ALL children benefit from classes and participation in gymnastics. The areas listed below are a small sampling of the actual benefits from gymnastics activities. You have done a terrific job of parenting by getting your child interested in this educational sport. Many of the benefits of gymnastics are NOT related to learning gymnastics skills, but more important developmental areas that will help your child become a better student and young adult.
1. It is a Sport that benefits ALL Sports
Gymnastics provides a great foundation for ALL sports. Gymnastics develops strength, flexibility, balance, agility and coordination…all skills needed for sports like soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball and football. The flexibility used to do a leg split is the same flexibility a hockey or soccer player uses to save a goal. The speed and running technique used to execute vault is the same power & quickness needed to sprint down a basketball court. The balance and coordination a gymnast develops to jump on a balance beam is similar to the skills needed by a pitcher on the baseball mound. Whether you become a competitive gymnast or participate in other competitive sports, gymnastics gives you a great foundation to succeed! Many gymnasts that have attended Barron have gone on to become the top pole vaulters and divers in the state and country due to their upper body strength, core strength and body awareness in the air.
2. It Teaches Persistence and Mental Toughness
Gymnastics is a sport where you fall again and again, and have to continually brush yourself off and get back up there. You may fall off the bars, but you always chalk back up and finish what you started. The sport teaches you the “power of yet”. Rather than conditioning oneself to say “I can’t do it”, it teaches you to say “I can’t do it YET”. This lesson is incredibly valuable not only in other sports, but also in life. You may not get the best score on the ACT or get your dream job on the first try, but if you have trained yourself on the “power of yet”, you will work even harder and go for it again. This resilient mentality will eventually pay off. Quitting is not an option.
3. Weather and Seasons are NOT a factor
Gymnastics is a year round sport so there is no need to wait until gymnastics season. As a result, you can participate year round or as it works in your schedule without worrying about the time of year. During your “off” season from other sports, taking gymnastics builds strength and coordination that will come in handy when you return to that sport. Whether rain or shine, hot or cold, the gym maintains a nice environment for every child to flip, twist, and move.
4. Social Skills and Life Lessons
Gymnastics teaches commitment, dedication, and builds confidence and self-esteem; all of these qualities breed success both in a child’s current stage as well as in the future. At Barron, we offer classes starting at 14 months old because we know that gymnastics is not just great for gross and fine motor skills, but it also can be great social preparation for starting school. Gymnastics requires kids to stand in line, take turns using equipment, and to listen to a teacher. It teaches a child to trust his or her teacher’s input and respect constructive feedback. Lastly, a child practices the art of focusing when remembering every detail that goes into a skill. For instance, they must remember “point my toes, arms straight, head neutral, tight core, straight legs” while flipping through the air. It is pretty incredible!
5. It Makes You Better at Writing, Math, & Reading
The strength kids build in their arms and hands improves their hand writing skills. The forward and backward movements or bilateral activities performed at gymnastics build visual and audio senses. These movements and activities also increase spatial awareness that helps develop math skills. Math is a spatial sport; the more that children move in different ways, the more connections are made in the brain to improve spatial awareness. When a child has good spatial skills, studies show that they have an easier time understanding math equations and geometric principles. Gymnastics and early childhood movement education is directly attributed to developing neurological pathways in students and promoting reading readiness. When a child walks sideways down the balance beam from left to right, they are training oneself on the same movement used in reading from left to right.
Is it any wonder that a child who develops all of these traits also develops self-confidence? A child who can do a class on their own, follow directions and coaching, get along with their peers, believe they are an able learner, that failing is ok, have courage and grit… is developing a very healthy and much needed level of self-confidence.
7.The outfits are awesome?
Leotards have evolved over the years allowing gymnasts to infuse their own style into their outfits. Gymansts can express their personalities through the vibrant colors and stretchy and shiney fabrics they wear. The variety is endless! Who doesn’t’ love stepping out in a bedazzled, glittery, sparkling outfit covered in crystals?
8.Flying, swinging, climbing and bouncing
Swinging, climbing, jumping, flipping…..is fun!!! What’s a child not to love about gymnastics? With participation in youth sports declining and the obesity rate in children increasing…it’s important that we keep kids involved, engaged and most of all, having FUN while participating in sports!
The regular attendance of a weekly gymnastics class shows children that if they commit to something, hard work and dedication can pay off. Gymnastics is also a challenging sport which requires concentration - a trait that can be challenged into everyday life, in particular within the schoolroom. There are rules and codes of conduct that must be followed which helps children to learn about safety and teaches them to respect others.
Above all else, participating in gymnastics is fun. Children will love learning how to tumble, flip, swing and make their bodies perform stunts they never thought possible! In gymnastics, there is always another step to learn and it is therefore possible to learn something new in every class. It encourages children to be bold and to explore the capabilities of their bodies.
Signing your child up for gymnastics is one of the greatest gifts of love that you could give them! Our hearts FLIP for gymnastics!