WAG Open gym this weekend- awesome achievement & nasty fall

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Feb 2, 2012
My little one had a very interesting open gym. She got her jump to high bar into a kip for the first time ever (a little brag: first on her team to get it!) but she also tried to jump to high bar on the bars set up for the "big girls". She just missed and landed flat on her stomach. She got up and tried to be tough, but I could tell she was shaken and was fighting back tears. I checked her over and she just had a little scratch from the mat when she fell. Later that day she said, "Dad, don't freak out. The big girls fall like that all the time."

I LOVE that she's so tough, but I'm not so sure I'm looking forward to her being a "big girl"...
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I would caution her not to jump to high bar at open gym if a coach isn't right there to catch her,especially if the bars aren't set for her. DDs coaches specifically forbid it because it can be very dangerous. A teammate at her old gym had a very bad arm break jumping to high bar, had surgery and was out for 6 months.

Exciting about that high bar kip though!
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Agree with mariposa, I too have seen several bad injuries from kids jumping to the high bar, one girl managed to break the growth plates in both elbows! Having both arms in casts is not worth the thrill of the jump imho
Yeah, that is one of those skills that looks deceptively safe to practice, because afterall, it is just a jump, right? But actually it can be pretty dangerous. Even if you catch the bar, and are capable of catching the bar consistently, you can peel off pretty much randomly through no fault of your own.

Maybe you could have her ask her coach which skills are safe for her to practice at open gym at this point. She's still really young so she's not going to be the best judge of what she can go for and what she needs to hold off on.
I concur with the others. At DD's gym head coach strongly discourages team girls from even going to open gym. Coaches teach skills in progressions. Form is critical. Safety is number 1!
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I totally agree with the others--you need to be really careful at open gyms. On of my DD's teammates (who is a very experienced Level 6/7) was just doing tap swings at a practice where she peeled and landed on her neck. She was fine (just sore) but was out of gym for a couple weeks.

I know the big girl skills are fun and enticing, but you also have to be smart about it and not have her do anything that she isn't working on in her own practices. And open gyms are NOT the place to be experimenting on new skills. It can be very dangerous. Just my 2 cents.
Not to hijack the thread, but exactly how should the bars be set for younger girls? Is there some rule of thumb relating the distance between the bars to the gymnast's height? At our gym all the team girls use a single bar set that is never adjusted. When the little ones jump to the high bar, it's quite a jump. It looks awfully risky to me.
We put the youngest ones at fig, and the older ones 2 past fig. And then we have one girl that's really tall and she jumps at 4 past. Depends on the person sometimes too--if they like the extra swing or they want to just grab on.
I don't think it's so much the setting of the bars (though clearly some concessions should be made for the younger/smaller kids) as it is a matter of having a coach on site to help out or be there just in case. Even if the bars are close I like to keep my hands on smaller kids just in case, or at the very least stand by ready to catch in case something goes wrong.
Congrats on the high bar kip! That can be a tricky skill for some kids.
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None of these skills are new to her, but she put all the pieces together at open gym. Also, she wasn't without coaching for most of the session; one of the coaches was there watching on the smaller set of bars. She just kind of decided to hit the big set on a whim. She won't be doing that again!!!

It's a tough balance to strike at open gym. At our first open gym a year ago, I was telling my daughter what apparatus to work on (and not giving any form advice at all) and one of the rec coaches came up to me and told me I'm not allowed to "coach". Since then, I've shut my mouth. Then this happened. Frustrating...
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