5 Tips for First-Time Gymnastics Students
As a parent, you want your child to interact with his or her peers. You hope they choose to participate in clubs and sports whenever possible. One sport you may have registered your child for is gymnastics. This activity goes beyond learning tumbling skills, as it introduces your child to personal development and social skills they may not otherwise acquire. It is common for the parent of first-time gymnastics students to be unsure of what is expected of them and their student or how the classes will benefit their child. Here are five tips that will help introduce you to this fun, dynamic sport.
What to Expect in the First Class
If your child has signed up for introductory level gymnastics classes, the first session will focus on building strength and gaining flexibility. This process may include stretching and other warm-up exercises. Skills taught are rolls, handstands, jumps, and cartwheels. Although it all sounds like it’s all fun and games, there are a few things first-time gymnastics students should know before showing up to their initial class.
1. No Jewelry
While it’s okay to let your child wear jewelry outside of the gym, during gymnastics it can be dangerous. Make sure your child removes all jewelry before class unless they are for medical purposes. In the case of earrings, they too should be removed unless the piercings are new and they can’t be taken out. If this is the case, the studs must be low profile.
2. Pull Back the Hair
As excited as your child may be about their first gymnastics class, there are specific rules that need to be adhered to for safety reasons. One important one is to ensure your child’s hair is pulled back away from the face. You can put it in a ponytail, pigtails, or a braid. As long as it is secure with an elastic band, your child should be good to go.
3. Eating Before Class
A proper nutrition plan that includes fruits, vegetables, and proteins is crucial for children involved in sports. It supports the energy a child needs for the activity at hand. Eating carbohydrate-rich food before class is ideal, provided it is given 3 to 4 hours in advance of gymnastics. Avoiding greasy or fatty foods before class will help eliminate the chances your child will get an upset stomach from jumping and flipping around and possibly vomiting while in a gymnastics class.
4. Stay Hydrated
As with any sport, hydration is a necessity to make things run smoothly. So, make sure your child always brings water to class. It is understandable that your child may be excited as most first-time gymnastics students are and may neglect to drink proper fluids. Impress upon your child that staying hydrated is important to an athlete and keeping his or her body healthy for gymnastics is crucial to them enjoying themselves. Also, be sure to have your child use the restroom prior to class to avoid accidents or interruptions.
5. Have Fun!
Above all else, it is essential that your child has fun participating in gymnastics. Yes, as a parent, you hope that your child learns the coordination, strength, and flexibility skills necessary to excel at gymnastics. However, there are many other reasons to encourage your child along the way. While your child is enjoying the experience as first-time gymnastics students do, they can learn valuable life lessons without even realizing he or she is doing so. Some benefits of kids gymnastics programs include:
- Learning the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle
- Social skills such as listening, being polite, and being respectful to others
- Increasing one’s self-discipline and self-confidence
- Developing a work ethic
- Overcoming one’s fears
Participating in a gymnastic program brings plenty of benefits and memories for you and your child. There’s no better time to get them involved than now. If you are interested in enrolling your child in gymnastics, contact G3Kids today to get started.