Have you ever tried a routine? Even a short one? It’s a whole other set of skills. Like most things, people that are accomplished make it look easy. Those Olympic Gymnasts make double flips with multiple twists look effortless. We all cringe when they accidentally step out-of-bounds or fall for a deduction during competition. Doing 2 or 3 forward rolls or Cartwheels in a row would be enough to make most of us need a chair to sit down in. We don’t realize that even a little bit of sequencing with gymnastics skills stresses about every aspect of our beings. For instance:
- Balance- equilibrium is acquired. Those long tumbling series’ that you see Gymnasts complete across the Tumbling floor are landed easily after millions of repetitions during training. Every time a child bends over, rolls, flips, hangs upside down, or performs a spin, their dynamic balance is challenged. Dynamic balance is needed during movement. When holding a position on tip toes (releve’) or on one leg, like a scale, our static (or non-moving) balance is challenged. When we transition moving from one skill to another it requires body control and utilizes more muscles than if we did the skills individually. So much easier to do a Forward Roll and then a Scale as opposed to a Forward Roll into a Scale. Oh, and make it look good!
- Strength- It’s amazing how tiring it is to put skills together. Sometimes we even forget to breathe! Sequencing and practicing sequences repeatedly is a way to build strength and endurance.
- Concentration and focus- Sequencing requires attention span, memorization, and, we hope, remembering all the skill details we’ve taught all session. Can you remember all that? Don’t forget to point your toes!
These are just a handful of many reasons routines are developed at the end of the session in all our School Age classes as part of our Developmental Curriculum. We use USA Gymnastics as a guideline so kids in our program that want to move on to competitive gymnastics as they get older have a solid foundation. Our advanced Gymnastics classes allow kids to create some of their routines. This adds a challenge to work on their own knowledge base of skills. High School Competitive Gymnasts create their own routines. Allowing gymnasts to practice creating routines helps our kids by giving them this experience early with lots of support.
Our Gymnasts work hard on all aspects of these routines. Check in on their progress after class. Be sure to praise your gymnast after they perform during Show week. There is a lot of accomplishment in the process as well as the outcome.