Explicit learning in gymnastics; a few examples in this article
06 mei 2021 
2 min. read

Explicit learning in gymnastics; a few examples in this article

Explicit learning is a learning method to teach a gymnast something. In the explicit learning method, a coach gives directions about the exact execution of a movement. This way, you learn the movement intentionally. An example is teaching the handstand in small steps. Start with the starting position with your arms by your ears, make a big step forward, place your hands on the floor as far as possible and kick your feet up.

Below are a few examples of explicit learning methods.


Explicit learning case 1: Forward roll

Julia wants to teach her pupils the forward roll. She has set four stations to work on the roll. In the first station, the gymnasts need to roll from their back to a standing position three times. The second station is all about rolling as a pencil on an incline. In the third station, the forward roll is made on an incline. The last station is used to make a forward roll with help on the floor. Julia explains to her pupils that they first need to squat down and then place their chin on their chest. Finally they have to make themselves as small as a rolled up hedgehog and roll down their spine until they can stand up again.

The underlined instructions contain explicit learning methods and the bold ones are part of an implicit learning method.

Explicit learning case 2: Front handspring

Mick wants to teach his jumping class the front handspring on the tumbling track. For a while, the group has worked on separate stations in preparation of the front handspring like: a front handspring using the handspring trainer, a front handspring down a platform, a handstand against the wall with a fast closing of the legs and the handstand hop. Mick explains the front handspring step by step:

  • First step: Make a hurdle with a big step out to the front
  • Second step: Place your hands far away from your step out leg
  • Third step: Kick your feet over your head
  • Fourth step: Close your legs when your feet are at the top
  • Fifth step: Actively push through your shoulders
  • Sixth step: Land on both feet and make a rebound

Above mentioned cases are just two examples of explicit learning methods. This method is often used but, according to literature, also often less efficient than the implicit learning method (read more about this in the article: implicit learning in how to optimally apply implicit learning in your gymnastics classes)

Course Differential training

Are you interested in more about this subject? We offer a course about “differential coaching” in which we dive deeper into the different learning methods and the practical application of those. More examples of situations you can use, can be found at our YouTube channel.

About the author
My name is Roxanne Boersma (24) and I work within Gymnastics Tools as a content developer and coach. I have been doing gymnastics since I was 12 and have been teaching gymnastics to various selection gymnastics groups since 2012. In addition to my passion for gymnastics, I am active in fitness and health (lifestyle and nutrition). I am currently working as a physiotherapist.Quote: "Never give up on what you want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts."
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