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For Parents Falls/spots - what is reasonable?

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FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
My 5yo is in an advanced rec class. In the past month, she's fallen off the beam twice. The first time she scared herself more than anything; the second time she got right back up and got on, telling me that's what Shawn Johnson would do.

Anyway, my question for you is.... what is reasonable to expect from her rec coach in terms of spotting and preventing these falls?

Let me clarify that *I* am not concerned about dd - if she wants to be a gymnast, she's going to fall, end of story. She knows this, I know this, it's fine. And I actually think it's GOOD for her in a way.

But I also find myself wondering if two falls in a month in a rec class where the coach is walking alongside and supposedly spotting her is reasonable? They aren't doing anything other than balance exercises and small hops/jumps (ok, she does a roundoff off the beam, but it's never been an issue there). I've kinda been under the impression that they don't let them fall in rec classes, but what do I know? :) She's not a big kid either - 33lbs fully clothed.

So I'm curious to see other parents' opinions!

Again - I'm NOT upset, not planning on complaining, nothing like that... just wondering!!!

Thanks!
 

ginnymac

Parent/Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
386
I don't find that unreasonable at all. Not sure about your dd's case, but lots of young ones' falls are somewhat "jumps".

If she were trying skills way above her ability, I'd be concerned. But 2 falls in a months worth of classes while doing simple walks, jumps is not excessive.

Are the beams very high?
 

FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
The beams aren't quite at full height, but close. And these aren't the "accidentally on purpose" falls (although she's certainly done her fair share of those! What is it about little kids and "falling" on purpose?? LOL)

I wouldn't say the skills were way above her ability by any means - anything new is started on the low beam until they are fairly proficient at it.

DD is a bit of a daredevil anyways (go figure) and the kind of kid who just jumps into things, so I'm surprised she doesn't fall more! :D
 
D

Deleted member 1703

Guest
I think gymnasts need to "learn to fall". This helps them later with harder skills so that they learn to right themselves and are able to turn and fall away from the beam, minimizing damage (to themselves, obviously!).

I, personally, dont think a coach (bless them all!) would/could/should catch every fall from a beam but hopefully would be on hand to catch those falls where the gymnast is about to land on their heads or do themselves a major injury.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Posting purely as a parent with a 5yr old DD in gymnastics, 2 times a month isn't bad at all! I'd say your DD is doing pretty darn well actually lol. Mine falls 2 times a minute if you need a comparison, and yes, it's a low beam :p I write it off as learning about balance and getting comfortable with it. If DD's can jump on the floor just fine, it's not a change in the skill. A spot would only teach them to rely on someone else for the balance they need to achieve themselves.

Only way to learn/get comfy with it is trial and error. As long as that error involves a beam of reasonable height, mats, and a coach who knows to catch if they see a head-meet-floor (or an attempt to add a joint to a limb that doesn't need another!) moment. Safe environment and verbal instruction gives them the chance to put it all together.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
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Sep 25, 2007
3,529
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I think some of the dare devil kids actually fall MORE because they just go for it. No fear.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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2 falls a month is not bad at all. The coach may be spotting the falls in a sense---if she just feels your dd is losing her balance and will land safely on a mat then no need to grab her everytime. In a way she may be teaching her how to fall and that its not as scary and bad as she might think. They do have to learn to fall and then get back up.

You mentioned she was doing little hops/jumps and then roundoffs. A roundoff from the beam is a rather advanced skill(usually seen done as a dismount around L8). Could it be she is learning a cartwheel off? I'd be a little concerned about a child in a rec class trying roundoffs.
 

ginnymac

Parent/Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
386
I'm sure that she means a RO off the end of the beam...hands on beam, feet land on floor.;)
 
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