"The fear of facing fears is harder to overcome than the fear itself." - Anonymous
Previously we have discussed the power of "Yet" and how language can effect our actions. This time, I would like to discuss how our thoughts can effect our actions in the Gym.
Recently I found myself being encouraged to discuss this topic to a wider audience, and I couldn't agree more with how beneficial it could be. Yet it is such a vast topic, where would I possibly start? In that question I had found my answer. Uncertainty.
The words "I can't" are heard all too often in the gym, but they do not mean what you think. The words "I can't" are being spoken from a place of uncertainty, fear and anxiety. The words represent the self doubt we face when we are confronted with something new.
To dive into the unknown when there is a risk is a daunting task, no matter the age of the individual. The added threat of injury at any given attempt only makes it all the more challenging.
So how can we approach something that we cannot touch or see?
I believe understanding and acceptance are where a gymnast will make their largest strides to success. Fear is natural, and has been evident in nature for hundreds of thousands of years. There is no getting rid of fear. It is here to stay!
However, Fear is not bad. In fact it is incredibly useful. It will keep a gymnast concentrating on their technique. It will aid a coach in making sure a gymnast is ready for a skill before they attempt it. It will encourage precaution and sensibility in the most outgoing of gymnasts.
Forcing a gymnast through a skill might seem like the appropriate thing to do, either as a parent or as a coach. We might see it as a simple task, and we can see they are capable. Which in turn might get some of us a little frustrated, which means we can rush things. This can lead to "mental blocks" or "skill blocks". There is a big difference between encouragement and pressuring.
If you force a gymnast to attempt a skill there is a very strong chance they are going to bail. They are not going to commit to the skill, they are going to get half way through and then they are going to panic, and do anything they can to get out of the skill. The problem is, we aren't quite as effective as cats... so when a gymnast is high in the air and decides they don't like it, they aren't able to twist their bodies and land back casually on their feet. They are almost certainly going to land on the heaviest and most vital part of their bodies. Yep, you guessed it. Their heads.
This will only prove to the gymnast that their fears where in fact correct, the worst could possibly happen and they will get hurt.
It is important to remember that a child or teenager is not as skilled at identifying emotional challenges like adults are. They need guidance until they can find themselves at a resolution.
Here are some ways we can handle fear:
1. Identifying the source of the fear. For this you will need to communicate, unless you are in fact a mind-reader and in which case may i strongly suggest a career change! Is your gymnast afraid of the fall? The height? Have they previously attempted this skill and it didn't go to plan? Are they not strong enough yet? Are they worried about looking silly?
2. Game, set and match! You need to approach it in small portions. If they are afraid of being on a high bar, change the bar or raise the crash mats so it doesn't seem as high. If they are afraid of looking silly in front of their class mates, offer private lessons until they feel more confident.
3.Mental Strength & Focus. They are always numerous aspects to a skill, and you are expected to execute all of them... at the same time.. but don't over think it... and don't forget to set up the skill properly... oh and definitely don't forget to present at the end. That's a lot to take in right? Helping your gymnast focus on one thing at a time will allow them to truly be present, and focused. This also goes for life outside of the gym. They might have maths' homework, an art project due, a family dinner and an exam coming up they need to study for!
Help them to breathe, pick one to focus on for now, and feel confident in their capabilities.
4. Remind them how brave they are for even trying! Even basic gymnastics skills are not simple, and attempting them in the first place requires bravery & gumption.
There is a lot that go wrong due to fear, but also a lot that can go right!
Do not give up! It may take you longer than you expected but you can and you will get there if you keep fighting for it.
Who do you think should read this blog post? Tag them and let's start the conversation about "I can't".
Signing off for now,
If I asked you to sing all the words to Mary had a little lamb, without any prompting... could you do it? I can guarantee you can remember almost every word to that nursery rhyme. What about Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? I'm sure it would be the same.
There is a reason why you can remember the words to a song after all this time, but you might often forget what someone told you a couple of hours ago.
Songs are a learning tool used around the world to help little ones learn and discover the world around them. Here at FCGC we use songs in all of our PlaySkills programs to aid our gymnasts through learning classroom behavior, social skills, pattern awareness, vocabulary building, rhythm, communication and mimicking behaviors. All of which will be fundamental to your little ones development.
As we sing we tend to slow our speech down and articulate all of the words. This gives your little gymnast time to listen intently and learn how to put sounds together to create a word or a sentence. While singing, it is very common for us to sing in a higher tone which is incredibly engaging and stimulating for a developing brain. The sillier you can make the song, the more likely you are to have your little one mimic you and join you in the process.
Studies have shown that children who enjoy music and who sing and rhyme regularly have an easier time understanding language.
The best part is, you can find a song on just about any topic you like! You can start singing about body parts, colours, numbers, animals, gymnastics skills and more!
Have you attended a PlaySkill class at FCGC before? Can you remember what song you sang? Let me know in the comment section below!
Signing off for now,
Our feet do a lot for us everyday, but how often do we spend trying to keep them fit and healthy? The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. That is one complex structure!
Every person who has feet, will have different feet than you. They are very unique to your stride, balance and locomotion. Each person will have a slightly different arch position, width, length, ankle stability, toe spread etc. All of these attributes have been developed over the years of living and even before you were born.
Today I am going to share some great injury prevention exercises with you all to keep you on your feet for as long as possible!
Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart from each other. Try to lift just your big toe's off the floor, leaving all other toes firmly on the ground. Next, try to lift all your little toes and keep your big toes firmly on the ground. Swap between these as many times as you can. This might take some practice as this is a bit of an unusual movement pattern. People who pronate, or roll to the inner arch, have a hard time lifting the big toes and most people who supinate, or roll on to the outer edges of the foot, have a hard time lifting the other toes.
This is an exercise most of us are familiar with and have likely attempted before. However you most likely only thought about it strengthening your calves. When this exercise is slowed right down and a lot of the intention is focused onto the feet, you get a lot of benefits through the gradual articulation of the ligaments.
Stand with your feet close together. You can use an object to help stabilize yourself, but not to hold your body weight. Gradually rise through the ball of your foot and lift your heels off the ground, as slow as possible until you reach releve or full height. Reverse this process until your heel is placed back onto the ground. Be aware of your feet through out the entire exercise and make sure you are not rolling in or outwards over your ankle, and that your weight is distributed evenly over all of your toes.
SOFT SURFACE BALANCES:
We are constantly walking on hard ground all day and our ankles rarely get the opportunity to stabilize you on uneven and soft surfaces. A bosu ball is a piece of equipment often used for this exercise however if you don't have one you can substitute this exercise by standing on pool noodles, a pillow, blanket, sand, crash mat or a sturdy rounded object.
Simply balance on one foot at a time on the soft surface and really consider all the engagement required by those muscles to keep your ankle in alignment. If you find this too simple, you can change it up by trying to do heel raises or balancing on one leg and trying to touch the floor with your hands while balancing or one legged squats.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a video to explain this one instead.
There are numerous ways you can prevent injury or recover from an injury through consistent and comprehensive exercises. These are just a few that I like and find to be exceptionally helpful.
It's never too late to start taking care of your body!
Which exercise was your favorite in today's blog? Which do you think you will try first? Leave a comment below to discuss any ideas!
Signing off for now,
Are you running out of ideas for the kids over the summer school holidays? Not sure how a school holiday program works, or how your kids would enjoy it? Did you know we run an extensive school holiday program right here at FCGC?!
Trying to keep the kids entertained and active over the holiday period can be a challenge, especially if you have to return to work before the youngsters go back to school.
We all want to keep our kids happy, healthy and engaged! One of the best ways we can initiate this, is to allow them personal time to develop and explore in a safe environment.
Allowing a child to participate in a school holiday program, can boost a child's learning capacity in nearly all aspects of the social, personal, physical and emotional development. A child participating in our program will develop communication skills with others, leadership skills, group interaction skills, safe play skills as well as confidence and many more important skills for life!
FCGC's school holiday program has been created with an array of participants in mind. We truly believe we offer a unique program for all those involved.
Each day of FCGC's school holiday program has been designed so all children will get the most out of their experience. Our weekday programs offer multiple different themes, all with new exciting activities! From arts & crafts, to science experiments, food creations, brain teasers and more. Each individual experience should be special, fun and over all educational in many ways. The best part is, they will be having so much fun they will hardly notice they are learning as they play and create!
Our gym time and free play sessions will also allow them plenty of time to get all their sillies out - so to speak! Movement is the biggest facilitator for learning, for all gymnasts big or small, new or experienced. Rest assured your little gymnast will have plenty of opportunities to practise new and old skills, run, jump, climb and more!
Does this sound like the perfect program for you? I think it does too!
Check out our School Holidays Program tab on our website or click HERE for more info.
We can't wait to see you over the holidays!
Signing off for now,
Yet. It is such a small word, with such a big impact.
There are two very common forms of mind set we often see. A “Fixed Mind-Set” and a “Growth Mind-Set”. The way we view ourselves and our achievements can be reflected back to either of these two forms of mind sets. Having a fixed mind set can mean you think of yourself as is, without much room for growth. A growth mind set can mean you think of yourself as changing, and believe your skills will change and grow as you learn.
The use of our language can directly impact others, and ourselves when it comes to our developmental learning and our motivation!
Using phrases like “yet” or “not just yet” can really set a goal and boost ones motivational levels.
If a gymnasts says “I can’t do that!”, it’s best to encourage them to say “I can’t do that - yet!”
It also means that with guidance they will continue to learn, and persist in their journey to succeed.
This simple change of language shifts their mindset from fixed, to a growth mind-set. Which will encourage them to learn over time. It is very important we are helping our gymnasts to keep in mind that every attempt they make, will contribute to their long term learning and their goals.
Sometimes it can be challenging for our gymnasts to understand this concept. With help from their coaches and their trusted adults, we can guide them to the understanding that patience, persistence and perseverance in our actions and our words will set them up for success!
What do you think about today’s blog post? Please comment any of your experiences with positive language, and the power of “yet” below, we would love to hear your stories.
Signing off for now,
We all want to get the most out of our training! Even if we do all have some off days occasionally. So here is some advice from other gymnasts on how to make your personal training great, BEFORE you even enter the gym:
Signing out for now,
If you have ever considered trying out Adult Gymnastics, this post is for you!
I am certain you always hear people talk about the physical benefits of gymnastics, or any other sport. I am also almost certain you could name many benefits yourself. So what else could be a benefit of gymnastics that you may not have considered?
The way you approach new challenges will be a true determining factor for most things in your life. Especially so with Adult Gymnastics.
If you haven't come from a gymnastics background it can be daunting! Even if you used to partake in gymnastics as a child, it can be overwhelming returning to an activity after many years.
Studies have shown that being involved in regular physical activity is beneficial for improving your focus, learning and concentration capacity. With these natural added benefits on your side, your attitude and mental toughness will be ready to be tested. The only thing really stopping you from learning that back tuck is, well your own thought process.
The ability to maintain focus and determination to complete new skills - despite how scary, is a mental skill of its own! Your discipline can be trained, just like your muscles. It is something we all struggle with in our daily lives. Through gymnastics, you can learn to push yourself beyond your ‘giving up’ point. You will learn to succeed in the face of adversity.
However, your mentality to never quit, despite the results... is what makes Adult Gymnastics special. These important skills will carry over to your everyday life. Gymnastics will really teach you, “Skills for Life”.
Of course, there are other numerous benefits such as:
Have you considered Adult Gymnastics before? What is interesting to you about Adult Gymnastics?
Leave a comment, let us know!
Signing out for now,
Term 3 is competition season for FCGC with many opportunities for our gymnasts to participate in various competition formats. Competitions are a fantastic way to challenge gymnasts and provide many opportunities to develop skills for life.
Our program provides a gradual introduction to competition from participation, to competing to achieve a score,
to competing as part of a team, to competing individually against others. FCGC supports gymnasts through the competitions creating the opportunity for positive competition experiences that develop skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Some parents are concerned that competition may place too much pressure on kids to be their best and can cause
unnecessary stress and leave children feeling disappointed if they don't measure up. To shield kids from disappointment, many well-meaning mums and dads avoid competitive situations altogether.
Child development experts point out that positive competition experiences are good for kids. Besides setting them up for wins and losses later in life—hey, they won't always land that big promotion—competitive activities can help them develop important skills they'll use well into adulthood such as:
1. Following rules
2. Performing in public (dealing with nerves and distractions)
3. Empathy (being able to win and lose gracefully)
4. Dealing with disappointment (especially publicly)
5. Develop tenacity and persistence (not giving up when things get tough)
6. Value of hard work and the understanding that sometimes we have to work harder the others.
7. Focus and concentration (especially when there is a lot going on around us)
8. Accountability, Independence and Responsibility
9. Perspective (this is something I do, not who I am)
10. Positive attitude towards competition (it can be fun and challenges us to be better). This will open up opportunities for them in the future.
Entires for all competition are taken via our Customer Portal - https://app.iclasspro.com/parentportal/fcgc1/camps?camptype=161
What do you think of when someone brings up elite gymnastics? Young, petite girls who have dedicated their youth to gymnastics? They have to look a certain way to be good at gymnastics right? Think again!
We have seen some excellent results from the Aussie gymnasts at these Commonwealth Games and we are so proud to have them as role models within our sport because they are true examples of how gymnastics has evolved.
The average age of the Australian Women's Artistic Gymnastics Commonwealth Games team in 20.2 years. Everyone of these amazing athletes is an adult and still training at the highest level on competition possible.
The average height of the team is 162cm (5'4"). How much shorter is a gymnast than the general population? Only 2cm!! The average height of an Australian women is 164cm.
There are no rules on how you need to look to be a gymnast.
Gymnasts are not born they are built!
Gymnastics teaches children skills for life. It is a sport the teaches self confidence and determination. Gymnastics takes away instant gratification and shows children that hard work pays off. Why would you limit a child's access to these life long learning opportunities based off their physical appearance?
Help us change the general populations ideas about what you "need to be" to be a gymnast. The only thing you need is to walk through the front door of a gymnastics club.
Our Son has always been an active kid, even as a baby.
We have introduced him to many different sports over the years, but none of them seemed to give him enjoyment or a sense of belonging.
Our daughter had been attending FCGC for about 6 months, when a skills session in the holidays sounded perfect for our son.
It was amazing to see the excitement and joy in his face. He talked about it for about 1 hour afterwards. We spoke to him about maybe a trail lesson, explaining it would be quite different to the very fun skill session he just did. He didn’t even think about it, it was a solid YES.
His trail lesson was brilliant, lots of encouragement from coaches, small class sizes, demonstrations and best of all fun. He came upstairs with a new found bounce in his step and the first words he said to us was “Can I keep it?” That was almost 1.5 years ago, and he is still just as passionate about lessons now.
During this time he has had both male and female coaches. I personally love that FCGC has so many male role models in such a female dominated sport. Our son has learnt more than just fitness, strength, and balance. He has learnt team skills, social skills, responsibility and community spirit.