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For Coaches Do you hate home gyms

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littlekateskate

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So how much do you hate home gyms. Do you wish some kids would get them, lol.

We have a balance beam, mats, wedges, trampoline. And that is is so far. Its for my kids to practice, play, ect. We dont have clinics on sunday evenings or anything like that.

But at some level isnt it of some help for these kids to get extra strenth and balance at home. I mean really what can going to the gym once a week really do for someone if they dont practice it at home.

Arent there some skills you want your kids to go home and practice before you see them again?

Are there skills that make a huge improvement being done at home (i.e. Handstands, bridges, cartwheels, ect)
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Ohhhh touchy touchy topic for me personally lol. I posted about it somewhere else but nobody answered so I'm glad you started the thread!

The short answer- how good or bad it is depends on the kid and their parents. Vague right? Sorry!

Assuming it's properly set up and safe, I think my opinion after the knee-jerk negative reaction is they're best for high level and purely rec gymnasts. Girls with competitive years under their belt know what they need to work on, whats safe for them to attempt minus a spot, and probably know to stop if what they're doing isn't improving the skill in question. On the other end of the spectrum, a kid who doesn't want to compete can have fun on equipment without having to wait for their turn at the gym! They can be as serious or as silly as they want knowing it's all about enjoyment.

The 'dark side' of the home gym is pretty bad. Repeated attempts at skills with bad form or serious technique flaws turn into habits that need to broken at the gym. I can't describe how hard it is to fix an issue thats reinforced through lord knows how many repetitions at home :( Also, sometimes the parents turn into home coaches based off of nothing more than seeing coaching from behind a pane of glass. When they tell their child they're doing something right at home, then the coach has to tell them how it is, things get awkward fast. No coach wants to have themselves pitted against what a parent is saying at home, because essentially what the kid hears is 'Your mom and dad are wrong, sorry.' No matter how delicately you put it. Unfortunately, that situation is usually caused by a gymnasts and their parents desire to join the team or advance at a fast pace, which makes things even stickier to handle I think.

I think with supervision, a parent who is willing to say 'enough' if things get dangerous or sloppy, and close communication with the childs coach it could be a good thing. My personal experience has colored my thoughts on the topic, but I'm sure home gyms can be fun, productive, and safe for all. If parents and kids know what they want out of that home equipment then realistic expectations can never be a let down or a waste I suppose!
 
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littlekateskate

Guest
Thanks! I only asked after reading how much some coaches on here hated it. :) We do use ours minimally and for very basic stuff. And we definetly make dd quit if she is getting sloppy or looking tired!
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I don't think they're necessary at all and I would say mostly not optimal for progression. Simple strength and conditioning that can be done on a floor is safer and I don't expect kids to work on skills like walkovers at home. If they are active in general they are gaining strength and coordination without risking burnout. Bringing gymnastics home too often in a structured way puts too much pressure on it. Why bother. The point of gymnastics in the long run is not to get everything in one day. I've worked at gyms that don't even do private lessons. The philosophy is that the classes are adequately structured for progression, the kids clearly do progress, and if they can't get it in class time at that point in time they aren't ready to move up.
 
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KBT

Guest
I don't see any need for home gyms. A kid should be spending enough time in the gym to fit her skill level and level of seriousness in the sport. My rec kids might only be in the gym once a week, but they're rec kids so moving up the levels really quickly isn't the end goal. Sometimes doing things like bridges at home can be beneficial for kids who need to work on back flexibility, but you don't need equipment for that.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
4,077
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
I try to discourage them but I know darn well that plenty of kids will have them anyway, so I try to instruct them on what sort of things they can work on at home that will be the most constructive.
 
Jul 12, 2008
90
Charleston, WV
I personally don't like kids doing gymnastics at home at all unless they are working on their flexibility or their strength. They almost always develop horrible habits from teaching themselves gymnastics and it takes forever to get them to do it the right way.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Not only do home gyms not help an athlete improve, they can undermine training in the real gym by reinforcing bad habits beyond simple form problems.

There is a reason why compulsories train a maximum number of hours a week. Being out of the gym, doing other activities actually makes the gymnast a better athlete. They need a break from the activity...and it also makes them want to come back more.

The parents who are often shocked that their kids are "burnt out" and want to quit are often the same ones who have half a gym in their house.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
The parents who are often shocked that their kids are "burnt out" and want to quit are often the same ones who have half a gym in their house.

You lie. Obviously they love it a lot. It's just the coach.

Or something like that anyway.

Seriously I mean gyms can barely afford this equipment. How do people even buy it anyway? Or have space for it. I mean there are animals in my house. there's no usable space. I can't even do a handstand there. Not that in the last 12 million years I have any motivation whatsoever to do things outside of gymnastics.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Seriously I mean gyms can barely afford this equipment. How do people even buy it anyway? Or have space for it. I mean there are animals in my house. there's no usable space. I can't even do a handstand there. Not that in the last 12 million years I have any motivation whatsoever to do things outside of gymnastics.

Totally agree! Expensive and space hogging equipment doesn't seem like the easiest thing to accommodate into a household. I made the mistake of asking how they fit it / where they got it to one parent, I really missed the money making mark in my career choice lol!!

I'm in agreement with everyone that says strength and flexibility are plenty to do at home for improvement as well; and that more could precede burnout.

Despite feeling that way, and having to deal with the bad after effects of home gyms, I'm trying to make some kind of peace with it. Something that just has to be dealt with since we can't furnish gymnasts homes or monitor what kids do outside the gym in their homes. Not a paragraph of defeat though, I still naysay when I get asked or told about home gyms at work.

now that I'm done trying to be pragmatic, yes I do hate home gyms grrrr...
 
Jul 12, 2008
90
Charleston, WV
People make their own equipment. Things like buying a 4x4 inch wooden beam from lowes or something and covering it for a beam or making a set a parallets (spelling) out of pile. Your right, kids don't have a set of uneven bars or a ring tower, but a very few do.
In fact a parent gave us a set of parallel bars that was in his basement. He said his kid would do handstands and put their feet on the ceiling.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
For girls, all they need is a low soft beam, a set of parallettes and a pullup bar.

For boys, I would prefer they have a set of portable rings, parallettes, and a mushroom perhaps.

For both genders, I know one coach that teaches all his kids how to foam roll themselves.

Eventually at higher levels, they are in the gym so much, that when they are home they won't have any spare time to do strength and stretching unless they're lacking which means the program is inefficient ( or they are not eating enough or properly ). By that time of higher levels, hopefully it's skill and technique that needs to be work and not basic physical preparation that is lacking unless you're at a gym that doesn't allow for enough hours. BTDT.

By the time they are doing 15-25 hours per week, they have a hard enough time finishing their school and home work and it's good for them to have some downtime unless they just enjoy having the above stuff. Especially if they are being pushed through other stuff like religious studies or music, scouting, etc.

Having a set of apparatus sounds like it would be too easy for them to incur a major injury. Besides the exorbitant cost of a set of PB, HB, or a Pommel Horse.

So long as they know what they should and should not be working on, tramps may be ok but as with anything, a simple slip-up could lead to a major injury even when they are working skills they have mastered.

If they aren't working out enough during the week because of their level, I would rather their parents have them or arrange for them to work out an extra day at the gym themselves ( some gyms have open gym during the week ) or under supervision from a coach or take a tumbling or trampoline class or private ( which of course can be difficult due to $$ ).
 
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