Overcoming a Mental Block

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The hardest thing I’ve even had to overcome is a mental block in a dance with a tumbling pass. I can still remember when it happened. I knew this dance, I knew the counts, I had my tumbling pass. I had this. I loved the music and I had a great time dancing it.

Then I got in front of the squad. We were in groups of three and everyone was cheering each other on. We were happy and 8 counting the music.  There was a tricky sequence, and I nailed it. Then, nothing. I couldn’t remember what was next. I froze. Then, the coach said, let’s try it again. I nailed everything again and ½ through, in the same spot, nothing. The stress and panic started to set in and I wanted to cry. In fact, after the fourth time, I did. I could do my tumbling pass, but putting everything back together just didn’t work. I was devastated.

My coach and big sister on the team took me aside to talk about it. Mental blocks are just that, a block, you can’t seem to remember. You have to calm yourself down and I wasn’t calm at all. My coach had me take 10 minutes, get water and take a walk with my big sister on the team. We didn’t talk about the routine or even me freezing. I was sure my big sister would bring it up. Finally on our way back, my big sister said, “look you need to just let it happen. I know you got this”.

Thankfully, this block didn’t last long. On my old competition team, I had a friend that had a block that lasted a while. With that break and me calming down, I was able to get past it. The hard part was the calming down, and it’s a good lesson, even when you freak out, to take the break and if you have to, walk away. When you come back, the block may be gone. Your teammates are the ones that will still cheer for your successes and help you with your failures. That is a big part in figuring things out.

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Janelle Norkevicus

Janelle is a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania. She became a cheerleader at age eleven and is now on her school's varsity cheer team. Janelle enjoys the stunting and tumbling aspects of cheerleading and continues to learn new skills.

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