I have wrote many articles explaining how gymnastics pits are very helpful and a great training tool for all gymnasts. This is very true but like always, with every good thing comes a negative aspect or a downfall.
The benefits of a gymnastics foam pit greatly outweigh the downfalls, but as a coach I must warn people about each and every downfall.
First, the gymnastics foam pit is very forgiving and may teach kids to use bad form and technique. When gymnasts do skills in the foam pit they usually forget all about straight legs, pointed toes and correct form. They get so caught up in doing the skill into the pit that they forget about all the technique required to do it on the ground.
Second, it can give a gymnast a false sense of accomplishment. Time after time I have asked my gymnast if they can to do a specific skill and they say yes. But they leave out that they have only done it into the pit! Many gymnast think if they can do a skill into pit than they have that skill. This is not true!! This thought can be very dangerous. I cannot stress enough, just because you can do a skill into a gymnastics foam pit does not mean you can do it on the spring floor.
Third, the foam pit can cause many injuries. Every gymnast should watch how they land in the pit. Landing feet first can cause an ankle to roll or knee to buckle. Landing headfirst can cause neck and back injuries. Landing on your belly can also cause back and neck injuries. When tumbling into the pit make sure you don’t land short or undercut, this could make you land on the pit edge. If you tumble to far you could also land on the pit edge. I have seen several gymnasts knee themselves in their face when landing in the pit, so be careful.
Last but not least, foam pit dust may get in the gymnasts eyes. This can cause a great amount of irritation.