MAG Fun activities for boys

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Men's Artistic Gymnastics


I was wanting to know if anyone has any suggestions for fun activities to include in lessons. Boys are in level 4, 5, 6.

I was thinking of doing a fun activity at the end of the lesson, and to possibly use this as a reward for good behaviour/working hard.

An example would be an obstacle course, a race or some sort or group activity.

They like to do mini tramp, but this can get a bit boring and I need some more ideas.

Today the level 5 & 6 's tried running up wedge, jumping onto mini tramp, jumping onto block and front saulting onto crashy. Then tried same with handspring, 1/4 to 1/4, 1/2 on 1/2 off block. They thought this was great fun.

It would be even better if these activities were actually hidden strength/skill building activities.
Bridge wars will help flexibilty and strength

Boys get really into relay races. Running, jumping, forward/ backwars roll all the way down (this one can get funny) , backhandsprings etc

high jump contest (Start off will an unfolded panel mat. Each time they succeed in jumping up onto it, fold it higher and higher or keep adding on more mats.) It will help with setting for tucks and is good for the leg muscles.
This could also be done with long jump. Starting on one mat and keep moving another further back each time.

Mat tag is good cardio.
once in a while, coach will do relay races...
-walking on hands
-walking, or crabbing across the floor in bridge position
-up the rope
-pushing a block across floor (these are big mats used to stand on?)
-forward and back rolls as fast as possible.
Boys love competing.....

Other than that, when coach is feeling really goofy, he gets a big rubber ball and tries to nail the kids....whoever gets the ball gets to nail coach (body only of course).
He also has taken the big donut mat (used for pre-school) and has the kids brace themselves in the middle and rolls them across the floor into the pit....They LOVE this one.

Have fun!
I like to finish practice with something fun also. Here are some of my favorites....

"Drop of Death" - Essentially it is jump & stick. Each level gets increasingly higher, and the gymnast cannot move up until he passes the previous level. The winner gets tramp time, the losers get strength. I'll often give them 2 strikes.

"Crazy Block" - grab a p-block and have your gymnast get on it in doggy shape. Rotate the block in as many directions and as randomly as possible as the gymnast crawls around the block. Everyone else is doing strength while the gymnast crawls on the block, when he falls off they are done. I like to use headstands, handstands, hollow or arch holds, pushups, and situps as the strength. This is also great for flexibility.

I also use other challenges:
- Headstand Challenge: start in tripod, and then randomly call out pike, straddled, tucked, etc.
- Handstand walking. I lay out lines. Each line has a strength associated with it. The farther they get the less the strength.
- Punch front to Stick Challenge. Just as the name implies. No stick = 10 pushups. I usually make it go until they stick it 6 times.
- Mat Wars: all out war... just throwing mats at each other (barrells and donuts are norm)

There is tons of stuff out there.... Boys love challenges and races, etc. just be creative!
We play the Drop of Death as well, "Death Drop."

Island tag is basically tag on mats on the floor. Falling off a mat or getting tagged requires so much of a conditioning skill to rejoin or becoming "it."

Sometimes I do competitions with them called "Torture the teacher." They have to compete against me for reps individually or as a group like pullups, dip, L-sit time,etc.

Competitions work with some boys, but some boys will feel left out or will come up with excuses, typically those left behind. Not great imo for rec.
I asked my son to tell me what things he would like to do as fun activites. I was amazed at how many great ideas he came up with.

Last night we had a long jump competition running up wedge and seeing how far they could jump out onto crashy. We chalked their landing point on side.

We also taught them how to jump from low bar to high bar on the girls uneven bars. This of course incorporated work on swings so that was great.

We then did some stuff on the beam, cartwheels, split leaps, tuck jumps, scales.

They all had so much fun no one wanted to go home!

I like the island tag idea.

What exactly is a p/block - is this a square spotting block?

Drop of death - What do they jump from. Do they jump down onto something, or do they land on their back/stomach/feet on mat?

I would really like to do more headstand work, but one of our long term girls coaches says headstands cause neck injuries and forbids us to do them. I have sneaked a few in for straddle presses though!! Has any child ever been injured? Be interested to know.
A P-block is a spotting block. If you put two parallel to each other, you can use them to teach basic support or upper arm swings or HS pirouette off.

Typically we do the depth jumps/Drop of death onto the floor. They need to learn how to stick besides it is a conditioning. I'm not too concerned about throwing down a 4 or 8 inch mat because they won't precede to the next level if they can't pass off the previous ones.

Typically I will use panel mats or blocks to build up "Drop of death".

Sometimes we do something similar into pit but they land on their back after dropping backwards. I call this "Fear Factor" as they must maintain a straight body and not pike or straddle or lose tightness or land crooked.

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