Monday, February 11, 2013

Gymnastics 101 - By Coach Jill

Moving Up

Here is a valid and common question our coaches hear from time to time: "My daughter/son has been in Level X for X months, how close is she/he to moving up?" Being promoted to the next level is very tangible validation for all the time and tuition spent on gymnastics classes. From a coaching perspective, this is how we evaluate a child for the next level:
1. Is she/he emotionally and mentally ready for the challenge? Does the child listen to directions and cooperate with the students in his/her current class? If not, then the child will probably
struggle with the more complex directions at the next level.
2. What is this gymnast's personal skill strengths? Is she exceptionally good at bars, but a bit afraid on beam? Generally, bar skill and floor skills are considered first when deciding level promotions because they are more complex.
3. Will the gymnast's physical abilities - strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination - allow them to be successful at the next level? Relative strength (ability to lift one's own body) becomes more and more important at higher levels. A gymnast lacking relative strength will struggle to learn new skills, especially on bars.
It is extremely important to remember that every child learns at her or his own rate and that the benefits of gymnastics cannot be measured in level promotions alone.

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