… A year ago, Youna Dufournet was en route to London, the world championships and a bronze medal on vault. Today, the worlds seem far to the gymnast …. Not sufficiently recovered from her left knee surgery, she had to withdraw from the selection test, held Saturday evening at Insep …
Though he took a lot of grief for that non-spot, I’m somewhat sympathetic for the coach (her personal coach) on this one. That’s a very tough decision to make in a split second.
… He did not need to grandstand by leaving his arms out to the side. Especially as it turned out she was injured on that fall.
Molly Shawen Kollmann trained Def. She can’t understand why Youna has it so late in the routine.
This girl is an awesome gymnast. But her career seems jinxed. Or is it dangerous coaching, as many speculate?
At the time (May 2010) it was thought to be a meniscus injury. Leave a comment if you have information on Youna’s condition for World’s. UPDATE: She’s been training over the summer, knee seemingly cured.
… BelowÂ are some of my reasons for minimal spotting and the value I believe it brings to our young athletes.Â
Minimal Spotting Approach – Rationale
Using a teaching approach to gymnastics skills that relies minimally on spotting results in:
1.Â Independence:Â children learn by finding out what they can do by themselves, not what an adult/teacher can do for them; dependence on a spotter is diminished, or doesn’t occur.
2.Â Confidence:Â when children accomplish a skill and can do it alone, this builds their confidence.
3.Â Saftey:Â children learn how to fall and not get hurt; children who learn what they can do by themselves do not have a false sense of security.Â For example, a child knows she needs to grip the bar in order not to fall.
4.Â Body Control:Â children learn what it takes to move body parts (trunk, legs, arms, shoulders) and hold a position (straight, arch, hollow).Â Teachers may move parts notÂ in position, then see if a child can “find” it again…
5.Â Teacher Observation:Â when spotting a skill, the teacher is often too close to see what the child is doing; when the teacher stands back and observes, attempts at a teaching station, she or he can analyze body positions, timing, etc. to provide corrective feedback.
CRITICAL:Â in order to teach with minimal spotting, the right equipment is necessary, as well as knowledgeable teachers.Â The equipment is only as good as the teacher who can create appropriate stations with it.