Gymnastics is a difficult sport as it is. Competing on four different events against hundreds of other people in front of hundreds of people is not every person’s idea of fun. Gymnasts indulge in that challenge of showing off their skills. The greatest challenge of the four events for many gymnasts is the balance beam.
What is the balance beam? The balance beam is a beam lifted four feet off the ground and is 16 feet long and four inches wide. When the beam was first invented, it was simply a wooden beam. Gymnasts focused more on the dance aspect back in the day instead of tumbling but in today’s age a lot of the focus is on the tricks performed on the beam such as the front tucks, back tucks, and ariels.
Female gymnasts compete on beam doing all kinds of flips, turns, leaps, and jumps but how exactly do they do it? Following a few of these tips will help you to master the beam.
In order to do well on the balance beam, you want to make sure you can execute the skill on the ground first before you try it on the beam. Building your confidence on the ground first is a must before performing your skills on the beam.
A gymnast must not be afraid to get hurt. I have fallen off the balance beam many of times doing leaps and turns. You have to build your confidence up and know that you are not going to be the best every time and that you are going to fall off. It happens.
Use the mats until you are comfortable. You didn’t jump up in start walking in a day; you had to hold on first. Using the mats will help build your confidence. The more you start to land your tricks with the mats, the more comfortable and confident you get. After you start repeatedly nailing your skills, take the mats away.
Ask for a spot. Your coaches are there to help you. They want to see you mask your skills. So do not hide away and be embarrassed. Believe me; you will be thankful you asked for help now instead of going to a competition unprepared.
When performing a skill on the beam, take your time. Do not ever do a trick if you are not physically and mentally prepared for it. The beam is too tiny to rush on and could cause serious injury.
Chalk is your friend. Beam makes a lot of people nervous which causes their hands and feet to sweat. Using chalk can help to prevent slipping off the beam no matter if you are just standing or if you are doing a skill.
Always watch your surroundings. For example, do not do a cartwheel while someone is running underneath the beam. The beam is already scary enough.
The beam requires a lot of core muscles. The whole time you are on the beam, you will want to keep perfect posture including a straight back, chin up, and on tip toes. Holding this posture will keep you on the beam a lot longer than just standing like you would on the ground.
Practice makes perfect. Practicing your skills over and over will get you the results you want. You will master a skill as long as you stay cool, calm, and confident.
The balance beam can be terrifying but using these tips will help you to get over the fear and make the beam your favorite event. Like any activity, it all takes time to become the best you can be.