How to Control Your Nerves on the Gymnastics Balance Beam
Nervousness and anxiety are extremely normal in artistic gymnastics. Especially when it comes to the balance beam. By far, balance beam is the event that almost every gymnasts get the most nervous about. The thought of tumbling 4 feet over the ground on a 4 inch beam can be very scary. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you will nevertheless get nervous when it’s your turn to compete your balance beam routine. There are a few things you can do as a gymnast to eliminate anxiety and nervousness.
Cutting down you anxiety before you compete balance beam at a gymnastics meet is not something that comes easy. It takes a lot of practice! But in the end it is worth it.
Competing a balance beam routine is way different then being at practice and performing it. You could do your balance beam routine in practice a thousand times and never get nervous and then go to a gymnastics meet and fall apart once you mount the beam. The question is, how can you eliminate your anxiety and nervousness at a gymnastics meet?
You can eliminate nervousness by competing! But the problem is there is not enough meets in a season to get a lot of experience from. This method you need to create situations that will help you aim and prepare for a gymnastics meet other than practice and competition.
You can start by performing your balance beam routine while there are loud progressive/cheerleading classes in the gym, or when a birthday party is going on. You can also try turning up music really loud while practicing your gymnastics beam routine. Invite friends and family to watch and encourage them to talk and cheer while you are on the beam. While all this is going on you need to try to focus and tune everything out. Another good way to practice is to go to as many small/fun gymnastics meets as possible.
Just remember if you fall off beam your anxiety level will rise, this is not a good thing. So don’t rush it, take a thorough breath and already a short pause if needed. It is better to get a small deduction for going over time or for pausing in your routine than to receive a deduction for a fall. Plus once you fall it is much harder to get back up and finish without letting your anxiety get the best of you.
The hardest thing about beam isn’t the gymnastics dance, skills, turns, jumps, or leaps that are in the routine, it is the mental inclinations the gymnast’s have. The main reason girls shake on beam and get so nervous is because they are head situations. This is by far the hardest thing to get over! The only things that can help with mental inclinations is practice, practice, practice.