Laura Etko, ETKO Sports Academy

Lockdown dilemmas: Has all my gymnastics training gone to waste?

As our weeks in lockdown creep into double figures, many gymnasts are worried about loss of fitness. Panic sets in: Have all those hours of training gone to waste? How long will it take to get back to where I was before?

Here are five tips for keeping on top of your training during lockdown:

1. Attitude Instead of dwelling on what you can’t control, like access to the gymnasium and apparatus, focus on what you can control instead. Think about things like nutrition, sleep patterns and how you use your free time.

2. Habits The definition of a habit is ‘a settled or regular tendency or practice’. Good quality, daily gymnastics practice is crucial – and not just in lockdown. (I can feel some of my gymnasts rolling their eyes!) Training must be safe though, which leads me to my next point below…

3. Fundamentals Consistent work on fundamental shapes, stretches and movements is the most important thing a gymnast can do. Working on the fundamentals is a never-ending process – skills are the icing on the cake! And the good news? You don’t need any specialist equipment, just a clear space, suitable clothing and a water bottle.

4. Learning You can’t train in a gymnasium during lockdown but learning shouldn’t stop. Revisit any learning materials you have at home, such as flashcards or log books. Get involved with e-learning provision that’s on offer, such as virtual programmes or online classes.

5. Inspiration Nurture your love of the sport by connecting with likeminded people. Join an online gymnastics community (check the age guidelines) or watch some gymnastics routines on YouTube. At ETKO Sports Academy, we’ve introduced new e-daily Facebook groups. These combine a community feel with regular gymnastics tips, information and advice.

There’s no doubt that lockdown is challenging for all of us. Keep positive and active if you can: it will make your return to the gym even more enjoyable.

Laura ETKO is founder and director of ETKO Sports Academy. She is passionate about supporting others on their sporting journeys during the COVID-19 shutdown and beyond. ETKO Sports Academy is offering a range of e-training provision during its temporary closure. For further information, contact ETKO Sports Academy today.