How to get over beginners anxiety

I started unicycling almost 3 weeks ago, practicing at least an hour a day. Still the furthest I have gone on my own is 15 feet. I have a hard time taking off without any railing, and whenever my friends are watching me I instantly fall off. At this point, I know that I can do it but I get so flustered and anxious that I just force myself to get off. Any advice on keeping myself calm enough to get a little more confidance riding? :astonished:

Practice :slight_smile: My motto for teaching my friend to free mount for a show was that if she couldn’t free mount 100% of the time in front of me, she would be able free mount 0% of the time in front of a crowd.
Overcoming anxiety is all about confidence which comes as you improve your ability. So yeah, practice :smiley:

I am an entertainer, I have no problem embarrasing myself to strangers. But when my fiance in particular is watching me I get really nervous. I should try headphones… :o

Hey…15 feet unassisted is pretty good going :)…when I was learning positive visualization was one of the most helpful things to me. Come to think of it, it still is. Good luck and have fun.

Thinking back on the dates I have only been at it for 15 days so I shouldn’t be so hard on myself :roll_eyes:

i found this helpful as it eliminates distraction so that you can put 100% focus on your riding, just watch out for cars if your on a street.

take a couple deep breaths and smile while practicing. Being happy while doing it makes the repetive nature of learning more fun and people usually will do better when there enjoying what there doing. Good luck:D


Heck, you can’t help but smile ALL the time :smiley:

Even after 6 years or so of riding I still get somewhat flustered when being subjected to any form of public observation.

I’m even used to doing demo’s over the past 40 years (martial arts) for large groups and have made every mistake in the book (have even invented some new ones)

My theory now is this: If the folks watching can do it better then please show me what I’m doing wrong. I’m not above being educated.

Trust me, they won’t be showing you much.

Keep riding & having fun, Thats what were in this for. :smiley:

I was wondering why my arms hurt so much after starting to unicycle, then I realized that I haven’t juggled in a few weeks. I should take breaks to calm myself with juggling :smiley:

Heh, I’ve been neglecting juggling since I took up unicycling :slight_smile:

I don’t know where do you practise, but it helped me a lot to take juggle brakes between sequences of unicycle training. Also music could help you to relax a bit.

Drink 2 beer

Not enough to get you drunk but enough to unbalance your mental blocks.

Definitely not!

I don’t thing unicycling is especially easy to do, and the fact that you’re still at it after three weeks is pretty awesome. I have the same issue as you, I get distracted while people are watching and mess up really easy stuff. If you don’t really mind it happening, then I’m not sure you need to fix it. If it’s a problem, why not have someone watch you practice, maybe every other session? Then you get some sessions to focus, and some that will get you used to having eyes on you while you’re unicycling.

Alternatively, Saska’s idea, though it sounds a bit goofy, will probably work. But since you’re under 21 and in the U.S., perhaps not the best choice.

Missnails - as a much more experienced 4 week-er all I can say is as a beginner you will fall off a lot! It is all part of the learning process, so have fun with the falls (but fall safely!) and don’t worry about your friends watching. If anything they will be so impressed by the 15 feet you managed to wobble along that they will welcome the pause in proceedings to give you the applause you so richly deserve :slight_smile:

Best piece of advice don’t be to hard on yourself. If you do a trick once but cant repeat it next 50+ goes don’t worry. Keep practicing be confident but not cocky.

Thanks a lot friends for sharing your useful tips and suggestions it would be very helpful for newbies like me.

Here is a suggestion - get some kind of marker to place at the spot where you last fell. We started with caulk and initials. We now use a 12" long piece of duck tape that we double up so their is no sticky side. This is easily movable and can be purchased in different colors. The point of this is to get your mind to focus on the end goal which is to go further then your last attempt. Also as you start to go further remember to stay seated or your legs will burn up.

Remember you will also go thru stages at different distances. If you get frustrated take a break and try another day. Watching the boys on my block, I have noticed the distances usually doubles with each day of practice. Day 1 - 1’, Day 2 - 2’, Day 3 - 4’, Day 4 - 8’, Day 5 - 16’, Day 6 - 32’, and so on. Keep at it and soon you will be riding off into the sunset.

Another suggestion is to challenge others to try it with you. Make it a game. I think you will have more fun this way. Heck pass it over to the fiancé and see how far he can ride it. The only time I would not recommend this is between siblings. That just turns into problems, I solved this by getting neighbor kids involved.

So far since Christmas 2012 I have had 9 kids pass my test.

What is in the test

4 things

1 - Ride up into the cul-de-sac around and back down. About a city block.
2 - Do a figure 8.
3 - Ride off a curb.
4 - Free mount.

Good luck! You are closer then you might think. Keep at it. :slight_smile:

I’m still at the very early stages due to taking an 8 month break, life got in the way.

Anyhow, I’ve never been one for being watched, always hated being up in front of people even at school.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to practice a little at work. I felt so daft repeatedly falling in front of work colleagues that I said they should try. After they realised that its not as easy as it looks I felt much more comfortable practising in front of them. They were no longer looking at me and thinking I was rubbish (at least in my head they were) they were looking wondering how the heck I didn’t fall straight off. That helped loads!

Your’e more concerned for your friends than for yourself.Be more sefish while cycling.You have to be 100% focussed on what you’re doing.You can’t be thinking negatively while unicycling.Learning unicycle,is a humbling experience at first,which makes makes your achievements feel all the greater as you progress.

You can do it. Mount and gooo…