1. It’s everyone’s favorite Summer Olympic sport. Sure, gymnastics might not get very much national coverage throughout the regular competition season, but every four years it’s the U.S. gymnastics team that has everyone locked to their television screen! It’s not because we haven’t earned the glory either. In fact, team USA has placed in the top 3 in every Summer Olympic Games since 1992. That’s six Olympic Games and 20 years straight of Bronze, Silver, and GOLD. The way things are looking leading up to the trials this year, we predict that Team USA is about to make that seven.
Speaking of Olympic Trials, did we mention we’re selling discounted tickets? Call us to find out more and reserve your seats today! (559) 271-9400.
2. It is both a team and individual sport. Despite what movies like Stick It might lead you to believe, gymnastics is very much a team sport. This is because competition is scored based on both a team and individual level. There is no support like that of you gymnastics team member. They are there everyday training next to you, cheering you on, and encouraging you to throw that trick that’s been giving you a mental block for weeks. The friendships made in gymnastics class often last a lifetime. A big reason for that is…
3. …Gymnastics Breeds A Strong Work Ethic Gymnastics is an incredibly disciplined sport. Most skills require hours of practice and repetition. Gymnasts possess a focus and dedication to the sport which ultimately follows them throughout the rest of their life. A gymnast doesn’t flinch at a little hard work, instead they welcome the challenge. It’s difficult to say if gymnastics breeds a desire for personal challenge, pushing limits, and working towards an absolute best, or if it simply attracts and reveals an already existing characteristic. Either way, it’s no surprise that those who choose gymnastics as their sport of choice all have one thing in common: a strong work ethic.
4. Discipline. Even in the very early years of gymnastics, discipline is a strong component of class. Gyms are typically very busy and full of gymnasts of varying levels running, jumping, flipping, and flying. Therefore, all gyms require rules for how to behave during class. Beyond the basics of safety, gymnast must also hold themselves accountable when they are practicing routines on their own or even when they’re working on conditioning. For example, the coach might not be counting how many pull-ups everyone has done, but the results will show eventually and if a gymnast is not holding themselves accountable for finishing their required training, it will be clear down the road. Finally, students must also be able to listen to their coaches when they give them corrections or require them to stand in line instead of running arou – “Hey! Off the bars! We’re not on bars right now!”
5. Self-Confidence. While we mentioned before that gymnastics is very much a team sport, it is also a very personal journey. Through the challenge of learning new skills, students gain confidence in their abilities to grow stronger and overcome fears. The joy and pride that comes from mastering a new trick that had once eluded them is an unforgettable feeling. Not only that, but learning how to perform for an audience and to be judged by that performance is an incredible skill to master and one that will stick with a gymnast forever. Gymnastics brings out so many wonderful qualities in a child that self-confidence is just one of the many side effects. Plus, it’s pretty cool to be the only one in a group of school friends who can arch back and touch your feet to your head.
6. Strength, coordination, flexibility, grace, and power. It’s no secret that many say that gymnastics is the hardest sport in the world. The sport encompasses so many different athletic capabilities all at once. There is no other sport in existence where the athlete is required to have both the explosive power of a pole vaulter and also the graceful movements of a ballerina. For example, elite gymnasts are recorded to have a short distance sprint speed of 16mph (20+ for men), their skill and routine timing is down to six thousandth of a second, and they possess a strength nine times their body weight. Tumbling and vaulting often launches them over 13 feet in the air (16+ for men) and then they’re required to land at such a perfect angle, that there is no momentum moving them either forward or backwards. In other words, after all that, they’re still required to stick the landing. Knowing all this, it’s hard to believe that people used to debate whether or not gymnastics should be considered a sport. To us, it’s pretty clear that there is no athlete tougher than a gymnast.
7. Politeness. This is one you may not have considered before, however it should not be overlooked. Gymnastics is one of the few sports where behavior before competition is also judged. Before beginning a rotation in competition, gymnasts are typically required to march to the judges’ stand and introduce themselves with a formal group salute and sometimes even a little small talk. Before beginning a routine, gymnasts are once again required to salute the judge once the judge has indicated that they are ready for them to perform. When marching from one event to another, gymnasts walk in a straight line with grace and pointed toes. Their uniforms, hair and even nails are required to be in pristine condition. And it’s not only in competition that gymnasts are expected to be polite. They are also expected to be well-behaved with their coaches and other gymnasts during practice as well.
8. We know we promised a list of 7 reasons, but we couldn’t leave out the most important one: Fun! It’s true – the very BEST thing about the wonderful sport of gymnastics is how FUN it is! There is no better feeling than sticking the perfect landing, swinging around a set of bars, and spinning through the air. Adrenaline junkies to the core, gymnasts live for a thrill and there is none better than feeling the wind in their face as they get as close to flying as humanly possible. Even with all the discipline required, the hard work, and the competition, there are also equal parts laughter, joking, and silliness under the roof of every gym. Gym sleepovers, parents’ night out, camp, and open gym are just some of the incredibly fun activities we have to offer at Gymnastics Beat!
So, there you have it: our top 7 (okay, 8) reasons why we think gymnastics is the BEST sport in the world! Regardless of how far your child may want to go with it, gymnastics has so many incredible benefits that will stick with them for a lifetime. From parent/child bonding in our parent – tot classes, to mastering spatial awareness and learning how to control their limbs in gym junior, or building strength and confidence in Rec, there are endless opportunities for your child to grow. And if your kid happens to catch the gymnastics bug (and we really hope they do!), you can expect to see even more of the benefits listed above. You can also expect to see a lot of their feet because it’s likely they’ll prefer to be upside down most of the time!
Leave a comment below and let us know why you think gymnastics is the best sport!