Members at London Trampoline Academy are slowly making their return to training after months away from the club. But during this time, Harriet and her team of volunteer coaches have been doing their bit to keep spirits high during lockdown.
Running sessions Monday through Saturday at two different venues, London Trampoline Academy deliver trampoline and DMT classes to children as young as four up to adults.
Harriet Curtis is a volunteer and the manager at the club based in West London. She joined the club as a coach after University and has been there for the past eight years.
As soon as lockdown was announced, Harriet and her team were quick to get on the case setting up virtual methods of staying in touch with their gymnasts.
"It was about two weeks after lockdown when we started to go online,” said Harriet. “We created some videos for people to follow on Facebook before starting to run Zoom sessions at the times that we would normally run our face-to-face sessions in our venues."
"We took the kids through lots of different exercises. We usually started with a cardio warm-up before focussing on a specific muscle group like core or glutes, and then we finished off with some flexibility."
Harriet was helped by her fellow coaches to run these sessions and all the team have received recognition for their output.
"We have only had positive feedback, to be honest, which is great. We often had the parents joining in!"
"We had Fun Fridays with Becky, she had games that she would play with the younger kids, and I ran monthly challenges, such as the Baby Shark Abs Challenge and the 100 Burpees Challenge - which the kids seemed to love although I'm not sure if my knees enjoyed that one!"
Whilst the club are slowly making their return, Harriet hopes to make use of all the work they did during lockdown. “We now have a long list of exercises that we are going to put into a programme that we can continue delivering moving forward."
Harriet and London Trampoline Academy are still waiting for their normal venues to reopen following the national lockdown but have luckily been able to return to training in a temporary venue nearby.
"Now that we’re returning, we're recapping progressions before gymnasts move on to the full skill again. For us, this is a great opportunity to pick up on all the little tweaks like hand positions and arm position on take-off."
Despite the great work done by Harriet and the team throughout the lockdown, returning gymnasts are also facing a tough mental recovery after so long away from training. Many have lost their confidence and become nervous of skills they used to perform daily.
Harriet believes that helping gymnasts gain confidence is the one the best parts of being a coach. "For me, the most important attribute to have, in order to achieve this, is empathy and patience! Understanding a gymnast's point of view, their thoughts and concerns with a move, is key to helping them build confidence and progress."