10 Reasons Why I Love Aimee Boorman

I love this! You can really see Aimee’s coaching philosophy is to keep it fun, so the gymnast wants to learn more, faster and Aimee’s results speak for themselves. Maybe for our elite coaches, there are lessons to be learned there… What do you think?
~ Bella

JAG GYM Blog

blog coach pride

She understands what an incredible sport gymnastics is for all kids.   Aimee says, “I love watching kids grow. Gymnastics is more about life than just being a sport.  It teaches you about respect, dedication, time management, drive…I could go on and on.”

She puts the child before the gymnast. According to the The Los Angeles Times Aimee she does not monitor Biles’ diet, encourages her to have a life outside of gymnastics, and wants her to spend time with friends.  “You have to avoid burnout,” Aimee said. “I believe in family vacations. I believe in taking time off. I believe if it’s your best friend’s birthday, you take the day off and go spend it with her. That’s time you can’t get back.”

She understands that the number one reason kids quit sports is that it is no longer fun—so she makes it fun. “We knew early…

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Freedom and Responsibility

Happy 4th of July to any American out there and anyone else who celebrates Freedom & Independence!

JAG GYM Blog

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With freedom, comes responsibility–the responsibility to exercise the power that your freedom brings you in a way that makes you worthy of your autonomy and demonstrates the value you place on having liberty.

Coaches, each time you have a group of children who you are instructing you have the freedom to create a lesson that matches the goals you have for the group. You also have the responsibility to create a lesson that builds your athletes in a healthy manner, both physically and psychologically.

Gymnasts each time you are given autonomy to monitor your own conditioning or complete you assignment without a coach standing over you, you have the opportunity to show that you are trustworthy by doing what was asked of you.

Freedom may mean the right to so as one pleases, but there is two very important caveats: your freedom does not give you the right to impinge…

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#RoadToRio Series: Gymnasts who made it!

The Olympic draws in Gymnastics were released on the 5th May 2016. To find out which athletes or nations will complete, check out the info below. The draws for Artistic Gymnastics, Trampoline and Rhythmic Gymnastics were held during the FIG Council meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rio Olympics 2016 Gymnast by bubble-emporium

Rio Olympics 2016 Gymnast by bubble-emporium. Click the picture to purchase

Artistic

A total of 98 gymnasts (12 teams of five gymnasts and 38 individuals) will compete in the qualification round in both Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in Rio.

Find out more about the Men’s Artistic here.

Trampoline

Sixteen men and sixteen women will take part in the qualification round in Trampoline.
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UPDATE: Great Britain have secured 2 places in the Women’s Trampoline competition and 1 Men’s place to compete in the Olympics – Go team GB! Once the team members have been confirmed, I’ll let you know with a further update. ~ Bella

Rhythmic

In Rhythmic Gymnastics, 26 gymnasts will take part in the individual competition, while 14 nations have qualified for the Group competition.

 

Do you have a favourite gymnast hoping to gain one of those precious olympic spots? Let me know in the comments below! ~ Bella 😉

#RoadToRio Series: Gymnastics at the Olympics

So ages ago on twitter I said I was thinking of doing a ‘road to rio’ series, and since there are now less that 100 Days ’til the games, I think now is clearly the time to get started on that!

Gymnastics became an Olympic sport in 1896 with the modern gymnastics movement, but for the first 32 years, only men were allowed!

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In the 1928 games in Amsterdam, women competed for the first time in Artistic Gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is usually divided into Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics. Men compete on six events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, while women compete on four: Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise.

Fun Fact: Saudi Arabia proposed a bid for a men-only olympics in 2016!

Countries like Saudi Arabia must really work to allow female athletes to ‘freely participate’.
– IOC President Thomas Bach

Only women compete in rhythmic gymnastics, which was introduced into the Olympics in 1984’s Los Angeles games. Rhythmic involves the performance of separate routines with the use of five apparatus (ball, ribbon, hoop, clubs and rope) on a floor area.

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Trampoline is a relatively new discipline for both men and women, which was only introduced 3 cycles ago at the 2000 Sydney games.

So that’s a brief introduction to each of the disciplines, in the next post, we’ll take a look at Great Britain’s prospects this year which have been looking better and better!

Speak soon! ~ Bella 😉

Autistic children take things literally…

So one of the most useful things I gained from my disability module was a better insight into specific disabilities and some character/ behaviour traits that are useful to know so here’s my contribution to your learning! 😜

The first and most important thing to know about ‘Autism’ is that it’s a behavioural spectrum disorder. Often referred to as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) every single child is somewhere ‘on the spectrum’ and every child is unique. So for example some “high-functioning” children can cope well in mainstream sessions and hold conversations well, while other children on the spectrum may struggle in day-to-day environments and not want to engage verbally.

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A second grade Autistic child’s response to the assignment

Another (illustrated beautifully above) is that some children interpret instructions literally. This is why you should never ask an autistic (or any other) child to “jump” off the trampoline. If the child takes the request literally and jumps down, they really won’t understand an admonishment, as they were simply following your exact instructions. So keep any instructions very clear and easy to understand.

One of the kids I teach “Oli” we’ll call him, often needs instructions in reverse order. So rather than saying “Can you do 10 seat drops in a row for me please Oli” it is easier for him to understand “Oli, seat drop 10 times”. Yes we do lose the “please can you” but to him this is superfluous information that is simply confusing and not something he needs to remember, so leave it out.

One of the things that struck me most about a class of children with similar needs being run was the order, structure and predictability of what was being taught. For example every child knew that the warm up was:

2 tuck
3 straddle
4 pike
5 seat drops
6 tuck
7 straddle
8 pike
9 seat drops and a full twist.

They also knew that “last goes” meant 20 seat drops followed by home time. This routine avoids melt downs, confusion and helps the children learn turn taking and what’s “fair” as well as teary tantrums of “I don’t wanna go!” Admittedly I once made the mistake of asking for 20 seat drops half way through a session, which prompted the child to ask “is it home time already?” Fortunately an explanation sufficed in that situation!

Another thing worth being aware of is many children have sensory sensitivities, such as an inability to cut out sounds – notably background noise, which leads to difficulties concentrating. Other children may like loud noises and find it easier to concentrate while making a loud noise.

Finally, another point to be aware of is that children on the spectrum do not always perceive danger, therefore the rules in a gym need to be clear from the start, and understood, with a close eye on children who aren’t on the trampoline.

So in summary, when coaching – stick to a routine, keep instructions plain and simple and try to avoid information-overload! The best solution to helping a child is ofter to ask the parent or carer, who manage all of the child’s behaviours and may already have several mechanisms to help their child which you too could use to make the most of the time they have with you.

Hope that helps and if you have anything to add, please comment below!
Meantime… keep bouncing! 😉 ~ Bella Bounce

Sacrifices…

So those of you that follow my new Twitter account, (Hint Hint!) will already be aware that yesterday brought a difficult choice to make between coaching and training myself. I’m at the age now where there are loads of kids coming through better than me (well, currently the same as me, but they’re nearly half my age…) So I often debate with myself whether now is the time to give up doing Trampoline myself and start focussing on my coaching. Certainly if I gave one up I’d have a lot more time to focus on the other! But I always said I’d carry on until I stopped learning stuff/ progressing…

In hindsight, I don’t know if that was a realistic goalpost, because technically you can never stop improving if you work at it, so maybe I just wasn’t ready to stop when I said that. Although there is this one kid, Claire we’ll call her: she and I were training together last week, and I know she has potential and natural ability by the bucket load. It was abundantly clear when the two of us were working on the same drills and skills. What she grasped fairly quickly with control and awareness, I was still only just grasping with some control and very little awareness. I shouldn’t compare but, it’s tough to literally watch someone overtake you. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge her that at all, she’s a talented kid and I love watching her work at this kind of thing and celebrate the moment when it all ‘clicks’, it just begs the question whether I’d have just as much fun coaching as I do training. I might even find it more rewarding. Or maybe I’d just miss it and regret the sacrifice.

That brings me back to my sacrifice. I made one today when I decided to switch the leotard for the coaching Tee. It’s a great opportunity to work with kids that I don’t often work with, and a fantastic opportunity to develop as a coach in a different environment. I’ve been itching to work more with kids that are already somersaulting, ’cause I actually enjoy teaching line-outs and improving technique beyond a basic front and back somersault. There’s also the added bonus that as a newer/ less regular coach to them, I’m a bit of a novelty at the moment and they’re behaving like sponges, really trying to impress.

So today, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make, and I’ll catch up on my own training later on in the week. What sacrifices do you make in life? Do you regret them, or relish the new opportunities that come with that? I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below. Meantime, keep bouncing! ~Bella 😉

Ps if I give up, my blog name doesn’t work as well!