So you’ve spent countless nights watching YouTube videos, read every article on this site, and have decided that you’re going to spend time on improving your tumbling skills.


But you’re not in the gym as often as you should be, so something is obviously holding you back. Or maybe a whole bunch of things.

Some days you’re too tired. Other days you just don’t have the time. Your girlfriend/boyfriend is stressing you out. You just got a sore throat… and on, and on.

Sorry to burst your bubble of optimism here, cupcake, but there will never be a perfect day where all the stars are aligned, and your circumstances are just perfect.


Now sure, you might have some good days, some great days and some so-so days, but there will always be something that feels inconvenient.

And no amount of whining will change that, because that’s the way it’ll always be. In fact, that’s the way it always¬†should¬†be.


Because, obstacles are put in your way to see how badly you want something (tweet this).

And guess what? Great tumblers that are on World Championship teams understand this concept from the inside out.¬†They know that the perfect day will never come, so instead of waiting, they do what they can with the time they’ve been given, and make the best of it.

Basically, champions never make excuses. So if you want to be one as well, avoid the 7 super-lame excuses listed below.

1. “I’m too sore to train”

On the surface, this seems like a valid reason more than an excuse.

After all when you’re sore, your muscles are stiffer which limits your range of motion so you can’t hit the nice body positions as before, and your power output drops so your tumbling looks limp.

So, should you just stay home, and take a day off?

You could, but what are you going to do when you walk out on the competition floor and realize you’re sore? Take a day off?

I sure hope not. Luckily there are three easy ways to combat being sore. The first way is to take proactive measures when it comes to your nutrition, as mentioned in my earlier article, 6 Ways To Reduce Soreness.

The second way is to rely on a scientific method called adaptation. What is adaptation?

Basically, you keep training your body in different ways until it gets used to the work load. So if training 3 days in a row has you feeling beat up, keep doing it but change your equipment from floor to Tumble Trak, or Trampoline.

After a few weeks you’ll be so used to it, that it’ll take 4 (or even 5) days of back-to-back training for your body to feel sore.

Finally, make sure you have a good warm up in place. Most of the time, soreness affects performance not because of soreness itself, but because of the pain associated with it. A good warm up that involves dynamic stretching, foam rolling and some minor explosive work such as jumps, sprints and leaps can get you back in the groove very quickly.

So just remember, being sore is not the end of the world. You can still perform if you do the things I’ve outlined above.

Don’t ever let what you can’t do, stop you from doing what you¬†can¬†do (tweet this).

2. “I don’t have time…”

Then you my friend, need to make the time.

Truth be told, the single greatest cause of “not having enough time” is bad time management skills.

Instead of putting in the time to do your school or work project daily, you left it to the last minute, and now it has to come out of your training time. This is unfair to your team-mates.

Or maybe you underestimated how long it would take to learn a new tumbling skill, and now you actually don’t have enough time to train it to put inside of a routine.

But guess what? It’s still¬†your¬†fault, and it’s something great tumblers never leave to chance.

You won’t believe how many emails I get saying,¬†“Coach Sahil I need your help! My tryouts are a week away and I need a round off tuck… what should I do?”

Well, you could have started working towards it 3 months ago instead of leaving it for the final week.

Let me put this another way, if I told you that I have a million dollars buried 3 feet underground at a park 20 miles from your location, and all you had to do was get over there, dig it up, and it’s yours.

Would you still say “I don’t have the time”?

Yeah right.

You’d find the closest shovel you can, and scoot your way over to that park. Your school project, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your TV show, and even your cellphone wouldn’t get in the way. You’d make the time.

So why not make the time for the skills you want? Makes sense to me.

3. “I can’t tumble in shoes”

If this is going to be your excuse, then why are you in cheerleading? Either you quit cheer and join power tumbling (nothing wrong with that, as I was a competitive power tumbler as well) …or,¬†you suck it up and learn how to tumble with shoes on.

If you’ve been bare-foot tumbling all your life, then I understand the transition can be hard, but it all basically comes down to two things:

A) Get a great pair of shoes. When it comes to a great pair of tumbling shoes, you just cannot go wrong with Nfinities. Their latest model is so light, you feel like you’re wearing socks.

B) Repetition. Do you remember why unconscious competence is important? Basically, you have to get so good at tumbling with shoes on your feet that it becomes an afterthought. You shouldn’t have to think about it. If you haven’t read the article I’ve linked up above, I highly suggest you do so.

4. “I’m too tired to condition…”

If this is your excuse, then I hope you have enough energy to deal with the injuries you have coming your way.

Let me give you an example: When you tumble, the amount of maximum force exerted on your knee joint is anywhere from 8-14x your bodyweight.

So if you weigh 110 lbs, that means your knees have to endure about 1540 lbs of force every time you land, punch or block for a skill. And 1540 lbs is about the size of a Grizzly Bear.

And what’s protecting your knee joints from exploding? Simple – the muscles and tendons around it.

So if you avoid conditioning, then the muscles and tendons around your knee joints will be weak, and if they’re too weak to protect your knees, sooner or later you can expect to end up in the hospital.

Or, you can just suck it up and condition.

Your choice.

5. “I’m too old to learn that now”

Here’s something interesting: if you think you’re too old for something, then you’re probably right.

The way you see yourself is the way your body will behave. This is why when athletes say “I can’t do it”, they physically can’t.

Or when they say “what if I fall?” …and then proceed to¬†actually¬†fall.

Our brains are funny little things, but they are also powerful little things. What you say to yourself, is what your brain will try and bring into reality.

So instead of thinking you’re tool old, just say¬†“I don’t know how to do that yet, but I will find a way…”

Oh, and do you want to know a deep dark secret of mine?

I started tumbling at 17.

And when I say started, I¬†really¬†mean started; at that age, I couldn’t do a round off to save my life. Yet¬†somehow, I became a competitive power tumbler by 19. In two years I went from round offs and cartwheels to whips, layouts and fulls.

And it’s not because I’m talented. In fact, I’m quite the slow learner. But what I am is determined, and I always believe I can do what I put my mind to.

Trust me, you’re never too old to learn anything. There’s a great quote that says:

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing (tweet this)

Words to live by!

6. “I need a spot…”

Just like excuse #1, this one is sometimes a legitimate concern. Sometimes, you really¬†do¬†need a spot, because you just aren’t ready to throw a certain skill.

However, great tumblers do one thing really well above the rest –¬†they trust their coaches.

So if your tumbling coach is worth their weight in glitter,¬†and say you’re ready, then you’re friggin’ ready!

If you ask to get spotted too often,¬†specially when you don’t need it, you’re training yourself to rely on a constant safety blanket which doesn’t exist on the competition floor.

Life is hard. Competition is hard. So when you’re out on that mat, and the music starts playing, your mama ain’t gona be there, your coach ain’t gonna be there, and even Jesus might take a back seat.

When it’s time to do your tumbling pass, the only person you can rely on any given moment, is¬†you. (tweet this)

7. “My body is too tall/short/skinny/fat”

Just like excuse #5, if you think your body causes you a disadvantage, then guess what?

It probably does.

Truth be told, 99% of the time when athletes blame their body, they’re just looking for a cop-out, because as I said in my article¬†Do You Have To Be Skinny To Be A Good Tumbler?, it all comes down to technique, power-to-weight ratio and determination.

If you wanted your back handspring bad enough, you’d realize that being tall is an asset since you already have a high center of gravity, and don’t have to jump as hard.

That being slightly heavier means you can get a better rebound from the springs under the floor.

That being short means you can get spotted easily, and can do more handsprings in a small amount of space.

That being skinny means you’re light, and have less of a chance of hurting yourself or your joints.

You see?

Each body type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you need to exploit yours.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever played Poker before, but to win in that game, it’s not about the hand you’re¬†dealt – it’s¬†about how you play your cards.

No More Excuses

I hope you understand why these 7 excuses are something you should never rely on to justify your performance, skill or the lack thereof. The day you take responsibility for your success and failures is the day your tumbling will virtually improve overnight – I can guarantee it.

Do you know someone that makes excuses?¬†Scroll down in the comment section below and share the excuses you’ve heard in the past and why you think they’re lame.

Oh and do me a small favor –¬†if you found this article helpful, please hit the like button below, and share it on facebook or twitter. It would mean a lot!

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