Thursday, October 25, 2012

Judging gymnastics competitions for yourself

judging gymnastics competitions
While the intricacies of the Code of Points may be a little difficult to understand, it’s actually easy to watch gymnastic competitions and determine which gymnasts and routines are great, good and not so good. While there are many nuances and elements a professional judge looks for, you can easily make a fair assessment even if you’ve never attended a gymnastics school.

Form and Execution. No matter how difficult the routine or maneuver, a gymnast should always look like they’re in control of their movement. In a best case scenario, every skill demonstrated will appear effortless. Whether a student attends a South Bay gymnastics facility or one in another part of the country, students should learn all the intricacies of good form, from an overall tightness to the body and straight limbs to pointed toes.

Innovation. You don’t have to be a professional judge of gymnastic contests to recognize a routine’s uniqueness. A great gymnast’s routine will stand apart from those of their competitors, whether it’s through high-risk maneuvers, skills that are unique or the personal style and flair that they bring.

Height and Distance. A good gymnast will fly above the balance bar and appear to explode off the apparatus they’re performing on. While a good gymnastics school can teach the proper technique for jumps, leaps and flips, it’s up to the gymnast to practice consistently to develop their power and strength.

A Stuck Landing. A student from a local South Bay gymnastics school shared with us what s “stuck landing” is: basically, the gymnast’s feet should not move once they land. Points are typically deducted and the gymnast will look off balance when they experience a stuck landing—it will almost appear as if they are stumbling.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Tips for doing well in gymnastic competitions

If you want to become a great gymnast and do the best you can in gymnastic competitions, there are a few things you can do to supplement the classes you take at a gymnastics school. Here are a few tips to supplement a consistent regimen of practice and preparation and help you excel at this challenging and exciting sport.

1. Identify areas for improvement. Spend time determining your weaker areas and absorbing critiques from coaches and instructors. Find out if you are strong or weak in the areas of artistic presentation, tumbling techniques or other fundamental maneuvers. Spend time honing these areas and practicing proper form and technique.

2. In addition to taking gymnastics classes in the South Bay, many students in the area enroll in gymnastics camps to spend additional time on those weaker areas. This is a great thing to do in the summertime, during winter break and even spring break. Being able to spend lengthier, more focused time receiving professional instruction at gymnastics camps will help you improve areas of weakness and significantly enhance your practice.

3. Do your homework. Watch instructional DVDs and read how-to guides so that you can learn new skills and stay on the cutting edge of new techniques.

4. A great way to improve your skills is to watch other gymnasts participate in gymnastics competitions, on television and even in other classes. You may see new routines and maneuvers that you may not have thought about tackling before.

5. Switch up your workouts. Incorporate additional training such as yoga or stretching to maintain the flexibility you need to perform well. You may also want to do cardio to improve your stamina and endurance, and resistance training to build strength and power.

Whether you participate in a South Bay gymnastics program or attend a gymnastics school in another region, the fundamentals of becoming a great gymnast are the same: education, practice and preparation; a fit, flexible and healthy body; and determination, discipline and sportsmanship.

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Keys to success in gymnastics competitions

gymnastics competitions
If you look at Team USA’s performance at this year’s Olympics gymnastics competitions, you’ll note that they all exuded impeccable control, balance and strength, as well as speed in the Vault. While it may take quite awhile to make it all look as effortless as the Fierce Five did, enrolling your children in a gymnastics center will help them develop some other integral qualities that Team USA possesses.

Other important elements for students to cultivate, especially if they plan to participate in gymnastics competitions, are precision, focus, and a courageous, ambitious attitude. When competing, students will want to be as precise as possible when executing routines and particular moves. They’re typically judged with specific criteria, so any wobbling, extra steps or mistakes will count against them. This requires absolute focus and concentration—traits that will enhance every other aspect of life as well, from schoolwork and exams to dance and other sports.

Whether your children’s gymnastics center prepares students for competitions or performances, most coaches agree that the three most fundamental attributes for enjoying success as any type of gymnast are flexibility, strength and attitude. While students may be able to work on the first two at gymnastics camps or in classes, attitude is something the parent needs to help with. A stellar attitude is made up of a positive outlook and good sportsmanship, coupled with perseverance, determination and discipline.

Most coaches from gymnastics camps and schools agree that to become a good, or even an elite gymnast, students also need to develop good balance, coordination, agility and cardiovascular endurance. These are traits necessary for everyday life, especially any sports, dance or other physical activities students participate in. The trait that will transcend every aspect of life, however, is what we mentioned above: attitude!

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