It was a long day traveling to Dothan and back, but it’s always worth the trek when you bring home gymnastics equipment!
We reopened June 1st during COVID-19 in our new larger gym. It’s been great having all the extra equipment for our gymnasts while they social distance each day. We have all the larger pieces for our women’s program and almost all for our men’s program with one major piece waiting for us to make the drive.
Being in the gym for our first month gave me the opportunity to see where we could improve. When sadly a gym announced their closing recently, it allowed me to find several useful pieces of equipment that would make us more productive and efficient during a socially distant full class.
Our largest piece of equipment we gathered on this trip is the beam crash mat. It’s the full length of the high beam so we no longer need two mats to fully cover the floor. I’m so happy about that! We also have some beam leg protectors on the floor.
We brought home two large 8 inch cushion mats too. I’m excited about these because now we have 3 allowing us to practice tougher skills with great protection across three different parts of the gym at the same time or we can stack them for 16 or 24 inches of crash protection. This is fantastic for us!
Blocks! Blocks are invaluable multi use equipment in our gym. We use them for skills, drills, exercises, spotting, elevating gymnasts, targets, and more across the vault, bars, beam, floor, pommel horse, rings, Tumbl Trak, you name it… We use them. Previously we had only a handful of blocks. We’re adding two additional sets to our gym, so we’ll be putting them to great use, to say the least.
Bringing another springboard into our gym gives us more flexibility in simultaneous training. We can have one at vault while the other one is being used for a myriad of drills to assist with floor, vault, beam, and even bars. It brings great value to our gym.
If you’ve seen our well loved cartwheel mat, you’ll know why I’m excited to bring in another one. This gives our beginners, preschoolers, and even our tots 2 cartwheel stations to visually assist them in their cartwheel progressions. Visual assistance is some of the most beneficial guidance a gymnast can take advantage of. Most of us are visual learners so having everything laid out for you to examine, ponder, and strive for is very helpful to the learning process. It’s a very useful tool and I’m excited about our gymnasts using it!
This piece of equipment is multifunctional. When the Velcro is attached, you have a circle or donut as it’s called. This provides a target, a fun filled roll through the gym, a body positioning assist, a challenge, and a fun obstacle. When the two pieces are separated you have all of the same opportunities but in a different size and shape allowing for a multitude of skills and drills as well. Plus the little ones will love it just because it’s different.
A piece I’m super excited to acquire won’t be used right away, so we’ll be setting it aside for now, but these supports will have a single rail bar (I already have) attached to them. If you notice the holes in the supports, you’ll see this bar will have a vast range of adjustment options allowing us to practice big skills very close to the ground or up in the air. It also gives us more width than our single rail for wider skills that involve straddles. It can be used for all ages and skill levels. We’ll be able to practice a number of skills, drills, and progressions plus we even can have two stations simultaneously practicing at the same time if we want. This set gives us very special opportunities for bar that otherwise we wouldn’t have.
And that, my friends, is a wrap on the new equipment tour in our gym. I’m super excited to immediately put these pieces of equipment to great use! We’ll waste no time making them a seamless part of our everyday practices.
Have a great and successful day!
Sara Beth Gilbert