Balances and Transitions
This is an excerpt from Educational Gymnastics for Children by Tina J. Hall & Shirley A Holt/Hale.
Today you will work again at the gymnastics stations. The focus of your work will be balances and transferring weight into and out of balances on the equipment.
But before we begin let’s review the safety rules for working on equipment:
With students seated in personal space, not on equipment, begin the class with an introduction to the focus for the day, that is, balances on equipment and a review of the safety rules with questions posed and children responding.
Have students share responses with the class.
Today you will work again at the gymnastics stations. The focus of your work will be balances and transferring weight into and out of those balances. The first focus of your work will be bases of support. When you are working on the piece of gymnastics equipment at your station, create balances on different bases of support, remembering that you may now balance on top, under, and on the side of the equipment. Also remember that balances on top of the equipment should be balances you were able to do safely on the mats.
The focus of your work is on balances on different bases of support.
Divide the class into equal groups for the stations. Have students rotate through the stations so that they work equally at each one.
See figure 7.3.
Different pieces of equipment facilitate balances on different bases of support, such as ladders versus platforms. Assist children as needed with the body parts best suited as bases of support at each piece of gymnastics equipment.
You have worked on traveling across, up and down, and under the equipment. Transfer out of each balance, travel to a new location on the equipment, and create the next balance—all without dismounting from the equipment. Remember to use smooth transfers out of balances and smooth transfers into balances.
Have children rotate through the stations so that they work equally at each one.
Review the importance of relationship of body parts (chapter 4), such as hands close together or apart. This relationship becomes increasingly important as students are balancing and traveling on different pieces of gymnastics equipment. Provide individual feedback as needed.
Choose the place on the equipment for your first balance. Balance on your chosen bases of support. Travel to a new location on that equipment and balance on different bases of support. Repeat with travel to new location and balance on different bases of support. The series will be balance #1, travel; balance #2, travel; balance #3, using different bases of support for each balance and different ways to travel between each balance. Plan for a smooth transfer into a balance and a smooth transfer out of the balance.
Emphasize stillness in balances and smooth transfers into and out of balances.
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