Gymnastics is a great sport for both physical and mental strength, flexibility, balance and confidence. Here are some great reasons why taking gymnastics might be a great fit for your daughter and help shape her into a strong and successful woman.
1. Gymnastics will help to make her strong
Swinging on the bars and learning skills like cartwheels that require her to support her own body weight build strength from an early age. It’s important to teach young girls that not only is being strong good for the body, but it’s important in life.
2. Gymnastics will increase her flexibility
Every gymnastics class begins with a warm-up that includes stretching and splits, and then throughout the rest of the class gymnasts learn and practice skills that require them to use their flexibility. Better flexibility will decrease the risk of your daughter getting injured from gymnastics or any other physical activity she does.
3. Gymnastics will help to strengthen her bones
Children’s bones become stronger and denser when they participate in weight-bearing activities. In gymnastics, children work against gravity with the force of their own weight. Making sure your child is engaging in any type of physical activity, but especially weight-bearing exercise, may be the most important thing you can do to promote their bone health.
4. Gymnastics will keep her fit and help her develop the habit of staying active
We know that young people need to be more active and fit. It’s such a problem in our country that First Lady Michelle Obama formed the “Lets move” program to try to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Gymnastics is one of the most diverse sports in terms of the types of exercises and muscles it develops. Gymnastics works to enhance a gymnast’s strength, flexibility, speed, balance and coordination.
Having this flexibility and strength (especially core strength) skill set base as a teenager will prepare girls for yoga, pilates and other cardio exercise classes as young adults. Knowing they can take exercise classes like this without excessively struggling will help them maintain their healthy exercise habits while working or going to school.
5. Gymnastics will shape her into a well-rounded athlete, and teach her skills that will enhance other sports
Gymnasts are flexible, agile and strong, with coordination, balance and flexibility. These are important traits in gymnastics and in other sports. For example, learning how to run fast for the vault would be important in not only track and field, but soccer, basketball, rugby and softball. Balance and flexiblity are useful if she ever wants to join a dance team. And gymnastics skills such as tumbling skills and jumps are an important part of cheerleading.
6. Gymnastics will teach her balance
What better tool for learning balance than the balance beam? Learning to walk on a low beam first and then a high beam will teach balance at a young age. Gymnasts learn to not only balance on their feet, but on their hands.
7. Gymnastics will teach her how to fall, safely, helping to prevent her from getting injured in other sports or activities later in life
You want to fall trying to minimize impact and absorb shock, while protecting your head. Falling and putting your arms behind you is one of the first things gymnasts are taught not to do, as this is an easy way to break your arms. It’s easier and safer to learn how to fall correctly in a gymnastics gym because of the many mats and foam pits to use when doing falling drills. Learning how to fall young will become instinctual and protect her from unnecessary injuries later in life.
8. Gymnastics will help her develop hand-eye and foot-eye coordination
Gymnastics is a great way for kids to learn how to make their body do what their brain is telling them to. Crawling through the pit, swinging from the bars, jumping on the trampoline, learning how to roll on floor mats–all of these exercises help kids learn how to move their body.
9. Gymnastics will help teach her to follow directions.
As soon as your gymnast is enrolled in a preschool gymnastics class she will start learning how to follow directions with obstacle courses. The instructor will explain what to do at each station, and she will have to remember what to do in order to participate. And since it’s fun, she will want to remember, and her listening and “following directions” skills will start to form.
10. Gymnastics will teach her perseverance and patience, and how to set and achieve goals
Because gymnastics is a hard sport and most skills require repetition, she will learn that patience and perseverance are necessary in life to achieve goals. In order to learn new gymnastics skills she will have to focus on the goal of the skill and the practice and steps it takes to reach it.
11. Gymnastics will help her make friends in a safe environment
Gymnastics classes tend to have small class sizes, usually between 6-9 girls of about the same age per instructor. The small class size of girls of the same age will help her make friends in a safe and supervised environment.
12. Gymnastics will give her confidence
In a study done on members of the women’s senior national Olympic team, it was found that the gymnasts had higher self-esteem when compared to other members from different sports of the senior national team This might be because the gymnasts on the Olympic team grew up in a safe environment with other ambitious, confident, encouraging girls.
13. Gymnastics can be started young.
Gymnastics classes are great for toddlers, or kids of any age because of all these physical and mental benefits. I know my sister and I wouldn’t be the women we are today, women that have good jobs and work hard to stay healthy, without gymnastics.