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Importance of Preschool Coaches

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audra

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Feb 5, 2006
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Wisconsin
As a director in a gym, I feel the best classes to train new coaches on is our 3 year old classes. New coaches always feel that is impossible in the first couple of weeks, but after a month and a few helpful hints from some veteran coaches they become their favorite classes. The coaches who can't hack a 3 year old class usually suffer the highest student turnover rate. Teaching 3 year olds really teaches you how to work with all ages, and reminds you how important variety is to every class and practice. I feel the best coaches are not those that can teach the highest level of skills, but the one's who can work with largest variety of levels.
 
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gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Oh, I agree, teaching 3 year olds is definitely a learning curve. You have to learn to adjust to lots of different personalities and make sure no one gets left out. My problem with my class was that when I first started there were 2 of us to a class of about 6 (while we were learning) then the holidays hit and attendance was low, so the classes all got redistributed and I had about 4 in my preschool class, which was fine. But since holidays have been over, attendance has come back up, and we have had lots of adds, so I was trying to handle 11. Not only that but there are a few kids that can't sit still and can't be quiet and in a class that large, I was spending most of my time trying to keep order and basically just keeping them moving. So we opened another class and tried to split up the worst (not that any of them are in any way shape or form, bad) and this weeks class went so much smoother we actually got to work on some skills. Big relief, I did however, finally give up on one little girl,(she was the one that I had to watch constantly because she ran off every time you took your eyes off her) and we convinced her mom to bring her to Mommy and Me classes for a while, till she learns to stay put better. SO even with 7 in class and including my worst troublemaker, we had a good class and much safer on monday. I still love them , and wouldn't give up my little ones. They are so cute and they really try. But I still enjoy my 4 and 5 year olds the best.
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Do you use evaluation sheets with your preschoolers?

I usually carry one out on the floor with me, then just keep an eye on them when we are working the skills and on break I fill in the individual sheets. In fact this is pretty much how I do all of mine, Preschooler 3-4, Preschooler 4-5(advanced beginning) Schoolage girls, and schoolage boys. It seems to me, it takes way to much time out of class to try to go through and actually test each kid when you only have an hour or 45 minutes.
 

JBS

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Evaluation sheets...yes

All of our coaches must do them. They are expected to have all of the skills on the sheet filled out by the 3rd or 4th week after a child starts. We grade on a 1-3 scale. It is very easy for parents to get a coach in the corner and fluster them, especially young coaches. The skill sheets give the coaches something to say. Instead of, "Duh, sure your child is probably ready to move up, I talk to the office and see what I can do."....we get..."I'll have a skill sheet ready for you by next week, then you can see what Johnny needs more work on." Remember to tell your coaches not to give out perfect skill sheets until they are old enough to move to the next level. Pre-school gymnastics works on age, any good coach can challenge a tallented 3 year old until they turn 4.
 
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gracefulone

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Our gym does evalutaion sheets, but not for the preschool classes. I'll be coaching right after my fifteenth birthday in mid august and I'll be teaching some of the beginner levels. I have gotten a chance to work with our preschoolers as a volunteer/student aide type thing and it was a lot of fun.
 

Front Tumbler

New Member
Mar 29, 2007
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I've just started coaching in the past year at my gym -- it's SO much fun, and I feel like I have the best job in the entire world! (at least for a highschool student)
Pre-schoolers are indeed fun to teach, as are the girls who are just starting to get into the harder gymnastics moves. I love watching the kids progress, though it's always sad when the kids get too good and move up out of my classes.... P:
(it's amazing how fast some kids can pick up on certain moves -- I have one little girl who is barely learning her backhandsprings on floor but progressed so fast on bars she was soon learning kips and doing front hipcircles all by herself!)
 

JBS

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I've just started coaching in the past year at my gym -- it's SO much fun, and I feel like I have the best job in the entire world! (at least for a highschool student)
Pre-schoolers are indeed fun to teach, as are the girls who are just starting to get into the harder gymnastics moves. I love watching the kids progress, though it's always sad when the kids get too good and move up out of my classes.... P:
(it's amazing how fast some kids can pick up on certain moves -- I have one little girl who is barely learning her backhandsprings on floor but progressed so fast on bars she was soon learning kips and doing front hipcircles all by herself!)
Congratulations!:highfive:

---------------------------------

I said above that our skill sheets are graded from 1-3. Many gyms just have a check off or sticker system (you can do it or you can't). This is also a fine way to do things...actually much easier.
 
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gracefulone

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I've started leading a 3/4/5 year old preschool class. I love it so much. They even give me movie recomendations! (Happy Feet) . They're adorable.
 

JBS

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I've started leading a 3/4/5 year old preschool class. I love it so much. They even give me movie recomendations! (Happy Feet) . They're adorable.
Congratulations to you also.
 
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