Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gymnastics 101 - By Coach Jill

What's the Point?
A relatively small number of children in gymnastics actually compete, and only a tiny percentage of those progress to the top levels of the sport. So...what's the point of being in recreational gymnastics classes? I think most kids would simply respond that it's FUN. I hope even Olympians would respond that they do gymnastics because it's fun to defy gravity and push the limits of the human body. From a professional point of view, I feel very strongly that not only is gymnastics fun, but it teaches kids the joy of movement and how to use their bodies--benefits that can last a lifetime.

For example, the gymnast learning to ski for the first time is more comfortable than her peers because of time on the balance beam. Rock climbing instructors have reported that they can always pick out the gymnasts because of their great upper-body strength. Kindergym students learning to swim can be more willing to jump into the pool because of their experience jumping into the foam pit. Gymnasts in many cases are able to pick up golf easier than others because they have learned body awareness and mental focus from their gymnastics training. Another benefit that comes from this sport is knowing how to fall safely, which comes in handy in team sports when you’re sliding into home base or being tackled on the football field.

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