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For Coaches Coaching young boys competitive gymnastics.

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munchkin3

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Jun 6, 2008
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It seems that coaching young boys is quite a challenge for coaches....Not only are there so few boys in comparison to girls, but there are so many different ways that they learn the skills, personalities, etc. I am sure that coaching girls is just as difficult, but it seems boys are harder....

Why is this? Is it the skills themselves that are harder, or the fact that strength is so important? That boys are much more immature? Are there more boys being taught gymnastics solely because the boys likes it, but have little talent? (Gyms still want to compete their boys' teams with the few they have!!)

I have seen teams with groups of young boys 6-9 that are SO refined and detailed....How is this detail taught without boring the boys with repetition...What ways can boys be taught to stick with the sport without burning them out?? Is there a specific kind of personality that works best?

I have made a concious effort NOT to make my sons' gymnastics a priority to the family..(although it still takes up alot!). We are his biggest fans at meets, he never misses practice, and he knows that we will help him go as far as he wants to.
He also knows that when gymnastics truly becomes a chore, and NO fun for a long period of time, it is time to move on or take a break.

It does however seem almost impossible to keep advancing through level 5-6-7 through puberty etc, and keeping these boys interested in the sport. It almost seems we have to make it 'no big deal' in order to make it last!!!

Any thoughts on how to keep this GREAT sport for boys going long term?
J
 
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BlairBob

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Young boys often have more energy to burn in uncontrolled manners and shorter attention spans.

Strength is very important to go anywhere on the apparatus in MAG. You can muddle through just like girl's bars but pbars, pommel, and rings just require way more strength.

I have had boys as young as 4 or 5 who would just have perfect pointed toes, straight arms and what not. Just something they did without having to tell them. Sometimes these would be boys with older sisters doing gym as well, while other times that is just how they were. Some will be more attentive and harder workers that other boys their ages, and some would really push themselves a lot harder than other guys. They just " wanted " it more than others.

There is something to be said about pacing most of the boys in gym as they age as they can only do so much. However, I have had some that were in a way different league than their peers and just had a bit of that obsessive-compulsive drive to perfect things.

There is something about getting boys to stay in the sport past puberty to where they can really start training the big stuff. Even if they are L9 at a young age due to Future Stars, they can't really train a lot of the powerful moves. They can train on exemplary technique in basics like circles and flairs, giants, etc.

Boys can also be distracted by the fact there are many more sports available to them and for glory in them for themselves or by their peers, especially once they hit 5 and ball sports come into play.

And lastly, boys even groups that are awesome and controlled sap more energy mentally to myself than girls. I can get a bit annoyed by girl chatter, especially on the tweens or drama of pubescent girls but they tend to never be such little monsters.

Personally, I like games for boys but I prefer to also be quite of the mindset to being tough on boys probably due to my time as an athlete and the coaches I had [ very business oriented with fun being the activity ]
 

munchkin3

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
Country
USA
Thanks for your response...It seems that some of my worries are common....I find my son very easily distracted....dosen't mind wasting time in the gym..... His coach says he is a chatterbox but is doing fine....He has a really good time during practice and at least is not a total stress-head like some of the other young boys on the team (although they are awesome!) My son tends to crank it up late in the season...I know it is not ideal, but....

I don't want him to take this sport SOOO seriously. He already is very committed and loves it.. I think that's enough for an 8 yr old.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Keeping boys who are talented in the sport in the face of other sports from 6-12 is trying as well as keeping the really talented ones past 13 as they get into high school sports where fame and further possibilities are much more reachable than gymnastics is tough. Especially when the physical material rewards of gymnastics are dimunitive compared to the other popular sports out there.
 
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