Gymnastics can be a wonderful asset to any physical education or extra mural school programme for children. It’s a great way to teach them about balance, strength, poise and power, incorporating movements that encourage them to jump, tumble, land and pose.
Research has also shown that gymnastics develops the same neural pathways required for learning maths and reading: “Brain connections are made through the activation of an important system that lies deep within the inner ear…. Specific types of movement common to gymnastics help the vestibular system develop properly.” [S’cool Moves, lnc. Debra Em Wilson, M.A., Reading Specialist].
But gymnastics can also be dangerous if you’re unsure of what you’re doing – which is why eta have incorporated Gym Wizards level one assistant coaching tumbling course in to their coaching curriculum. It provides coaches with the opportunity to explore fundamental gymnastics skills with the proper instructional and safety information. “The course not only covers who to teach – but more importantly how to teach.” says Tania Williams, CEO of Gym Wizards.
The course covers:
- Complete descriptions of the skills.
- Common errors and remedies.
- Safety aspects in teaching gymnastics skills and supervising children.
- Spotting information.
- How to move from exploratory/ educational movements to formal gymnastics skills.
- What leads ups or progressions should be used to teach the children more advanced skills. How to provide experiences that develop the psycho motor domain (strength, endurance, balance, flexibility).
- A vocabulary of activities that can be done with just mats if you have no other equipment.
- How to get the children to listen long and carefully enough to follow instructions.
- How to accommodate different learning styles of children.
- How to teach classes of children with differing abilities.
- How to provide as many “success opportunities” for children as possible.
- How to inspire and motivate children to practice.
- How to handle discipline issues in a warm and humane way.
“I believe this is a very comprehensive training that will prepare all practitioners involved with children’s movement to teach in schools, studios, recreation centres, fitness gyms and private clubs.
This course is different because not only does it focus on the skills to teach a fundamental gymnastics class – but it also focuses on the teaching – or pedagogical skills used by successful gymnastics teachers. I highly recommend this course for many reasons – in particular for its applicability to developing the same neural pathways young children need for learning mathematical and reading- and for the safety of our children.” Says Dr Eileen Africa, Head of Kinderkinetica at Stellenbosch University.
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