Where is your athlete in their learning
Hands up who is LOVING the ‘new year new you!’ stuff that’s around at the moment?!

Or perhaps, who is a little tired, maybe at capacity and kinda want to go slow for a while?

It’s totally ok, whichever way you are feeling right now. If you’ve the energy for a new start – brilliant. It is a new decade after all (and I am sure it will be an exciting, opportunity filled one for us all). But its also totally natural if you aren’t feeling that – we forget sometimes that it is still winter. What is nature surrounding us with right now? Short days, long nights, barren landscapes. It’s a PAUSE.

And we need that PAUSE too.

To rest, reflect and contemplate where we’ve been and where we’ll go in future. To bed in what we’ve learnt. To have a well rested place to be able move forwards from when the time is right. If we push push push all the time – its overwhelming! We ultimately can’t sustain it and it doesn’t really result in what we really want long term.

It’s the same with our athletes. Time must be spent bedding in new skills and physical abilities before moving on to the next. Recognising what has been achieved is essential before being able to see (and set goals) towards the next things. Everyone loves learning new things in the same way we love summer and being out and about socialising on those long days wearing our flip flops (oh how I miss my flip flops!). But wow could you imaginge doing that all the time? Nope.

We need the change of the seasons. It’s natural. Athletes have natural periods and phases of growth, learning and then bedding in and reflecting too.
The best plan? Go with it. Enjoy each season of the year and what it brings – and teach our athletes to recognize these seasons within their learning and progress too.

Where are you at the moment and where is your athlete? email us on hello@affinitygymnastics.co.uk and let me know.

Dear Santa

Affinity's message to Santa

If you'd like to 'try us out' here at Affinity, to join in the AWESOME fun - why not have a look at our Holiday Classes, or our FANTASTIC gift experiences, the MasterClasses
Top tips to help your child when they get discouraged


From time to time, everyone gets a bit discouraged with what they do – in all areas of life!  Success and progress unfortunately isn’t linier. It’s much more like this:


And that messy part can be hard for anyone to deal with, let alone a child! Here’s my five-step process for you to help support your child through if they feel discouraged at class, or indeed with any activities:


  1. Communicate. Talk to and mainly listen to your child. Give them space to tell you what’s going on for them. How do they feel during class? What bits are difficult? What do they enjoy? How do they get on with their coach and peers? What else is on their plate right now? Listen without judgment, empathise with their challenges and reassure them its all ok.


  1. Look at the positives. Celebrate their achievements – there are always lots, big and small. In fact, the small stuff is often the most important and in a discouraged situation, it’s likely these little things have been missed. Our brains tend to forget them when faced with a challenge. Help your child see them. You might even write them all up on a big piece of paper and place it somewhere prominent for a daily reminder of how well they are doing.


  1. Look at the bigger picture. Imagine zooming up in a helicopter and looking down at everything. What’s really important in the bigger picture for you and your child? Are you working towards a specific goal or want a certain value for them from the activity? Is there anything you’ve been worrying about that actually isn’t important? Identify that and when you zoom back down, put that at the forefront of both your minds. Everyone is different and remember to NEVER compare yourself to anyone else – that’s a sure fire way back to discouragement.


  1. Communicate (yes again, it’s THAT important). But this time with those who can help. For gymnastics and related activities that’s us. We will listen to you in exactly the same way you did for your child in step one. It’s important we all know the truth of the situation, then we can work together to help. A lot of times, it is something we can help with – some extra info or understanding the coach needs to give, help making friends in class, or even a class swap – we’ve been here a lot of times and have a whole load of potential solutions in our tool kit.


  1. Support. In an ongoing way. Continue the 4 steps above – keep communicating openly with your child and those that can help support, keep celebrating the positives daily and keeping in mind what’s important.  In no time you’ll be back on track and stronger than ever to deal with future challenges.


I hope this helps. Let me know how you get on and of course, if we can help with anything we’ll be more than happy to listen. Drop us an email hello@affinitygymnastics.co.uk.

Our AWESOME Trainee Coaches

You know we LOVE gymnastics and all related activities at Affinity but what we’re really doing here is coaching people to be the best they can be and enjoy what they do. From the gymnasts who overcome challenges and learn through gymnastics through to our staff. However, there’s a group in between these two that I’m not sure if you know much about but they are some of the MOST awesome people and one of the best things we do! (Best kept secret eh?)
I’m talking about our Coach in Training (CIT) Scheme.
We run our own in-house training scheme for young people aged 12yrs+ to help them develop leadership and coaching skills. We provide initial training in what leadership and coaching is all about - what it looks like, what's important and why. They are then buddy-ed up with one of our coaches and help assist them in running classes. 
These young people are developing some serious awesome. They are a real asset to the classes, coaches and gymnasts they assist and they are helping us shape the way Affinity develops. We love the input they bring. And in return of course they are getting excellent training and experiences - we love seeing them grow in confidence and discover the joy of coaching and sharing their knowledge with others. When they are 14, they can take their first external coaching qualification and start to lead small sections of classes, then progress to L1 when they are 16, then take on an apprenticeship in the sport and then who knows - take over the world! Cool huh? Yikes we had better get setting up more Affinity’s for these awesome ones to lead in future hey? But it doesn’t have to lead to working within gymnastics - the skills they are developing will stand them in good stead for whatever they want to achieve and we’re super proud to help be able to develop this.
We’re looking for our next CIT members to start in November 2019 - so if you are (or will be by December) 12yrs old I invite you to apply by emailing to hello@affinitygymnastics.co.uk the following (or if you are an Affinity/Sapphire existing member please do this via your loveadmin account):
  1. What excites you about becoming a Coach in Training?
  2. What would be your greatest challenge being a Coach in Training?
  3. What class/es could you volunteer with weekly? (parents please help with this! This can be with gym, cheer or trampoline.  Have a look at the timetable on our website here).
The closing date for applications is Monday 30th September 2019, so don't delay!

Looking forward to seeing you all spreading more awesome in the new term :-)