A few weeks back I wrote a blog titled Did you know? The Other Things Your Pre-Rec Gymnast is Learning. In this article I discussed the different physical skills and life lessons your little gymnast is learning during class. I want to expand upon that article and talk to you about gymnastics in general, and the benefits it has to offer everybody. Whether you or your child wants to compete or just have fun, there are many benefits to taking a gymnastics class. So, listed below is the array of skill sets that you and/or your child can gain from taking gymnastics. The list includes the main reasons I personally love gymnastics and encourage everyone I know to try it out!
Gymnastics helps you develop kinesthetic awareness. Everyone can benefit from gymnastics because it is a “body-awareness” sport. From basic movements to the more advanced, your mind-body connection can be improved. Body awareness is crucial in some daily activities, but most of all, in anything athletic or fitness related. In other words, gymnastics can help you excel in other sports and activities…which leads me to my second point.
Gymnastics improves your ability to play other sports well by increasing range of motion, flexibility and strength. Stability is a core skill in gymnastics, but it is also an important skill in many other sports. Gymnastics creates muscle memory and coordination which is incredibly important for any physical or fitness pursuit.
Gymnastics helps develop sportsmanship qualities and the sense of being on a team. It helps us learn to work together and take turns. From a coach’s perspective, I have seen students encouraging their partners when working on skills together. They slowly begin to give each other tips and pointers which is an excellent teamwork skill to develop for all aspects of life. The relationships built during class can become new friendships which bring a sense of community that is hard to find elsewhere.
Last but not least, gymnastics encourages you to try difficult things, to keep trying after failure (perseverance), and to not quit (diligence). Yes, it is an ongoing process of learning many basic skills repetitively, but slowly your body becomes stronger, more aware, and you excel. Adult gymnasts and young gymnasts alike, your bodies continue to develop muscle memory as you practice, and if you continue these movements, they will become easier and more fluid.
Whether you are an adult, teenager, or a younger gymnast, you are developing skills that will last a lifetime. From strength and stability, to positive sportsmanship qualities and teamwork skills, it seems there is a never ending list of the benefits from practicing gymnastics. Whether these skills lead to a career in gymnastics or other sports… both are great! Whichever way you would like to look at it, gymnastics can have a wonderful, positive impact on life no matter what the age!