Each Gymnast Is Unique
For those coaches who bother to closely examine each of their gymnasts, they will find an infinite variety of skills, abilities and learning capacity that is just begging to be developed. Further, certain skills and positions look better (even great) on certain body types. Finally, certain gymnasts just learn certain skills and skill groups better than others do. This is one of the beauties of the sport – to help develop and see the unique style of each gymnast.
Originality at Every Level
There is no reason, however, why the same process cannot take place at every competitive level (except, of course, in compulsory routines, but we will assume compulsory gymnasts are already training optional skills). Gymnasts can feel the same sense of pride in their unique, original skills at the lower levels as well as at the higher levels.
Invest the Time to Work Original Skills and Combinations
To develop this kind of personal enjoyment and creative capacity, first, some time must be allocated to the task. For creative floor skill development, for example, we usually devote 15 – 20 minutes of time after basic warm-ups to working creative skill variations.
Unique Skills and Routines For Every Gymnast
A major goal of the sport and the coach should be the development and creation of unique signature skills and creative, unusual skill combinations and a personal style for each gymnast. The ultimate extension of this would be to have a skill named after your gymnast. While that bears the additional burden of having to reach and perform the skill in International competition, the positive effects of this accomplishment would certainly make it worthwhile.
See What Looks Good on Each Gymnast
The function of the coach during creativity drills is to spot skills that look good on the gymnast and are worth developing. Creativity is reinforced by pointing out and praising the performance of the gymnast, in order to get them to repeat those skills that look good and build on and add onto. This is not tough duty for a coach who likes to watch the sport and admires creativity and originality.
Creativity, Originality and Virtuosity
So get to work and plan and spend some time on each event training originality and creating truly unique skills and routines for you and your gymnasts. Let’s again make our sport a creative and unique joy to watch.