Coaches Grips or no Grips

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What are the adventages of using grips.My DD has been told they will start using Grips after this season.She Did not like that at all.She is Level 7/8 now.She does her Giants and Pirouette on Bars without Grips.She did come home with a big Rip last night after pactice,the first one in a long time.I know it will avoid Rips,but I'm afraid it will put her back to far.Bars don't come that easy to her,although she loves it.
We start our girls in dowel grips in Level 4. And every gym is different. Some I know don't start until Level 6 some as late as Level 7. The reason we start earlier is just what your afraid of. If a gymnast starts wearing grips earlier there is no getting used to them when you are trying to learn giants or the harder skills. Imagine trying to learn Level 7/8 skills at the same time as trying to learn how to use can be scary. From what I have seen in Illinois most gyms start their girls in grips around Level 5/6. I think that is the best level to start them in since you are learning tap swings. But that's just my 2 cents.
Both of my gyms have started using grips around 5/6, but sometimes it is based on gymnast preference. I learned giants and everything and what not without grips, then compteted level 5 and started using them--I didn't have too much of a problem adjusting; I just got used to doing tap swings and clear hips in them and I was fine. Some girls just prefer not to wear them---I remember when the Chinese national team didn't wear them. One of the advantages is that in some cases it helps the girls hold onto the bar (after releases), but sometimes it doesn't.

Personally, as a coach I try to have my level 5's being using them and I make them wear them and get used to them, but some kids just don't do well with grips. There's a difference between not liking them and not being able to complete skills while wearing them. If, after trying for weeks, the gymnast can't complete skills with grips (that they can do without grips) I would let them go back to not using grips (unless it was only 1 skill).
I am a level seven and have never competed in grips. I wore them for a few months, but my bars routine just wasn't quite as good. My coach to this day says that if it's the way I work best, then it's fine. I score among the highest of my teammates on the event; so I guess I agree with hammy that if it would hinder the gymnast's bar execution, then grips should not be worn.
It is very difficult for a gymnast to start wearing grips if they have learned big skills without them, the girls at my gym start wearing grips at about 6 years old. Grips do not prevent rips, gymnasts will still get huge rips even with the grips, however as ur daughter hasn't worn them before, the skin on her hands will have hardened and toughened to prevent rips occuring so often, i know alot of girls who dont wear grips and get on just as fine as those who do, my advice would be to not wear grips at this point, the skin on her hands will be tough enough to cope by now, and grips would probably take about a 2-4 weeks to get used to at this level.
One of my teammates didn't wear grips until she was a level 9, and was one of our best bar workers. I think it really is mainly personal preference, but if you are going to have the kids wear grips start when they're level 5/6s. Tap swings and what not are fine to learn with or without grips---same with giants--if you can do giants without grips, you can do them with grips. However, once big tricks and releases start being taught, I don't suggest introducing grips. For some gymnasts, wearing grips will actually make them get rips on their wrists.

I also agree that grips (for WAG) are totaly optional. The greatest benefit of the grips is that it does allow more time to be spent on the bar, and more bar time = faster progression of learning. However, some kids are just not bothered by the pain in the hands, and can go all day swinging so its all just a preference matter. However i would encourage that gymnasts try grips at a younger level like 3-4 NZ ( which is about L4 US). This will give them a chance to test them and see how they like em, without being to much of a hindrance if they dont like em.

For MAG however, grips as soon as you can, and you have to have them. Without them forget about some of the releases and catches, well they can be done, but i wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
I will allow kids to wear grips when the get their kip, but I don't allow them to get dowell grips until they are learning front giants.
I would introduce them when they get their kip and start tap swings, although I don't think they're necessary until later on (see previous posts), but I agree CoachL.
I will allow kids to wear grips when the get their kip, but I don't allow them to get dowell grips until they are learning front giants.

Why is this? I'm assuming this has to do with proper technique on kips and giants. I've always been fine letting my girls use them for long hang kips. I did coach rec and high school gymnastics, so I often didn't have a lot of control over when they started using grips. Most of my kids came in using grips before they even had their glide kip so at that point I'm not going to make them stop using them.
KBT--If they're already using grips I wouldn't stop them. I don't think there's a "Perfect" or exact time that gymnasts should start using grips; I believe it's coach's and gymnast's personal preference.
Yes if a kid comes to me from another gym using dowell grips I won't change them. But if a kid comes through my program they aren't allowed to use dowels until working front giants for a variety of reasons. I think dowel grips give kids a false sense of security and use the dowel to hang on the bar rather than their grip strength. I can't tell you how many kids in level 5-6 I've seen do some gigantic pings from the bar because of the way they grasp it and rely on the dowel. Its a personal preference that I learned while coaching w/ some elite coaches and it's something I've used since.
We get them into dowel grips straight away. Mainly because where I live thats all most places sell. I have never had, heard of or seen a child around here use any other grips but dowel.

We get them into grips fairly early, not so much based on level or skill but on the amount of time we want them on bars. Once the kids start training on bars 3-4 days a week and we want them there for a longer time we expect grips. The competitive kids may get them as early as level 3, usually around level 4 and they all have them by level 5. The recreational kids wait longer as they spend less time on bars.

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