Gymnastics is celebrated around the world as an intense and exciting sport that enables athletes to reach incredible heights of elite skill. At their highest level, competitive gymnasts demonstrate unbelievable strength, flexibility, and grace. At GMGC, we strive to support and prepare gymnasts at all skill levels by providing quality programs and certified instructors ensuring that each student reaches new heights, from beginning to advanced gymnastics. Check out GMGC.com to explore our programs and their benefits!
Basics Of Competitive Gymnastics
Competitive gymnastics is a highly structured and organized sport that involves performing routines on different apparatuses to showcase strength, flexibility, balance, and grace. To understand competitive gymnastics, it is important to understand the basics:
Competitive Levels And Age Categories
Competitive gymnastics is divided into various levels and age categories. Levels typically range from beginner to advanced, such as Level 1 to Level 10, with Level 10 being the highest. Age categories help ensure fair competition among gymnasts of similar age groups.
Apparatus In Gymnastics
Gymnastics routines are performed on four main apparatuses:
- Floor Exercise: Gymnasts perform choreographed routines that showcase tumbling passes, leaps, jumps, and dance elements on a floor mat.
- Vault: Athletes perform explosive jumps off a springboard onto a vault table, demonstrating speed, power, and height in their maneuvers.
- Uneven Bars: Gymnasts navigate a set of high and low bars, executing swings, releases, transitions, and intricate bar routines.
- Balance Beam: A narrow beam elevated off the ground where gymnasts perform various acrobatic skills, leaps, turns, and balance poses with precision and confidence.
Scoring System And Judging
Competitive gymnastics is scored based on a set of criteria. Judges assess the execution, difficulty, and artistry of the routines to assign scores. The execution score reflects the technical precision and performance quality, while the difficulty score accounts for the complexity and intricacy of the skills performed.
Skills And Technique
Gymnasts must learn and master a wide range of skills specific to each apparatus. These skills include flips, twists, handstands, cartwheels, aerials, and more. Proper technique, body alignment, and control are crucial to executing skills effectively and minimizing the risk of injury.
Gymnasts create routines that showcase their strengths and abilities. They incorporate a combination of compulsory elements (required skills) and optional elements (chosen by the gymnast) to create a cohesive and dynamic routine.
Competitive Advanced Gymnastics Trainings For Kids
GMGC is proud to offer competitive gymnastics techniques and training. Our team of expert coaches ensures that athletes learn the proper skills, understand the rules and regulations, and develop outstanding performance habits in order to reach their goals.
Super Silvers (4-6yrs.)
This class is for kids who have mastered the basics in their preschool classes. Kids are challenged even more in the same nurturing environment. Emphasis on using correct form, and increasing strength prepares your gymnast for the Gold Medalist program. Gymnasts are introduced to levels 1 and 2 of the USAG Junior Olympic Program.
They start to go on the larger gymnastics equipment at an earlier age. Students begin to connect skills in a row while adding perfect form and posture to their gymnastics. Class is 90 minutes and includes trampoline.
Super Silvers prepares students for Gold Medalists or Accelerated Class.
Gold Medalists (5-7yrs.)
This class is designed for children who show a special interest and wish to pursue gymnastics as a sport. Developing the core basics for a gymnast is crucial to their success in the Junior Olympic program. Gymnasts in this program will learn the fundamentals of USAG Level 3 including all the latest training techniques that are set forth by the USAG National staff.
These classes are more physically challenging while maintaining a fun game-like environment. Kids learn more advanced gymnastics skills and gain a sense of pride in their accomplishments. They have the option in participating in their own beginner level gymnastic competition! This competition is labeled a “fun meet” because it is an unofficial exhibition designed to give athletes a positive experience when they perform in front of a crowd. Classes are 2 hours and meet twice a week.
Gold Medalists prepares students for Mini-Team/Pre-Team.
Mini-Team (5-8yrs.) / Pre-Team (8+yrs)
Mini-Team is an introduction to competitive gymnastics training while still maintaining a fun environment. Students in this program are taught a solid foundation of basic skills from which future advanced skills can be built upon. Kids will even participate in their own beginner level gymnastic competition each year!
This competition is labeled “a fun meet” because it is an unofficial exhibition designed to give the athletes a positive experience when they perform in front of a crowd.
Mini-Team and Pre-Team prepares students for Twisting Class (only available at select locations).
Accelerated Class (6-15yrs.)
These 2 hour classes offer students a chance to master new skills at an accelerated pace. Girls can learn tumbling for their school sports such as cheerleading… etc., and boys can build strength for every sport that they play as well. Kids choose how many days a week they practice and workouts include increased conditioning and gymnastics.
Girl’s groups will have extra dance elements introduced into their workouts and boy’s groups will emphasize the strength skills needed for rings, pommels and p-bars. Students are divided into groups with their friends and with other kids of their skill level.
The accelerated program is a non-competitive program. Girls in this program may work towards qualifying for the USAG Junior Olympic Team or the IGC Team. Boys may qualify for the USAG Boys Team. However, being a member of a competitive team program is NOT required.
Accelerated Class prepares students for Club Team.
High School Group Program
This program gives High School students the opportunity to rent out and utilize our state of the art gym for team practices or group activities. Teams have the option to bring their own coach or to use one of our trained instructors. Gold Medal features 15′-18′ ceilings perfect for your squad or team.
High School Group Program prepares students for Cheerleading Squads.
Competition Season And Performance For Children
The competition season is an exciting and crucial time for competitive kid’s gymnastics. During this period, children can showcase their skills, compete against peers, and strive for their personal best. Some key aspects to consider when it comes to competition season and optimizing performance are:
In order to perform at your best during the competition season, goal setting is essential. Children’s self-directed ambitions may differ from one another according to their own skill sets and life experiences. A beginner might want to focus on mastering each routine without falling or making any mistakes, while advanced gymnasts might want to challenge themselves with more complex routines and higher scores. Young people can take strides toward their greatest performance and, ultimately, their best selves if they are given clear and challenging targets to work toward.
During competition season, mental preparation is just as crucial as physical preparation. Children need to learn to be confident in their skills and training to overcome any potential nervousness. This helps cultivate a focused and confident mindset that translates into optimal performance during competition.
Competition Routine Familiarization
The routines of young athletes are scrutinized more closely during competition season. The judges score everything from their stance to their technique. Kids can give themselves an advantage by learning the ins and outs of any tournament they enter. Being well-versed in the various competition routines will aid in concentration, self-assurance, and overall effectiveness.
Competition Physical Preparation
Strength, flexibility, and technique should be the focus of a continuous training routine for kids. Each child’s abilities and shortcomings will be taken into account as coaches design individualized training plans. Regular training increases stamina and strength, two factors that are essential for handling the rigors of competition.
How Children Can Overcome Challenges In Competitive Gymnastics
It is important to remember that failure, mistakes, and setbacks are normal experiences in competitive gymnastics. Children should be taught how to work through challenges and not become disheartened by them. Some strategies to help kids navigate challenges and bounce back from setbacks are:
Resilience And A Positive Mindset
Resilience is a key attribute for successful gymnasts, and it can be developed through training and experience. Children must learn to stay positive and focused, even in the face of failure. Encouraging them to adopt a growth mindset, where they see challenges as opportunities for growth and development, can help keep them motivated and upbeat. Additionally, praising effort instead of just results teaches children that hard work and perseverance are more important than winning.
Adaptability And Flexibility
Flexibility of body and mind is essential in the sport of gymnastics. Young people must practice adjusting to novel situations, such as traveling to different competition sites or using different equipment. In addition, obstacles can hinder development and training, such as accidents and diseases. Gymnasts need to be able to change and adapt quickly, so these skills should be emphasized in training.
Seek Support And Guidance
Having someone to lean on for advice, encouragement, and constructive feedback can be invaluable while dealing with difficulties. Children and adolescents have many people they can turn to for support, including parents, teachers, coaches, teammates, and mental health specialists. GMGC coaches and staff take great pride in being supportive and caring with their gymnasts.
Learn From Setbacks
Adversity and failure aren’t always negative. They provide a chance for kids to develop resilience and adaptability and an opportunity for growth and learning. It is the responsibility of teachers, parents, and coaches to assist their students in learning from their mistakes and shortcomings. Children can benefit greatly from learning where they fall short and then working to improve these areas.
Focus On Process And Progress
It’s easy to get caught up with the final tally in gymnastics. Kids can become overwhelmed by the expectations placed upon them and lose sight of what’s truly important if this keeps happening. Kids can gain self-esteem and motivation by concentrating on their development and accomplishments. Small successes, like learning a new skill or finishing a difficult exercise, should be celebrated to keep the person motivated and to make the trip more enjoyable.
Maintain Physical Well-Being
Physical well-being is essential for success in gymnastics. Athletes must focus on proper nutrition, hydration, and rest, as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation. Additionally, stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on physical health, so monitoring kids’ mental health is just as critical. Encourage children to take care of their physical and mental health and make it a priority in their training. By prioritizing their well-being, kids can feel more confident and capable of navigating the challenges of competitive gymnastics.
Embark On The Journey To Competitive Gymnastics Success With GMGC!
When encouraging your child to pursue competitive gymnastics, it is important to understand the basic fundamentals of the sport and the competition season’s expectations. With Gold Medal Gymnastics, you can rest assured that your child will be fully proficient in navigating success. We offer a wealth of instructional resources to create an enjoyable environment for your child, such as our advanced gymnastics classes. Our instructors are well-experienced, patient, and motivating, providing every child with the individual attention and guidance needed for peak performance. So, join us today and get ready to watch your child soar to new athletic heights!