Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Rick Mc 1:26 pm on January 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    best Gymnastics Report cards 

    I went through my file folder of OLD Recreation Gymnastics progress reports. It wasn’t a pretty sight. :(

    Most are too complex, too time consuming and the unclear to parents. In many cases, report cards are a waste of time.

    The only two I like were home made. For example, here’s a system David Burgess and I used at Taiso Gymnastics during the 1990s. (click on image for larger version)

    Page 1

    Page 2

    Those were photocopied back-to-back twice. Folded. One copy kept in the gymnast’s file, the other sent home to the parent on the second last week of the Recreation session.

    Short. Simple. Not too onerous for the coach. Rather than test every skill at that level of the Canadian Gymnastics Report Card system, we selected only 30 KEY drills. Progress for each marked: Attempted, Learning, or Mastered.

    Coach worked on filling out the DRAFT copy throughout the session, rather than all at once end-of-term.

    Even simpler was a home made system I used at Altadore back in the 1980s.

    One page. Single sided. Only 10 key skills from each level.

    Those were the days when “cut and paste” meant cut with scissors and paste with magic tape. The drills were taken from an earlier version of the Canadian “badge” program.

    Here’s the template I used.

    Rec Report Cards are mainly for the parents. Kids and coaches are far less interested. Best practice is to make time to chat with each parent who comes into the gym, end of class. Update them on at least one point of “progress” for the day. Informal communication is more powerful than formal.

    IEGA has continuous evaluation. They can print an up-to-date report card at any time. That’s cool.

    The GOAL is to keep your reregistration rate as high as possible.

    Leave a comment if you’ve a favourite way to monitor and report progress for once-a-week kids.


    • 2nd Edition of the CANGYM recreation program

    • Gymnastics Zone – Gym Communications Systems

    • Dave Norgate 3:40 am on January 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think that skills testing, strength testing or report cards are great – not just for the parents, but mainly for the gymnasts. It gets the kids working their hardest and we often get breakthroughs and best results on testing day.

      Rick – Thanks for the ideas, I love the pictures in your examples. Are there pictures like this in the CanGym manual? I might have to order myself one. I wonder what the postage to Australia will be… :)


      • coach Rick 7:37 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The illustrations have been completely redone, since then.

        AND I’ve just heard the CANGYM report cards have been “improved” to a format more like this one. I don’t have a copy of the latest version myself.

        Shipping would be expensive. But you only need to buy one copy and ship once. Everything is photocopy ready and photocopy legal.



  • Rick Mc 10:42 pm on January 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    how to make Gymnastics boring 

    By far the most common reason for dropping out of gym. :(

    … Gymnastics is a naturally fun sport of nearly infinite variety. If your cannot keep your classes interesting, you are definitely not doing your job.

    … job one for a coach is to make sure gymnasts learn something every class. To do that, before every class, you need to know what skills each gymnast can already do and what skills you have a good shot at teaching them that day. To do that, you have to be prepared for each class and have kept track of your gymnasts and what they can do.

    read more on Gymnastics Zone – How to Make Gymnastics Boring

    Christchurch School of Gymnastics

  • GymtasticsGymTools.com 8:10 pm on December 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gymnastics instruction, gymnastics progressions, lesson plans, pre-competitive lesson plans, preschool lesson plans, progression sheets, recreational lesson plans, skill cards   

    Download Gymnastics Lesson Plans to your Desktop in Seconds… 

    Now for the first time ever, hundred’s of gymnastics skill illustrations and step-by-step professionally written and designed pre-school, recreational and pre-competitive lesson plans available to you to download right to your computer in seconds. GymtasticsGymTools.com is a great resource for all gymnastics coaches. Check us out and let us know what you think!

  • Rick Mc 4:46 pm on September 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    In 2011 I don’t have much confidence that… 

    In 2011 I don’t have much confidence that children will be physically educated in P.E. class.

    But they certainly would be with this teacher.

    Warm-up for a group of Grade 1-3 students in a school gym, utilizing some principles typical of gymnastics.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    That’s G.Y.M. Consulting out of Regina, SK, Canada. Saskatchewan is a leader in the field of gymnastics instruction for teachers.

    Brian Lewis is a physical education consultant with Regina Catholic Schools. Check out his sites http://growingyoungmovers.com/ and http://www.blognasium.com/.

    • UK_Coach 2:40 pm on September 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I find school classes with younger children easier than rec classes, but older children schools are harder than both. I try to work around a number of themes in schools; landing, rolling, inversion, moving in different ways, balancing and shapes, and partner/group work. Then we might add benches to all of those activities. So far I haven’t used any other (higher) equitment – with 30 children in a class accidents are likely, and even with back to wall I can’t be checking everywhere at once. You can imagine that if I’m cautious, the regular teachers who aren’t so familiar with gymnastics will be even more so.


  • Rick Mc 10:01 am on September 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    NEW – Gymtastics Gym Tools 

    I’ve been waiting for this. A number of new products for the coach …

    This site just launched.

    Darlene “The Bean” Fedyna:

    At Gymtastics, we know that nothing is more important than developing a child’s self-esteem. That’s why our GymTools program offers a unique and creative coaching philosophy that concentrates on individual growth; emotionally, mentally and physically. We believe that gymnastics can enhance the all-around health of almost everybody on the planet, providing an excellent base for all sports and life in general. (A back flip comes in handy more often than you’d think in life.)

    Gymtastics GymTools is a resource that delivers fun, fitness and fundamentals for parents, teacher and coaches. We provide pre-school, recreational and competitive lesson plans and visual aids developed by qualified and experienced coaches.

    You’ll also find specialty programs like Sports & Games, Summer Camps, the best Birthday Parties on the world wide web and more inspiration than you’ll know what to do with. You’ll be surprised how quickly our website will help you enhance your teaching skills. …


    Check out the gorgeous site. I’ll try to meet with Darlene and write up a review of each of the new products.

  • Rick Mc 1:48 pm on August 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Class Planning for Rec Gymnastics 

    by site editor Rick McCharles

    Presented at the annual BC Gymnastics Congress.

    Class Planning for Recreational Gymnastics

    Successful programs have good leadership: Yearly Plan, Session Plan and individual Class Plans. In this workshop we will analyze the Class Plan and goals in great detail, the objective to optimize every precious minute we have with the kids.

    Click PLAY or watch my presentation on YouTube.

    Our goal is to MAKE THE MAGIC HAPPEN the moment the kids arrive until the moment you deliver them to the parents.

    Gymnastics should be the best 90min of their week.

    Coaches requested information links to the best lesson plans for Rec classes. My personal favourites are for SCHOOLS, but they can be adapted to the club situation:

    Up Down All Around – Ruschkin (Keith Russell)

    Try the link for all posts on this site tagged with the term “lesson plan”.

    Questions? Suggestions? … Leave a comment.

  • Rick Mc 11:01 am on June 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Gymnastics Camp Lesson Plans 

    Patti Komara offers Week-Long Camp Lesson Plans for Gymnastics. The same plan used at Stars and Stripes Kids Activity Center in Michigan.

    List of themes:
    -Super Scrapbooking
    -Pretty Princess
    -Preschool Gymnastics
    -Nature’s Discovery
    -My Dolly and Me
    -Just Being a Kid-Games, Games, Games
    -Imagination Station
    -Dinosaur Dig
    -Arts & Crafts Galore

    Price: $219.95

  • Rick Mc 11:27 am on April 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    CANGYM Rec Gymnastics program 

    Attention Recreation Program Directors.

    I’m impressed with the 2nd Edition of the CANGYM recreation program developed by Gymnastics Alberta. It’s a significant improvement on the original.

    The CANGYM National Badge Program is Gymnastics Canada’s National Skill Development and Evaluation program for Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.

    This program is intended for use with participants of varying abilities aged 6 and older, including beginner level participants through to entry level competitive gymnasts.

    Utilizing the CANGYM badge program allows participants, coaches, and parents to monitor progress in addition to being a motivational tool for athletes. …

    Gymnastics Canada

    It’s a big binder with supporting documentation available on an accompanying disk. There is no on-line support, however.

    CANGYM looks expensive at $110 from Gymnastics Canada. But a club needs purchase only 1 copy. Everything is photocopy ready. In fact, I would say it’s a bargain. I’m not aware of any other badge system as good.

    The CANGYM levels are often used for Report Cards.

    The program is not perfect for every club, but it’s a great “starting point” for building your own program.

    The most controversial part is the CANGYM badge program. Many clubs use it. Savvy coaches break some of the levels into 2 parts, allowing more kids to progress more sessions. Some clubs even produce their own badges rather than use the astonishingly expensive official badges. ($2.53ea).

    Overall, I highly recommend the binder as a resource for every recreation program.

    details on Gymnastics Canada

    • Coach S 11:07 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      We use our own ribbons. The cangym badges are nice but too expensive for us.


    • joe ingram 3:04 pm on January 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      wonderful world of circus-each kid gets diaplomia and sheet of what skills are done-white is first 10 skills
      diaplomia is white up to brown level then colour changes to gold diaplomia /next are black levels 10 in all
      15 to 20 moves per black level including compulosorie 10 bounce routines and optional no mistakes
      allowed-finally the olympic ribbons gold silver and bronze 60 levels in all-a plaque is the highest award
      north york trampoline club


  • Rick Mc 5:03 am on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    teaching landing and falling 

    The best material on this ESSENTIAL topic was written by Keith Russell from University of Saskatchewan.

    Keith’s system for teaching landings can be found in many of his coaching manuals back to 1979. Still on the internet from the 1990s:

    … The purpose of teaching Landings is to “make the child indestructible“…Landings are very important life skills which will ensure safe activity, once perfected.

    Up Down All Around: Gymnastics Lesson Plans. (Series A, Lesson 1). Ruschkin Publishing, 1994.

    Can we teach children to be indestructible on any landings in our facility?

    … we can try.

    This illustration is from one of his most recent manuals:

    Gymnastics Foundations – available from the Gymnastics Canada boutique $75

  • Rick Mc 5:03 am on February 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    preschool gymnastics tips 

    Another great instructional from Darlene of Gymtastics GymTools.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    From little things, big things grow

    Educational Teaching Tools • Gymnastics Program Tools • Specialty Program Tools • Visual Aid Tools • Marketing Tools • Management Tools


    I’m confident that Darlene and staff can teach backward rolling safely to preschoolers. But I try to avoid that skill, myself, with “pumpkin heads”.

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