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Help! New Preschool Coach!

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Oct 15, 2007
60
Tennessee
Okay, so my coach decided that since my parents are having trouble paying, she would let me coach a few preschool classes a week to compensate for my tuition a little bit. But I'm having a little bit of trouble, bc i'm so used to being around girls that can easily do casts (for example), it's like second-nature to them and it's really difficult for me to teach it! I'm still getting trained so hopefully once that's over it'll be easier but until then does anyone have any suggestions on what to do and how to coach them? I know keeping it fun and the energy up is critical but any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

bluefeet

Coach/Proud Parent
May 14, 2007
37
Michigan
I'm a new coach myself (6mos), working with our 'fun meet' pre-team girls. I'm in a similar situation in regards to working with the very new girls. I feel much more productive with the ones working L3-L5 skills...but often helpless with the girls needing the most basic skills.

What I have accepted is that it will take time, and a lot of work on my part. Most beneficial has been picking the brains of the more experienced coaches around me. Always being observant of them, not being afraid to ask questions - often times the same ones repeatedly ;)

Our gym also has a decent library of instructional videos. I make it a point to do some homework a couple nights a week going through these as well - or reading info I find on-line, etc.

Recently I found a coaches clinic in our state specifically for the L2-L4 types. The hands-on instructional opportunities here were great too.

There seems to be a ton of information available, but I can appreciate the frustration (for the lack of a better word). I honestly don't know if there is any alternative to putting in the time & continuing your education on the subject.

On a final note - again, coming from a total rookie...with these little ones, the 'skills' are completely secondary/dependant upon them understanding/recognizing their body position, the strengthening of their bodies, etc. I'm finding teaching the basics extremely challenging myself, but with time, it is coming along. Good luck!
 

flpflp7

New Member
Sep 6, 2007
34
You're right about keeping your energy up. I think that is the most important & sometimes the most difficult part of teaching preschool. My advice for coaching preschool is hands on, hands on, hands on. How will they know how to do the skill unless you let them feel how it should be done? Have fun, try to think like a kid with the experiences of an adult....what would be the funnest way to learn this skill and stay safe? Have fun & good luck!!!!
 
G

gracefulone

Guest
I've been coaching for a little over a year now-ages 2 to as old as 13/14. I didn't start teaching preschool until about 6 months ago, because it can be so difficult. In the classes for these tiny tumblers, it is os important to remember that most likely, only about half the time needs to be spent doing actual gymastics. It's so much more about developing motor skills, strength, love for activity, etc. For the beginning preschool classes, here's what I do. (Take note that euqipment used includes: mini unevens, mini rings, mini highbar, mini parallels, 2 low beams, 1 short low beam, 1 wedge mat, a spring board, mat blocks, tumble trak, often a bosu ball, and a tumble trak)

These classes are 45 min. long where I coach. This class is designed for the potty-trained beginning gymnast(usu. ages 2 1/2 to 4)
First 10 minutes: stetch/silly warmup song. No bridges for kids under five-do tables, seal and cat stretch.
10 minutes of bars stations.(All bars are in a small loop-type thing)On the mini unevens, I spot things like casts, forward rolls, nad pullovers if the class is advanced. On their own, the kids will do a bent arm hang on rings, tuck/pike/straddle hang on highbar(spotting blocks so they can get up), and straddle travels or front support on parallel bars.
10 minutes of beam/"vault". In a circle, jump two feet on a spring board onto the block, then forward/sideways/(spot) backwards rolls down a wedge, then balancing on one foot on the bosu ball, some type of walks on each of the beams-dips, releves, kcks, "flamingo/baby flamingo(coupe passe), jump dismount, v sits, kneel scales on low mini beam.
Then to the "big kids" gym for tumble trak-straight, backwards, one foot, tuck, apart togethers, safe but fun free turn.
FInish with skips, chases, backwards running,etc.
Big ta da!, Stamps, Coloring Sheets.

hope that helps.
 

audra

Coach & Mom
CB Booster Club
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Feb 5, 2006
203
Wisconsin
Congratulations- on a great job! Your coach must have a lot of confidence that you will be great at this job. Remember the most important thing about teaching preschool is to have FUN! Give yourself a break on actually teaching the skills, if preschoolers are not having fun then they won't learn.

A few important concepts of working with preschoolers-
** Smile A Lot
** Have Fun
** Stay down low (you should spend most of your time on the floor- stay at their level)
** If something is not working- change what you are doing (don't worry about everyone getting a turn. Use easy games or songs to bring the group back together.)

Talk to other coaches around the gym I'm sure they will share their ideas with you.
 
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