Mental Blocks in Artistic Gymnastics and Cheerleading: Longitudinal Analysis of Flikikammo

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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Flikikammo is a troubling phenomenon in which athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic backward moving gymnastics skills as a normal part of a routine. To better understand the effects of flikikammo over time, the confidence, perceived pressure, physical well-being, energy, and stress levels of gymnasts (n = 6) and cheerleaders (n = 4) were assessed weekly over 10 weeks. Half of the participants reported experiencing flikikammo at the start of the study, and half served as age, skill level, and sport-matched controls. Athletes with flikikammo indicated that pressure from coaches and higher energy levels were related to more severe flikikammo. For participants under the age of 18, higher levels of life stress positively correlated with flikikammo, but for those over 18, higher life stress was negatively correlated with flikikammo. These findings highlight the complexity of flikikammo and suggest that complex solutions may be needed to address flikikammo issues.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Annamari Maaranen, Department of Clinical Health Psychology, San Antonio Military Medical Center, 3551 Roger Brooke Dr, San Antonio, TX 78219 USA. Telephone: 303-523-2318, Email: annamari.maaranen@gmail.com
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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