Both parents and gym owners have an interest in the top reasons why parents should sign up their kids in gymnastics.
Top 10 (+ 2) Reasons to Sign Up Kids in Gymnastics
There are numerous reasons why parents sign up their children for gymnastics, and then drive them back and forth to the gym day after day. Parents have their own reasons, but should be aware of all of these advantages, because that will help them maintain the motivation necessary to keep up what is almost a full-time job playing gymnastics chauffeur, shuttling their children back and forth to all their activities.
12 Positive Points for Gyms to Market to Parents
Gyms should know why parents are signing up their gymnasts and the other reasons that many parents may not know, because those are important marketing points they can make to sell their program. Gyms also need to know the potential benefits so they can make sure they are doing what is necessary to deliver those benefits.
Reason number one parents sign up kids in gymnastics is to improve their coordination. Parents either want to prevent their child from being a “klutz” or want to have them develop above average coordination. As such an all around, both upper and lower body developing sport, gymnastics has a proven capacity to improve coordination.
Unlike most team sports, every single achievement a gymnast makes are their own. Their successes are not dependent on the success or failure of their teammates. Thus, every new skill that they learn and every competition success they achieve contributes directly to their own personal confidence level. And confidence in one area, gymnastics, transfers to every other area of a gymnast’s life, including school, public speaking, social situations, etc.
3. Grace and Elegance
While perhaps second to dance in developing these two traits, again, the all around nature of the sport of gymnastics is also very effective in developing children’s abilities to become graceful and elegant.
4. Setting, Progressing Toward and Achieving Goals
The nature of the learning process in the sport of gymnastics is progressive steps of progress. Learning new skills, combinations and routines is very much a step-by-step process. The very nature of that step-by-step process provides built-in daily and mid-term goals (by progressing through enough steps to achieve the desired skills). For competitive gymnasts, long-term personal goals are most often set by the gymnast. Winning a championship, scoring a perfect score and making the Olympics are commonly expressed ultimate goals for gymnasts.
5. Learn Success Habits
Gymnastics is a challenging sport from the very beginning to the highest levels of competition. In order to achieve any level of success in gymnastics, gymnasts must learn and build habits that contribute to success. Discipline, drive, determination, persistence, perseverance, time management and commitment are just some of the success habits that come naturally from progress through the sport of gymnastics. These success habits can then translate to the gymnast’s entire life and provide success in life, as well as in gymnastics.
6. Lifetime Exercise Habits and Long-Term Health Benefits
Regular participation in gymnastics and other physical activities is the best way to create good exercise habits that can last a lifetime, prevent obesity and provide long-term health benefits to gymnasts.
7. A Safe Lifestyle
Many people don’t know this, but the time that is most common for young people to get into trouble, including serious problems like drug use, crime and pregnancy, occurs between the hours of 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and not during the nighttime like most people assume. If gymnasts are in the gym every afternoon, they simply do not have the potential to get in trouble during those times.
8. Social Skills
Gymnastic provides a built-in social skill learning environment and social network for gymnasts from the preschool level to the collegiate and even Olympic level of the sport. Gymnasts at every level share the common experience, the workouts and the ups and the downs. That shared experience provides a camaraderie that is the basis for strong, lasting friendships. And all of that social skill development occurs in a adult-monitored, safe environment.
9. Good Sportsmanship
Gymnastics is not just about winning and losing, but is also about fairness and sportsmanship. Gymnasts must and do learn to win graciously, handle losing and face adversity. Acknowledging the successes of their teammates and other competitors with a high five or a hug, talking to fans and the media, no matter what the outcome of an event, prepares gymnasts to handle almost anything later in their lives.
10. Self-Image and Self-Esteem
The physical demands and long-term training necessary for gymnastics learning and success develop every gymnast’s body physically. That physical development is a solid base for a positive self image. Self-esteem is developed through accomplishment and gymnastics provides the chance for daily improvement, achievement and development. Gymnasts commonly develop a positive body self-image from their gymnastics training and a high degree of self-esteem from a career of gymnastics accomplishments.
11. Academic Success
It seems counter-intuitive that the more time gymnasts spend in the gym, the better their grades in school tend to be, but that is exactly what research shows. Successful gymnasts tend to be intelligent and they learn to manage their time successfully so they can complete their schoolwork, study for exams, spend hours every week in the gym training and still enjoy social activities with their friends.
12. Competition and College Scholarships
About 10% of parents sign up their kids in gymnastics with hopes and expectations of gymnastics success, reaching the Olympics or winning a college scholarship. The positive lessons to be learned in the sport of gymnastics only increase when gymnasts compete. Combining academic and gymnastics success can be the path to winning a college scholarship, which can be a huge financial and educational reward.