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Giants

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Gingercat

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My daughter is trying to learn how to do a giant so she can compete level 8 this spring. Our gym does not have a strap bar - which drives me a little nuts, but is what it is. Her dad is very frustrated and thinks she should have it by now. ( if she does two in a row she can pretty consistantly do the 2nd one now so I think we are getting close to getting over on the first one) Can about how long does it usually take to get this skill? My daughter is 9 1/2.
 

canadiangymmom

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Jun 26, 2006
566
Ontario, Canada
I'm sorry I can't help you on the giant question, my dd isn't learning them yet. I do know that there are a couple of 9 year olds at our gym who have them, but also 12 and 13 year olds who don't. It may just be like many gym skills, entirely different from one kid to the next.

From your description it sounds as though she's really close. Good luck to her:)

Canadian Gym Mom

p.s welcome to the board!
 
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gracefulone

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WOW! First of all, I'm very impressed at the level your dd is at for being only nine and a half. Secondly, one of our two level nines last year never made her giants in a single meet and she was 16. It's a tough thing, and will come when it does.
 
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myjalark

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About the giant

My daughter is 8 and just got her giants a few weeks ago. Not having a strap bar is a HUGE drawback when learning giants but can be overcome with a lot of spotting on a high bar. It only took my daughter about a month to learn her giants. I would suggest getting private lessons a few times a week if she needs them this coming season she will need them to perfect the skill in time.
 

gymbabisMom

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Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Giants are like kips, some kids get them right away, some kids take a long time. Gymbabi almost had them, broke her elbow and had to start over.competed 2nd season of level 7 with no giant, but was working on them. Fractured her foot really bad right before state (where she was hopefully going to do it) and had to start over again. She's finally got them and competing them, but she thinks thier terrible and is only competing them because her coach told her she had to. And she will be 15 the end of this month.
 
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gracefulone

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^^^ Hers can't be as terrible as she thinks. I've seen some of the scariest giants ever, and they still keep going for it. Also, I've noticed our girls struggling w/them. Like I said before, although we're only ymca, not club, our level nine didn't make them all season, and one of the level eights made them only occasionally.
 

JBS

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Does your gym have a high bar?

My daughter is trying to learn how to do a giant so she can compete level 8 this spring. Our gym does not have a strap bar - which drives me a little nuts, but is what it is. Her dad is very frustrated and thinks she should have it by now. ( if she does two in a row she can pretty consistantly do the 2nd one now so I think we are getting close to getting over on the first one) Can about how long does it usually take to get this skill? My daughter is 9 1/2.
Does your gym have an extra men's high bar? A strap bar is just a piece of PVC (wrapped in tape) on a high bar with some straps that you can buy from Ten-0 for $40. It should be on a dedicated bar because it takes all the chalk off the bar.

Sharp's Gymnastics Academy has a great example below: http://www.sharpsgym.com
 

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hammy

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I learned giants when I was 6 years old and I wasn't allowed to use the strap bar. I actually think it's a great idea not to because the strap bar does the giant for you; it doesn't allow you to learn how to shift. Not shifting is where most people have trouble learning their giants--if you don't shift or you shift too early it puts the brakes on and you won't make them. I learned giants by doing tons of sets with my coach spotting, and by trying them on my own.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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A strap bar is not necessary to learn giants any more than a barrel mat is necessary to learn a backhandspring.

The thing about a giant is that, similar to a kip, it's all about timing. What this means in terms of how long it takes to learn is that it could be days, it could be weeks, it could be months, it could even be over a year. But once you can do a giant properly, it takes absolutely no effort, same as a kip.

In other words, be patient. She'll get it when she gets it. But if you're frustrated that she doesn't have it, do not, what ever you do, let her see your frustration. Especially with a girl that age, showing frustration or dissappointment is one of the most destructive (if not the most destructive) things that a parent can do in terms of helping their child to improve.
 

JBS

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Hammy and Geoffrey make very good points. Now that I think about it...strap bars are really more useful after you have your giants. I learned with my coach spotting me on a regular bar.

There's nothing worse than watching a coach strap a gymnast to the bar and throw them over the top while the poor kid has absolutely no control.:eek:

Here's an example:

The gymnast isn't really doing much...all the coach. Nothing wrong with learning this way, but this gymnast still has a long ways to go.
[YOUTUBE]6eIxMrYgG_E[/YOUTUBE]
 
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gracefulone

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I have finally started opening my shoulders on my tap swings(last night) and my coach said that giants wouldn't be that hard for me, but our gym doesn't really work new skills until after state in late March. I really want to try to work them for level 7 b/c no one in the WI ymca program ever does them at seven, only eight.
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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"I really want to get this skill, becuase nobody else is doing it."

I really wish more of my kids thought like that.
 
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gracefulone

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That's funny. It's true though. I don't want to do the standard level seven stuff for the ymca circuit in WI. On beam, i want to use a fronthandspring as my flight element, instead of a bhs. For my connectiopn, I've worked a little bit on getting my front walkover cartwheel, instead of b/wo b/wo. The coach wants my leap-jump pass to be 180 leap-straddle jump-tuck jump 1/2 turn. I guess I've always wanted to try something different.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Definitely a good thing. Like I said, I wish more of my kids thought like that.
 
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hammy

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I think giants are a must for level 7s...you did the baby giant as a 6 next step is giants at 7. I say go for it--they're fun tricks--one of my favorites!!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Definitely a lot of fun; I hated high bar until I learned giants, then it instantly became my favorite event.
 
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gracefulone

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We're not allowed to work new tricks really until the end of the season, so I'm def. looking forward to the end of June(natioanls) for more reason than one.
 
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gracefulone

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The optionals coach made an exception last night on beam! I worked front w/o front hs. It was really fun.
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
I agree that a strap bar is not essential, but it can be helpful. It can help a gymnast get a feel for the body positions they need to get. It doesn't replace coaching and it won't help you learn to shift, but if you have one there's no need to avoid it. It's sort of like working skills on the trampoline. You are learning about what goes where, but you won't be able to throw a 13 ft high layout on the floor. It's a tool.
 
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