For Coaches Frustration

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marie83

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Mar 23, 2009
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One of my gymnasts is becoming increasingly frustrated on bars - she has been part of our squad since she was 6 - she was 8 this year and moved into my group in Feb. Since she has been with me she has improved on all events except Bars.

Although she is talented, she seems to have hit a plateau on bars at the moment and it almost seems like she isn't even trying. We've been working a particular skill for a couple of weeks now and it hasn't improved. It seems like she is happy with it the way it is, but I know that she will get big deductions for it because it is technically quite bad. I've spoken to her about it and I thought we were getting somewhere on Saturday, but today I just had tears and tantrums becase she didn't want to do it my way! We are both getting frustrated with eachother and no-one is getting anywhere!

I think I might get her working on something else over the next few sessions and then go back to this skill, I might also video it as it is now, and after a few more sessions, film it again and see how it has improved.

I'm kind of only typing this to have a rant and get it out of my system, but if anyone has any words of wisdom for me, i'd really appreciate it!

Marie
 
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MissBear

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May 4, 2009
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I would definately move the focus away from that skill - maybe have her do 5 at the beginning of the bars session thinking about 1 specific correction. She could then go onto something else for the rest of the time.

Also maybe could you go back to some progressions? It really depends on what the skill is, but if you know what particulaly it is that's stopping her from making progress - is it strength, flexibility, or just focussing and wanting to improve it?

Hope that helps a little.
 

marie83

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It is a straddle undershoot dismount - all I've asked her to do is to keep her feet on the bar longer before she shoots them off, at the moment her feet are coming off the bar pretty much straight away and the bar is 'pinging'
We went back to just doing straddle on and lower down slowly, keeping the feet on the bar for the whole thing, then we sped it up a bit and the feet came off straight away.

I've explained that she has to pull with her arms and push with her feet, I've put her in the position where I want her feet to release, she has told me where they have to release, so I don't really know what the problem is - she won't tell me if there is a reason why her feet come off, she just shrugs and walks away - I'd settle for 'I don't know' - at least it is an answer!

She has been doing this skill with another coach since she first started, so pretty much 2 years now, and I know the other coach had a hard time getting her to do it.
The trouble is that the only alternative skill to this is a fly away which I really don't think she will get in time.

I also have trouble getting her to do her kip properly - again, she just won't listen to my corrections and carries on doing it her way. She is a very stubborn little girl!

I guess I will keep battling on - I'll explain to her and her mum why it is important that we get it right and then perhaps work on other skills aswell.

Thanks for your comments!
 

bogwoppit

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A good drill I have seen for this is to place a porta pit (or a big pile of mats above waist height) in front of the low bar. Have them do the dismount and tell them the aim is to end up on their backs on the mat stack. They have to keep their feet on or they'll just swing into the pile, the only way to get up onto the stack is keep those toes on the bars.

You can adjust the stack height and distance as they progress. It works well if you want to twist the dismount, as then they need to open later and rotate onto their fronts.

Good luck!
 

gymch34

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Aug 2, 2008
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east coast
:)I agree w/ going back to basics & doing the drills.
It does sound like she is pushing your buttons. I would step away from this skill for a few days, then go back to it. Give her (and the rest of the kids) 2 turns to make corrections, if she does not, stop working the skill & have her move on to something else that isnt very fun. The kids in her group who DO make the necessary changes will get to move on to something fun, flyaway drills, etc- whetever they like to do that motivates them.

The more she sees you frustrated, the more power she has. Make sure you talk calmly when you say- "everyone has 2 turns to make this correction" and when she does not make it say calmly, "ok, susie & sally, you did not make the correction, so please do 10 of xx drill or 10 leg lifts (whatever type of drill or conditioning that will improve their skill.) Lily & Milly, DID make the correctlion, so please set up the flyaway drills & I will spot you."

That way the kids that are doing what you ask are getting the attention, not the ones that are not. When she asks why she didnt get to do the flyaway drill, explain calmly that you are trying to help her, and as soon as she can make the correction on XX skill, she too can join the flyaway group.

I think you'll see an improvement, but be prepared, her tactics of getting attention for doing the wrong thing has worked for a while, so you'll need to be consistent w/ this technique w/ all the kids. Hope this helps!
 

marie83

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Mar 23, 2009
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West Midlands, England
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:)I agree w/ going back to basics & doing the drills.
It does sound like she is pushing your buttons. I would step away from this skill for a few days, then go back to it. Give her (and the rest of the kids) 2 turns to make corrections, if she does not, stop working the skill & have her move on to something else that isnt very fun. The kids in her group who DO make the necessary changes will get to move on to something fun, flyaway drills, etc- whetever they like to do that motivates them.

The more she sees you frustrated, the more power she has. Make sure you talk calmly when you say- "everyone has 2 turns to make this correction" and when she does not make it say calmly, "ok, susie & sally, you did not make the correction, so please do 10 of xx drill or 10 leg lifts (whatever type of drill or conditioning that will improve their skill.) Lily & Milly, DID make the correctlion, so please set up the flyaway drills & I will spot you."

That way the kids that are doing what you ask are getting the attention, not the ones that are not. When she asks why she didnt get to do the flyaway drill, explain calmly that you are trying to help her, and as soon as she can make the correction on XX skill, she too can join the flyaway group.

I think you'll see an improvement, but be prepared, her tactics of getting attention for doing the wrong thing has worked for a while, so you'll need to be consistent w/ this technique w/ all the kids. Hope this helps!
I like your idea!
I don't think she is doing it for attention though - on the other apparatus she listens and really tries to improve, it is just bars where she seems to settle for what she thinks is good enough. She actually gets upset when she thinks I am getting cross with her. I think there must be an underlying problem with the skill - so going back to basics is one thing I will definately do today.
 
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gymnut1

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I build a little wall from preschool blocks in front of a single low bar and get them to shoot right over it to land without knocking it down. They have real fun trying to outdo each other to be the first. It helps when their feet are quite close to their hands so to start with I help them climb up and position their feet properly then I just let them go. From the high bar I like the idea of holding a noodle to go over.
 
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