World Champions Centre Blog

Is gymnastics for my family? Posted May 6, 2019

This is a question families ask themselves and our front desk on a regular basis. Families wonder if gymnastics is as good as people say it is, is it really that beneficial, are there more risks associated with gymnastics over other sports? Let’s take some time to breakdown some of these questions and some of the myths associated with youth sports. 

Q. Is gymnastics as good as people say?

Yes and better! Gymnastics is the best means of laying a foundation of sport for any child for all sports. Gymnastics trains the body and mind in such a way that it efficiently and effectively prepares children for success in any sport they choose to continue in. Gymnastics especially at a young age helps develop the child cognitively as well and helps provide the motor skills to learn and be successful. (Link to another article about how gymnastics develops the mind and body to help with other things besides sport.)

Q. Is gymnastics beneficial?

YES! As a coach and a parent, my favorite thing about gymnastics is that it teaches my children to persevere and to go through the learning process. When learning new skills, gymnasts experience the unknown, they struggle, they progress, and they succeed. Gymnasts repeat this process throughout their gymnastics career, every skill, every routine has its own unique set of challenges. As an adult, I cherish the ability to be confronted with a new problem and going through the process of learning and figuring it out. Gymnastics helps to train those same processes in a child, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and success. Learning is a great skill everyone should have and should continue to develop. 

Q. Are there more risks associated with gymnastics than other sports?

In a report written by Dr. Sands, gymnastics is in the middle of over 41 sports. It is difficult to place solid statistics on the sport as many “gymnastic” related injuries occur outside the gym, such as in a backyard, on the playground, and on a home trampoline as well. 
In the gym, injuries are mitigated by training athletes with progressions meaning we build up to certain skills using a process. Gymnasts are taught to fall correctly, which helps dissipate the force of impact and keeps fragile body parts out of the danger zone. 
Statistics of athletes in youth sports competing in college and competing professionally:

When considering the long-term gymnastics has proven to have many benefits. Dr. Sands lists the average GPA’s of 20 universities in both Men’s and Women’s gymnastics. In Women’s gymnastics particularly none of the GPA’s were below a 3.28 average. Furthermore, gymnastics teaches the athletes "patience, dedication, perseverance, and planning.” Which as adults we know are imperative to success. "Gymnastics helps people learn to work hard for objectives that can take years to achieve. In the modern world of quick-fixes, instant communication, instant hamburgers, and instant entertainment, there still needs to be a place for young people to develop their character. Although it may sound corny, gymnastics is a perfect activity for such development.” 

At the end of Dr. Sands report, he concludes that "Gymnastics is a terrific sport for young people. Many people have grown up in and by gymnastics to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, business people, professors, police officers, nurses, scientists, and many others. Gymnastics provides an outstanding way for young people to test their mettle against themselves and others. Gymnastics can provide opportunities for physical development, character development, and education that are hard to find anywhere else."
At the end of the day no matter where your child ends up, in whatever sport they may or may not compete in, gymnastics lays the perfect foundation of physical awareness and problem-solving that gives all children the foundation to succeed in whatever they put their mind to. 

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