Missing rotations

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How bad are your gyms for the little ones missing rotations? My dd goes twice a week during the summer. And sometimes she will go two weeks without doing i.e. beam and usually they miss bars. How is she ever going to learn a pullover if they dont do bars?

I know its more important for team and older girls to get rotation on bars but you would think they would have a better program then just whatever is open we do that event next.


I'm certainly no expert but I would think they could hit each event every week if they did two at each practice. It seems like they need a better schedule for equipment time.


When dd1 was 3 yrs old and in a preschool class at her old gym, the same thing would happen. They would just do whatever happened to open at the time. Sometimes it would be weeks before they'd do bars. And bars was what keeping dd going. She loved bars!! Unfortunately a lot of gym favor the older girls when it comes to apparatus. It wasn't until dd finally moved to preteam that she consistently worked on all events.
Sep 8, 2007
Our gym was the same way when my dd was in rec the team does take priorty on the equipment .and bars seemed like 1 that they did not do consintly and it also depended on the coach if she had a coach that loved the beam they would spend more time on it etc.


In our current gym, they have mostly different equipment for the little ones. They have a preschool bar, the floor beams and a springboard to mat, all separate from the full-size equipment. Once a girl is ready, she is moved to pre-team and gets to practice in regular rotation just like the team girls. Pre-team practices on the same nights and in rotation with levels 2 and 3.

At our first gym, they had a completely separate preschool room with all their own equipment, including a tumble track and little foam pit. It was very cute.
If your daughter is in a recreational class and not team, that wouldn't be abnormal. Usually at our gym the rec classes do 3 events. They do floor and trampoline every time and the third rotation we switch out bars, beam and vault.

If your daughter is on team, everyone that has posted is right. The upper levels always take priority either by getting an event over a lower level or getting more time on a particular event.

Except for the one day a week, the lower levels don't even work out at the same time as the upper levels. I think that if your daughter is learning a pull over, I wouldn't worry about not doing bars every time because those are very basic and simple things to learn.


I understand they are very simple and easy for those who have mastered a pullover. But for many little girls a pullover isnt that simple. And going to the gym 8 times in a row without doing bars sure isnt going to help them get there pullover to get them on a team.

I really just would think that gyms would have better scheduling. Its the same classes each week on the same days. You would think they would schedule the actual classes better. I shouldnt have to schedule a private to get dd on bars. (no i havent done that yet but we are getting to that point).


Missing rotations isn't always a bad thing with preschoolers. I spend A LOT more time on floor with kids that young because they need it to develop body awareness and the skills to transfer to other events. I work floor with beam and vault as my end-goal. We might practice running and jumping things on floor that are vault progressions so 1) it looks like we're skipping vault and 2) adding the vault can be really confusing so sometimes it's best to not use it while they're developing the run and jump part.

Beam isn't *that* important at that age in terms of skills. I do like to do lots of walking, stepping over things, small jumps to work on balance, but to miss a beam rotation isn't a big deal.

Bars is hard to miss because it's not easy to work bar skills on floor or other events. But depending on the age/skill of the kids, we might just be doing swings, me lifting them over in a pullover, small casts, etc. Some of my kids won't have a hope of getting a pullover until they're a little older and more aware of their body so I wouldn't be *too* concerned missing a bar rotation occasionally, either.

Edit: Reread my post, and I don't want it to sound like I think missing rotation all the time are a good idea. I skip things due to skill level and what the kids need to work. My point was that just because it looks like they're missing events doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. The coach may have planned that. I do not think having to skip things because team girls are using the equipment is a good thing. Rec kids have the right to use the equipment and to progress evenly, too.
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Jan 22, 2008
I know it can be frustrating not getting to see your little one on each event all the time. I will say we went almost a month on Pre-team without doing beam. It goes in waves. I know it isn't right but team usually takes presidence for the equipment. That being said there are skills on floor, beam even tumble track that will her her develop the strength needed to execute the pull over. That may be the thinking. The strength has to be there before the skill. I hope what I am saying is making sense. I would also talk to other parents that have been in the program. There may be a method to the maddness.

Also have you thought about doing open gym to give your child the extra time to work on the bars. We have done that when we havn't been getting enough time on an event. Even two hours a week on each event isn't always enough.


Jul 5, 2007
It depends on the class and the level. I've worked classes where they never really see a beam for some time. They have no skills to transfer there and it's hard to keep moving. We can get more done from a gymnastics standpoint elsewhere, and eventually the transition of movement to the balance beam will go much faster and more confidently. I'll usually put them up there at some point to see how they're walking and how they react, but I don't do beam lines on high beams or anything like that.

Bars, yeah I feel the need to have bars in there pretty much every time because floor skills don't really transfer there and they need to build the strength and coordination, work on the correct finagers, hand and arm positions. Some gyms have a beautiful set up for bars, others not so much, but with beginners if you have an extra p-bar set and you make them uneven, you can have them do jump up, chin hang, jump up climb grab the high one, turn around, assisted chin ups with legs on lower, pullover, single leg cut through, casts, cast off, all the beginner stuff. Until they're doing front or back hip circles and underswings, that's worked fine in my experience.

Edit: if absolutely no bar set ups were available, I would use rings for tuck hang (foam block), L hang, skin the cat, bent arm hold (rings by ears), pull up from L hold, etc. If no rings were available, then a floor bar over blocks (have kids sit on ends for stability) for basics like feet to bar hold, skin the cat, L hang, chin hold, etc. If NONE of this is available then we have a bit of an equipment problem, I don't even know.

Vaulting...always an interesting task and I work some very early vaulting movements into my floor rotation for beginners. Ex, we have a half sphere mat for wobbling with preschoolers, I turned it over on it's flat side, put a carpet in front of it, and a panel mat behind that, the kids were instructed to stand on the panel, kick their good leg up, jump to two feet on the carpet (one foot to two feet), reach for the dome and squat on. Probably about half could do this after some instruction. The rest sort of did when I physically put them through it but it was touch and go. If I have some extra time I put one of the small springboards down and see if any of them can do "one foot to two feet" i.e. hurdle but it's the rare class kid who can get that in one day in my experience. After several turns, some of them will get it 50% of the time.

Until they understand that, there's not a lot I can do with them on the actual vault and the jumping down off something higher to the floor is much easier to teach the one foot to two feet action, and easy to put in my floor stations. I'm sure some people interpret that as never taking them to vault, or not doing enough beam, but I have lines down in my floor station too and put some beam movements in.

The bottom line is a lot of my beginning classes are designed to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, and not necessarily to quickly teach "real" gymnastics. There are ways to do that, but eventually you'll hit a wall where they can't move on to the next sequence of movements. Also, if they are under a certain age, the class rotations and activities need to keep in mind attention span and "fun" factor, everything shouldn't be so serious in my opinion. I want to see them moving and improving the quality of their movement. It is not that unusual that this doesn't mesh with what people envisioned their child learning right off the bat or what is "real" gymnastics. Ultimately when they are a little older, stronger, more flexible, and understand basic movement principles, you can teach them more real gymnastics quickly, with less injuries and accidents, and better.
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Dd is level 1 and we have the same problem, she does not get as much time in on the bars. Her pull over is still hard and now she is learning back-hip circles and still can barley get a pull over. She goes twice a week but has two different coaches, so I can see how they skip things between the two. Now with that being said, I totally see your frustration on the issue I have questioned this several times with dh. I would try and do as one mom suggested and go to open gym, or maybe even talk to the coach and ask her how she sets up the rotations. I'm sure they will be more than happy to talk to you about it.
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