What does it mean to be a self taught gymnast and is it bad or good?

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Aussie_coach

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Self taught generally refers to someone who has learned gymnastics skills on their own ie in the backyard or on their trampoline, without the instruction of a coach.

Gymnastics is a complex activity that can place a great deal of strain on the body, of done incorrectly. The best case scenario we see with gymnasts who come in after being self taught, is that it is much harder for them to progress. If basic skills are not taught correctly, and monitored to ensure mistakes don’t creep in, the gymnast tends to hit a wall where they struggle to progress any further, because they have developed and trained bad habits that have now become so ingrained they are extremely difficult to fix.

More often self taught tends to result in long term injuries. The problem with learning skills incorrectly (especially on things like air tracks and trampolines) is that the skill often still works, so the gymnast thinks they are doing it correctly. But if done incorrectly it puts stressors on the wrong part of the body, it doesn’t generally hurt but it builds up over time and can result in injuries that are hard to shake.

Worst case scenario (which does happen), is a self taught gymnast may paralyse or kill themselves. In a safe environment, closely supervised gymnastics injury rates are not higher than many other sports. But without safety and supervision, it has the potential to be catastrophic.
 
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FlexibleGymnast101

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Hi @Aussie_coach. Thank You. Also could bad things happen when you practice, handstands, candlestick, backward roll and a bridge or back bend. And never do high level skills. And only practice basic skills. Can something happen still?
 
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Carabistouille

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Well, I guess you have little chance to get a catastrophic injury while doing very simple skills, but you can still get overuse injuries if those skills are not done with correct technique.
Handstands can (and very often do) result in wrist problems. Bridges are generally bad for the back, especially if done with bad technique, and should be limited even in a safe, supervised training environment.

Editing to add that it's fine for child to do an occasional cartweel or handstand just for the fun of it. It's fun and generaly harmless. But if it's a regular thing, better bring the child to a gymnastics club so that he or she can play in a safe environment.
 

raenndrops

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Hi @Aussie_coach. Thank You. Also could bad things happen when you practice, handstands, candlestick, backward roll and a bridge or back bend. And never do high level skills. And only practice basic skills. Can something happen still?
I have personally seen (from a distance when I was 12) a self-taught gymnast try to show off by doing a backbend on a concrete planter bed "wall." It was about 4 feet off the ground and 8 inches wide. She ended up with a concussion, 7 stitches in the back of her head (requiring them to shave her long curly hair in that area), and a broken wrist ... from missing a hand, hitting her head and falling to the ground.
 

Jenny

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Generally self taught is not helpful if you want to take those skills into a gym to train and compete due to poor technique but fine for fun. But the safety aspect is another thing....
 

Awesome Gymnast

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A self taught Gymnast is a person who teaches themself gymnastics. They do not go to gyms or have coaches. They improve skills. And they can also learn how to do skills on youtube. I have heard that being self- taught can be good and bad. Also if you are a self taught gymnast make sure to have a spotter you don't want to injury yourself.
 
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