Ask An Expert: How To Defeat Your Fears When Trying New Tricks — by Karrissa Wimberley


“Every time my coach asks me to try something new, I am scared to try it. How can I stop being scared all of the time?”





by Karrissa Wimberley (TWIRLER)

What a great question! Our sport is a tricky — one incorporating dance and gymnastics all while there’s a spinning metal stick over our head! My first piece of advice is to trust your coaches. They are there to keep pushing you, but they aren’t going to have you try something you aren’t ready for.

My mom always told me the worst that can happen is the baton will fall to the ground. Maybe you’ll get a bump or bruise here or there, but those are just our battle wounds from working hard! 🙂

When you are going to try any of your new tricks, always do all the body movements first, until you are completely comfortable. Count how long the trick will take without the baton. For example, for a Spin Illusion, you would need a four or five count toss. Count from the time you release, then how long the trick takes to complete, and catch. Once you are comfortable with the body work, practice your toss. Keep your elbow to your side, thumb to your chin to get a straight toss. Finally, you can start putting the two pieces together.

One of my tricks that scares me is my back walkover spin front walkover. I still get nervous to do it, and it’s been a few years! After I practice the body and the toss, I sometimes put the trick together with the toss but intentionally toss far away from me. This way I know it’s going to be far and won’t hit me, but I can start getting my confidence up that I can do the trick with enough time to come up and find my toss. As I get more and more comfortable, I bring my toss closer and closer until I can finally do it.

I hope this helps! Don’t be afraid to try new things, just start small and work your way up. Trust yourself, your coaches, and happy twirling!! 🙂

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