Why do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love thee’s softness, even when my gymnasts fall on you
My soul can reach into my pocket and afford you easily
As my daughter bounces toward me, water bottle in hand, I ask excitedly, “HOW WAS IT?!!!!!! WHAT DID YOU DO?!!”
Usual answers go something like this: “Good. We did beam [or insert last piece of equipment they used].”
That’s it. No more detail. No displays of skills.
There's a simple way to get a better answer.
Raise your hand if you’re always surprised when kiddos aren’t quite able to hang on the bar by themselves in preschool...
Yeah, me too.
It is easy to forget how tiny their little hands are, and how challenging it can be for them to support their entire body weight. As another hurdle, bars can be especially challenging to plan for parent tot classes!
This summer, I had the privilege of traveling and speaking at different gymnastics congresses and conferences. Between presentations, I attended many sessions about sports that started with gymnastics as a foundation...then took a sharp turn, becoming a new sport/movement/community.
Here are three expanded gymnastics-based sports that can open the door to new groups of people in your gym.
You love your involved parents, but sometimes it can get a little challenging to coach a class of two-year-olds while managing parents too. There are some simple strategies to make every coach feel more confident about teaching one of the hardest classes in the gym! *This post is meant to give you a giggle and be helpful. My intention is not to offend anyone with stereotypes! :)
Gym friends, we are gathered here today in a somber moment to say our final goodbyes to our beloved phrase. “Good job!” has been with us from the beginning; reliable when we were teaching our fourth preschool class of the day and our brains were tired. “Good job” was a constant presence in our gym, providing comfort, yet no actual feedback for gymnasts. We will miss its ease and but not it’s mediocre results.
Creating engaging, age appropriate parent tot stations is a challenge. Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming to create stations for such young gymnasts...and their parents. But what if you bought some lesson plans that included parent tot modifications for each week? Done! In one week, I’ll be releasing a new batch of Happy Gymnastics lesson plans (Yippee!) Parent tot stations and modifications are included with each plan.
Recently, I was looking for gymnastics classes for my own preschool-aged daughters. As you can imagine, I have a high standard for what I look for in a preschool program, so I visited a lot of gyms. I saw some good programs and some not so good ones, but one in particular stuck out. The lobby was dirty, informational handouts were out of date, and the preschool area had motivational posters tacked to the wall.
My decade competing in artistic gymnastics and trampoline & tumbling has served me to the utmost degree in my adult life as boss lady at Happy Gymnastics.
As any former gymnast knows, the learning from the gym ‘sticks’ (ha! get it?) with you for life. The lessons I learned in the gym help shape how I approach my business.
I am a firm believer in hiring personality over experience. I can train anyone with the right personality to coach preschool gymnastics. I can’t train anyone to have charisma, enthusiasm, pizzaz….“it”. In order to create a premier preschool program, you have to train staff in an engaging way. It’s no secret: Staff training is the most important way to get consistency in your preschool program.
Consistency is the ticket to growth.
This lesson plan is designed around the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and Jon Archambault. It’s one of my absolute faves and a preschool/early childhood staple, in my opinion. When I taught Kindergarten in the classroom, I always started with teaching Chicka Chicka because it’s fun, colorful and about a bunch of letters that climb up a coconut tree and fall down (kids love it!)
When I had staff meetings at the gym or team meetings while I was teaching Kindergarten, it was important to me to create a fully engaging environment where everyone had ‘buy-in’ to make the program great. It was not an option to sit without contributing some ideas to our meetings. Ten brains are better than one. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and only see the same things, so using your staff is a valuable way to keep things fresh and engaging for everyone.
If you are a gym owner who’s focused on team, it’s easy to forget there’s a huge growth opportunity right in front of you: preschool. That’s right, those little cuties with half a butt cheek hanging out of their leotards can make your gym very profitable. Before I show you how, let’s break down the numbers: A Level Eight gymnast trains for 16 hours per week. She spends $280 month to train in your gym. That’s $4.38 an hour. Four Level Eight gymnasts bring in $1120 per month.