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Question
Im doing a project at school about your passion. I am a level 7 gymnast and i want to know why people have fears of going backwards in gymnastics. THX

Answer
Hello Maggie,
         I am very glad to help you.  I personally believe that there is not a definable reason people can be apprehensive or nervous in going backwards.  I believe that athletes will have unique reasons because of life experiences.  For me, as soon as I could imagine the surface/environment behind me I was no longer nervous of the process.  Professional sports psychologists say that creating mental imagery of a doubtful skill can help in the ownership of that skill.  I truly accept that.  I remember having trouble in a backward trick and I could not imagine doing it.  The moment my brain could imagine it was the moment I could then physically perform it.  Prior to that moment, I practiced mentally many, many times.  The human brain is so supportive of our goals and is an integral part of the confidence formula.  I hope I have not confused you.  You asked a very good question and this is the way I understand it from my experiences personally and from coaching.  I wish you the best in your report.  
Take Care -- Jack Leonard

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Jack Leonard

Expertise

Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.

Experience

I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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