Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The art of Progressions is the foundation of teaching and learning Gymnastics. This makes it safe and approachable for anyone, regardless of the amount of experience they have.

The first step is to break down the skill and  learn the movement pattern. For example, if the skill is a backward tuck, then the very basic movement pattern is a straight jump followed by tucking the knees into the chest. This is practiced without the full turnover against a wall or on a resi pit so that you can learn to apply speed and power to the skill. It also teaches you to jump high before tucking.

Once you know what you're supposed to be doing you practice with assistance. The ides is to make strength and power requirements less by using mat layouts and elevation. For example, doing a back tuck into the foam pit to make sure you're landing on your feet or using the trampoline so you can focus on the flip and not worry about the height. From there the coach will spot you through the skill. This will provide enough support without taking the hard work out of the task. You'll be given some helpful hints on how to improve from your coach and gain confidence.

Then practice makes perfect! It will take 800 repetitions to perfect the action so that the body does it instinctively. That doesn't mean 800 back tucks, that means 800 progressions! Practicing the individual drills for a skill keeps you from getting sloppy and picking up bad habits. It also keeps you from getting injured.
Once you've gotten the basic movement patterns, you can perform the skill in pieces. Again using the backflip, you can practice the jump and tuck without a full turnover by jumping back against a mat set up on a wall. As you jump backward, you will hit the wall with your upper back as you tuck your knees to your chest. This step gives you the sense of going through the motions while also applying speed and power. It also teaches you to jump high before tucking.

Read more:
all gymnastics skills are taught and learned through the use of progressions that make them safe and approachable for anyone, no matter how much gymnastics experience you may have.

Read more:
all gymnastics skills are taught and learned through the use of progressions that make them safe and approachable for anyone, no matter how much gymnastics experience you may have.

Read more:
all gymnastics skills are taught and learned through the use of progressions that make them safe and approachable for anyone, no matter how much gymnastics experience you may have.

Read more:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tricks and Treats

There are many ways to "trick" kids into learning and "treat" them to some laugh out loud fun in the process. Let me reach into my goodie bag and show you some Tricks and Treats of learning at the gym.

Cartwheels. Often we'll use a piece of foam for kids to jump over or hold so they can kick while learning cartwheels. The strategy is they're focused on the foam more than the "I can't or I don't know how". This makes it fun and helps them learn to pop the hips and lift the legs.

Balance. Bean bags on the head while walking on the beam is crazy fun. Instead of them looking at the beam to walk, they have to focus on keeping their heads up and look only at the far end of the beam. Some kids will figure out how to place it so their ponytales hold it in place, while others hold it with their hands til they get the hang of it.

Rainbows. The rainbows hold endless fun. From helping learn how to hold the splits to learning how to spot backward skills. The kids just see it as something to climb on and rock in. They have no idea that they're learning gymnastics until the Coach helps them finish the skill. The surprised looks of "Oh wow. I did it!" always bring a smile to coaches, students, and parents.

So next time you see your child having way to much fun, remember they're being tricked into learning some pretty awesome skills, and the end result is rewarding :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The root of all sports

Gymnastics is the root of all sports. It involves the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance.

In ancient times, exercises began with athletic feats performed by each individual according to his own notion. The youths were encouraged to combine amusement with exercise. In time, this kind of exercise was incorporated into a system that figured prominently in the state regulations for education. In fact, the period for exercise or gymnastics was equal to the time spent on art and music combined. All Greek cities had a gymnasium, a courtyard for jumping, running, and wrestling. The term included stretching exercises and warm-up preparations for athletes. These were based on military exercises.

 In the year 1569, Girolamo Mercuriale from Italy wrote Le Arte Gymnastica, that brought together his study of the attitudes of the ancients toward diet, exercise and hygiene, and the use of natural methods for the cure of disease. De Arte Gymnastica also explained the principles of physical therapy and is considered the first book on sports medicine.

In the late eighteenth century, three pioneer physical educators created exercises for boys and young men on specific apparatuses  that ultimately led to what is considered modern gymnastics Today, both men's and women's gymnastics now attract considerable international interest, and excellent gymnasts can be found on every continent.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kids say the funniest things

Being a preschool coach for many years I've gotten to hear some of the cutest things. There is one in particular that stands out....

Every day to begin class we have to do our warm ups. In my classes I always made our animal walks a continuation of the warm up process. I used to have a book full of animal pictures and the kids would look at the picture and do that walk. The kids got to be very good at these and would often speed through them. It was a contest. Until...

One day while doing the walks I noticed that one student kept getting slower instead of trying to win. I was encourage him to do his best, quite unsuccessfully. Then it happened. He said something to me that even now makes me laugh!

He turned the page of the book to the kangaroo. Then, as all the other kids did the hops down the mat, he said "Miss Michelle I'm allergic to hopping". I have never laughed so hard. I was in tears.

That day I finished up the lesson plan early so we could have extra game time. It's moments like those that made me love coaching so much!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hello everyone! I would like to start this first blog by saying thank you. Gonyons Gymnastics is a family owned business and when you come to our gym, you become part of that family :) We are truly blessed to have  amazing community support. We hope to show you how important you are to us by striving for excellence.

We begin this new year with some new faces among the staff and some fresh ideas. You're in for another fun and exciting year :) We also appreciate your cooperation in following the rules of the gym.

Not only is blogging new this year, but so is our Facebook page. I hope you find them fun, entertaining, and chalked full of helpful information. You're feedback and pictures are welcome, all we ask is that it's respectful.

Welcome to Gonyon's Gymnastics!