Tag Archive | athletes

Competition Ettiquette

On the evening or Supporting Sunday and ahead of one of the busiest competitive couple of months I thought I’d lay out a few suggestions about how Coaches, Parents and Athletes can set a good example at competitions!

oly_2012_804gtlt2211_1280x720_644187203629

Athletes: Do

  • Applaud teammates and other athletes who do well.
  • Respect other teams and individuals.
  • Respect the judges’ decisions.
  • Applaud other team’s successes

Athletes: Don’t

  • Be aggressive or abuse the opposition.
  • Vocalise negativity or disappointment.
  • Question the judges marks or decisions.

Coaches: Do

  • Applaud a good performance, whether it’s your athlete or not.
  • Give encouragement and positive feedback on the competition floor, especially between routines.
  • Manage team and individual expectations.
  • Manage your own club’s parents and athletes!

Coaches: Don’t

  • Shout instructions during a performance, practice or warm up.
  • Instruct athletes how to do their routine.
  • Give negative reactions to a judge’s decision or mark.

Parents: Do

  • Applaud for all athletes, especially the ones who step back up after a fall- they’re the ones that need the most encouragement of all.
  • Applaud all the team placings, not just your own teams success.
  • Encourage your athletes to be pleased, whatever the result.

Parents: Don’t

  • Shout loudly and interfere with athletes’ performances.
  • Instruct coaches, athletes or officials on what they should be doing – it’s not your job!
  • Give negative reactions to the judges scores, accept their decision.
  • Speak badly of other athletes regardless of your thoughts on their performance, if you’re supporting someone else, your opinion is biased and unwarranted.

#SupportingSunday

Happy competing everyone! ~Bella 😉

Stretching: Help or Harm?

I’ve recently been taking a good look at stretching, specifically the benefits and when during a training session you should or shouldn’t be stretching. Some of my findings were new to me, so I thought I’d share a general overview and some of what I learned.

dynamic-stretching-e1378495898544

What is stretching?

The movement of your muscles through their complete range of motion. There are two types of stretches: Dynamic and Static. Dynamic is the continuous movement of a muscle smoothly through its complete range of motion, for example leg swings. Static stretching is placing a muscle in a stretch and holding it in that position, for example if you were to raise your leg at a height and fold your body over it, holding the stretch for a fixed amount of time.

Dynamic Stretching is great at the beginning of a session because it helps to improve metabolic activity and blood flow to the muscle. This in turn helps with the muscles range of motion and power output, as well as preventing injury.

Static Stretches initially cause muscles to contract, and are proven to decrease the power available in the muscle for a short period – not what you want before a training session requiring maximum power. However when held for around 20 seconds post-workout, static stretches are effective at helping muscles to recover and heal, gently increase your flexibility and relax your muscles.

When is it best to stretch?

Based on my research, Dynamic activation stretches are great to include in your warm up. Static stretching in a fixed position for 20 seconds are most effective after exercise, during your cool down.

For a brief dynamic warm up, check out the video below from 13’07”. This video also really makes you think about the best use of a training session, especially when as Nath discusses (11′ in) the most ‘efficient use of time for optimal training’ doesn’t include static stretching, which can be done anywhere at any time, instead of getting onto the equipment you’re there to work on. He also makes a good point when it comes to young kids and the lack of ‘fun’ in stretching as opposed to using the equipment in the gym.

I hope you found this interesting and informative. I know it’s helped to inform what stretches I use in my training and coaching sessions. I’d really appreciate your thoughts below. On a side note, I was taught a warm up is for both the body and mind, do you think shortening the warm up could pose a risk to a athlete being less mentally prepared? Comment below with your opinion, I’d love to hear it!

~ Bella

#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.
Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 17.26.37Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 17.26.56

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 😉

Motivation Monday: How to motivate an athlete…

Studies show us that motivation is linked to a number of conditions being present such as competency, tangible results, personal influence, value or personal interest and social approval, so if you want your athlete motivated, help them to:

  • Feel competent and able to complete the task
    As a coach, are we there when they need us and do we step back at the right time for the athlete to go “I did it!” Are we equipping our athletes with the knowledge and skills to have the confidence to try?
  • See a correlation between their actions and the outcome
    Where is the end goal? It’s easy to have an end goal but forget to share this with athletes, or realised that they’re mature enough to see and understand an end goal. Also important here sometimes is for individuals to see others whose actions are different are getting the outcome they want, though this is not always motivating…
  • Influence some control over how they complete the task
    With the point above, some influence on the goal as well as how and when they want to achieve it could be all the motivation an athlete needs.
  • See how the task has value or interest to the student
    What they want to achieve – as a gymnastics coach how many times do you get a kid turn up to their first session demanding when they’ll be doing ‘flips’? Do they know all the steps to getting to that point and what the pre-requisites are? That in itself is a big motivator for progress!
  • Feel the social approval the task brings
    A team and encouraging environment can do wonders to an athletes attitude in training. Rewarding effort and progress is a socially positive experience.

So here are some small tweaks in how we as coaches can help boost our gymnasts’ motivation based on educational research. Read more about Gymnastic-specific motivation on this brilliant blog that gives you the nitty-gritty details or tap into an article on Forbes by James Marshall Crotty about how Motivation Matters in education.