What Do You Look For In A Good Gymnast!

Discussion in 'Coach Forum' started by Dani, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. Dani

    Dani Guest

    Hello. Many coaches have different views on what
    is a good gymnast. Maby even your rules of your
    gymn and you expect your gymnast to accept.
    Obviously I am not a coach but, I would love to
    what you think and why, because everyone has
    there own view of a good gymnast! (this does not
    meen skill wise mostly behaviour and such)

  2. Eveningdew

    Eveningdew Parent/Coach

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    My experiences in coaching is to look for determination, correction ability, matureness and a great disposition.

    Skills can be taught to anyone but the great ones show the above abilities.

    Hope that helps! :)
  3. I look for a gymnast to be 4 or 5 years old if they really want to make it elite, i prefer tiny, muscular gymnasts, although tall, slender & graceful ones can often be beautiful to work with. They have to be reasonably flexible and reasonably strong (not very flexible or very strong, because if you are very naturally good at one, 9 times out of 10 your not good at the other one!) I also look for a mature mind, and a positive attitude.
  4. ACoach78

    ACoach78 Coach Coach Club Owner

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    In terms of physical attributes, I prefer these things...

    Fairly strong, slender/lean/athletic build, decent flexibility, body awareness/coordination, decent posture (i.e. no obvious issues that will be difficult to correct), fast-twitch dominant (good jumper, runs fast, etc.), etc.

    For the mental side, I prefer these qualities...

    Mental maturity relative to the age group (i.e. acts older than everyone else at the same age), listens, is willing and desires to work hard because the gymnast strives to be the best, shows a great deal of passion, is relatively courageous and willing to try new things, takes direction and criticism without confrontation, and mental toughness when facing adverse situations.

    Quite honestly, I look more at the mental side of things than the physical. If I can find a kid who can meet my desires physically, then that's great. But, if the gymnast doesn't have it mentally, then their talent is useless. As long as the child doesn't have physical attributes that would be very difficult to change via training (i.e. obese kids, etc.), then I can live with their body imperfections. With good training, most aspects can be corrected to some degree. I'm more concerned with whether or not they're tough mentally.

  5. JBS

    JBS Administrator Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast CB Booster

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    A fun, positive, hardworking attitude. Age, level, ability, and body type make no difference to me. I enjoy teaching all levels of gymnastics.

    I focus on developing a strong sense of team.
  6. ~JEM~

    ~JEM~ New Member

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    gosh i really love this thread. At our gym I got given a group of the 'non-elite' potential kids (ie were too tall, not right body etc) but these kids worked soooooo hard that they have now ended up ahead of the other group.
    SO, I now look for kids who are going to work hard, determined, obviously high potential for gym as it is competitive stream but dont have to be future olympians or national level gymnasts. If a kid works hard they can be great, from what I have seen out of this group the most talented have not turned out to be the best.

    Commitment is a huge one for me. A kid needs to be commited.

    Also fun! They cant take it too seriously or its not fun anymore. Kids who come to gym for fun, but also to succeed are the best to work with.
    Most importantly.... a kid who loves gymnastics, loves being in the gym and loves everything about it.
  7. Dani

    Dani Guest

    Hah I was just wondering because Im tall/muscular
    My parents arnt very suportive of me doing gymnastics
    cause they think you have to be a tiny stick thin girl to
    be able to do anything they think gymn is a big joke
    and all the girls on t.v fake it and they only have to be
    trained for a year or so and anyone can do gymnstics.
    I guess there paying for the classes so its ok. I guess.
  8. hammy

    hammy Coach/Gymnast

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    My coach used to say "I'll take a girl that works hard over a girl with talent anyday," and I personally agree (now if the girl/gymnast has talent and works hard--also excellent). When looking for a "good gymnast" I look for kids that are willing to work hard, be serious (and fun-depending on the situation), dedicated, listen, willing to make corrections, be open minded, mental maturity, and has a decent bodily awareness. Flexibility right off the bat isn't a requirment of mine, because that can be worked on. I do however, expect a decent amount of strength, but that too can be worked on.

    Body size and type doesn't really matter to me. Anyone can be successful, as long as they're willing to work hard and stay committed.
  9. Geoffrey Taucer

    Geoffrey Taucer Admin/Coach/Gymnast Coach CB Booster

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    There are two things I look for in a gymnast: they need to work hard and they need to enjoy it. I really don't care at all if they're talented, or if they have the rigth body type, or if they are likely to ever have the capability to get to the upper levels. I have coached a number of kids who are quite untalented and would likely never make it past level 6, who are in the bottom 5 at every meet they go to, but who clearly enjoy the sport and who work very hard in practice, and that's fine with me.

    I think hammy phrased it quite well, but I'll add a little something to it: I'll take a kid who works hard and has fun over a kid with talent any day.
  10. audra

    audra Coach & Mom CB Booster

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    This is a great comment! I don't care if I am teaching a cartwheel or a double back its a great feeling when the student gets it. And if they love what they are doing then it is fun for the coach.

    It can be so frustrating to get a kid with all the talent in the world who has no desire or drive to learn.

    Body type and age do not make a gymnast - dedication and determination is what matters!
  11. Dani

    Dani Guest

    Im glad to hear all of your opinions
    and all the different things you like
    but in general im seeing a pattern of
    a lust for maturity in your young gymnys
    and not just pure talent and body shape!
  12. hammy

    hammy Coach/Gymnast

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    That's a great comment! Thanks GT for adding the importance of having fun!
  13. Dani

    Dani Guest

    I agree! ^_^
  14. Anna

    Anna New Member

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    For elite talent-ID'ing purposes (and this is with the input of many international coaches), chosen at 5/6:

    Physical:
    Shorter than average, small body (not necessarily thin bones --> too prone to breakage).
    Everything in correct proportions, although there's debate over this.
    Wide shoulders, narrow hips (think Boginskaya).
    Fast twitch - the jumps, sprints, reaction.
    Looking at parents to get clues for what lies ahead, especially throughout puberty.

    Character
    Slightly twangy, annoying, flitty, fidgeting, bratty, cocky, showy - anything out of the ordinary.

    ~~~~~~

    Me personally: I'll coach any kid, regardless of whether they're going to be the next Olympic champion or not. My only condition: that they want to be there, and they want to put the work in. I'll put the work in and they'll put the work in and we'll work together to get you to where you want to be.

    I'd happily take a group of the "non talented" kids too - I'm living proof that there are kids who would never be accepted by talent ID (I would never have), however, if they work hard enough, they can still achieve. No one ever expected I'd make elite, that's why I love training so much and so hard: because I'm proving everyone wrong.

    (And you're never too tall/old/heavy: it's all relatitive. I'm 20, 5"7, and I just got my giants :D).
  15. Dani

    Dani Guest


    Ok this is my matching up to stuff (this is the truth)
    My hight im about 5'3 ill be about 5'6-5'8 when im finished
    growning and stuff!

    I have a good proportion body (some people say my legs
    are longer than average but thats not true)

    I have wide shoulders but wide hips!

    Ive got very good reaction time!

    Oh and charicture I have one word for me 'Mental' ^_^
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