General Gymnastics

Our structured General gymnastics programme is for boys and girls of all abilities from ages 5 to 16. The children will learn a variety of gymnastics skills on various apparatus in a fun, friendly and safe environment, with support from our British Gymnastics qualified coaches. Throughout the year, gymnasts will learn new skills and routines, and work towards the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards as well as the Leaps & Bounds floor badges. Gymnasts will also have the opportunity to display their talents to their parents on the last day of term. This always good for parents to see their child’s development and progress.

Timetable

Tuesday4:30pm – 5:30pm (Ages 5-7)
5:45pm – 7:15pm (Invite Only)
£8
£12
Wednesday5:30pm – 6:30pm (Ages 5-7)£8
Friday4:30pm – 5:30pm (Ages 5-7)
5:45pm – 6:45pm (Ages 7+)
£8
Saturday1:00pm – 2:00pm (Ages 5+)£8

Why Gymnastics?

Gymnastics combines many areas that are important to a child’s physical development, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power, and discipline. There are also general health and social benefits such as lessons in commitment and discipline.

Gymnastics requires that children develop focus and concentration. Simply keeping your mind on the move or routine you are executing while others are moving around your apparatus or other equipment on the floor is a great lesson for children. Working hard and accomplishing goals builds confidence and self-worth. Gymnastics encourages children to push themselves to do better and to work outside of their comfort zone. Learning coordination skills helps children to fine-tune their motor skills and develop a good sense of body awareness.

Ultimately, gymnastics is a sport that helps children achieve healthy physical development. But it also gives them personal and social skills that will stay with them and help them for the rest of their lives.

Structure

1 hour general gymnastics class

Cardio/ Pulse raiser – 5mins
Stretching- 15mins
Apparatus – 15 mins
Floor- 15 mins
Conditioning/ Cool Down – 10mins

Cardio

The pulse raising activity, usually in the form of games or races, is a crucial part of the session. The warm-up should gently prepare the body for exercises by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation; this will loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles. The gymnasts muscles are now warmed up and ready for the stretching part of the session.

Stretching

The physical preparation of gymnasts is just as important as practicing the actual skills. Stretching is crucial for skill development, as without sufficient range of motion gymnasts will never be able to complete certain skills. Therefore we incorporate it into every lesson. Dynamic Stretching, or “stretching with movement”, is used to increase their range of motion and reduce muscle stiffness. Static Stretching “stationary stretching” is used to elongate the muscles and increase flexibility. Ensuring that muscles are properly warmed up and stretched also reduces injuries such as muscle tears and mentally prepares gymnasts for body positions they will encounter throughout their session.

Also in competitions gymnasts receive deductions when they cannot reach a certain position. For example when performing any skill that shows splits, if the full angle required is not met they will receive a deduction off their score. It is important that gymnasts become more flexible to improve their confidence and variety of movements they can complete.

Apparatus

The gymnasts will then be spilt into groups based on ability and have 15 minutes to practice skills on a piece of apparatus. These consist of the beam, bars and vault. For boys they will also get to use the boys apparatuses such as the pommel horse, high bar, parallel bars and rings. Each week gymnasts will focus for 15 minutes on one particular skill on one apparatus. The piece of apparatus set up and skills practiced will change each week for variation. All our session plans are designed in a circuit format with lots of side stations specific to the particular skill of the week. These are to keep the children busy and always occupied, as well as giving them a better understanding and breakdown of each move as well as the necessary strength to complete the move.

Floor

On the floor gymnasts will usually complete a circuit of stations all designed to help learn and perfect one particular move. For example forward walkovers, or handsprings. Again the floor skill chosen will change each week. Sometimes they will participate in group activities such as acrobatic gymnastics or team building activities where they work together to give corrections and help improve their understanding of a skill.

We also incorporate rhythmic aspects of gymnastics and give the gymnasts a chance to use hand apparatus such as hoops, balls and ropes. We also get the gymnasts to practice their floor routines with a coach so that they are ready for their assessments. As well as floor badges they will also practice their British Gymnastics Proficiency Award skills so that when they come to be assessed they are competent and confident in how the skills must be completed in order to pass. They are usually assessed for each type of badge (Floor Badge and BG Badge), twice a year.

Cool Down/Conditioning

This part of the session is either used for some conditioning or strengthening activities for the gymnasts. Either in one big group or in partners the children will work together in completing various activities all purely to increase endurance and build muscle to make them stronger. As well as flexibility, strength is another major aspect to gymnastics that is extremely important and will help the children to progress much faster and become more confident completing the skills.

Sometimes if the coaches feel that one important key learning objective throughout the session was not fully understood by all, this time may be spent going over this again with all gymnasts, for example the correct body shaping of the back during a handstand.

The cooldown is also a good time to reflect on the session, asking the children questions about what things they learnt is excellent to reinforce learning and share ideas. As coaches we also like to ask them whether they enjoyed themselves as well as which activities they enjoyed the most. This helps us to keep creating interesting and fun lesson plans that they enjoy.

If you have any more questions about our classes please get in contact with us.