No Coach Thomas's were harmed in the taking of this image.
Ah gymnastics. How graceful, strong and impressive it is… until a gymnast takes a tumble and then maybe not so much? Or maybe it still is.
Behind every well executed skill, are dozens if not hundreds of falls, slips and blunders.
Before a skill can be mastered… its critical a gymnast knows how to FALL out of the skill. Every skill is going to place them in a slightly different body position to a previous skill learnt. With that body position change, comes weight distribution changes and change of balance.
This means there are going to be numerous ways to fall out of a skill.
The better prepared your gymnast is to safely fall out of a skill, the better!
Safety Rolls allow gymnasts to absorb the impact of a fall over a larger surface area of their bodies. Allowing for a smooth, and a “stress free” recovery. The gymnast should roll in the direction of their movement – forwards or diagonally, backwards or sideways – instead of fighting to suddenly stop the momentum.
Behind every safe fall is a technique used to protect a gymnasts limbs, head, neck and joints.
For a Gymnast, a fall can be a make or break when it comes to developing a Mental Block. A fall can have a negative effect on skill development and can take a longer duration to recover from.
I believe it would be fair to say that for the most part, a Gymnast is more fearful of the fall than they are to learn a skill. The skill is a known, you can see it demonstrated… understand its movements. What is unknown, is what it will be like to fall from it.
The human brain will create new neurological pathways as your gymnasts learns and explores different outcomes. Each slip, stumble or miss… is critical for their gymnastics journey.
Learning to fall safely is a SKILL FOR LIFE. Learning safe falls now, might just help them later in life.
“Falls are a major health issue in the community with around 30% of adults over 65 experiencing at least one fall per year” – Australian & NZ Falls Prevention Society
Here is a video of some SAFE falls in action:
Had you ever considered falls to be an art form of gymnastics? Do you have an experience with a fall in the Gym you'd like to share? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Signing off for now,