Is your little one looking to start up gymnastics next year? Not entirely sure where to start in regards to preparation, mentally and physically? The Gym Spot has put together a list of things you need to know when your kid starts in the realm of gymnastics.
- Gymnastics is GREAT for physical health. Not only does it help with flexibility, strength and endurance, it also helps the kids be determined and stay focused to achieve a goal. Participating in a high impact and heavy endurance type of sport such as gymnastics releases feel-good endorphins, creating many benefits for both the body and the mind.
- Gymnastics is a high impact sport, with various movements and manoeuvres. With this variety comes your child's curiosity and motivation to want to learn more. With this being said, it is important to not go completely over the deep end - doing too much vigorous movements without enough rest or not stretching before and after training can result in fatigue and injury. For some helpful strength and conditioning drills for gymnasts, click here.
- There are many benefits to gymnastics even if they're not going to be the next Olympian. Gymnastics allows children to step outside their comfort zone and do something they haven't done before. It's not going to be easy, and they'll probably fall multiple times and be scared the first time they do a backflip or cartwheel, but once they do it, it will be rewarding. They'll become less fearful and more confident!
- There's more to gymnastics than what meets the eye. Don't jump to conclusions about gymnastics - the fundamentals are important! Gymnastics is a sport that can be repetitive, which may seem tedious, but performing the same movement over and over again is crucial in acing those skills. When your gymnast starts to do a particular movement for the first time at the gym, it is important that they continue to practise at home and do some strength and conditioning exercises. This means you may have to watch them do a handstand several thousand times - and this is okay! When this is the case, ensure you're spotting them and that they have a suitable matting available to them to ensure they are performing everything safely at home.
- Be prepared and have fun! It's important that you find the right program for your gymnast, know what to wear and all the other gym essentials required before they go to the gym for the very first time. And remember, participating in a sport like this is all about how they look at it and perceive it - it's full of fun, and your gymnast will be tumbling and twirling with their gym squad in no time!
What other tips would you give to mums who are looking to get their kids into gymnastics? Comment below!