Gymnastics is an exciting sport to introduce in Physical Education! As students learn skills from jumping to tumbling, it is important to keep them safe. Brittney Resler, Owatonna Gymnastics Club Executive Director, shares nine gymnastics safety tips to follow for a safe and fun gymnastics lesson.
Tip 1: Always keep mats dry and clean
When mats are exposed to liquids, they become a slipping hazard for students. When it is time to clean mats, use a sanitizer without bleach, like Matt-Kleen Disinfectant. Bleach causes mats to fade and lose their color.
Tip 2: Place mats purposefully around your gym
With a dusty gym floor, mats can slip, which can be harmful to your students. Place them up against the wall for more static movements, or use the Velcro to attach multiple mats together. Another option is to purcahse non-slip drawer liners to place underneath mats.
Tip 3: Only take mats out when they are needed
Even small mats can be a tripping hazard for your class.
Tip 4: Keep activity areas safe with mats
When using panel mats, cover the whole area students are active in. If you don’t have enough mats to cover your entire gym space, make sure the areas students are practicing cartwheels or handstands in are protected with mats.
Tip 5: Thickness, size, and length are important in choosing the best mat
While planning your lesson, be certain you have the correct mat for each activity! For head-first skills, use a thick mat to protect your students’ heads. Smaller mats can be used for basic jumps. Check out these tumbling mats, all backed by an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
Tip 6: Tumbling activities require mats and your attention
Don’t include tumbling activities in your lesson without proper mats. It’s important, especially during tumbling activities, that you watch your student.
Tip 7: Only spot skills you are comfortable with
In order to keep students safe, only perform exercises that you are comfortable spotting. If you are not comfortable with a skill, reach out to your local gymnastic’s club to learn proper spotting technique.
Tip 8: Teach students how to land
Sometimes, students understand how to being the skill, but not how to finish. Have your class practice feet-first landings.
Tip 9: Know your district’s safety protocols
Before starting a tumbling unit in your class, seek out your school district’s protocols. If you follow these safety tips, an injury should not occur. If an injury does happen in your class, contact the school nurse immediately.
Tumbling is a very fun and exciting unit that your students will love! If you have any additional safety tips or tumbling activity ideas please share with us in the comments below!