Prime Gymnastics Private Lesson Events
I am a firm believer in private lessons for floor routines, both compulsory and optional, but especially optional routines. In gyms with only a single trampoline, trampoline for tumbling skills private lessons can be very helpful, although usually used only as part of a FX private lesson. In floor exercise, to achieve the degree of performance in each and every dance skill requires one-on-one attention, that is not easily possible or efficient during regular gymnastics team/group practices. The same is true about private lessons for beam routines. It is definitely advantageous to spend time with one gymnast, perfecting each and every skill and combination, in floor and beam routines. You will not likely get the same level of performance with just regular team group FX and beam routine coaching.
Gymnastics Private Lessons Not Usually as Useful for These Events
Gymnastics private lessons are not particularly time-efficient for vaulting, tumbling and bar skills and routines. In none of these events, is it possible to spend teaching time as effectively with only one gymnast. In vaulting and tumbling, either gymnasts must walk back to starting point or get too tired, too quickly from tumbling pass after pass or vault run after run, to train effectively. A group of gymnasts can be trained more efficiently in vaulting and tumbling.
Bar Private Lessons
To some degree bar training with only one gymnast is also somewhat inefficient, but bar private lessons are among the most often requested and most often needed private lessons. One of the major problems with bar privates is that if gymnasts have already done bars that day or are spending a lot of time on bars already, that their hands may not be ready for extra work without risking rips or their hands may be so hot that it will hinder progress during the private. Bar privates are best scheduled on a day they did not have practice or did not do bars.
Semi-Private Group Private Lessons
Small group (2-3 gymnasts) lessons in vault, tumbling and bars makes more sense from a time-efficiency point of view. If I do privates for those events, I prefer to have semi-private group lessons, so the practice time and parent’s money can be used more efficiently. If I do semi-private group lessons, I prefer to have gymnasts of about the same level and ability and who are working on similar things, but as long as the age/level diversity is not extreme, it can still work well. Semi-private group lessons should be discounted from the prices of individual private lessons.
Special Circumstances for Private Lessons
This is not to say, there are not times where private lessons on any event, including vault, tumbling and bars may not be helpful, if not completely efficient from a time and money standpoint. Success on learning specific tumbling or bar skills, like kips and release moves, can work extremely well. Events where fear is a factor, like tumbling, vaulting and bar dismounts, can sometimes benefit from slow, patient private lessons as well.
Mandatory Private Lessons
Some gyms have mandatory gymnastics private lessons as part of their team program. this usually consists of one mandatory paid private lesson per week during the gymnastics season or school year. A few require private lessons year round. As a gymnastics gym and coaching business model, this is certainly an additional income source. While mandatory, every gymnast on the team gets one-on-one coaching attention. Given both those positives, gyms and coaches should certainly strongly consider mandatory private lessons.
Private Lesson Affordability
The caveat for mandatory private lessons is affordability. Gymnastics is already an expensive sport and many parents may be stretching their budgets for just normal coaching and competition expenses. Private lessons and group semi-private lessons should be discounted if they are contracted over a period of time, like for whole competition season or the whole year. It is also my opinion that the cost of mandatory private lessons should be offset with a strong gymnastics non-profit fund-raising program to cover most of gymnast’s competition expenses. But regardless, if parents have the financial resources and want their gymnast to be successful, regular private lessons are an excellent way to make that happen.
I could very well see creating a team practice schedule that included built in private lessons for every gymnast on floor and beam and was factored into and included in the team fee. This would be an ideal way to deal with individual gymnast problems, get one-on-one time with every gymnast on the team and still allow parents and gymnast to schedule more private work.
Private Lesson Schedule
I have done private lessons all over the world and gymnasts and parents have expressed their satisfaction with the progress their gymnast made in as little as half an hour (a shorter time than I normally like but a necessity to schedule all of the privates that parents and gymnasts wanted in the one day allotted). I normally do one hour private lessons, but prefer a 1&1/2 to two hour sessions, if a gymnast did not have practice that day. I have gymnasts come early to warm up, but do not count that time as part of the private lesson. If I am just working with a gymnast, in general, not to solve a problem, I like to work on things that their normal coach does not or work on some of their skills in very different ways.
Fix Problems with Privates
Private lessons can definitely be a good way to solve individual gymnast’s problems on skills or on weak events for which they require extra practice time. Now, if gymnasts are having specific problems, like learning twisting, for example, private lessons utilizing trampoline and tumble trampoline can definitely be of benefit and efficient in training. Efficient coaching for competition success is often a matter eliminating the largest deductions or improving the weakest events, because there is more room for improvement. Private lessons can be regularly used to boost scores in gymnast’s worst events, in addition to perfecting events.
Personal Contact and Personal Sports Psychology Time
One of the reasons I really like doing private lessons is that it gives me a real good chance to get to know gymnasts personally and to directly and individually use positive psychology with them. Depending on who their coach is, sometimes that is damage control. On other gymnasts it is a chance to really boost their mental progress forward.
Put Privates To Work for You
Basically, I can recommend private lessons to parents, gymnasts, coaches and gym programs. Gymnasts benefit considerably, especially on some events, and for solving problems. So you should plan to use private lessons in your overall plan for your gymnast(s).
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