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Getting my gymnasts stronger
Understanding Strength for Gymnastics
Over the past few sessions I have been going through the strength section of James’s Athletic Development Manual with him. We went through strength and velocity and how a high velocity exercise means the strength aspect could be low, and vice versa.
For example, tuck jumps are a high velocity exercise with a lower strength needed. Where as a deadlift variation (1-3RM) would be high strength and low velocity as you couldn’t repeat many.
Exercises were also broken down into 4 categories of strength:
Also, there are many ways to overload that don’t include just increasing the weight. You can change direction or the plane of movement and you can change the speed or rest period too. Each way overloads the body and you have to make it adapt again.
The importance of reflection
During the last practical session I had with James and some of the athletes, he asked me what I have learnt. This really got me thinking. I have learnt a lot! I don’t tend to self reflect so I know I need to work on that. How can you improve as a coach if you don’t reflect on what you have done or learnt?
It’s made me look at my plans for the gymnasts and my personal training clients differently and I have re-thought a lot of their training. I think I had just got into a routine and needed that nudge to think about things a little more and reflect on my previous training and what James has taught me as well.
Self reflection, as I now understand, is an important part of coaching. It gives you the chance to think about how a session went, what you can do to improve it, what worked well or what did you learn. All these questions will help you develop and improve as a coach.
Keeping things fresh
It’s good to make regular changes to stop a program/session getting stale too. Plus, if you are training the younger athletes, it keeps them a lot more interested and more likely to work.
If you do the same thing day in day out, they will get bored and won’t progress. Repeating movements are important to get the technique right, but adding in a few changes will challenge them physically and mentally.
This has made me think of where exercises fit and I have been thinking about this a lot more when I train my clients at work or the gymnasts I work with too.
I have also learnt a little about myself too. I learnt that I need to be more confident and give myself more credit. For years my teachers and tutors have said this to me over and over again and I’m starting to see why now.
Interested in starting gymnastics? Then join our gymnastics club in Willand, between Uffculme and Cullompton.
The access to expert advice on training and coaching in the STS has been extremely beneficial when guiding Helen (15) through different stages of her physical development. Time is very precious and especially as busy parents of even busier teenagers, we need all the help we can get. As well as following the programme, it has been really useful to dip into certain topics as and when situations occur. Advice on how to prevent and counteract knee problems was certainly helpful when Helen started complaining that ‘her knees were hurting’ directly after competitions.
10 Apr 2019
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