First off, let me start this post saying that this idea was adopted from the diving industry. My college roomate was a diver who turned me onto the idea of using a TiVo (DVR) to provide instant replay in a practice environment.
Basically, you plug a standard video camera that every gym has lying around (doesn't need to be expensive), plug it into the "Video In" part in the back of the TiVo, and then plug a TV ( I like a somewhat larger TV.....27"+) into the TiVo's "Video Out".
Essentially, you trick the TiVo into thinking it's "Live TV" function is a television broadcast, when in fact it is the live image being sent from your camera. Now, you have the ability to record every practice turn without missing anyone! Plus, you can use the inherent features offered by TiVo to benefit your practices like "Instant Replay", "Slow Motion", "Frame by Frame Advancement", "pause", etc....
These features really help when you're trying to explain something to a kid who says he understands what you're saying, and yet he continues to do it wrong. We all know these kids. It's not their fault though. They can't "feel" it kinesthetically".
People learn more efficiently when they can see themselves performing a skill.
This concept is nothing new. However, the timing between the performance of the skill in practice and the provision of visual feedback, historically speaking, has been too long or too inefficient. We've all done this............................bring a video camera into practice, record one kid, stop the recording to show the kid his turn, watch it with him to provide verbal feedback, then restart the recording, etc.... This is slow, inefficient, and therefore not used widely, at least in my opinion.
The TiVo fixes all of that! It is a computer so it never stops recording. Therefore, you can stick the camera on an event/practice station, and let it go! Each kid can go to the TiVo, rewind to find his or her turn, view it in slow motion, pause it on the trouble areas, then go right back and take another turn. But the most beautiful thing about the TiVo is that during the time when the first gymnast was viewing his or her turn on the monitor, the TiVo never stopped recording. So, the next gymnasti in line could record his or her practice turn while the person before him or her was watching his turn.
That's why it works so great. It's so simply!
If you'd like some information on how to physically set up a "TiVo Station" email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'd be happy to send you a document that I've made specifically giving you step by step instructions on how to set up and use a "TiVo Station".