5 Tips For Motivating Your Gymnast – A Basic OverviewWritten by Murray Hughes
For every gymnast, there is a different motivational need. This is same in anything, really -- we all have different ways in which we are given confidence in ourselves, no matter what we do. Whether we write or draw, sing or dance, we all need encouragement. Indeed, gymnasts need encouragement in their sport more than many, because they are actually attempting to train their bodies and their minds in order to move correctly, to be able to take strain of sport. As a parent of a gymnast, there are many ways in which you can motivate your child. Some of them might work. Some of them might not. Find what is most comfortable for you and your gymnast and stick with it. It’s easier for you both that way.
First and foremost, in order to motivate a child--most certainly a gymnast--you need to show interest in what they are doing. If he or she feels as though you are uninterested in sport as a whole, then they may become discouraged all together. How do you show interest, even if gymnastics aren’t your absolute favorite sport in world? Actually, it’s pretty easy. First, you can warm up with them before they train. Join in with their stretches or their jogging, if you can. It feels good and it sets an example. If you don’t want to run around with them, then you can ask them about their days at practice. What did they do? What did they learn? Many young gymnasts will jump at chance to teach their parents something. It gives them sense that you have things to learn from them, and all around, it is a wholesome feeling. Finally, it’s a good idea to attend at least one of their practices every once in a while. Make effort. It will be worthwhile for everyone concerned. Also, good communication with coaches can be established there, which can certainly be beneficial.
Education about sport is a great way to motivate your young gymnast! For enthusiast, this should be an easy matter. Just take care not to overwhelm your child with too much information at once. There is no dearth of exciting information out there about gymnastics, from types of maneuvers that can be made in many variations of sport: rings, vaulting, parallel bars, and so on., to salaries of professional gymnastics specialists in circuses and theatrical shows, to accomplishments of gymnasts around globe. This can certainly foster interest. If indeed it does, then encourage them to pursue it!
When your child is involved with gymnastics, it is always good to offer them positive feedback, no matter what they do. Instead of pointing out flaws directly, you should give them praise for what they did correctly in their drills or in their competitions. Don’t allow them to get down about doing things incorrectly or incompletely -- instead, keep their spirits up by telling them to repeat what they did correctly before. This is usually used in conjunction with constructive criticism, and it generally works best out of all of motivational methods for most people. For some, it can be somewhat irritating; some actually prefer honest criticism so that they can improve by knowing what they did wrong. For majority, it is heartening to hear someone say, “Well, this was really impressive…”
Gymnastics Judging – A Brief OverviewWritten by Murray Hughes
Whenever your gymnast attends a meet, be it regional, local, or otherwise, you probably realize that he or she is being judged on his or her performance. You may or may not like how panel rates your child’s routine, but rest assured that ancillary staff is there as an impartial and fair group which works together to offer unbiased scoring. This is where playing field of competition is at its most level. Granted, gymnastics judging is not a science, and there can be mistakes made. This is why it is always good to have an idea of what judges are looking at when they make their decisions. I'm here to help!
First, judges take a look at whether or not your gymnast has followed rules of attendance. Each meet may have a different dress code, but most typically, associations will ask that long hair be tied back close to head, that jewelry be removed, and that all clothing that may prove a safety issue be removed. If your gymnast is not in accordance with these rules, his or her participation may be interrupted until issue can be resolved. Barring that, judges’ rating is based entirely upon gymnastic performance. Since there are so many different kinds of gymnastics, we’ll just give you basics in common to all of them.
The next category judges usually look at is overall difficulty. In other words, if your gymnast is attempting a more advanced routine, then he or she will start off with more points than someone who is attempting a beginner’s routine. The more somersaults, vaults, flips, and so forth used, better chance of a good score; also, more difficult a position he or she uses for somersaults (piked or straight versus tucked), higher difficulty rating will be. Also, consideration is given to gymnast who makes use of more complex movements (usually termed ‘segments’ or ‘elements’); these are typically looked at in terms of degrees (180, 360, etc). The more twists and turns a gymnast does, more complicated routine.
Beyond complexity, judges look at execution. Something that is full of twists and turns and poorly executed will score lower than something that is simpler but perfectly executed. The criteria for measuring this aspect of gymnastics include stability (Did he or she waver in terminus of segment? Did he or she take an extra step or falter with any element?) and landings (Did he or she stumble? Did he or she hold position for no less than three seconds at end of routine?). Instability in any part of a routine can be disastrous - not only in terms of judging, but, indeed, in terms of safety. Most gymnasts learn, with time, to be very measured and precise. If they stumble when coming to a stop, they appear not to have last bit of polish that gives their routine extra ‘oomph’ it needs to pass with judges. Then, of course, if a gymnast doesn’t hold typical arms-up final position for more than three seconds at end of routine, points are deducted. These are just things to keep in mind.