Updated: Jan 16, 2019
It's a new year! Have you thought about your 2019 aerial goals? What skill have you been dreaming of conquering but something keeps getting in the way? Typically that thing in the way is our own mind!
We've all been there... You watch your instructor do this kick-ass trick that looks magically light n'easy, you are so thrilled to try it .... but then something happens.
A rush of nervous energy comes over you, you get sweaty and a bit shaky... you want to do it but something inside of you is holding you back. We've all felt it, myself included! It's your side-kick FEAR talkin...
Fear is normal and hardwired in our nervous systems to keep us safe. Aerial can obviously be a risky activity. First, you need to asses the risk... ask yourself if you're actually putting your body in a dangerous situation (i.e. your instructor isn't qualified, you don't have a crash mat, you know you don't have the strength to fully commit to the skill yet).
Once you've assessed the risk and you decide you'd like to overcome this beast of a skill, focusing on the actions within the skill itself can help. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in self-doubt, panic or overthinking.
Follow these key checkpoints and you'll be on your way to overcoming fear:
Be honest with yourself, do you feel physically ready and mentally clear to follow your instructor's cues with complete focus and presence?
Slowly working up to the skill is A-Okay! Aerial arts should never be a race.
Practice the skill low to the floor for as long as you need to.
Get into only the wrap and walk the skill down if needed.
Look at your body when you’re wrapping or setting up the skill, not at the ground.
Stay present within each action, even say it out loud to yourself (I’m hooking my knee, I’m wrapping my leg etc.)
Triple check your ‘safety’ within your wrap is correct and you know what your 'safety' is (i.e. a thigh wrap, holding the tail)
Visualize success! What you focus on expands, why not make it positive? See yourself performing the skill with control and ease
Remember ‘tight is light’, the more engaged you are (especially your core & legs) the less impact the skill will have on you
If you’re doing a drop, slightly tuck your chin toward your chest to keep your neck elongated and safe.
Breathe! A big exhale at the ‘scary part’ of the skill can help overcome fear and relax the nervous system.
Commit. Accidents happen when we don’t commit. (i.e. letting go of one hand at a time, not staying engaged, closing our eyes and hoping for the best etc.)
Celebrate! You did it! Time for a major happy dance!
This Figure 8 Drop in the video used to freak me out!
I learned how to assess the risk, focus, stay connected to my body, breathe & commit.