How to Overcome a Fear of Backflips

By Liza Hollis

Gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders and even divers are often required to perform a trick that is known as the “backflip.” Also known as a “back tuck” or “salto,” the backflip is a sort of somersault in the air that is done backwards. It takes quite a bit of courage to be able to hurl yourself into the air for this trick, but with confidence and technique, it can become as natural as any other forward facing stunt.

Step 1

Observe others doing the flip to become familiar with the process. Effective performance of this stunt will only come with thoughtful consideration of what the flip entails. To achieve a backflip, you will start with your arms out behind you. As you begin to jump, push your arms up overhead to help guide you backwards.

Step 2

Stare forward as you prepare for the jump. So much of overcoming your fear is mental. If you stare at the ground before jumping, all you will be able to think about is falling. Instead close your eyes or look straight out. If you practice in front of a mirror, remember stare at your reflection, not the ground or what’s behind you.

Step 3

Ask someone to be your spotter while you practice the work. Practicing with someone else will give you the confidence you need to overcome your fear. Knowing that someone is there to catch you or at least brace your fall will help you become more comfortable with the task.

Step 4

Practice on a safe and level area. Even if all you can think about is falling on the ground when you jump, you should at least know that should you fall you will land on safe, smooth ground. Practicing on a cushioned pad will make you feel more at ease.

Step 5

Allow your familiarity and practice to push out your doubts. They say that practice makes perfect. In order to establish confidence, you will need to have the know-how to succeed. This will make you feel more prepared for the trick.

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