Working Presentation with Young Gymnasts

Hi All,

Today I wanted to share a few quick (and very good) videos, that may help you work presentation with your little ones. This can be a struggle for a lot of people, and the one thing I have to stress is that this can’t be an occasional thing. Presentation needs to be worked on continually, even in places where you may not think it needs to be. Standing in line, wandering out of dismounts during summer etc.

working presentation with little ones

This first video is of gymnasts using a Style Rope on beam. That being said, you can make your own (if you are sewing savy), or have your kids just use a thick jump rope (the main part of the Style Rope). I swear, it works great. I did a Quick Tip similar to it a while ago. It makes a dramatic difference in terms of presentation.

This second video is a nice little video on leg tightening/straightening. This is something easily incorporated into a warm-up, and if you don’t do it every day, those muscles just aren’t going to be there. I often see coaches asking gymnasts to be tight when they haven’t done enough work with those muscles to sustain it. Don’t make that mistake.

Keys to working presentation with young gymnasts:

1) Partners, partners, partners – learning to “feel” what their bodies are doing is a process. Partners can help tell each other when their arms aren’t in the right place or when they bend their knees. It’s important to remind partners to be honest, but kind. Their job is to help their partner have better form. Let partners count skills for each other. Ie. “only count your partners handstand if she levers out, has straight legs, and her arms are by her ears etc.” This gives them some responsibility over their gymnastics.

2) Teach them what doing it wrong feels like – Have them put their arms too high, then too low, then in the right spot. Same thing with knees. Have them bend them, then partially straighten them, then lock them out. Do this over and over so they begin to feel the difference and pay attention to it.

3) Use props – when kids are young they LOVE props. Have them do straight leg squeezes – pushing the backs of their knees into the floor squishing a plushy toy. Or have them do releve holds having to hold their heels over a ball against the wall. The props make it more fun for them.

4) DON’T LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS – They can do this, they can learn what pretty is and how to do it. You just have to be patient, consistent, and don’t settle for something you don’t want to just because you (or they) are tired that day.

Train hard!

 

3 Comments

  1. V says:

    Is the partner in the second video just placing their hands on the backs of the legs or are they pushing at all?

  2. […] (via Swing Big – Working Presentation with Young Gymnasts) […]

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