"Research shows that kids who are active and involved in sports do better in school, are more likely to attend college, and are less likely to be truant or drop out of school than their less active peers."
Department of Health and Human Services, 2006
Why Gymnastics? Well first of all, because it’s FUN! Besides that? Well the list is enormous!
The skills children gain from participation in gymnastics will continue benefiting them throughout their lives! Gymnasts gain advanced physical ability, confidence, pride, self worth & respect, focus, determination and dedication.
Other benefits include learning goal setting, healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, travel, and Friends for life!
That’s the short version; keep reading for more….
- An increase in muscular strength, flexibility and endurance
- The ability to relax
- Correct body alignment while walking, standing, jumping etc. (posture)
- The knowledge of how to fall and roll safely
- Increased agility, coordination and balance
- Awareness of the body
- Awareness of space and where the body is in it
- Awareness of relationships: body parts to each other and the apparatus
- The joy of movement mastery
- Discipline and self control
- The exercise habit as a pleasurable daily occurrence
- Higher self esteem
- A confident self image and a positive attitude towards their bodies
- Trust in one's own abilities: move from a world of "I can't" to "I can"
- Learning to cope with stress and overcome fears
- Learning to monitor a situation and respond to it
- Problem solving skills
- understanding socially acceptable behavior
- respect for other people and coaches
- manners, sharing and waiting for a turn
- Friends with common interests and goals
Lingual & Educational Benefits
- encourages the correct use of language when referring to skills, apparatus and motions
- opportunity to express their feelings and opinions
- reinforces and enhances vocabulary, beneath / behind, left, right, counting, shapes, colours etc.
- provides educational experiences
Want to know more about:
Gymnasts bodies are subjected to a wide variety of stimuli, and pound for pound, of all the Olympic athletes, Gymnasts are among the strongest! Gymnasts tend to develop upper body strength more than many other sports. They demonstrate their strength by being able to move their bodies through a myriad of positions.
The flexibility demands of gymnastics are probably the most significant and unique aspects of gymnastics that serves to separate gymnastics from most other sports. It is also believed that flexibility can be an effective aid to the reduction of injury, preventing athletes from forcing a limb to an injurious range of motion.
Injury Prevention & Learning to fall safely
Gymnasts learn early to fall without injuring themselves. Considerable effort is expended in the early teaching of gymnasts to roll - partly as a skill in itself and partly as a prerequisite to other skills. The gymnast learns to fall and roll to spread the forces of impact over a larger area and time. Gymnasts acquire a very "cat-like" ability to right themselves and to fall without being hurt.
Gymnasts are very good at both static and dynamic balance. Gymnasts learn to balance on their feet and their hands. Interestingly, gymnasts tend to develop a higher tolerance for imbalance or disturbances to their balance. Gymnasts do not react with as large a “startle response" to sudden imbalances as non-gymnasts. This probably means that gymnasts can tolerate larger disturbances to their posture because they have become more familiar with these positions and do not consider them to be such a threat.
The most successful female gymnasts pursue success rather than avoid failure, and have the highest self-esteem when compared to other members of the senior national team. Although pursuit of success versus avoidance of failure may seem like a subtle difference between groups of gymnasts, pursuit of success indicates a "healthier" outlook on competition. High self-esteem indicates that the gymnasts are pleased with themselves, can function independently, and are self-reliant.
Educational experiences in gymnastics
One of the most important benefits of gymnastics activity is that the gymnast can experience a variety of things rather than just read about them. For example, physicists discuss the principle of conservation of angular momentum while the gymnast experiences it. The physics teacher may discuss moment of inertia and its relation to angular momentum, but the gymnast can see and feel it while performing skills. The richness of such experiences goes far beyond reading about them in a book. Recently, a National Science Foundation grant has used gymnastics as a means of teaching fundamental physics to students.
Education is perhaps the most important part of gymnastics. When an activity can be naturally orchestrated to provide participants with unique and valuable experiences, it serves the participants more than any book, television show, or website.
Gymnastics provides a unique and valuable social education and experience.
Gymnastics shares with other sports the opportunity to learn about teamwork,
sportsmanship, fair play, dedication, and so forth. Sometimes these character traits may be considered old-fashioned, but gymnastics does provide a terrific opportunity for teaching these characteristics. Because gymnastics is so very difficult to perform, the learning time is long when compared to most sports. The long time required to attain mastery of the fundamental skills requires patience, dedication, perseverance, and planning. 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.
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.
With pediatric obesity at an epidemic level of 13% of children and adolescents in the United States, getting children away from the television or computer games and into the gym is a terrific first step toward a healthy lifestyle. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report that youth who undertake lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity, reduce the intake of high-caloric foods and involve parents have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity over the long-term. Gymnastics is perhaps one of the most comprehensive “lifestyle exercise programs” available to children, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline.