Thursday, 22 November 2012

Coaches Corner: Coaching Is Not An Exact Science-It's An Art!

As a coach, there are two main types of feedback that you can give to your gymnasts- praise or criticism. Obviously, if a gymnast has made improvements and progress, positive feedback is appropriate. However, especially for older gymnasts who are already performing skills well, some structured criticism regarding technique will help them to perfect their skills.

Younger gymnasts require constant positive feedback to boost their confidence levels

How a coach handles each individual gymnast also depends upon the gymnast themselves. Talented gymnasts who learn new skills quickly will require critical feedback in order for them to polish the skills and perform them to the best of their ability. However, gymnasts which struggle to get certain skills will require much encouragement and positive feedback while they learn. Each gymnast is unique and should be coached in a way that works best for them. Coaching is not an exact science, it's an art!

It is easy for a coach to become quickly frustrated when gymnasts are not making the changes they ask for. It is important for the coach to remember that the gymnast is probably just as equally frustrated. At times like these, the coach should provide positive feedback as well as reminding the gymnast of what they need to fix. For example,

"That vault had lots of power, but you still need to think about leaning back on the beat-board".

"Cool, that's one of your better kips today, but remember to keep those legs close to the bar".

Article by Imogen Browne (@ImogenMireille)

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