While we patiently await the opening of our new location, we are constantly finding new ways to teach each individual athlete what they need to know all while keeping the class moving. As a small gym with a high number of athletes, we need to keep our classes running as quickly and efficiently as possible. We recently had another gym owner reach out to us and ask how we get our gymnasts to conduct themselves appropriately during classes, listen to directions, and not abuse the length of their turn on the trampoline. In light of this question, I wish to share some of the ways that we achieve a healthy, fun, and productive learning environment for our athletes:
- When classes are large, we do what we call “circle time.” This is where we make two lines on opposite sides of our two trampolines. Each athlete will do an exercise on one trampoline, come off, and get into the line of the other trampoline. This keeps the lines moving. In addition, everyone does the same amount of reps. If you only have one trampoline, you can have the kids keep switching sides of the line each turn, so the line doesn’t get backed up.
- We also like to do what we call “mat time,” where coaches give the kids a move that they need to do with a mat, and each athlete will throw the mat for the athlete that is in front of them. This keeps everyone focused and engaged in the activity.
- Perhaps most important, we always have two coaches working at the same time. That way, one can give instructions and feedback, and the other can pay attention to what the athletes are doing in line and give them drills to do while they are waiting for their turn.
It is very possible to run an efficient program in a limited amount of space. We’ve been doing it for almost two years, and you can too!