Bar Rotation-Waiting/Sitting

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Just wanted to see what the general consensus was on this. We have a level 5 team with about 7 girls. During their bar rotations while the one gymnast is performing her rep the other 6 like to sit down on mats in a rather sloppy/playful manner. It kinda looks bad and drives me crazy that they are not standing waiting their turn in line. I am surprised the Coach hasn't said something. What is the protocol at your gym while waiting your turn for reps on bars. Is it normal to sit or stand.
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DD's coach says if she's not sitting, none of them can sit either. They either work on another bar or do v-ups or something. She is very good at keeping them busy.
Feb 26, 2007
Usually out of a group of 7, two will be with the coach, the other 5 would be split between two stations working drills, so not really anytime for anything other than standing as their turn comes quickly.

Probably up to the coach to find busy work!


At level 5 all girls are expected to be conditioning between goes if another bar is not free. It is an enormous waste of time in the gym to just be sitting. If ours are ever sitting eg when watching another girls whole beam/ floor for competition practise they are expected to sit in splits.
Mar 16, 2009
Just wanted to see what the general consensus was on this. We have a level 5 team with about 7 girls. During their bar rotations while the one gymnast is performing her rep the other 6 like to sit down on mats in a rather sloppy/playful manner. It kinda looks bad and drives me crazy that they are not standing waiting their turn in line. I am surprised the Coach hasn't said something. What is the protocol at your gym while waiting your turn for reps on bars. Is it normal to sit or stand.

oh gosh if we were ever caught sitting down in between our turns (let alone at all during practice) we would have been in a lot of trouble! its like saying the word "cant", you just know better! lol you find something to do or work on (in this case as level 5's they should be given something to do) until it was your turn to go. and only the next person up and the one after should be standing in line :yes:
In our gym, no one sits. No coach, competitive gymnast, or class kid ever sits. We have a set of star bars which enables four extra stations outside of the uneven bars. Even if we didn't have those, we would use floor bars and conditioning stations. As a parent you aren't paying for those girls to sit for any amount of time. It is understandable that they might have to wait turns occasionally, but it definitely should not be the norm.


Yeah, we used to have the same situation at our gym, at least with certain coaches. However, after a few choice comments by several parents (I shall remain nameless :D) to the director/head coach, things miraculously changed.

Now, whenever the kids are taking turns working on a major skill or event, the rest of the group are doing designated drills or exercises, usually related to the major skill. When the coach is done with the first kid, he just shouts, "Rotate!", and everyone moves on to their next "station".

Ironically, there is a small downside to this. My boy really likes to watch the others perform, especially the higher levels. He actually studies them. Now there is little opportunity for that.

All in all, the rotation system is the way to go. The kids are making better progress and getting stronger, whether they realize it or not. ;)

- Harv


Jul 5, 2007
The only time I have kids sit in the gym is with younger kids in class while I review the rules and show the circuit. I don't feel bad about that. There's no way I could safely teach preschool classes without having anybody sit for directions. It gets out of control easily. No one sits during the circuit unless they're refusing to participate, in which case I usually lead them around with me by the hand anyway.

With older class kids I usually make them sit for directions if necessary. Sometimes on bars once they finish the circuit if there's a backup at the spotting station they might have to wait, and then there is a mat directly behind they can sit on and I say that's fine. I'd rather have them sit there a second than be wandering around because there are rotations going on two other sides and not a lot of room to stand in order to give the person on the bar clearance.

In team practices, no sitting in general. I don't have an issue with that by default. There's just always something else to do.


Whether kids sit and wait or do a circuit without direct supervision depends on a number of things.

1. Age/maturity of kids. It is not safe to leave young kids or immature kids to rotate to stations unsupervised.
2. Male or female kids. Boys, especially young boys seem to need closer supervison than girls. This is not all boys, but the majority seem to need closer supervision.
3. Size of the gym. The size of the gym and the amount of free equiptment/space available often determines how many and what types of stations can be included in a lesson.
4. Appropriate content of circuits. It is important that skills that are being practised are done correctly and are safe. Otherwise kids could be reinforcing bad habbits or could get hurt.
5. Coaches time. It can be time consuming for the coach to design lesson plans taking into account mutiple station rotations.

Generally the rotation system works great. I tell my boys they can do the rotation system, but if they muck around then they get to be really bored sitting on the mat and missing out. They are not too keen on that!


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Jan 4, 2008
For us it depends, if they are playing around they arent busy enough and the coach needs to set up things for them to do in between stations. Conditioning is great, drills for different skills, even thing like do a handstand against the wall, do a row of cartwheels and so on are great.

However, if the kids are having short turns, eg doing a routine and then the next one does a routine and so on. I prefer that the kids dont do other drills if there are so few of them. Sometimes bars needs a lot of concentration and everygy and a little rest in between can help, and keep their mind on the goal.

If this is the case they must stand in line, as soon as the person before them has their feet land on the mount for their dismount the next person must mount. This helps keep them watching.
Feb 3, 2009
Drills, drills and more drills while waiting your turn on bars. There will always be those few girls, however, who hurry through the drills so they can hang around the "chalk bucket" gossiping! LOL The name for this website caught my eye because I heard my coach say so many times, "Get away from that chalk bucket and GET TO WORK!" chuckle :)


Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
at our gym , if we are waiting we just stand in line and if the line gets to long or something the coach will make us go over the the quad bars after our turn so we are working and not just standing there.
a lot of the younger girls do like to sit down, and after being told by a coach to stand up once or twice, the coach will give the girls conditioning each time being caught sitting.


We belong to 2 gyms right now. Our 1st gym has so much down time it makes me sick to see it happen. The girls all stand but that's all they do STAND. There could be 6 girls just standing there. We only have 1 set of bars there but still there are lots of things that they could be doing. We have 2 beams and you would think that they would utilize both(high and low)NOT! The kids dismount off the high and go right back in line for the long wait.

At the other gym, they sit for direction and then the coach assigns them a station to start on and it's work, work, work. This was one of the biggest reasons why I joined this gym...the reputation is great too.

I'd say that you should talk with the gym director and express you opinion. Have you heard any other parents commenting on this issue?


Okay, we usually have multiple bars going so usually two of the bars are being used for routines/skills, so there is like 2 people waiting on each bar and then one person going and one is chalking up so it's not as bad but most of the time, there is an extra station where you do a handstand pirouette on a floor bar and land on your stomach on a cheesemat so there isn't much waiting at all at my gym. Sorry it's not that informative, but that's just what my gym does. I wish you the best! :)
Mar 29, 2009
at my gym when we are waiting for the bars we either do leg lift rope climb splits or work on somthing on the floor bar


Club Owner / Manager
Mar 23, 2009
West Midlands, England
My gymnasts are never allowed to sit down on any rotation, but I think bars is the hardest.

I have 8 girls in my group and only 2 sets of bars but I work it thus -

For the warm up/conditioning - 2 on each high bar, 2 on each low bar

For skill work - split the group into 2 - send 4 to one bar where they work on something like cast towards handstand which they can do on their own. They get 5 goes each and then go and chalk up. Whilst they are waiting they have exercises to do on the floor bar.
The remaining 4 work with me in a circuit situation for example for the kip - one will do some shoulder closing exercises, 1 will do angled leg raises, one will be working on hip flexors whilst the 4th is with me actually doing the kip. We only have 30 mins for our bar rotation 3 times a week and 40 mins once a week so I have to be super organised so that everyone gets a go. It isn't ideal, but they do much more this way than if they are just sitting and waiting for a turn.

When my group moan that they are tired I remind them that their parents aren't paying for them to sit and do nothing. I also remind them that other girls their age at other clubs won't be sitting doing nothing and that those other girls will beat them at competitions! That soon gets them moving!
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