gymnastics GAMES

Rick McCharles

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:

  • goals: FUN, Fitness, Fundamentals
  • kids use their own body first … delay adding balls, ribbons, etc. for as long as possible
  • near continuous activity
  • success for all participants (no “losers”)
  • challenge / discovery
  • use a wide variety of games
  • repeat favourite games of the group
  • 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.

  • age appropriate
  • ability appropriate
  • ethical
  • I led a sampling of games in these categories:

  • Organizing games and activities
  • Mimic activities (e.g. “fly like a jet plane”)
  • Co-operative games and activities
  • Tag games
  • Combative games and activities
  • Races
  • Relays
  • 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.

    gymnastics-game.jpg
    Christchurch School of Gymnastics

    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.

    Published by

    Rick Mc

    Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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