Taking over a Level 4 Program

Discussion in 'Coach Forum' started by jpow, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. jpow

    jpow Coach Coach

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    Hi everyone! I have some questions and hopefully you'll have some advice for me!

    I took over the head coach position at my rec gym for the girls level 4 team. Our girls had a nice fall season, but didn't really place well over the competitive area I'm in (West Texas & Dallas areas). We consistently score around 9.5 on vault, and 8.5 on the other events, which occasionally places but most of the top girls are scoring 9.6+ on all events. I have a group of NINE who are just now moving up to my group and they are all young (7-8) and super talented IMO. I really think they have the ability to score high like the other teams, but our problem is our basics program at our gym doesn't really refine a lot of skills, so even though they have all their level four skills we have to go back and work everything from just kicking on toe to proper lunges and levers into and out of skills, basic form flaws, ect.

    My fours practice 3 hours a day, twice a week. We almost always spend a full hour on tumbling each day to stay with team which results in all my fours knowing RO + BHS + Back Tucks, and FHS + Fronts. But this isn't quite conductive to having them score well just doing a RO + BHS since there are so many other parts to a floor routine.

    We try to hit each event for about 30 minutes in the remaining 2 hours. This doesn't really allow us to do much on each event, more of a simple warm-up, drilling routines, then some super basic conditioning (hollow holds, push-ups, tuck-ups, ect)

    My gym is getting new ownership over Summer 2013 so I have some ability to change how we do our workouts in entirely. I know we really need work on more body positions, and just good technique but sometimes it's frustrating for both the coaches and the gymnasts to drill exercises that should have been done in level 1.

    I really think with the new compulsories coming out that we can become competitive with other teams and score 9.6+ on most events with these new girls. Thanks for any and all advice!
     

  2. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    What is the overall goal of your team/program? Be competitive (or win) in the compulsory levels...or develop a high level team program?
     
  3. jpow

    jpow Coach Coach

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    Right now, our high level team isn't very expansive. Right now, my gym has 17 level fours, 4 level fives, 2 sixes, 2 sevens, and an eight. We really are in the process of rebuilding our program. We usually like to prep girls to be good in high school, which here uses level 6 for compulsories and level 8 optionals. But that's a far away goal for these girls. I really just want them to be competitive now and develop better basics this far along in their gymnastics.
     
  4. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I ask only because developing 9.6+ scores in the compulsory levels may not necessarily be the most productive use of time if your goal is to create a high level optional team a few years down the line. We like to see 9.0 - 9.5...we do not take the time to go above that. We use that time to develop them for the future.

    For 6 hours a week...your gymnasts are getting great scores.

    If you want higher scores...increase hours...and do more routine work. Do not move your gymnasts up unless they have satisfied a certain scoring criteria...36.5 or 37.0 three times during the season for example.

    I do not recommend the above^^^...but that is what I would do if my goal was to get 9.6+ scores at L4.
     

  5. jpow

    jpow Coach Coach

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    So you think that instead of hard-core focusing on level 4 for those 9.6+, I should just continue skill progression so they can be stronger gymnasts down the road?

    Also, should I continue training where I try to do all four events in one day, resulting in 30 min per event. Or should I start splitting it up so I have more time for drills (something I almost hardly do) and conditioning?
     
  6. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I would get them into the 9's...but yes...stronger gymnasts down the road.
     
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  7. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    It's up to you...there are pros and cons of anything. I like all four events for compulsories. One of our workouts we go 15 min. warm-up...30 min. condition...30 min. each event...15 min. flex.
     
  8. Aussie_coach

    Aussie_coach Moderator/Coach Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Gymnast Club Owner

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    I to suggest that you increase their hours. In Australia our levels are similar to your and the average level 4 group would do 14 hours a week. 6 hours is standard for about level 2.

    You can get a lot done in 30 minutes on an event if you are organised and prepared and the kids get into it and get moving quickly.
     
  9. Pineapple_Lump

    Pineapple_Lump Coach Coach Proud Relative Judge

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    I would not spend an hour on tumbling each session if I only had six hours in the gym.

    In your situation this is how I would structure my training time

    Day One
    20 mins basic tumble warm up
    10 mins Floor dance skills/routine dance
    20 mins stretch
    10 mins Handstand/press progressions and drills
    30 mins Conditioning/strength and basic shapes
    30 mins Beam dance skills and rows of complex
    30 mins Vault (competition style vault)
    30 mins Bars (kipping and casting)

    Day two
    30 mins trampoline warm up
    30 mins stretch
    30 minutes Strength/conditioning and basic shapes
    30 mins bars (circling and swinging) My backward roll to push up/handstand would be included as a bar side station when competent
    30 mins beam (handstands and acro)
    30 mins floor tumbling
     
  10. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I agree with Pineapple, see if you can skip that hour of tumbling at the start of practice, it could be much better spent doing something else (conditioning, basics, flexibility, floor/beam dance). I think a basic floor warm-up complex is a great thing for this level, but not if it's not catered specifically to their needs, making sure they have the foundation for higher level skills rather than pushing them through the actual skills.
    It sounds like your kiddos are doing great for the limited number of hours! Best wishes as you move forward with this group, I miss coaching level 4!
     
  11. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I also would not do 1 hour of floor.
     
  12. iluvgym

    iluvgym Coach Coach Club Owner

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    I would try to add a third day. In a 3 hour workout I would do a 5-10 minute run (skipping, jumping, etc), and 20-25 minute stretching/body shaping (hollow/arch/side arch holds, lifts and rocks). Thirty minutes per event and 30 minutes conditioning. I wouldn't do an hour of ANY event with level 4s. I know the level 4s at our gym probably can pay attention to 30 or 40 minutes max per event and then it's time to do something different, lol. I would also include tramp work.

    If they concentrate on excellent form in the warmup and conditioning time, you won't have to spend a great deal of time on the routines to do well because you won't have to waste time correcting form or shape issues. You sound very motivated so good luck!
     
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