Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gymnastics FUN!

Ms. Carlson's PE class just finished up GYMnastics and we all had a ton of fun.  The students focused on how their bodies move through space while being in different balances,  shapes (tuck, pike, straddle, etc.) and using different apparatuses.  The students love all of the gymnastic apparatuses but their favorites by far are the floor and the vault.  The floor is bouncy and soft.  It makes jumping easier and yes, even falling a lot more fun.  They love the vault because its powerful and there's an element of flight.

Gymnastics helps students develop coordination, flexibility, strength development, overcoming fears by taking safe risks, work ethic, discipline, determination, and self-confidence.

Coordination: Students learn how their bodies move through their environment.  With gymnastics the students have the aid of many different types of mats and apparatuses to help them understand how their bodies move, balance, roll and fall.

Flexibility: We all wish we had more flexibility. This is because we all know that it is the key link to helping prevent the risk of injury and it helps keep the aches and pains more at bay. Gymnastics is the top sport that focuses on flexibility.  However, flexibility aids in the development of all other sports. Next time you watch a professional sporting event keep an eye out for how flexible the athletes are in their sport.

Strength Development: Gymnastics is almost exclusively body weight exercises of the upper body, lower body, and core (back, stomach, hips and glutes).  The strength that is developed in gymnastics helps the students out in all other physical activities they take part in throughout their development. 

Overcoming Fears:  Throughout the gymnastics unit the students are slowing introduced to many different skills by first learning them on the floor then transferring them to an apparatus.  This can be scary! Each student is different but the steps and goals set to overcome the mind blocks and fears allows the students to feel successful as well as wanting to take safe risks to achieve the specific skill.

Discipline & Work Ethic: Discipline in gymnastics is very important and it's due to two parts.  The first and most important are the rules needed for gymnastics.  The safety of the students is the top priority.  These rules must be followed and it takes discipline to follow the rules in order to be safe and have fun.  The other is self-discipline which also goes along with work ethic. Each student needs to have self-control to make corrections when asked of them and the students need to stay on task when working with another student and or on an apparatus.  Gymnastics is a very difficult sport and it takes focused and consistent work along with discipline to achieve the skills.

Determination: Most sports develop determination, but gymnastics takes numerous repetitions (more failures than successes) to get the move right. Gymnastics encourage students to get up and try again because they will soon achieve the move or stunt.  

Self-confidence: Throughout the gymnastics unit the students start with the grassroots of tumbling. They progress to move toward a more difficult skill or take the basic skills and do them on an apparatus.  For example, a pike position forward roll becomes a hip circle (of a tip and flip) on the uneven bars.  With the general progression of skills and the students willingness to take safe risks, the self-confidence blossoms over the two week unit. 

The students always look forward to the gymnastics unit and there are some that are unsure of the unit, but by the end no one wants the unit to end.  Here are some pictures of students have fun during gymnastics...