Mental Blocks – Standing Tucks

As requested from one of our readers, this article is going to deal with mental blocks related to standing tucks.  Please keep the suggestions coming.  They are most appreciated!

Standing tucks seem to be one of the most significant mile-stones that a cheerleader reaches in their skill development.  Tucks are often the gateway trick of making the varsity team at your school or the highest level team at your all star gym.  On judging panels, “squad tucks,” still always seems to be the standard to score in the 9 out of 10 range for standing tumbling, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Lots of cheerleaders hit a road block when they start working on a standing tuck.  I believe it is very common for cheerleaders and coaches to think students have a mental block when the struggle to throw their standing tuck.  However, in almost every case, I believe this is a misdiagnosis of the problem.  Here comes a lengthy explanation…

When it comes to tumbling, most TRUE mental blocks come from the anticipation of the trick.  For instance, they are nervous about their full.  They think about it in the round off.  They undercut their back handspring.  They lose their power, and then bail out on the full.  But a standing tuck is over with in basically the blink of an eye.  There isn’t much time to get nervous.  Mental blocks sometimes occur, but I’ve found them to be rare.  In fact, most advanced students that I’ve worked with who have suffered mental blocks lose all of their tumbling EXCEPT for their standing tucks.  I have even seen standing tucks used as a therapeutic tool to help students overcome other mental blocks.

I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of cheerleaders who struggle to overcome a fear of standing tucks.  There are many.  I was one of them.  However, there is a difference between being afraid to attempt a trick and having a mental block. 

Honest fear of a standing tuck might simply be a matter of not having perfected it yet.  Remember in an earlier paragraph where I mention that tucks are often a gateway for a cheerleader to make a varsity team.  That being the case, a lot of cheerleaders rush to start learning a tuck, well before they should.  They have not yet perfected their back handspring.  They have not yet developed the lower ab and hip flexor strength to pull their legs and hips over their shoulders.  In other words, they are physically not capable of consistently landing their tuck, their body knows this, and they are rightfully scared.  I believe that this fear is frequently mis-labeled as a mental block.

Dealing with THAT type of fear is simple, but time-consuming.  I suggest taking a look at another article on this blog called Standing Tucks are Simple.  It provides some useful guidance on tuck technique. 

As for gaining confidence (overcoming fear) in your standing tuck, there are two things that will help you do that.  The first is do more tucks.  I know, I know, pretty obvious.  I had an instructor once who used to quiz us by saying, “Repetition is the key.  Repetition is the key.  Repetition is the key.  What is the key?”  Every responded, “Repetition.”  I think this saying is especially true in standing tucks.  Also, do not allow yourself to be limited to only throwing them with a spotter.  If you have to take your shoes off to throw them by yourself, do it.  If you have to use a cheese mat, do that.  Use a trampoline (under supervision, and using correct technique).  And, of course, also use a spotter.  But you are better off throwing 100 tucks with a cheese mat and no shoes than throwing 10 tucks on the hard floor in shoes with a spotter.  Remember, repetition is the key!

The other thing to help build confidence is conditioning.  The first thing you have to do is be honest about your physical condition.  I once had a young student.  She learned very quickly and was performing advanced running tumbling by the time she was 10.  But then, she started gaining weight.  Lot’s of weight.  By the time she was 13 she was 40 or 50 pounds over weight.  Not surprisingly, her tumbling suffered.  Her mom had her in private lessons and open gyms, looking for some technique that she could learn to get her to start landing her tumbling again.  News flash: there isn’t one.  You have to be an exceptional athlete to throw a tuck.  The moral of the story is be honest.  Maybe you need to tone up a little.  Maybe you need to work on your abs.  Maybe you need to improve your jump strength.  Whatever it is, as you become physically stronger, you will automatically develop more confidence in your tumbling.  Soon, that “mental block” will start to fade away.

Now to get into REAL mental blocks.  Like I said, these are rare for standing tucks.  These are when you have a well conditioned athlete who is proficient in their standing tucks, and suddenly, for whatever reason, they get freaked out and won’t throw them anymore.  I think I have seen this happen 4 or 5 times in the thousands of students I have worked with.  In most cases, it has eventually derailed their cheerleading career.  However, there are a couple of things we’ve tried that have helped, at least in the short-term.

The first thing is to video tape them performing the skill.  I actually use video as a teaching tool for stunts and tumbling, even when there is no mental block to overcome.  When a student actually sees what they are doing, not only does it help them correct technical issues, it really boosts their confidence.  By the way, everyone I’ve ever shown video of their tumbling too has commented that they didn’t look anything like what they visualized in their mind.  It makes a big difference.  Try it!

Most other techniques I’ve used involve rather advanced spotting skills.  Do not attempt to use these spotting techniques if you are not a strong spotter/instructor. 

The first is a “forced spot.”  I use this on students who are scared to even begin.  I stand next to them and count out the tuck, “5, 6, 7, 8.”  On “1,” if they do not go, I pick them up and flip them over and land them on their feet (I’m a pretty strong guy).  This is usually very sudden and a little scary/shocking for the student, even though I tell them ahead of time that I am going to do it.  Pretty soon, they are more scared of having me flip them than they are of just throwing the tuck.  They are still getting a spot, even if it is only a “mental spot” and I am not actually helping them physically, but at least they’re throwing it.

The next spotting technique is a “delayed spot.”  At this point, the student is scared, but they are throwing it with a spot.  Now, instead of starting with my hand already on the student’s back, my hand is just behind her, not touching her.  As she starts to perform the tuck, I put my hand on her back so she can feel it, and then she continues through the skill.  You can start off touching the student as soon as she bends her knees to start her jump.  Then, work your way down to where you are not touching her until just before the landing.  Also, try to get to where your arms are hanging at your sides rather than in a ready position behind the student.  All of these adjustments make the student “feel” more exposed, which allows them to overcome increasing degrees of fear.  When doing this, make gradual changes.  Do not make adjustments until the student has truly mastered whatever degree of spot you are giving them.  Also, NEVER try to “trick” the student.  If you say you are going to touch their back halfway through, you’d better do it, even if they don’t need it.  If you lie to them, you will lose their trust and you will be useless to them as a coach.  Seriously, that is no exaggeration.

This has been a lengthy article, so I’ll sum up a little bit.  Check out the article, Tucks are Simple, for tuck technique advice.  Be careful not to misdiagnosis a lack of readiness for a true mental block.  Don’t look for short cuts.  Do the work.  Repetitions are the key.  Honestly evaluate your physical condition.  If you encounter a real mental block, video tape yourself.  Watch the tape over and over.  Be able to visualize exactly what you look like.  Seek out a strong spotter and try to gradually wean yourself off the spot.  These techniques are not “tricks.”  You will not just “snap out of it.”  They take time, but they do work.  Have faith and work hard and you will get over your mental block.

Explore posts in the same categories: Tumbling

49 Comments on “Mental Blocks – Standing Tucks”

  1. […] Mental Blocks – Standing Tucks « Cheerleading Daily Standing tucks seem to be one of the most significant mile-stones that a cheerleader reaches in their skill development. Tucks are often the gateway trick of making the varsity team at your school or the highest level team at your all star gym. They undercut their back handspring They lose their power, and then bail out on the full. But a standing tuck is over with in basically the blink of an eye. There isn't much time to get nervous. […]

    • Barry Zecca Says:

      This coach is downplaying the word “mental black” but that is EXACTLY what is occurring. I have seen it happen with girls who have many years of experience with throwing the back handspring, so it’s NOT a matter of being unable to throw it. What appears to occur is that, at about the age of 11-14, many girls become aware of “peer pressure” for lack of a better term. They start to think, “what if I don’t do it right” or “what if someone laughs at me” or some such concern. THAT is the beginning of the “mental block” that derails many otherwise skilled & well-practiced cheerleaders. It has been my experience that a skilled HYPNOTIST can help any motivated girl to quickly overcome a fear of her back handspring and get back on track as a great cheerleader.

      • Mental blocks can occur and hypnosis can help some true mental blocks. But these are the extreme exception. The vast majority of alleged back tuck mental blocks that female athletes experience during puberty are related to changing physiology and center of gravity. Hypnosis won’t help you with these. Only hard work will.

  2. flippy76 Says:

    i had my standing tuck for tryouts, not perfect but i would land on my feet and take a little step forward. I feel like i’ve lost it and i always wind up going to my knees even if i land on my feet when i try & do it and i fear that every time i ”bust” it in front of my coach she might demote me to JV. i’m told that my problem is my confidence level, that i need to be “agressively confident” but i can’t find out how to do it, please give me some tips!?!?

    • Hey Katelynn! Thanks for the message. To help you best I would need a little more information. When were your tryouts? How hard were to practicing leading up to tryouts? What have you been doing since tryouts? I ask those specific questions because MOST people that I have seen in your predicament (and there have been very many) followed a similar pattern. They had tryouts back in the late spring, around the end of the school year. They were practicing like crazy leading up to tryouts. After they made the team, they kind of took it easy during the summer. When they got back to practice, they didn’t have their tuck anymore. Is that kind of what happened with your tuck? Like my article says, the most common reason people lose their tuck has to do with strength and conditioning. If a person has only JUST started landing their tuck (like you say you did), then there is almost no margin for error. Even a slight decrease in legs strength, ab strength and hip flexor strength can be the difference between landing with a step and landing on your knees.

      • flippy76 Says:

        yes it was in spring but the thing is i trained (and still train) every single sunday for 3 1/2 hours over the summer and conditioned my butt off all the time throughout the summer which was why i was so confused with how some girls would only do practices and seem to be in a way better then i was like no matter how hard i trained i wasn’t good enough

      • It is hard to give specific advice without actually being there and seeing you perform. I would recommend spacing out your training. Tout will get better results from training really hard 30 minutes a day than from doing 3 hours once a week. Also, if you are trying to get your tuck you have to be doing tucks. Again, it is better to throw 20 a day than 100 on Sunday and none the rest of the week. I wish I could be of more help. I would recommend asking your coaches for specific suggestions for how to improve. They are around you and should be aware of your strengths and areas for improvement. Keep working hard and you’ll get there.

  3. Mallori Says:

    One of my 8th grade cheerleaders just perfected her tuck! I was so proud!!

  4. Nicole Says:

    I had a standing tuck perfectly a year ago. Then one day I got scared and it’s been a year and now I can only do it at the top of the cheese. It’s perfected and when I get a spot on the floor I have so much power I’m bouncy when I land. But I am so scared to do it. Ice tried working down the cheese but after some point my body won’t go. Now I’m too scared to do my run tumbling. I have a tuck an layout. I get scared when I try to go by myself on run tumbling and freak out and land on my neck. I feel like everything is going so down hill. Please help me!

    • Nicole, thanks for your post. Sorry to hear about your struggles. It is difficult to diagnosis your specific problem without more details. First, it sound like you have some advanced skills. How long have you been tumbling? Do you take lessons in a gym? How often? What kind of floor do you tumble on becides a cheese mat?

      Now for some bigger questions. First, how long did you have your tuck and other tumbling before your blocks started? Hopefully, not very long. If you only recently learned them and suddenly got scared you might just come out of it. If you have been a strong tumbler for a while and THEN hit a mental block, that could be more challenging.

      My next question is more personal. How is your conditioning? More often than not, tumbling mental blocks pop up when someone gets a little out of shape. I’m not saying that is true in your case. But be honest and ask yourself if you’re in your best shape. If not, I’d start by refocusing on conditioning.

      Let me hear your responses to those other questions and we can try to go from there. If that doesn’t work, I might be able to refer you to someone in your area if I know any instructors that I trust nearby.

  5. Kelly Matthews Says:

    My daughter has had her standing tuck and roundoff tuck for about 6 years. She will not throw her backhandspring. She has not done it in 4 years. She is afraid. She will do it on the trampoline but not on the floor. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her to do her backhandspring again?

    • Hi Kelly. It’s hard to say without seeing your daughter tumble. If she has a standing tuck on a non-spring floor, that tells me she is very athletic. But something to understand is that a tuck has very few similarities to a back handspring. See the article, Back Tucks Are Simple for more details. If her issue with handsprings is fear, I suggest making sure she tumbles with her eyes open. If she isn’t used to doing so, it will be a little freaky at first but once she is used to it she will be much less nervous in all of her tumbling.

      My other best general suggestion is conditioning. I suggest handstand pushups, handstand snap downs and lots of work for the “core”. If age feels stronger she will instinctively feel more confident.

      Handsprings involve a lot of complex technique so it is much harder to make general suggestions for them than for tucks. I would really suggest a private lesson with a very knowledgable instructor. They should at least be able to tell you if the trouble is strength, technique or something else.

  6. Andrew Says:

    Hi, so I’ve had my standing tuck for about three years on and off. When I first got it three years ago I was doing them on my own outside of regular practice in a wrestling room. I got hit with a ball mid-tuck, stalled out and landed on my head. I strained the muscles in my neck and was unable to move it for a bit. Ever since then I’ve had this fear in the back of my head about standing tucks. I eventually got over the fear by perfecting my technique and I had my standing tuck perfect. Then another situation happened where someone screamed in the middle of my tuck and I opened up. I didn’t get it hurt but it sparked that fear again. I still threw my tuck but it went back. So, I went through the cycle of relearning my tuck so that I was confident in my technique, again I had it perfect. I was throwing it no problem. When someone asked me to throw my tuck I threw it. On the cement, in the grass, spring floor, hard floor, you name it I did it. I loved tumbling at that point. I knew a lot of about tumbling and was really conscious of my body awareness and technique. All I would used to throw was a round-off tuck. Then one day I was asked to try a round-off back handspring tuck by my current coach. Threw it without an issue my first time ever, and did it perfectly. I started working my tumbling a little more and had my layout that same week. Then one day I did my tuck, someone walked behind me and I opened up and got freaked out. Ever since that day I’ve been afraid to throw my tuck. I’ve been afraid to tumble period. I can still throw my back handspring without a problem though. I’m a fairly fit athlete, and I’m currently a cheerleader in college. Before this happened I was also working a standing full. So, I know I’m a capable athlete, I just want to be able to get over this fear and regain my love for tumbling again. I’ve seen sports psychologists and talked to my coach about it and all they tell me to do is just do it. I’ve been trying to throw it on my own, I’ve been in the gym with a spot there just in case, but still am too afraid. This has been going on for about 7 months. I don’t want something as simple as a tuck to hold me back from all the tumbling I am capable of doing. I just want to be the best I can be and I just need some way to get me to love tumbling again. I just need to find something that clicks. If you can can help, I will be forever grateful. Thank you for reading.

    • Hey Andrew. I completely sympathize with what you’re going through. It’s going to be tricky to help through message board posts but I’ll see what I can do.

      First, it sounds like wherever you’ve been tumbling, there needs to be a more safety conscious environment. People keep jumping out at you when you’re upside down. That would freak anyone out!

      As for helping with being nervous, there 2 things I start with. You already addressed one, which is athleticism. Sounds like you’re comfortable there. Still, I suggest reassessing. I assume from your name that you’re a guy. Most males need to maintain close to a single digit BMI to perform high level tumbling. We are strong enough to get away with a BMI in the teens and still land our tumbling, but this is not optimal. Long story short, if you can tone up, even just a few pounds, it can really make a difference.

      My next standard suggestion is to video tape yourself tumbling. Then, watch the tape over and over. Know exactly what you look like at every stage of your tumbling. This will reinforce your confidence in what you’re doing.

      Here’s one I don’t usually try. Do you spot tumbling? If not, you should. Teaching other people exposes you to more technique quicker than you can ever experience by practicing on your own. Odds are, you will encounter people with weaker tumbling than you that do not have fear to throw it. Working with others in this way will also help your confidence and help you pick up techniques from other people.

      I hope thus helps. If not, send another post. Also, from your IP address it looks like you’re at JMU. Have your coach contact me. Maybe we can do a 1 day clinic or something so I can see what is going on in person. In the mean time, good luck and keep working through this. You’ll get there.

      • Andrew Says:

        Actually I think my BMI is rather close to the single digits. I think the last time I checked it was around 12 something. Ever since then it might have actually dropped a little bit, but if it’s any indicator I’m about 5’6, 140lbs, and my body fat percentage is about 6%

        I’ve made sure that the past times I have been tumbling, that I’m in a more safe environment. Just because of all of those past experiences. Usually I’m just in the gym with one person spotting.

        I’ve been video taping my tumbling recently. I use those videos and look back at old tumbling videos that I have to try and give myself that self-confidence boost and reassure myself that I have the skill. It helps a decent amount, but not the amount that I would like.

        I actually do spot tumbling. I used to help out at tumbling classes back at my old All-Star gym. I’ve helped people learn back handsprings all the way up to fulls.

        I’ve been trying many different ways to try to overcome this fear. I’ve been using the same methods on myself, that I’ve been using on others with who have had tumbling fears. It just seems that it does not click for me. I don’t know if this helps in your assessment of things, but I really do appreciate all the advice!

        Also to get into contact with you, is there an email I can use? I’m assuming you have my email, because I had to put it in. If communicating through email is easier we can communicate through that medium, if so please send me an email. From that point I would love to set up some sort of 1 day clinic to see if it could help. Thank you for the support!

      • I’ll shoot you an email later today. In the mean time, if you have any videos of your tumbling uploaded to YouTube or some other site, please post the link here. That will give us a head start on figuring out what you need to do to get over the hump.

        Incidentally, sounds like you’re in great shape as a tumbler in terms of height to weight ratio. How’s your core strength? When I was cheering I would work core about 3 times per week doing 1,000 reps of some combination of sit ups, shotguns and leg lifts each time. Getting that explosive core strength can really help the confidence and prevent you from setting straight back to compensate for being nervous.

        I’ll get back to you this afternoon through email. I’m sure we can get this moving in the right direction.

  7. Meg Says:

    I had my standing tuck on and off for about a year but i got stitches and was out for just a month and i haveno cinfidence and i have fear. I can physically do it by myself but when the spotter is standing away from me i freak out and bust. How can i get unafraid and have more confidence? i just made the state routine and and i dont want to be the reason we lose

    • Meg,
      It sounds like you have a hardest type of mental block to overcome. You say that you know you can physically do your tuck, but in the same paragraph you say that you have no confidence. Do you see that those two statements contradict each other?

      It makes me wonder if when you say you CAN do the tuck physically, does that mean you can do it “just barely,” or you can do it “every single time with ease.” Here’s another way to ask it. When you throw your tuck, do you land it with ease or do you barely land it? If you’re barely landing it, maybe you can improve your confidence by improving your conditioning. If you DO land your tucks easily, without the spotter physically helping, then you have a very difficult mental block.

      For one of those type of mental blocks, my best suggestions are the ones in this article; video tape, visualization and lots of lots of repetitions. Having said that, I still recommend giving extra conditioning a try. Making yourself stronger is always going to improve your confidence and could be what it takes to get you over the edge.

  8. […] Mental Blocks – Standing Tucks « Cheerleading DailyJul 8, 2011 … Standing tucks seem to be one of the most significant mile-stones that a cheerleader reaches in their skill development. Tucks are often the … […]

  9. Pompoms24 Says:

    Thank you for all the posts I think this would be useful for my daughter which would like to be a cheerlader.

  10. Mckenzie Powley Says:

    Ive had my back handspring back tuck for about five months, but I cannot do it without my coach standing there. It’s a huge mental block I don’t know how to get rid of. I have my standing tuck and my standing back handspring, and I want to do it do bad. But I don’t know whats stopping me. When my coach walks away I want to do it but something stops me every time and I don’t know what. Advice?

    • Thanks for posting you comment/question. Do you have strong standing handspring series? By “strong” I mean they should accelerate and stay long (not undercut) as you go. If you are not able to rebound out of a standing series of 3 handsprings, there is a good chance that you need to strengthen your standing handspring. In fact, I’d say that is the case in 9 out of 10 students that are in your situation. Work on gaining speed and power in your handspring and you’ll have more confidence in your BHS Tuck. I hope that helps.

      • McKenzie Powley Says:

        Actually my back handsprings are very powerful. I have very good rebound, which fustrates me even more. I’m not scared to do standing tumbling at all, its just the running that scares me. Lately I’ve been trying to get my standing bhs tuck, so all I’ll have to do is add the round off and maybe I won’t be as scared. I don’t know its an idea but idk if it will help. I think the reason I’m scared to throw it on my own is because I feel like I have to much power all the time. I hate being so high in the air, but my coach says it’s good for me to be high cause there’s a less likely chance I’ll fall. It’s a stupid mental block because I KNOW I can do it, something stops me every time. Help please? (Sorry this is a late response) Any help would be appreciated!! 🙂

  11. Virleen Says:

    My daughter has the very same problem as McKenzie Powley above. She has her tuck and backhandspring tuck really good as long as her coach stands by her and just touchs her. He does not help her, she has just become reliant on his touch and will not throw it by herself without him there.

    • Rissa Says:

      McKenzy Powley
      I know exactly how u feel I can’t throw it by my self something is just stopping me from doing it

  12. haleybailey818 Says:

    can you do hipnoses to get ride of being scarred for tumbling ?

    • I have heard of people trying hypnosis but I couldn’t tell you I’d it worked or not. I think tue best cure for a mental block is conditioning. The better shape an athlete is in, the more confidence they will have and the less you need to worry about mental blocks. 🙂

  13. Nicole Says:

    Hello. I have been cheering for quite sometime now on a level 3 allstar team. I had running tumbling with a tuck but it seems like i lost it all. I’m trying out in about a month. Do you think it’s possible for me to achieve my standing tuck in a month before tryouts?

    • Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for you question. To give you a solid answer, I’d really have to see you tumble and know a lot more specific information than we could exchange via blog posts. The answer just depends on how close you are to having your tuck right now. If you are a month away, yes, you can do it. If you are 3 months away, no, you can’t do it. I apologize for the overly simplistic answer, but it really is what it is.

      There are 2 issues that you raise in your post that I would strongly encourage you to consider.

      First, I believe an athlete’s mindset is very important when it comes to their potential for achievement. When an athlete tells me they want to perform a certain skill “for tryouts,” that makes me worry about their mindset. Do they just want to land a trick once and make the team or do they want to continue to improve and be the best that they can be? I don’t know you and I certainly can’t judge what your mindset it. I just encourage you to take an honest look at that question. If your true goal is long-term improvement, you shouldn’t be too worried about one tryout. Just focus on getting better every day.

      The 2nd issue is that you have been on a level 3 team for “quite sometime.” I love level 3 teams. I have know cheerleaders who have spent very fullfilling careers exclusively on level 3 teams. However, in most instances, cheerleaders I have known who have been truly committed to their conditioning and their skill development have been able to advance to level 4 or 5 teams after several years. The exceptions to this have been cheerleaders in programs that did not have higher level teams, and those who might have been placed on a level 3 team before they were ready.

      I probably didn’t answer your question the way that you hoped I’d answer it. They best I can do is suggest that you get completely honest with where you are, what you want, what you’ve done to get what you want and what you’re willing to do in order to get there. Once you’ve done that, you might realize that you are very satisified with where you are in your cheerleading career, and that’s great! On the other hand, you might realize that you really want to get to the next level, that what you’ve been doing isn’t getting it done, and that you need to make adjustments to your training. If that is the case, I suggest talking to your parents and your coaches about it, and figure out an individual plan to help you reach you personal goals. I hope that is helpful for you!

  14. emily gordon Says:

    i land my standing tuck consistantly on floor at my gym because i am trying to make my level 4 team. im on a level two right now. i have all of my level 3 skills easy and i am progressing very quickly. (im a competitive cheerleader), and i really want to throw my standing tuckin the grass. is it ALOT harder? what are the chances of me falling from 1-10? please please help!

    • Hi Emily. Thanks for your question. I’m afraid there is no way for me to answer your question with any certainty. Everyone’s tumbling is different. ALso, even if I knew exactly what your physical abilities were, I couldn’t gauge your mental condition without working with you. It might be that you can physically land tucks all day long in the grass. However, if you are too scared or hesitant, even though you CAN do the tuck, you might not commit to it and you could fall. I wish I could answer your question but it would really be irresponsible for me to try to give you an answer. Sorry I can’t help. Just keep working hard with a coach or instructor and I’m sure you’ll get there.

  15. Rissa Says:

    I’m 12 years old and around 60 pounds last year I was around 50 and I also have a mental block on my roundoff backhandspring back do u think my weight change could have of affected this or for another reason

  16. kristi smith Says:

    i don’t think i’m having a mental block, just a technique problem. for years sometimes i land it and sometimes i don’t. Lately i have not been landing on my feet but on my knees. any help would be great

  17. Gymnast haws Says:

    Thank you so much it helped!!:D

  18. cheerleader143 Says:

    I have been trying to get my tuck for 6 years. I just can’t do it. I had it earlier during football season (off and on- I could stick it on the turf all the time, but the track was scary and I consequently didn’t), but I wasn’t setting very much and bending my back. Then track season starts and I began conditioning for track and lifting weights and I went to private tumbling classes to work on my tuck (so I wouldn’t lose skills). Now my form is correct, but I just can not stick it. I land on my hands and knees every time because I’m not pulling fast enough, nor tucking enough nor releasing my tuck at the correct time. I am so sick of back tucks, I have been doing them since 6th grade, I’m a senior now and hoping to cheer in college. I’ve had my roundoff back handspring tuck easily since freshman year. What should I do to help me get my standing tuck or further my skills? I live in a small town feel like it might that the gym I am at is lacking training equipment (they don’t even have a full competition spring floor in the room) Do you know of any conditioning I could do? Or if I should just practice throwing it by myself? I am beyond frustrated. I don’t know if it’s a mental block because I can throw it fine and land on the floor every time with no problem mentally, I just can’t actually land it.

  19. Naudia Says:

    Hello , my name is Naudia and I’m 17 years old and a senior In highschool , I have cheered for sideline and competition , and now am currently in the process of getting my tumbling . I’m
    A backspot , and I never really fear new things. I am striving to achieve a round off back handspring tuck, and a standing tuck to make the green team at GMU. I start my tumbling sessions this Wednesday and I wondered if there was any conditioning you would recommend , and mental preparation advice ? Thank you again !

  20. Ava Says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I love your statement: “Repetition is Key”. It reminds of my favorite quote: “Practice doesn’t make perferct, Practice makes routine.” Thanks again for your article.

  21. kristi smith Says:

    Standing tucks are a milestone and my experience is that there is lack of proper technique instruction. I’m not a coach, I’m a cheer mom! My daughter had amazing coaches, cheer and gymnastics, but still slipped by without actually learning good technique. Maybe because she moved quickly into learning fulls, which she did well. The biggest problem my daughter experienced, with landing her tuck on her knees, but not every time. She couldn’t figure out what she was doing wrong. Once my daughter went to college she had to step up her game on standing tucks, by this time my daughter had cheered competitively 10years. So the conclusion of my story., mom, cheer mom researched you tube on proper technique for a standing tuck. Well you guessed the rest, she always lands her tuck now. Such easy success with proper technique!

  22. tumbling mat Says:

    Davis did her front layout to front double full just once
    in warmup. You should practice it regularly to get a strong physique.
    The permanent gymnastics studio houses professional-grade gymnastics equipment, mats and a
    tumbling trampoline.

  23. Rees Says:

    What is the average age a person gets their standing tuck?

  24. Breanna Says:

    I got my standing tuck bout a month ago… But now every time I try I can’t land it. My tucks were on and off soo much the first two weeks of having it. One day I could land them nod the next I couldn’t. I’m on a S3 and a S4 allstar cheer team. I have all the skills for S3, but on S4 I need to have my standing tuck. I get scared that my coach will take me off the team because I don’t have it. I also don’t have my layout… I don’t know what to do because I spend as much as 20hrs a week at the gym and still don’t land them. Everyone says I have it but I don’t feel like I do. I try and try, so hard every time I throw but can never land them. I keep getting mad at myself and frustrated because of it. As for my layout doesn’t help with my frustration either, I just don’t set enough and can’t seem to get my body straight. My other coach doesn’t even want to spot me and I can tell because everytime I ask he gives me a hard time. I feel like my coaches don’t even bother with it anymore and that they watch me try and get frustrated and mad at me. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  25. Abbigayle Says:

    Yesterday at practice we began a tuck circle I had my standing tuck for 2 years but for some reason I was scared to throw it when the circle came around to me I couldn’t make myself throw it I even tried to do it on the trampoline and I couldn’t make myself do it I figured it was a one day thing but the next day I was still scared to do it on even the trampoline so I started to do backhand springs on the trampoline and I made it higher each time I did it until I finally did my standing tuck then I became scared to do my back handspring and if I don’t get my skill back by Sunday then I will probably be kicked off the team I need a way to cure my mental block fast please help

  26. Taylor Says:

    I don’t know if what I have is a mental black or fear but I’m loosing time before competition season starts. I’m on 2 level 5 teams and the one problem I have is my standing tuck. My coaches say I have it and and try to force me to do it without them there but I can’t. I think to much about it and I bail. I have great running tumbling but any type of standing I can’t do. I can do multiple backhandsprings in a row standing but once you ask me to do backhandsprings into a tuck I can’t and I can’t for the life of me master up enough courage to do my standing tuck by myself. I know I have it because my coach can put one finger on my back and I can throw it perfectly but the second that they want me to throw it by myself I can’t. I tried the slowly take away the spot and Iv gotten to the end but once the coach says on no more spots I can’t throw it. Any tips?

  27. Garret Says:

    I have a standing tuck on a padded floor, but I can’t get my self to commit to the tuck on grass, any way to help me over come this?

    • Kristi Says:

      I agree Garret, I’m a granny and no longer have a cheerleader. My daughter cheered 13 years and I swear the standing tuck was the hardest to learn, had a full years before. She did not have a mental block, but would go for it every time. By the time my daughter was in college and still would jump and land on her knees, I said “that’s it, we will figure this out”! All along my daughter had amazing gymnastic coaches, let’s say for at least 9 consistent years, which didn’t think she had much of a problem. The problem was solved once I found a instructional video from a coach named Mike. The biggest problem I figured out was that she threw her head back, no no tuck the chin, bend the knees and swing the arms fast and hard. Got it, no longer landing on her knees on a hard college basketball court! Maybe a mother can get involved sometimes. Good luck kids and watch a you tube video with your mom, maybe visual slow professional gymnastic coach is answer.

    • Kristi Says:

      I agree Garret, I’m a granny and no longer have a cheerleader. My daughter cheered 13 years and I swear the standing tuck was the hardest to learn, had a full years before. She did not have a mental block, but would go for it every time. By the time my daughter was in college and still would jump and land on her knees, I said “that’s it, we will figure this out”! All along my daughter had amazing gymnastic coaches, let’s say for at least 9 consistent years, which didn’t think she had much of a problem. The problem was solved once I found a instructional video from a coach named Mike. The biggest problem I figured out was that she threw her head back, no no tuck the chin, bend the knees and swing the arms fast and hard. Got it, no longer landing on her knees on a hard college basketball court! Maybe a mother can get involved sometimes. Good luck kids and watch a Youtube video with your mom, of course my daughter was well trained in a gym by professionals and had attended at least 6 Worlds, the first one! maybe a visual slow professional gymnastic coach is the answer. Surprised granny posted?

  28. Kashanna Says:

    I wanted to know how i can get my backwalkover

  29. Haisa Says:

    Hello! I’ve really started cheer at my school about a year ago. It was only JV sideline because I don’t have any tumbling, but I recently found out that you can get on JV comp with out any tumbling. So, I wanted to start it next year. Right now, I am a freshman in high school. Tryouts are in about three weeks. I’m fine with being on JV again because I’ll be a sophomore next year, but I don’t wanna be a Junior on JV because all my friends will be on Varsity by Junior year, and I don’t have like any tumbling skills at all. I also recently tore my acl and meniscus and I got surgery about a month ago to repair it. Recovery time is 9 months, so I won’t be able to do tumbling until November, but my tryouts for cheer are typically in April. You need a standing back tuck if you want to be on Varsity. Do you think it’s possible for me to get my back tuck without getting a back handspring?

  30. Jianna Says:

    My coach does all of these things and last week I tried to do the tuck by myself but freaked out in the middle. When he spots me, he only taps my back and that is it. I do not know why I get so scared. Any advice on how to be less scared of throwing my tuck???

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