The forward roll is a fundamental gymnastic skill and a physical milestone for every child. It is also a great confidence builder and guaranteed fun!
"Many children that I have taught are very scared to roll forwards."
In order to perform this skill your child requires a reasonable degree of flexibility and coordination, as well as an awareness of their body is as it moves in space. Your child would need the basic understanding that in order to roll, they will need to tuck their head to their chest.
Many children that I have taught are very scared to roll forwards. It is a skill which involves taking their body weight over their heads. Self-preservation kicks in and I feel it is often underestimated how frightening this action can feel to those children who are a little more cautious.
4 Steps to build confidence in rolling
Generally, the best way to overcome this nervousness would be to start the rolling sensation at an earlier age. However, some children may be late to attempt this skill which amounts to the biggest factor in their fear. I start by teaching kids to rock backwards and forwards as well as side to side on an exercise ball. With trust, we slowly work on getting to the forward roll. More often than not, children want to stick their heads out, turn their head sideways or flip over instead of rolling – as trained gymnastics instructors we ‘spot’ or guide each child's neck and facilitate the rolling to ensure that the skill can be learned without any danger of injury.
1. Start young
Brain development in young children is rapid and brings with it certain time periods during which children are most receptive to learning certain skills. At Gymkidz our classes start from 3 years old, as this is when most children are able to better follow instructions and sequenced lessons.
2. Repetition, repetition, repetition
Like the alphabet, motor skills are best learned through guided repetition. At Gymkidz we assist children in learning how to safely perform gymnastics skills, to the point where performing the skill becomes automatic. Repetition gives a child more opportunities to experience success, build their confidence and develop strength and endurance required to perfect movements.
"However, some children may be late to attempt this skill which amounts to the biggest factor in their fear."
3. Challenge your child
It is healthy to present your child with regular new challenges and risks. At Gymkidz, movement challenges are presented with each child's individual progress in mind. By demonstrating the physical skill, creating excitement for it and providing positive motivation. It is not unusual for a child to not want to try something new. In this case we accept it and leave the window open for them to change their mind. In a group setting however their curiosity will generally take over and it won't be long until they join in.
4. Don’t mistake child development with training for the Olympics
Gymkidz primary focus is on each child's individual abilities. We establish a baseline for what each child can do and then build and develop, to grow beyond that point. We foster an environment of fun, positive activities in a disciplined environment and the life skills learned will last throughout a child's life.
Want to get your kid rolling, or just want to learn more about what we do? Why not contact us to join us for a trail session and to find out more about our program.
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Happy Rolling – Gymkidz | 0406 042 385 | 95 Lennox St Newtown | Gymkidzau@gmail.com