They will fool you every time. They will convince you to look backwards, when you are flipping backwards. They will tell you look at the ground when you are flipping forwards. Your eyes are your enemy. They say watch the floor when you do Barani’s. Or look all around you when you do a Jump Spin. These are all beginner mistakes. Your eyes are liars and will try to halt your progress in trampoline, gymnastics, and tumbling. Of course, in our daily lives it makes perfect sense to follow our eyes. In our daily lives, our eyes actually keep us out of trouble. Look both ways before you cross the road! Thus our reliance on them becomes such a difficult habit to break for beginning trampolinists and tumblers. Look where you are going is a commonly used phrase in the real world. However, in acrobatics, those norms do not apply. Looking means trouble, and staring spells Disaster.
If we cannot trust our eyes, then how do we see? Learn to see by using your other senses. Use your sense of timing to know how high you are. Feel the weight of your heels pressing hard on the tumbling-floor/tramp-bed to know when to start the next manuevre. After you’ve been training the correct way for awhile, your brain will come to understand the laws of physics and the laws of inertia, and your body will memorize the acceleration of a tuck and that of a pike position, it will memorize the deceleration of an “open”. You may develop a “sixth sense” for where the ground is, and where you are, at every moment in time, all without relying upon your eyes as the sole indicator. But you can only develop this sense if you stop continuing to trust your eyes all the time at practice…. easier said than done. Can you do it?