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How to Get Kids to Listen to Your Coaches From the Start! — Happy Gymnastics

The rotation clock is ticking, the gym is busy and you don’t have much time to get all of your preschoolers going on their beam stations. One had to potty, another had to blow her nose, and another, well, she’s waving fanatically at her mom in the lobby- we’ve all been there! 

It’s so tempting in that moment to dive right into showing preschoolers what to do on equipment, assuming that young children will watch you, then stay engaged in their work, and if they’re not, you will help them get refocused. 

But, the problem with this approach is it opens you up to constantly reacting and tending to behavior issues during the most important part of class- the work time. 

When you are managing your class all the time, it does not allow you to teach.  

When coaches aren’t teaching, gymnasts won’t make progress, resulting in a decreased retention rate over time. 

But there’s a super simple way to ensure young children are ready to learn, you can teach, and help your gymnasts make progress…

It’s time to blurb

What the Heck Is a Blurb?

A blurb is a preschool-friendly way of setting expectations before anything happens

The best part is there’s a formula for success: 

The V-A-CC vacuum formula, to suck up any bad behavior (LOL!) 

Your blurb needs these components, as part of best practice for early childhood instruction. 

  • Visual: your blurb must have something to look at in order for it to grab your gymnast’s attention.

  • Audible: the gym is noisy and busy, adding sounds to your blurb will increase the engagement level for preschoolers

  • Clear+Concise: Blurb before each rotation, in every class. It’s got to be something quick and crystal clear. Young children are not built to sit and pay attention for long periods of time, so expectations need to be fast and direct, so you can get to the modeling of what to do on each station. 

A Place For Your Swaggy Rituals 

The best part is that every coach’s blurb can be different, as long as it has the VACC components. It’s a fantastic way for your staff to put their own creativity into their classes! Below is an example of how I blurb, but yours can have your creativity.

Your blurb will become such a slow ritual part of class, your tiny gymnasts will look forward to it, and follow along with you as you go!

Don’t Wait…And Stay Consistent

A big speed bump in preschool coaching happens when coaches assume their young gymnasts know what to do, and how to do it. This is not the case. You need to get them ready to watch you show the stations so they know what to do by doing your blurb. 

Blurb before every rotation, even if it feels like preschoolers should know what to do by now. 🙂

Consistency is key here, and it will feel excruciating in the beginning to stay with it, but keep it up! Your blurb will become such a slow ritual part of class, your tiny gymnasts will look forward to it, and follow along with you as you go!

Bottom line:

Don’t wait until they’re not paying attention to tell them to pay attention. 

Giggles and Stuff

The goal of any good class management strategy or tactic is to ensure preschoolers are engaged in their work, making progress and staying safe- all in an early childhood type of instruction that’s effective for young children. 

‘Blurb’ so you can get to the good stuff- the gymnastics, the giggles, the breakthroughs in new skills, and the confidence your gymnasts feel when that happens. 

Blurbs are just the beginning! For way more class management training, check out our preschool coach training program, Preschool Coaches League! 



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