Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tip #5: Being a great gymnast.

Tip #5: Watch your routines on tape. Ask your coach if he/she would be willing to videotape your routines during practice, or have a parent videotape you at a meet. If you're like me, you'll realize that you're making errors you never knew you were making, but you'll also realize that certain skills or elements of your routines look so much nicer than you thought they did. This is not only a confidence booster, but it is also a good way to critique yourself and figure out where improvements need to be made. It's the easiest way to learn exactly what you need to keep doing and what you need to change in your routines. Playing the video back in slow motion can also be helpful... Slow motion is a particularly helpful tool when it comes to vault, where even the best coaches can miss errors every now and then, since it is so fast-moving.

Anyway, the whole taping and critiquing thing is supposed to be a very positive experience, so I would warn gymnasts (many of whom are too hard on themselves) to be forgiving of their own mistakes and to notice both the good and the not-so-good in their routines. Watch the video with a coach, a teammate, a parent, or a friend who knows at least a little bit about the sport; they will be able to provide you with constructive criticism and support. :)

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