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Gymnastics, Decision Making and Neurobiology

Lorin Sabin

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I'm taking a course on Neuroscience and the Training of Individuals and Team Sports. I'm currently completing a section on the Neurobiology of Decision Making when learning skills that involve risk. One of the assignments is to create a Methodological Strategy for a gymnast learning a skill and include 6 exercises for the acquisition phase; 3 must belong to the preliminary stage and 3 to the facilitated conditions stage. The skills available to choose from are flic flac, backward somersaults or forward somersaults. I'm very familiar with training for several different team sports but my knowledge of gymnastics beyond the GMB courses I train with is limited. Does anyone have recommendations for resources where I can find related exercise or methodological strategy examples and/or more information that would help me with completing the assignment?

Thanks in advance.

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Alessandro Mainente

HI Lorin I can give you some input for the single flic-flac (back handspring), this is the process I use to develop the skill with my kid, something I merged with my experience in different gym and UEG.

phase 1: pre req (exercises which are fundamental body positions that means something that you must have already mastered ):

1- hollow position 

2- arch position (which emphasize the arc in the thoracic spine and not in the lower back)

3- handstand

4- 45° handstand

5- bridge

phase 2: basic sub sequences exercises (which are a part of the flic flac)

1-back limber to handstand (means from a standing position, reach the bridge than kick up to handstand)

2-arch to hollow in order to understand the snap sequence (it can be made while hanging on the stall bar facing the stallbar  and also with the back to the stallbar, in between 2 supports like springboard or directly from the handstand position)

3-assisted flic flac with the barrel and/or with the spotter stopping in the bridge position (with the feet in the air), then finish in the front support position

4-assisted flic flac with the barrel and/or with the spotter stopping in the bridge position (with the feet in the air), then finish in the long hollow position

phase 3: autonomous skill development  (as this point the phase 2 exercises are used as a circuit which ends with phase 3 exercises)

1- flic flac on an inclined surface so that the hands are put on a lower surface

2- flic flac on a trampoline 

phase 4: reinforcement of the skill

- at this stage the gymnast has already developed a good single flic and it is the time for multiple ones.

2-use the trampoline in order to develop the flic from a harder position . one example it teaching the gymnast to jump on the tramp and reach the tramp in an L-sit position with arms overhead, after lifting from the tramp he/she must arch strongly the thoracic spine and perform the flic

3- still hold the physical pre in the phase one especially back limber.



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