While gymnastics is a great way to build strength and get exercise, it’s a sport that also improves mental focus. It can even help kids and adults improve coordination and increase flexibility. As a coach, your job is to provide a practice that helps your students build a foundation and reap the benefits of gymnastics. If you’re running a successful gymnastics training center, but need gymnastics coaching ideas, this post is for you.
From daily training sessions to summer camps, it’s important for any gymnastics coach to keep things fresh. Here are five gymnastics coaching tips that will allow your students to grow with their practice.
1. Focus On Your Daily Warm-Up
While it may be easy to go through the motions with your daily warm-up, this is a part of practice you don’t want to overlook. Conditioning is an important way to ensure a safe practice because it cuts down on injuries. When you are warm and flexible, your body is ready to build muscle memory in a safe way.
Beyond the need to warm up for safety reasons, this is also a critical way to build a strong foundation. Focus on helping your students perfect their form by holding stretches and poses that are essential to a successful routine. Remember, practice makes perfect! Daily repetition will help your students thrive.
2. Utilize Training Stations
A monotonous practice can quickly diminish benefits. By using training stations, you can keep your students engaged. This type of circuit training can even help cut down on frustration. If a student can’t nail a specific maneuver, there’s an opportunity to come back to it later. Sometimes a quick distraction or break from the task at hand is all they need to conquer it.
Not sure where to start? Consider setting up three different mats across the floor (with plenty of space between each one). Designate each mat as a place to practice a specific move. Here are a few ideas for young beginners:
- Forward and backward rolls
- Single balance moves (plank, bridge, ankle hold)
- Jumping and landing
Remember, this should be a mix of upper body and lower body conditioning! You may also opt for including equipment and making each station a different type of gymnastics. For example, floor work, balance beam, and bars.
Once you have your stations set up, use a timer and have each gymnast spend ten minutes at each station before going on to the next one. If you have other gymnastics coaches who can help you instruct at each station, even better! This will ensure each gymnast is getting the attention they need to improve.
3. Know Your Students
Always remember to keep things age appropriate. Little ones are just trying to have fun, while teens may be more competitive with dreams of college gymnastics. It’s important to make this distinction while teaching to ensure you’re meeting your students where they are.
For young kids in particular, hone in on the many non-physical benefits of gymnastics. From sportsmanship to discipline, there are benefits that will serve them in anything they do for years to come. It’s great to find gymnastics coaching ideas that underscore these principles. Consider activities that encourage them to learn how to work together as a team.
4. Get Inspired
Gymnastics is more than a sport; it’s an art form. When it comes to art, inspiration is essential. Whether it’s a song on the radio or a mural on a busy city street, anything can inspire. Gymnastics is no different! Find ways to encourage your students through observation.
From the Olympics to national competitions, find opportunities to watch routines together as a class. Ask your students to take notes and analyze these performances. Further, have them research and find a favorite gymnast to share with the entire class.
If you’re up for a field trip, consider traveling to a gymnastics competition together as a class. Watching gymnasts perform at the highest level can help your students aim even higher!
5. Remember To Have Fun
At the end of the day, it’s all about a love and passion for the sport. Even your most serious and experienced students must remember this. When we become too rigid and harsh, practice can become something we dread.
As a gymnastics coach, it’s important to shine bright as a positive influence. This doesn’t mean you can’t be critical, but it’s essential to remain encouraging at the same time. Stay upbeat and this positivity will help your students thrive.
Find Gymnastics Coaching Resources
Looking for even more gymnastics coaching ideas? There are plenty of resources right at your fingertips. USA Gymnastics offers webinars and online courses that cover a range of important topics. These include:
- Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction
- Setting Healthy Boundaries
- Preschool Fundamentals Theory
- Ballet for Rhythmic Gymnastics
Remember, this is just a peek at the hundreds of gymnastics coaching resources available. You’ll also find safety education on everything from concussions to first aid.
Hiring new coaches or instructors for your gym? They also offer new hire kits that can help guide your onboarding. From front office staff to preschool and school-age instructors, these kits take the guesswork out of training staff members.
Focus on Being the Best Gymnastics Coach You Can Be
Running a studio means juggling administrative tasks in addition to your coaching duties. A gymnastics management software system can help you streamline and automate your to-do list.
From class registration to billing and marketing emails, Studio Director simplifies your systems and processes. Here are a few things we can help you with:
- Online registration and waitlist management
- Student waivers for safety and policies
- Flexible billing options that allow for recurring payments
- Instructor timesheets and gymnast report cards
At Studio Director, we provide the tools you need to stay organized. Find the freedom to explore gymnastics coaching ideas while our software takes care of the business aspect of your studio.