Chances are that you are very enthusiastic about gymnastics and would like to learn gymnastics and new gymnastic elements. Many gymnasts wonder how they can become better at gymnastics. I used to do recreational gymnastics and selection gymnastics. And I liked gymnastics so much that I wanted to learn to do it better and better. I got better and better at gymnastics and even started doing elite gymnastics when I was 18 years old. In this blog article I will give you 7 tips to learn better gymnastics using my own experience as a former athlete and gymnastics coach!
How can you learn to become better at gymnastics?
I would like to tell you in advance that everyone can learn to do gymnastics better. Even if you do not do that much gymnastics. You don’t have that many training hours. You don’t have good training facilities. Or do you think you don’t have enough talent? You too can learn a lot of things in gymnastics. As long as you have the right motivation and the right help!
1. Get the right motivation
Motivation is one of the most important things to learn better gymnastics. If you don’t have any motivation to start doing gymnastics, you won’t get much better. You can help yourself by thinking about the reason why you do gymnastics. Do you do gymnastics because you have to or just because you like it? And what do you like about gymnastics? Also think about why you would like to become better at gymnastics. Would you like to learn new gymnastics elements? Or would you like to be able to perform gymnastics at a higher level? Once you have this clear to yourself, it is a lot easier to move forward.
2. Set goals
Furthermore, it is very important to set your own gymnastics goals. And then it starts with thinking about what your gymnastics dream goal is. Would you like to go to the Olympic Games? Or would you like to be able to perform 2nd division gymnastics? Start by thinking about your dream goal and then chop it up into smaller pieces.
For example: If being first at the NK is your dream goal. Then you can chop it into pieces by setting the following intermediate steps as your goal:
- I would like to be able to do the Tsukahara
- Doing a full gymnastics competition without falling down
- Being able to participate at the National Championships
- Achieving 5th place at the National Championships
- Achieving 3rd place at the National Championships
3. Celebrate your successes
This is an important tip for many gymnasts. Most gymnasts are so focused on achieving their goals and completing their exercises that they forget to enjoy all the things they did achieve. Did you train for a long time before you finally learned that chicken? Be happy about it and celebrate!
It is also good to sometimes look back at all the gymnastics elements you have already learned in recent years. Think about what you were able to do when you just started gymnastics and look at what you can do now! This will surely give you a big motivation boost!
4. Improve your physical conditions
If you want to learn better gymnastics, you have to do something. Unfortunately, this does not happen by itself. Not even if you are very talented as a gymnast. In gymnastics, the physical conditions: coordination, flexibility, endurance, speed and strength are very important.
If you succeed in improving these things, it is inevitable that you will advance extra quickly in gymnastics! The more attention you pay to this, the better you will learn to do gymnastics. So try (preferably) to do some extra exercises every day to become just a little bit stronger or more flexible. And the great thing is that with only 5 minutes of practice a day, you will soon see results!
If you can use exercises for this, you can find a lot of exercises and videos on Youtube. At Gymnastics Tools you can also download the 7-day Split Challenge and the Home Workouts to further get started with home gymnastics.
5. Improve your basics & techniques
For most gymnasts it is very boring to have to take a step back to the basics. When I tore my cruciate ligament at an international competition in Belgium, I had no choice. I had to rehabilitate for 9 months. Because the recovery took so long and I was not allowed to land immediately, I had no choice but to go back to basic gymnastics. Extra attention for all handstands, giants, swings and form tension.
The crazy thing was that I noticed a lot of difference after just a few weeks! I started to do much better gymnastics. Most of the gymnastic elements were a lot easier. And I suddenly learned new gymnastics elements much easier and faster. That is when gymnastics really became fun!
So sometimes it pays to take a step back to the basics and make sure you can learn gymnastics faster again.
Different form-filling exercises
6. Use the right exercises
In gymnastics, we often have the tendency to think: “If I do this enough times, I will probably learn to do better gymnastics! Unfortunately, this is often not the case. When you do many of the same exercises, the chances are that you will get injured quickly. And when you are injured, gymnastics becomes a lot harder and less fun. Besides, practising the same exercises over and over again is also very boring of course.
Are you fanatical about gymnastics and do you want to train as hard as possible? No problem at all! However, it is important to vary a lot with the gymnastic exercises. So preferably we don’t do the whole chicken 100 times in a row, but we use different exercises to improve the chicken. You will see that you will not only get less injured but that you will also progress much faster with gymnastics!
On the Gymnastics Platform, we have a lot of different exercises, training programmes and gymnastics challenges available for gymnasts who want to learn to do better gymnastics.
Sample handstand exercises
7. Provide the right tips & feedback
When you want to learn better gymnastics, it is important that you always get good tips and feedback that you understand and can apply in your gymnastics training. Functional gymnastics instructions, in other words. You have to know what you have to improve and how you can solve your gymnastic errors. It is often best if someone else can look at your gymnastics elements and point out where there are mistakes. In most clubs, your own coach knows this very well.
Pursuing your gymnastics dream
With the help of these seven tips, I eventually got much further with gymnastics than I had ever expected before. That is why I am sure that if you have the motivation (and get the right help & tips) you can learn much better gymnastics. I hope that these tips have helped you and that they will help you to achieve your gymnastics goals. Let me know in the comments how long you have been doing gymnastics and what your ultimate gymnastics dream is, I am curious!