Falling is part of gymnastics. Typically, athletes fall several times while learning skills and therefore, learning the correct way to fall is important. One of the ways we teach our athletes is by performing "safety falls" into the pit. The children start by holding a foam block. At first, they start by falling backward from the ground-level. The goal of a "safety fall" is to hold onto the block throughout the entire fall. This teaches the athlete not to reach back and try and catch themselves, which can lead to severe injuries in the wrist, arm, or shoulder.
As the athletes become more comfortable with falling from ground-level, we add some height and they fall from a mat or a beam (as pictured to the left). This puts the athlete at a little more of an uncomfortable fall as if to replicate a fall off a piece of equipment. Our instructors do many different fun exercises to make the "scary" things fun to learn. Safety falls are an example of one of them.