Steps to Making Gymnastics Safe for Gymnasts
Be Prepared to Practice.As with any other physical activity, injuries occur much more often when you are tired and/or worn down. Make sure you get sufficient sleep the night before your classes or practices.
If you did not get enough sleep, rest and take a nap before class or practice. Make sure your body has enough energy from nutrition to last through your class or practice.Build Your Strength to Increase Your Safety Margin.The stronger and more flexible you are, the less likely you are to get hurt and the more likely you are to learn gymnastics skills quickly and safely. Flexibility not only makes many skills more beautiful to watch (like back walkovers), but also can make you less prone to injury.
So prepare for your gymnastics career first by working to make yourself strong and flexible.Make Sure You Understand What to Do.Tell your coach if you don't completely understand instructions on what to do.
You should know and understand exactly what skill your teacher expects you to do and how they want you to do it. If you are not sure, ask! Understanding will also help you learn more quickly and do skills more safely.Follow Proper Skill Progressions and Master Skills .It is extremely important to learn gymnastics skills in the proper order of difficulty. Gymnasts should not be attempting difficult skills without learning all the lead-up skills and doing any appropriate lead-up drills. Gymnastics is a series of habits built upon other habits.
Moving along too quickly without mastering skills can ultimately interfere with learning higher level gymnastics skills.Follow Proper Equipment Progressions.It is only common sense to work on gymnastics apparatus in their naturally progressive order.
Beam skills are first learned and mastered on the floor (on a line). Then gymnasts can move up to low, medium and high beams.The More Mats the Safer.Make sure there are enough mats under and around the equipment you are working on. The harder the skill you are doing the more mats it is wise to have in potential landing and fall areas.
Don't be shy about gong to get some more mats if some area is not sufficiently and safely matted.Tell Your Coach If You are Injured or Get Hurt.Let your coach decide if you need medical attention, ice, a band aid, or if you can and should continue to work out if you get injured. Don't keep injuries to yourself.Be Safe, Not Sorry!.
Follow all gym rules and the above steps for a safe and happy gymnastics career..John Howard is the author of 15 books and e-Books about gymnastics, gym design, gymnastics humor and cheerleading.
He has 25 years experience and has coached State, Regional and National champion gymnasts and international competitors and cheerleaders at the National level in NCAA Division I.GymnasticsZone.com is a web site for gymnasts, cheerleaders, coaches and parents with numerous FREE articles and information, fun pages and activities available for viewing at: http://GymnasticsZone.com.More In-depth information products are available at: http://gymnasticszone.com/eBooks.
By: J Howard
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