Young gymnasts and their development

Whenever you see a child with the natural physical abilities in your program, it will give you an excitement. Generally the types of physical attributes catch your eyes are fast running speed, good physical strength, flexibility, agility and a good coordination.

However, it is very difficult to tell whether she is going to be a good gymnast or not until she is in the program for a while and start learning the skills.

Usually when the child is around 6 to 8 years old and in the compulsory levels, we will start seeing more of a separation among the children. By this time, the children have most likely developed their personality, some characteristics as well as the desire to learn and improve gymnastics.

Once the child is introduced to the competition, we can see the whole picture of the child and we can easily tell which girl is really talented for gymnastics.

If you can find enough numbers of children with similar abilities and is able to create a group, this is the ideal. Then, you can offer a program that will be catered toward their ability and you can make them move faster.

Most of the talented gymnasts will go through the compulsory levels very quickly. The problem is that the compulsory routines include very limited amount of basic skills that are important for developing the good optional gymnastics.

By this time, these talented gymnasts who want to be on the fast track need to start learning vast area of basic skills on each event.

As they work more on the basic skills and become efficient in some areas, they must start learning some complex skills. Also the development of the air (spacious) awareness will add the new dimension to their gymnastics.

They need to start working on the trampoline, mini-tramp or tumble track to gain more air time in the air so that they can start twisting or flipping more in the air.

Even around this stage, the physically talented gymnast will show the separation among them in learning speed as well as the quality of the executions. However, the mental attributes starting to weigh more around this stage of their development as well.

For example, the fear could interfere or slow down their learning speed a lot. Also, the intensity of training (quality of each turn) will start affecting a lot more than before. A child who is not mentally tough, will not be able to keep up with the other’s learning speed especially when they are attempting unfamiliar skill.

Also the competitiveness of the gymnasts will make the difference in learning speed. For example, the teammate is making the skill successfully will motivate more for the competitive girl. The competitive girl always wants to learn the skill first or do it better than the other girl.

When you are able to create the environment where all the similar ability gymnasts are together in a group, or talented young gymnasts are part of the older and better gymnast, they tend to excel more.

They are constantly wants to be challenged and they need to feel that they are continuously improving themselves. It is very exciting to work with such gymnasts.

However, it is very difficult to find many young talents like them. Have you had a chance to find the talents like them in your program?

Have fun coaching!

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