What Exactly are the Fundamentals? (Part 1)


Most coaches agree that the fundamentals are the most important part of gymnastics and trampoline.  This is because all skills can be broken up into basic movements, no matter how complex the culminating manuevre may appear.  However, there isn’t a true consensus on what are the top fundamentals.  Opinions vary from instructor to instructor, school to school, and even athlete to athlete.  There is no right or wrong.

However, if we were to choose the Top 5 Fundamentals, then instead of picking specific drills or moves, we would place most of our effort in 5 Areas instead of 5 moves.  They are as follows:

  1. Amplitude
  2. Timing
  3. Unfolding the body/Kick-out
  4. Arm Preparation
  5. Visual Cues/Awareness

Notice that we avoid picking specific moves (ie. back-tuck, front-tuck, seat drop, etc).  We even avoided generalizing moves (ie. somersaulting, twisting, moves with back-drops, etc.)  Instead, we picked five core concepts that embody a high-level gymnast.  A good gymnast must show good amplitude & control, she must be on time in her skills (particular on the take-off), she must unfold the body at the correct time on all skills that require it, her arm movements must be precise and scientific, and she must always be looking at the correct thing.  Over the next few weeks, we will visit each topic in detail.  Please stay tuned for Parts 2 – 6 in the coming weeks.

Let us know what you think of this list?  Do you agree or disagree?  How often do you train these 5 areas separately from one another?

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