care of and monitored. Safety is first and foremost, and our coaches are trained and certified to specifically deal with these kinds of events.

To read more gymnastics-related articles, visit our educational blogs. Experience a fun and imaginative gymnastics training, come and enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy :)

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