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Questions about pushing the envelope

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cccam

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Dec 1, 2007
88
i don't consider myself an amazing gymnast but my friend and i are the best recreational gymnasts our gym has ever had. [we're about level 6/7] the problem is, all the focus is on the team girls and not at all on us. we want to train and move up and learn new stuff, but the coaches don't really know how to handle us.

does anyone have any suggestions on how to train more independently?
or how to learn new skills on my own?
for instince:
giants
tsuks
fulls on floor

switching gyms is unfortunatley not an option
 

Aussie_coach

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First let me say congratulations. Not many recreational gymnasts reach the level 6/7 level. You must be quite talented and motivated. Gyms are full of rec level 1's and 2's but not many at your level. The way this situation is handled will not only benefit you but all future rec gymnasts at your gym. If your gym finds ways to cater for you it will open doors for more girls to reach your level in the future.

I would chat to your parents about setting up a meeting with your gym to discuss your needs. It will help to have your parents there as they are the paying clients and will have more experience communicating with adults. Explain that you love your gym and are excited about moving up and learning new skills but are feeling that you are limited in your current environment. Any good gym will really appreciate your honesty because the only way they can satisfy their clients is if their clients tell them what they want and need and what they are and are not happy with. If you show your enthusiasm to learn most coaches will find they are enthusiastic to teach.

At our gym we have a few recreational girls from level 5-10, most are retired competitive gymnasts who want to keep up with their skills. But we do not have enough of them to justify running a high level recreational class so what we do is allow them to train with the team of the same level 1-2 days a week. Our 7-10 girls train 5-6 days a week and the few rec's come in on two certain days that we set aside more for skill development and less for competition routines. Ask your gym if this is a possibility for you.

If not could an advanced recreational class be formed perhpas with some recreational level 4's and 5's. A good coach will be able to cope with the different levels and for example while the level 4's and 5's are working handspring vaults the 6's and 7's can be learning Tsukahara's at the same time.

Another idea is to write down the skills you would like to learn on a goal sheet and present it to your coaches. It can help them t focus your training on the skills you want.

Learning skills on your own is not advisable. At best it can mean that you are learning the technique incorrectly and end up with bad habits that are hard to break, or skills that just don't seem to work and you can't work out why. At worst it can be very dangerous and lead to life long injuries or even death.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Is there a particular reason why joining the team is not an option?
 
F

flippin fool 08

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i don't consider myself an amazing gymnast but my friend and i are the best recreational gymnasts our gym has ever had. [we're about level 6/7] the problem is, all the focus is on the team girls and not at all on us. we want to train and move up and learn new stuff, but the coaches don't really know how to handle us.

does anyone have any suggestions on how to train more independently?
or how to learn new skills on my own?
for instince:
giants
tsuks
fulls on floor

switching gyms is unfortunatley not an option
well i can see that they are not focising on you because it is during competition season and the coaches really need to focus on the team gymnasts. So if you want to learn new skill i wouldn't just go off and learn new skills some of them are really hard and the first thing you need to know how to do is a really good back tuck with you legs togeather and really tight form.
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
Is there a particular reason why joining the team is not an option?
yes, unfortunatley, i live a long way away and they practice 12hrs a week [even the level 6's] my friend i was talking about before, just joined team yesterday, kind of leaving me all alone but anyway. my parents won't drive me there 4 days a week and i just don't have enough time because i am trying to balance it with my other favorite sport: volleyball [even though i love gymnastics 10x more]
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
well i can see that they are not focising on you because it is during competition season and the coaches really need to focus on the team gymnasts. So if you want to learn new skill i wouldn't just go off and learn new skills some of them are really hard and the first thing you need to know how to do is a really good back tuck with you legs togeather and really tight form.
thanks for the help, i can already do very nice high back tucks, and i am working on better form in my layouts
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
First let me say congratulations. Not many recreational gymnasts reach the level 6/7 level. You must be quite talented and motivated. Gyms are full of rec level 1's and 2's but not many at your level. The way this situation is handled will not only benefit you but all future rec gymnasts at your gym. If your gym finds ways to cater for you it will open doors for more girls to reach your level in the future.

I would chat to your parents about setting up a meeting with your gym to discuss your needs. It will help to have your parents there as they are the paying clients and will have more experience communicating with adults. Explain that you love your gym and are excited about moving up and learning new skills but are feeling that you are limited in your current environment. Any good gym will really appreciate your honesty because the only way they can satisfy their clients is if their clients tell them what they want and need and what they are and are not happy with. If you show your enthusiasm to learn most coaches will find they are enthusiastic to teach.

At our gym we have a few recreational girls from level 5-10, most are retired competitive gymnasts who want to keep up with their skills. But we do not have enough of them to justify running a high level recreational class so what we do is allow them to train with the team of the same level 1-2 days a week. Our 7-10 girls train 5-6 days a week and the few rec's come in on two certain days that we set aside more for skill development and less for competition routines. Ask your gym if this is a possibility for you.

If not could an advanced recreational class be formed perhpas with some recreational level 4's and 5's. A good coach will be able to cope with the different levels and for example while the level 4's and 5's are working handspring vaults the 6's and 7's can be learning Tsukahara's at the same time.

Another idea is to write down the skills you would like to learn on a goal sheet and present it to your coaches. It can help them t focus your training on the skills you want.

Learning skills on your own is not advisable. At best it can mean that you are learning the technique incorrectly and end up with bad habits that are hard to break, or skills that just don't seem to work and you can't work out why. At worst it can be very dangerous and lead to life long injuries or even death.
thank you so much aussie coach, out of all the people who responded, you truly helped the most. i talked to the owner on the phone today with my parents and we have decide that i can train with them a couple weeks in the summer, they were already in the process of developing an advanced class, which me and a couple other people will be put into.

i have started writing down my goals and the owner said he would make a chart for me and the other girls in the class so we can keep track of them. I now go to gymnastics on mondays and wednesdays.

thank you so much for the advice and you don't have to worry about bad form or anything, because the one thing i have learned from learning new skills basically by my self at the gym is how to correct my mistakes and form [i watch and do, i would like to think im pretty good at that part]

last but not least, i plan on applying for a coaching job there when i am a senior, since i love to coach and understand very much how the sport works. thank you so much for the comments, it truly makes me feel better that someone is out there who pays attention to a couple of the girls not on the team :]

thanks,
corinne
 

Aussie_coach

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I am so glad to hear that things are working well. Even better is the fact that you talked to the owner and told them how you feel. Being able to communicate well with the adults who are running your training will be one of the keys to success for you in the program.

But I think the most important thing to remember here not just for yourself but for all gymnasts, parents, coaches and gym owners is that EVERY gymnast is equally important. Team gymnasts are no more important than Rec gymnasts, they all have an equal right to a training program that caters for their needs.
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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okay so i don't have a brilliant plan like aussie coach lol but i can give advice on learning new skills!
1st: pick the skills you want to learn, they should be pretty reasonable skills, since you don't have a coach to spot/coach you. for example if you can only do a backhip circle on bars don't go into the gym expecting to teach yourself a clearhip blind full or something. maybe just start with a clear hip :)

2nd: look them up on youtube!!!!i swear youtube was the best invention for gymnast. go onto youtube and search the skill you are trying to learn. find the one that looks like it is right (it should look the best AND have the best form). this will help a lot. if you don't have time to search youtube then im sure people at your gym do the skill that you are trying to learn. watch the older team girls do it.

3rd: picture yourself doing it. as dumb as that sounds i swear it will help. everytime im learning a new skill i watch someone doing it and then i close my eyes and i image the same thing except with my body doing it.

4th: start the skill! if its something for beam, start it on the floor on a line. if its something for bars, start it in straps. ect. always start with the easiest possible way to do the skill. then work your way up

okay so for example for fulls on floor.. do you have a layout? do you have a half? if you do then
1. on tumble track do a layout half and then after you land do a jump half. then do a layout half and then right when your feet touch the ground immediately jump half.

2. if you have a vault that goes into a pit or a beam that goes into a pit then try do standing halfs and then 3/4s and then eventually fulls. it will help you get the feeling of doing a full in the air

3. don't forget to watch people do it!

4. after you can do standing fulls, try doing a half on the tumble track and then right before your feet touch, do an extra half. it sounds harder than it really is i swear haha

i really hope this helps just a little :)
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
okay so i don't have a brilliant plan like aussie coach lol but i can give advice on learning new skills!
1st: pick the skills you want to learn, they should be pretty reasonable skills, since you don't have a coach to spot/coach you. for example if you can only do a backhip circle on bars don't go into the gym expecting to teach yourself a clearhip blind full or something. maybe just start with a clear hip :)

2nd: look them up on youtube!!!!i swear youtube was the best invention for gymnast. go onto youtube and search the skill you are trying to learn. find the one that looks like it is right (it should look the best AND have the best form). this will help a lot. if you don't have time to search youtube then im sure people at your gym do the skill that you are trying to learn. watch the older team girls do it.

3rd: picture yourself doing it. as dumb as that sounds i swear it will help. everytime im learning a new skill i watch someone doing it and then i close my eyes and i image the same thing except with my body doing it.

4th: start the skill! if its something for beam, start it on the floor on a line. if its something for bars, start it in straps. ect. always start with the easiest possible way to do the skill. then work your way up

okay so for example for fulls on floor.. do you have a layout? do you have a half? if you do then
1. on tumble track do a layout half and then after you land do a jump half. then do a layout half and then right when your feet touch the ground immediately jump half.

2. if you have a vault that goes into a pit or a beam that goes into a pit then try do standing halfs and then 3/4s and then eventually fulls. it will help you get the feeling of doing a full in the air

3. don't forget to watch people do it!

4. after you can do standing fulls, try doing a half on the tumble track and then right before your feet touch, do an extra half. it sounds harder than it really is i swear haha

i really hope this helps just a little :)
thanks gymnasticsbabie!
i really like those ideas the only problems: we don't have strap bars, a tumble trak or a beam into the pit. Us rec gymnasts get one bar, one beam and we only get to vault every other week.

Im not allowed to do tsuks because a girl on team hurt herself a week before i wanted to start them. But, that clear hip advice helps because thats what i wanted to start learning.

I want to take a tumbling class also because frankly, theres almost no one else in the gym so i can just do what i want and have a spot if i need it. Hopefully my mom will let me take that class too. I can do fulls on the tramp and i did a standing one into the pit before [and then got yelled at hehe] Im a pretty good twister, i guess its just a matter of me getting over fears and having coaches who will let me do skills.

I finally convinced my coach to let me work front handspring, front tucks and after a half hour on floor, i got it. Yay!

Even now after i talked to the management, they still are resistant to letting me or any other rec gymnast train over a level 6.
 
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gymnasticsbabie

Guest
why does it matter what level you train!?! its totally unfair that they aren't letting you train over a level 6! ughh man. taking a tumbling class will def help you learn A LOT of skills, because you can get really good coaching and try things you want.
so what new skills do you want to learn?? i'll try my best to help you and telling you how i learned it.
awesome on your fhs front tucks!!!

oh and i meant to ask, are there any gyms that are closer to you??
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
exactly what i said!!! why does it matter what level i train? They asked me to be on their team when i was 10 and 12, but i couldn't and then i asked to be on their team at 14, and they said they didn't want me! its ridiculous, everytime i go to open workout, the head coach is always commenting about how good my posture and composure is, and what talent i have.

My best friend casey was able to join the level 6 team last year even though they refused to let me on. I had much more level 6 skills then her! [i had almost all of bars,except clearhips. all of floor, and everything for beam and vault!] Im guessing, and this is a pretty accurate guess, it has something to do with my size and the fact i didn't compete in any other level. [by the way im 5'7" now and i weigh 115 lbs] Casey is only about 4' 10"... well she might be 5' or 5'1" by now

But anyway, the point is, i don't understand their logic, this gym is in a transition from being a gym that only trains to level 8, into a gym that hopefully trains to level 10 and beyond. But, in the process, they are seriousl neglecting their recreational kids. Us "advanced gymnasts" aren't even allowed to use the mini tramp because they are afraid we will get injured and they will get sued. If they don't want to be sued, then have my sign a stupid liability form. Ill SIGN IT!

Just the other day, we were vaulting into the pit [a frowned upon action for rec gymnasts] and the a coach yelled at our coach telling her to put more mats into the pit. "we should never be vaulting below floor level, we could fall forward and hurt ourselves"

She's talking to me like im 4 years old or something. I have been at that gym for more than 10 years, i have trained with the team in the past, and each year they have slowly separated me from the team gymnasts. Kind of like segregation.

Ugh... sorry for my rambling on. The things i want to learn next are:
Tsuks
Clear Hips
Giants [pshhh they will never let me try that!]
bhs on beam
round off dismounts off beam
fulls on floor

and finally, i live in the middle of nowhere [literally] so they are unfortunatley no other gyms close to me

thanks for all your help gymnasticsbabie!
 
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gymnasticsbabie

Guest
wait why didn't they want you when you were 14?? did they give a reason?? and i thought that rec was aloud to go on all events.. apparently not. you should seriously ask your mom for the tumbling classes. oh and i think you should talk to the owners, explain your situation. at our gym your aloud to get private lessons, or come in anytime to work out, you just have to talk the owner and pay the $$. haha

lmao a "frowned upon action" hahaha. tell someone how you feel!! they should know that your not that little girl who could barley do a handstand anymore. explain why you can't join the team but you still really really love gymnastics.

okay so tsuks:
1. um i guess do half ons on vault first then do half ons to your back (onto a soft mat like a resi, or into the pit). when you go to your back make sure your keeping your hips straight, and not piking down to get to the mat. that should give you a good indication if you can make it or not.

2. if you have a large cheese mat, you can set it up so its on the edge of the pit (if thats possible). and do round offs onto it. so you hurdle before the cheese mat, then first foot on the cheese mat, hands on the end of the cheese mat (the highest part) and then feet into the pit. do that for a while till it feels comfortable, then once you can go to your back on that drill, you can flip! if its not a long way to the pit and you don't think you can make it, then don't attempt it!! don't do anything you don't feel comfortable with.

then you can set up like 3 square or pentagon shaped mats, stack them up and velcro them down till they are the height of the vault. then you can practice tsuking into the pit. oh i forgot you put a spring board, so its like the regular vault, but its soft and nice so if you hit it it doesn't hurt haha.

3. some drills you can do its "sea-saw" which is like jump and put your feet infront of you so your on an angle with your shoulders and hips in the back of your feet, then let it rotate you so your exactly the opposite, with your shoulders and hips in the front of your feet on an angle.
another drill is to do on the tramp into the pit (if possible) do brani's and lots of them, then start doing them bigger and bigger until you can get to your back without piking. keep your hips straight and your body really tight! then if you feel comfortable you can do brani to backtuck. so kind of like a half in backtuck but frontwards?? haha okay hope thats not too confusing

GIANTS:
uh i can't help, sorry the way i learned them was with a spot and doing them in straps, i really don't know how to explain how to learn it with out those things! sorry!!!

BHS on beam! thats an easy one:
1st: do hundreds of bhs on the floor line, making sure your hands and feet make it on the line.
the correct hand position for bhs is your good arm (so im a lefty in gymnastics so im talking about my left hand, even though i write with my right hand, makes sense?) goes in front straight or a little turned out. put all your fingers together on your good hand and then your other hand should be with all your fingers (except your thumb) together and your thumb in an L almost. your bad hand should turn out alot and it fits in with your good hand like a puzzle piece. so its like where your thumb bone and wrist bone meet on your good hand and the space between your thumb and your index finger on your bad hand. make sense?? thats the "proper" way to put your hands. but you'll usually find a way thats most comfortable for you. watch some people do bhs on youtube.
MAKE SURE your hands are not how you put them for backwalkovers, its completley different. if you put your hands like that you can slip off easy and hurt yourself.
2. put mats around the beams, like pannel mats. and preferably a rug or beam pad over the beam. and start doing them. make sure your hands and feet are completley on before you start taking down mats.
3. just keep taking down mats and moving to bigger beams. stack up the mats when you move to bigger beams and take them down just like you did on the low beam!

R.O. on beam: same idea as a bhs with making progress.
do them on the floor on a line, then move to a low beam, ect.

fulls on fx: i think i already explained how i learned that one. just half jump half, ect.

this is just how i learn all of my stuff. hope this helps! good luck!!!! tell me how it works out or if you make any progress!

PS: i'm sending my videos today for your montage, do you want me to youtube message you?? or do you want me to send it your actual email?
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Totally random but I think for my bhs on beam I put my hands on top of each other? Idk but when I was a level seven my thumbs always hurt atfer beam practices because I would be like all my weight on them cuz my hand was over it but now they don't hurt because they have gotten a lot better lol if that makes any sense
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
hey gymnasticsbabie! thanks for all the help. i have been talking to management, but they are as stubborn as ever. my mom says its okay once in a while if we have time, to go to a different gyms open workout [i mean if we REALLY have time since its almost an hour away] they have a tumble trak and and a whole bunch of other stuff so what i set up the basis for at my gym, i can just go and practice at that one with out getting in trouble. SWEET!

thanks for all the advice! my coach talked to a coach higher up, and they are gonna make sure we CAN vault every other week. as before, we were lucky if we vaulted once every 3 months.

oh by the way! mileycyrus990 on youtube has finally given in and credited me! yay! i told her that if she promised not to steal other peoples stuff, i would give her some of her own. i figured that would be the only way to keep peace.

oh, and i'll send you a message on here with my email address in it, so you can send me your stuff through my email.

thanks again for everything!

oh and PS their excuse for me not being on team was "worried the judges wouldn't like me because i didn't move up through the levels" [i was gonna join level 6 team] even though 2 years ago they were fine with it. w/e
 
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