Simone Biles has a case of the Twisties. Biles old reporters shortly after her exit that she was “having a little bit of the twisties.” Several athletes and gymnasts have described “twisties” as a mental block that affects physical performance. Think of it like the YIPS for Gymnastics.
According to the BBC:
“The twisties can cause someone to lose their sense of space and dimension as they’re in the air. This causes them to lose control of their body and they may perform extra twists or flips that they hadn’t intended to do. Sometimes, the person may find themselves unable to land safely on the floor. The strange occurrence can happen to any gymnast even if they’ve done the same routine over and over again without issue.”
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Former athlete and now a gymnastics coach from Birmingham, Ala., Christina Myers told the BBC that the twisties can occur “when your brain and body disconnect.”
“Imagine skydiving and your parachute won’t open,” she explained. “Your body starts adding extra twists and flips to the skill you’re supposed to be doing, and it can affect even the skills that feel as routine as walking to an elite gymnast. Your brain wants nothing more than to perform the intended skill correctly, but your body feels like it suddenly has a mind of its own.”
Myers reiterated, “Because the twisties are mainly psychological, the harder you try to push through, the harder the twisties push back.”
What are the twisties in gymnastics? https://t.co/93ki1fr5Ku
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 28, 2021
Basically it’s like having vertigo while doing gymnastics.
That’s can’t be any fun, and definitely not safe. Hopefully now people will cut Simone some slack.
She simply has a bad case of the Twisties.