5 Simple Steps to Take When You Get Frustrated with Your Back Handspring

by Nov 25, 2019Fear Psychology, Performance Psychology, Technique

You’ve had enough. You’ve been practicing and practicing for weeks…months…years and you STILL don’t have your back handspring. You’re getting pressure from your parents, your coaches, your teammates and even yourself, all of them wondering what’s taking you so long and why you can’t get this seemingly simple skill (though I’d like to see them try it ;P) Your parents are upset because they’ve spent hundreds, maybe even thousands, of their hard-earned money on private lessons, clinics and classes. Your coaches are impatient, because they need you to get your skill to add you to the amazing tumbling section they’ve choreographed. Your teammates are upset because you’re holding everyone up. And finally, you’re beating yourself up because you know EXACTLY what you NEED to do, but you just can’t seem to make your body and your brain communicate properly. 

So what do you do?

First, you stop beating yourself up. Plain and simple.

Next, you take a deep, cleansing breath and follow these 5 simple steps. I guarantee you that at the end of the process, you’ll have a different outlook on your back handspring development and will be on your way to getting the skill on your own.


Remind yourself that everyone is different and learns differently, at their own speed and pace. Though the mechanics of the back handspring are universal by design, the way it’s taught and learned varies from coach to coach and athlete to athlete.


If flying like Superman were a possibility, and there were people who were able to learn but it took you forever to get it, would you beat yourself up about that? Seems a bit ridiculous, no? Similarly, remember that tumbling, as a discipline, is not natural by any stretch of the imagination. It’s possible, but not natural. Everything we do on the spring floor (or basketball court or football field) is a learned behavior. It’s not something that comes naturally and therefore has to be carefully nurtured, consistently practiced, and constantly monitored to ensure your technique develops properly. So stop being hard on yourself, it’s going to be alright!


Stop focusing on your frustration, the emotional response you have when attempting your skill, and start focusing SOLELY on the technique! Most likely, your stagnation is being caused by a flaw in your technique, most often from improper instruction. By shifting your focus from your frustration back onto your technique, there won’t be a moment where you’re not focusing on what your body is or is not doing, helping you to hone in on what the problem might be.


Get someone to take video of you performing the skill in slow motion. Slow mo captures everything the eye (or more accurately, the brain) misses in plain sight. This will allow you, much like athletes in many other sports, to analyze your movement frame by frame. You can see exactly what you’re doing incorrectly, and come up with a sequential plan of correction.


Finally, find yourself an exceptional technique-centric coach who can help you pinpoint your mistakes and poor habits, and get you back on track toward progress. I actually offer Remote Coaching Services, which allow you to get a top-notch private coaching experience even if you don’t live in the Bay Area. Check out how it works here, fill out the form, and let’s get started today!

There are so many factors that play into your development as a tumbler, you don’t need to let frustration and self-deprecation be among them. Frustration is much like fear – as an emotion, it’s a concentration blocker. Learning to ignore the emotion by focusing more heavily on the procedural elements of the skill will help you to not let the frustration and fear rule you and take up valuable learning time.

For more help, contact me today! Let’s talk about what you’re going through and how we can get you over that wall!


Coach Lain is a mental performance and tumbling technique coach from Northern California. Specializing in fear management & psychology, as well as deconstructed movement, he helps student-athletes and coaches better understand their fears in an effort to outperform them confidently and consistently. His podcast, The Fear Less University™, features special guests each episode who lend their wisdom and expertise to help discuss, dissect, and examine some of life’s greatest fears. His second and newest podcast, the Coach Lain Inspires™ Inspirecast, seeks to provide listeners with a daily dose of inspiration.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below  via Disqus! 

Don’t see your comment? Check out my Comments Policy.

© 2022 Coach Lain LLC. | All Rights Reserved.