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How To Coach Gymnastics

Updated on June 14, 2012
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Kristi has been a competitive gymnastics coach for 25+ years, coached levels 3-10 to state, regional, western and national titles.

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Coaching is the fine art of fearlessly handing over all of your infinite wisdom. Whether your teaching children, teens or adults, the decorum is nearly the same with a few exchangable and basic ideas.

Everything I know I learned on the job. I can still spit out definitions verbatim and with all honesty, I cannot recall having used any of those prestigious and expensive commentaries. What I used the most was experience, feeling and memory. I would think that this could carry over into many arenas if you adapt it slightly. Our team won numerous state, regional, western and national titles on these philosophies. There are a lot of beautiful memories over the years and so many amazing kids that left an indelible mark on my life.

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  1. The most important rule in coaching is that the best coaches should be training the weakest or youngest athletes. A very talented and inspirational coach used to tell me that "It doesn't take a brilliant coach to train an athlete with olympic potential, all you have to do is open the gym and they will train themselves." Once an athlete has the foundation they need, the rest is shaping. There will be learning along the way but the profound education should happen in the earliest stages.
  2. Never be so pretentious that you cannot ask for help. A second set of eyes is often one of the best tools in coaching. As a coach, you have a definite preference for the way you want things done which means you've trained your eyes to see, and perhaps miss things. Ask other people to watch. Ask them what they think is wrong. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you cover all your bases.
  3. Watch your team as a whole and ask yourself, "What is the TEAM doing wrong?" In other words, is everyone making a common mistake? Are you weak in one area that is similar with each individual?
  4. If you see someone doing something that you believe will benefit your team, by all means, do it. No one has exclusive rights to any type of training, drills, athletic acts or exercises.
  5. Hold your athletes to a higher standard. If you strive for mediocrity, that's exactly what you will get. Don't misread me, you should not be building robots. You have to remember they are humans and need human contact. They require your attention, laughter and fun.
  6. You can teach anything you want to teach by building it from the ground up. Break down the skill. Break it into the smallest part you have to in order to teach it correctly. If your athlete is performing it wrong, you've either taught it incorrectly or too soon. Go back, start over and re-teach.
  7. It takes about three years to build a team as long as the players and the coach are consistent.
  8. Don't coach from the sidelines, get into the action. If you are asleep at the wheel you won't be taken seriously.
  9. If you are bored with the activity, your team will be bored. Passion is contagious.
  10. On the days when you come home in first place, you still have things you can learn. Arrogance will stifle your growth and development.
  11. Remember what worked and what was a misfire. Keep a notebook if you can't remember. Buy a book if you don't know where to start.
  12. Never stop learning.
  13. Advocate for your athlete. If your athlete competes better under certain circumstances then you should attempt to workout the best situation you can however, recognize limitations, what is acceptable and what is legal within the boundaries you are working. You don't want a spoiled child on your hands.
  14. Your competition is improving as we speak, are you?
  15. Your team is only going to be as perfect as you make them practice being. It's inevitable that mistakes will happen but perfect practice is what gives you the edge.

GOOD LUCK!

Courtesy of YOU TUBE

Courtesy of YOU TUBE

Courtesy of YOU TUBE

Courtesy of YOU TUBE

Additional Videos

I've added the other videos to display the talent and discipline of other sports and arts. They are truly as beautiful and amazing as gymnastics.

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    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Your rules of coaching are excellent and I'm sure that they have made you an excellent, successful coach. As a teacher I'm somewhat of a coach, too. I think it is important to instill good character and sportmanship in whomever you are coaching. Vince Lombardi was able to do this and I think it made him a very successful coach. Voted up and sharing.

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 5 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Paul, thank you for your kind words. Teaching is definitely a form of coaching. It's the most important. It takes a special soul to be a teacher and I commend those who have dedicated their lives to teaching. Vince Lombardi was a brilliant coach and his legacy is one that I've referred to many times. Thanks again for stopping by, hope to see you again!

    • profile image

      firsttime7 5 years ago

      Awesome rules that i think Can apply to so many areas of life- the "Muscle Memory" is so important and i think real learning comes from feeling and memory...nice writing!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 5 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Shawn! Thanks for being my biggest fan :) I appreciate you being here. I would love to read some more of your work....

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      You must be a great coach and so well loved. Your tips are ones that will help others to build a strong team. There's more to a team and coaching than just winning. Great hub and voted up.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 5 years ago from 18th and Vine

      teaches, I always look forward to your comments! I know it's going to be inspiring and warm. Thank you again for taking your time to read. I value your opinion!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Coached soccer (U12) when school grades unexpectedly improved was encouraged on another 12 years

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Mhatter, you must have been a great influence on the kids! Coaching is a phenomenal experience that leaves a real mark on your life. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks for all this great information,it will help anyone who may be looking to be a coach at any level and in any sport,well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      kashmir, thank you for your comments and vote. I appreciate you taking your time to read. It's always nice to see the happy puppy with shades and to hear from you! Take care!

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