It can be tempting to push preschool gymnasts through a skill just to check it off the lesson plan. This, however, will not be beneficial in the long game of gymnastics. Without proper progressions and solid foundation skills, they may be able to complete a higher-level skill, but it won’t be pretty (or safe). If we want them to tumble out of a front tuck someday, we need to teach them perfect forward rolls in preschool.
The better you plan progressions in preschool, the easier it will be for the gymnast to progress through your gym program (leading to better retention and higher enrollment numbers and…more profit).
Start with the Basics
It’s important to incorporate different styles of progressions in your lesson plans each week. In preschool, start with the basics of naming the gymnastics positions and skills. It is an important place to start and can be especially great in warm up time.
The best part about preschool is there are so many exciting, interesting, and super fun ways to teach the same progressions and they are easy to fit into theme weeks or existing lesson plans.
Remember, preschool serves as a funnel into team. In a high-quality preschool program, the director will embed tons of solid progressions to keep the gymnasts interested and advancing in a safe way. When the preschool child is ready for a pre-team program, their skills and techniques will provide a base for team coaches to teach higher-level skills.
Fall Down Twice, Get Up Three Times
Ever watch a gymnast nail a gorgeous Level Nine floor routine…then trip and fall over a mat on her way to get a drink? Yeah, me too.
Learning how to fall is the most basic and best progression you can teach in preschool. Incorporating falling drills into preschool gymnastics classes is easy and the kids love it. You can start with safety falls (or ‘zombie falls’) into the pit.
You might not think of safety falls as a progression, but as gymnasts acquire new skills, they will need to learn how to change their fall. Teaching preschool gymnasts how to do this in a safe way will serve them as they begin to experiment with higher-level skills.
More Reputable Program
Incorporating safe and strategic progressions into your preschool program will make you, your coaches, and your gym more reputable. When you create your lesson plans, consider how to move from one skill level to the next. Parents will recognize your expertise, experience, and organization.
Parents will notice their gymnast’s skills becoming more advanced over time. Coaches will not have to backtrack and re-teach skills in higher level classes. They will recognize that they are sending their child to a premier preschool program at your gym!
Remember, the best form of marketing is when parents recommend your preschool gymnastics program to their friends. This will lead to more parents talking, then full classes and more profit for your gym.
What are your favorite ways to teach progressions in preschool? Leave a comment below!