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

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $58.00

1 year subscription

USD  $77.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $110.00

2 year subscription

USD  $144.00

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.

Maaranen, Van Raalte, and Brewer are with the Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Van Raalte is with the College of Health Sciences, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, Hubei, Canada. Maaranen is also with the Department of Behavioral Health, Clinical Health Psychology Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX.

Address author correspondence to Maaranen at annamari.maaranen@gmail.com.
  • Bawden, M.M., & Maynard, I.I. (2001). Towards an understanding of the personal experience of the ‘yips’ in cricketers. Etude de l ‘ experience personnelle des troubles de la motricite chez les joueurs de cricket. Journal of Sports Sciences, 19, 937953. PubMed ID: 11820688 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beable, S., Fulcher, M., Lee, A.C., & Hamilton, B. (2017). SHARPSports mental health awareness research project: Prevalence and risk factors of depressive symptoms and life stress in elite athletes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20, 10471052. PubMed ID: 28601589 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bennett, J., Hays, K., Lindsay, P., Olusoga, P., & Maynard, I.W. (2015). Yips and lost move syndrome: Exploring psychological symptoms, similarities, and implications for treatment. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 46, 6182. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bennett, J., Rotheram, M., Hays, K., Olusoga, P., Maynard, I.W., & Lindsay, P. (2016). Yips and lost move syndrome: Assessing impact and exploring levels of perfectionism, rumination, and reinvestment. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, 12, 1427.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulo, J.G., & Sanchez, M.G. (2014). Sources of stress among college students. CVCITC Research Journal, 1, 1625.

  • Day, M., Thatcher, J., Greenlees, I., & Woods, B. (2006). The causes of and psychological responses to lost move syndrome in national level trampolinists. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 18, 151166. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dazzi, T., Gribble, R., Wessely, S., & Fear, N.T. (2014). Does asking about suicide and related behaviors induce suicidal ideation? What is the evidence? Psychological Medicine, 44, 33613363. PubMed ID: 24998511 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Feigley, D.A. (2009). Overcoming psychological blocking (pp. 1217). U.S. Gymnastics Technique: The Official Technical Publication of the United States Gymnastics Federation.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, A. (2012). Breakthroughs in bursting blocks in the gym: Understanding and working through sports PTSD (sports post traumatic stress disorder). Retrieved from https://www.competitivedge.com/breakthroughs-busting-blocks-gym

    • Export Citation
  • Karam, F., Bérard, A., Sheehy, O., Huneau, M., Briggs, G., Chambers, C., . . . Wolfe, L. (2012). Reliability and validity of the 4-item Perceived Stress Scale among pregnant women: Results from the OTIS antidepressants study. Research in Nursing & Health, 35, 363375. PubMed ID: 22511354 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maaranen, A., Beachy, E., Van Raalte, J., Brewer, B., France, T., & Petitpas, A. (2017). Flikikammo: When gymnasts lose previously automatic backward moving skills. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 11, 181200. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marquardt, C. (2009). The vicious circle involved in the development of the yips. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4, 6788. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Philippen, P., & Lobinger, B.H. (2012). Understanding the yips in golf: Thoughts, feelings, and focus of attention in yips-affected golfers. The Sport Psychologist, 26, 325340. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renfo-Michael, E.D., Hall, K., Johnson-Gros, K., & Roberto, N. (2010). Time series designs. In C.J. Sheperis, J. Young, & H. Daniels, (Eds.), Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (pp. 93114). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silva, J.M. (1994). Sport performance phobias. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 25, 100118.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 157 157 25
Full Text Views 13 13 1
PDF Downloads 9 9 0