How to Make Gymnastics Boring

Where I go for gymnastics, it is a total disaster. We don’t do something different. We just do the same thing every Saturday. We should do something harder like doing handstands on top of the bar and swinging all around the bars. That will be ok for me.

I completely agree with you. Even if you only come one day per week, there should be variety in your gymnastic class. Personally, I always recommend that gymnasts go at least twice a week, so there is more of a training effect. But if you are bored going one time a week, who wants to be twice as bored going two times per week?

This should be a wakeup call to your gymnastics class coaches as well as gym coaches and owners everywhere. Gymnastics is a naturally fun sport of nearly infinite variety. If your cannot keep your classes interesting, you are definitely not doing your job.

Gymnasts (and other kids) like to go to the gym just to play around at birthday parties and open gyms. If you cannot make your classes more interesting than just doing that, you need to think seriously about just what it is you are doing.

It is, in one sense, very easy to make gymnasts, and kids in general, happy. If they are learning something new, they are happy. So job one for a coach is to make sure gymnasts learn something every class. To do that, before every class, you need to know what skills each gymnast can already do and what skills you have a good shot at teaching them that day. To do that, you have to be prepared for each class and have kept track of your gymnasts and what they can do.

At every level, there are hundreds of skills you can do. Just putting together two and three skill combinations on beam, floor and trampoline gives you a virtually infinite lesson plan that never has to be the same. And that variety alone makes the class fun. I have seen far too many programs that have a list of maybe forty skills and that is all they ever do, year in and year out. Boring!

If a coach doesn’t have a written plan for the class before they teach, they are not doing the best job possible. I always have a plan for class that has more than can possible be done in the time allotted. That way, if something is not working out as well a I thought, I can switch to something better.

One of the best aspects of gymnastics is the opportunities it provides for individual expression and to be able to find those skills that are uniquely matched to you. This is not in any way limited by level.

In addition to increasing the number of skills your classes are doing, there are also creative ways in which skills may be taught, daily class mini-competitions and the opportunity for personal record setting that can add variety and fun to a gymnastics class.

Coaches, be aware of what your gymnasts are saying and thinking about your classes, do your homework and make sure all of your classes are inspiring, fun and teach gymnasts something every day.

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