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IFAC Reflections Part 2
January 22, 2019
A review of Jerome Simian’s workshops on physical preparation for sport. I had to choose between different “strands” of coaching topics at the IFAC conference in Loughborough. A difficult choice, not wanting to miss out on some excellent speakers. I chose to attend Simian’s because of a quote I heard on the HMMR podcast: “I […]

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Getting my gymnasts stronger

Understanding Strength for Gymnastics

gymnasts strength

These girls are strong

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:

  • absolute
  • relative
  • dynamic
  • elastic. 

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

strength training for gymnastsIt’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.

Gemma Robertson 

Getting gymnasts fitter faster and stronger  

Interested in starting gymnastics? Then join our gymnastics club in Willand, between Uffculme and Cullompton.

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Client Testimonials

Josh Steels: wheelchair tennis
I started working with James 3 years ago via the TASS programme. When James first met me, physically I was nowhere the best I could be. Since working with James I have seen vast improvements in my fitness and strength which has been put into great use on court.Each session is worked around making sure I am able to get the best quality training as well as catering for my chronic pain and fatigue levels. On top of this James has always been happy to meet at facilities that are best for myself meaning I could fit training sessions in on route to tournaments or camps.

Upcoming Courses

Athletic Development Coach – WILLAND
20 Feb 2019

Athletic Development Coach Venue: WILLAND Date: Wednesday 20th February. Time 0900-1630. Booking deadline Friday 8 February Is the ‘Athletic Development Coach’ course for me? This particular course is for our junior members to attend. If you are interested in attending please contact Carly. What will I learn? Course Goals and Objectives Candidates will be expected […]