What Makes Gymnastics the Best Sport in the World?
Being an ex-gymnast who did both men’s artistic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, and now coaching women’s artistic gymnastics, I have been able to experience a wide variety of the gymnastics sports that are offered.
Let’s start with the easy facts, gymnasts are strong, flexible, artistic, dedicated, discipline, coachable, and posses many other great qualities you want your son or daughter to have.
Gymnastics does more than teach kids how to flip or cartwheel, it starts their life off in the right direction and gives them the tools to succeed! The goal when doing gymnastics is that the athlete walks away with more life skills than when they walked through our front door. Through gymnastics, gymnasts are able to develop the work ethic to be a good employee, the discipline to be a good student, the time management to be able to multi-task, the self-reflection and communication skills to be strong in relationships, confidence to approach challenges with vigour, the list goes on and on. What all of these skills do it set up the individual for success in life as they are more prepared to be able to accomplish more things in their day to day lives.
In the foundations coaching course, they speak about the fun, fitness and fundamentals of gymnastics. All 3 components are so important to the development of gymnastics. When kids are having fun it is scientifically proven that they learn faster. When kids are strong, they learn faster and with quality fundamentals, they learn faster. These three components combined are the foundation of learning in gymnastics which lead to other components of daily life. Because of this, we ask our athletes to strive to complete all 3 of components of fun, fitness, and fundamentals.
If you start out in gymnastics, it is always a great choice because it is the foundation for every other sport. Coaches from all other sports are continually looking for ex-gymnasts because of their wide range of developed physical and mental abilities, which have been fostered in gymnastics and can flourish in other areas. I have had the privilege of coaching athletes that have moved on to be successful students, hockey players, cheerleaders, divers, synchronized swimmers, track and field athletes, skiers, aerial skiers, and many other sports and they all had one thing in common, they did gymnastics.
People are starting to realize the benefits that this great sport has to offer at as early as 18 months of age. A long time ago, in one of my parent and tots classes, I had the privilege of watching one of the athletes take her first step in the gym. Saying that many athletes start their first steps of a successful athletic career in gymnastics.
Loving gymnastics is contagious once you get in the gym, start working hard and learning about each skill and the progression for each you will be hooked. The smile that comes on an athlete’s face after a hard work out or achieving a new skill or seeing their teammates after a long day, is something that keeps you enjoying gymnastics. When we travel for competition, gymnastics often won’t remember what score they achieved or how they placed, but they will remember growing relationships with teammates and family, experiences from travel or the meet, and life lessons learnt on that trip.
Many gymnasts refer to their gymnastics community as their family due to the massive support system the sport offers through the team of athletes and their coach. They have a whole group of sisters, that they may or may not get along with, that they need to learn to navigate. They all have roles in the group such as the leader, the silent motivator, the workhorse, the cheerleader, and sometimes even the slacker who needs the motivation push from the rest of the group. They laugh together, they cry together, share their days trouble and victories. The comradery that is developed is something that last beyond the gym.