For those that are familiar with the sport of gymnastics, they certainly understand the training process and what it takes to achieve this sport. However, there are so many others who are curious about the sport yet, are unfamiliar with what it all entails.
This blog is designed more for those who are outside of the competitive gymnastics environment. Although, I coached team level gymnastics for years, I have developed a program that caters to the recreational industry and affiliated sports that have a need for the tumbling and acro skills needed for their particular industries.
In short, this sport is highly complex and more difficult than many people realize. When we watch Elite gymnastics and tumblers on the television or sporting events, the athletes make the skills look so simple. The reality is, these athletes have trained for years, almost every day for 4-6 hours or more each day. This is extreme training!! I know- I’ve been there.
For parents watching their children participate in a recreational gymnastics program where they attend one day a week, it may seem like it takes an extremely long time to acquire even the basic skills. This is normal. Of course, every student is different and some may learn quicker than others. It is vital, in my opinion, that every student involved with this sport needs to start from the beginning and develop a strong foundation of basic elements in order to have the ability to achieve higher level skills.
We do not learn to run before we learn to walk and we do not learn a back flip before we learn a backward roll and so on. I often get calls from parents of cheerleaders who are getting ready for try-outs. They want private lessons so the student can learn a back handspring in two weeks. Well, if the student isn’t already really close to having this skill, this in an unrealistic goal. In our program, students are not introduced to this skill unless they have a great round-off and other strong basic elements.
Consistency is the key in training. Through proper training environments, the athlete will progress in a positive and safe manner.