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help staying on the beam!

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lilgymmom

New Member
Sep 8, 2008
25
My dd is 5 years old and on the level 3 team. she is having trouble staying on the beams. does anyone have any tips on what i can tell her to help her stay on? when she gets unsteady, she simply jumps off instead of trying hard to stay on. during practice, it seems like she "jumps" off 25-30 times! she is better at her jumps on the beam than she is at just simply walking accross it!

she is not scared of the beam, it is her favorite event!
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Hmmm, sounds like a natural reation to me--jumping off when they seem unsteady. I think what helped my dd is that she was a flyer for cheerleading before she started gymnastics so she was ALWAYS doing drills to keep her body TIGHT and to PULL UP or STAND TALL. This training translated very well to beam skills because she knows how to keep her center of gravity in one spot--in this case over the beam.

Having a strong core, or stomach muscles, helps gymnasts and cheerleaders keep their balance. She will also need to keep her hips and shoulders over the beam as well. Your dd is only 5 so she will learn as she practices more and learns how to control her body.

What helped my dd (when she was a flyer for cheer) is I had her stand on a turned over paint bucket and practice balancing on one leg and pulling her cheer postitions. I was always holding her standing leg near the ankle for added support when she pulled stunts to mimick the bases holding her.

Gymnastics is a bit different but the idea is the same. She will just need to practice staying tight (squeezing her butt) and balancing. When she feels off balance, instead of jumping off the beam, have her try to regain her center by shifting her hips and shoulders back over the beam. This may be difficult to explain to a 5 year old, so just be patient and I'm sure she will learn to balance better in her own time.

Practicing on a low beam helps too, because you don't have that added fear of height, but you can still practice body control and balance. I hope all this helps!

Good luck!!
 

ginnymac

Parent/Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
386
When my DD was that age, she used to imagine a sea of crocodiles lived in the blue mats and if she landed on them they would gobble her up:eek:. (She is very creative:rolleyes:) Anyway, her imaginary game helped her with the idea to fight for your live which translated to fight to stay on the beam!!
 

gymbratsmom

New Member
Sep 2, 2007
44
Michigan
My dd's first year (when she was 5) kept falling/jumping off the beam for no real reason. After a few meets she said that she really wanted a blue ribbon on beam. I told her that she had to stay on the beam to get a blue ribbon. From that day on she stayed on the beam. For some strange reason she didn't think falling was a bad thing. :beam:
 

lilgymmom

New Member
Sep 8, 2008
25
My dd's first year (when she was 5) kept falling/jumping off the beam for no real reason. After a few meets she said that she really wanted a blue ribbon on beam. I told her that she had to stay on the beam to get a blue ribbon. From that day on she stayed on the beam. For some strange reason she didn't think falling was a bad thing. :beam:
Yes my daughter has the same thoughts about falling! She doesn't see it as a bad thing at all. She actually laughs when she falls off. I told her that in the meets she will have to try so hard to stay on the beam and she asked me "why?"!!
 

lilgymmom

New Member
Sep 8, 2008
25
When my DD was that age, she used to imagine a sea of crocodiles lived in the blue mats and if she landed on them they would gobble her up:eek:. (She is very creative:rolleyes:) Anyway, her imaginary game helped her with the idea to fight for your live which translated to fight to stay on the beam!!
How funny! I am going to try that one for sure!!
 
R

Rec Coach

Guest
We play 'ding-dong' with our beginners. They all stand on the low beam facing a wall, looking forward. Coach comes up behind them and pushes their back (one finger, like ringing a doorbell). Their goal is to stay on the beam! If they fall off, the owe 3 tuck jumps or something before they can get back on. The kids love it! We also play catch on the beam in the same format - they line up on low beam, cross their arms and have to catch the ball when it's thrown to them.
 
G

gymnasticcoach

Guest
staying on the beam

One of the things i do to try to keep the children that age on the beam is to set a stuffed animal at one end of the beam and have them focus on the stuffy as they walk toward it.

Another is to put picture of a happy face or something that age can relate to on the wall at their eye level if there is a wall at one end of the beam.

They work for me and may work for you also.

Don
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Do the level 3's play games on the beam at all as part of their instruction? If it's your DD's favorite event, she may be using the fall as a 'game reset' of sorts. Why go wait your turn again, when you can hop off, take a few steps back, and make your turn last longer? The only reason I offer that as a potential clue is because my 5 yr old does that :mad: Dang bean bags on the beam were so much fun to walk over that she got creative in making her turn last foreeeeeeverrrrr.
 

Lyndasline

New Member
Jul 12, 2008
7
beam

It will pass! My 4 year old went through a phase like this. I knew she could do it so I asked her why she kept falling. She told me how fun it was to fall on the mats!!! (Sounds logical::) I told her if she kept "falling" someone who really wanted to try would take her spot on her team and that cured her! (At least most of the time...we still have those "silly" days.) Lynn
 
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
There were times with my dd I was tempted to use velcro. Staying tight and finding her balance will come with time and patience though. The good thing is that she won't be afraid of falling off since she has obviously realized it is no big deal.
 

gotgym

Coach/Proud Parent
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 11, 2008
275
Illinois
Besides the games and patience I can only suggest a little 3 1/2 inch floor beam. Even if she just plays and walks on it. Eventually that 4 inch beam will seem so wide and easy to her.. (something I always use for my younger gymmies that seem to have ants in their pants:eek:)
 

ShootingStaRr

Member
Oct 5, 2008
83
New Zealand
i was the same, although i was older i understood that it was bad to fall off.
my all-around score wasn't great and it was because of falling of beam.

i just used to pretend that i had a glass wall around me and if i fell off it broke.
just fight for everything, stay tight and you your core to pull up over the beam
.

i agree with the crocodile will eat you up with you fall off, if you use things
like this, it will help them to under stand it isn't a good thing. or also using
incentives for not falling off in a meet.
 

jra64

New Member
Jun 24, 2008
44
It's so fun reading such creative responses!

The only thing I don't recommend is giving any sort of conditional love to your DD such as one of the comments threatening to take the DD off the team if she kept falling off. I've always thought the best way to teach is to reward the good and work 'together' on the bad.
 
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