Evaluation Week

TERM 2 WEEKS 8 & 9

We want to make sure that all our gymnasts are right where they need to be and that they are receiving all the support they can get to help them through their gymnastics journey. We have put this information sheet together to give some guidance to both parents and gymnasts on how and why we evaluate skills.

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT SKILLS MY GYMNAST HAS COMPLETED: Log in to your friendly manager account and under the badges tab you will find the skills that your child is learning in their current level. Those skills they have completed are highlighted.

WHAT ARE OUR COACHES LOOKING FOR: Gymnasts must be able to complete all skills at their current level at least 3 times, technically and confidently, before they can move to their next level. This is necessary as each skill forms part of the next skill they need to master. If they can’t complete their current skill technically and confidently, they will really struggle in the next level.

MOVING UP THROUGH THE LEVELS: As gymnasts move up through the levels, each level takes longer to achieve as the skills become more complicated in their execution. Most gymnasts will find themselves in Levels 1 and 2 for about 9 – 12 months, level 3 for at least a year to 18 months and Levels 4 – 5 for approximately 2 years per level.

WHAT IF MY GYMNAST HAS COMPLETED HALF THE SKILLS, WILL THEY HAVE TO DO THEM AGAIN? The badges that each gymnast completes in their current level are not the only skills they learn. These are the foundation skills needed to move up a level. Don’t worry, our coaches are able to provide your gymnast with harder skills if they need to be challenged on the skills they have already mastered. We encourage all our gymnasts to tell their coaches if something is too easy or too hard, and our coaches are able to adapt or advance the skill for them.

WHY IS MY GYMNAST STILL PRACTICING SKILLS THEY HAVE DONE IN PAST LEVELS: Foundation skills are a very important part of gymnastics and need to be constantly practiced. This is because they provide the balance, strength and body awareness needed to complete harder skills.

MY CHILD ONLY HAS 1 SKILL LEFT, CAN THEY MOVE UP? We take health and safety very seriously here at ARGOS and unless a child can complete all their skills confidently at least 3 times, they will not progress to the next level. Lack of strength and balance puts stress on young bodies and gymnasts can hurt themselves. Skills in higher levels are a progression of the skills they have learnt in their current level and if they are unable to complete a skill in their current level, they will not be able to complete it in their next level.

MY CHILD HAD MANY BADGES TICKED OFF INITIALLY BUT HASN’T HAD ANY MORE FOR A WHILE: Some skills are easier to learn than others, some skills have more than 1 element to the core skill and some skills require a greater level of strength to execute before gymnasts can master them. Apparatus such as the bars require a lot of strength to execute and take gymnasts quite a while longer to master. Also, individual body development has an importance ie: hand size to perform bar routines requires a certain size grip for health and safety reasons.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD? Kids learn at different speeds and progress in their own time. We have a saying here at ARGOS “Our gymnasts are like popcorn…you can throw them all into the pot at the same time and some will pop before others, but they will all pop!”. We want your kids to have fun and enjoy gymnastics, and they will pop, just not all at once! If your gymnast would like a little more coaching, we are able to offer you 1.5-hour classes, or 2 classes a week if you prefer. Sometimes the extra time is all they need to perfect a skill.

NEED FURTHER EXPLANATION ON HOW TO NOURISH LIFELONG DEVELOPMENT IN YOUTH? This Sport New Zealand Article helps explain youth development and its unpredictability https://balanceisbetter.org.nz/a-parent-guide-to-child-growth-and-development/

As you can see, there is a lot more to Evaluation week then just ticking off badges. We spend a lot of time deliberating over each child’s individual development and put a lot of thought into making sure your child is where they should be. We look at how far they have come, their confidence on the apparatus, are they able to listen and take instruction? are they having fun? Gymnastics is more than just completing skills. It provides your child with many other attributes that makes them a well-rounded and teachable child.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cara Forster, Head of Recreational Gymnastics on recreation@argosgymsport.co.nz