Gymnastics Coaches are the world experts in warm-up games and activities. Games should be the very best time spent in our gyms.
They are fantastic for all athletes.
I did a presentation on this topic at the 2007 BC Fall Congress:
Of course, SAFETY (physical and emotional) is the over-riding principle. The inexperienced coach is prone to start a game appropriate to the majority of the kids, but too complicated for the youngest and least experienced.
I led a sampling of games in these categories:
The easiest way to increase FUN, challenge and complexity is by putting kids together as partners, trios or into small groups.
I advised coaches to do more combative games with girls, fewer (or none) with boys.
Many clubs overuse tag games which are often dangerous. We should do more co-operative activities and races.
Unfortunately there are no GREAT books or videos available yet on this topic. The best is the out-of-print Gymnastic games and activities: A compendium, by Ken Daley (1981).
We’ve posted Games Guru David Adlard’s PowerPoint presentation previously. Dave is an elite Artistic coach who no longer uses a stretching warm-up. His girls do games only for warm-up.
But what every coach needs is a video database of recommended games. Leave a comment if you are interested in working on a project like that.