Humans, and therefore gymnasts and especially young gymnasts, are more psychologically fragile than is ideal for high pressure gymnastics competitions. As such, they and their competitive performances can definitely benefit from emotional, psychological and financial gymnast support systems. While this is generally understood, little to nothing is done by parents, coaches and gym owners to analyze and fully develop support systems for their team gymnasts. Plus there are a number of sources of potential gymnast support that are either overlooked or not considered as support systems or as psychological and emotional support systems.
Commonly Acknowledged Gymnast Support Systems
The following are the commonly recognized gymnast support systems:
- Parents and Family Members
- Team Gymnasts
- Team Coaches
- Head Coach
- Team Parents
- Non-Profit Team Organization
But just because they are recognized as sources of support for gymnasts does not mean there is any analysis, on a gymnast by gymnast basis, to determine the extent of support from each group or individual. There is also no systematic educational effort to train any of these groups or individuals in the best ways to provide support to their gymnasts.
Gym Support System
While the gym should be a natural source of team gymnast support, the owner and staff members are often busy or focusing on other matters besides being a support system to team gymnasts. Gym support system members include:
- Gym Owner
- Front Desk Staff
- Class Gymnasts
- Class Parents
Again,there is no effort to train any of these groups or individuals to fully support team gymnasts, but most of us who have been around the sport for some time have seen examples of great team support from each of these types of individuals and groups. But that support was provided from the individual motivation and effort of particular individuals on their own initiative and not as part of any plan, training or system.
Community Support Systems
Gyms often see community organizations as potential sources of financial, marketing or public relations support. And that certainly is a hugely important part of gymnast support systems, but if these organizations can be utilized in also providing widespread support for gymnasts in a motivational way, then their support will have reached a whole new level. Community sources of support include:
- Community Service Organization
- TV Stations
If and when the above organizations can be tapped for providing widespread community support for gymnasts on your team, the process of developing a full gymnast support system will be completed.
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