Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Benefits of Putting Your Child in Gymnastics

Many parents struggle with which sport to enroll their child in. Soccer? Hockey? Basketball? Tennis? Swimming? When the child is still so young and unable to actually TELL you what they want to try out, choosing a sport can definitely be a challenge. Since gymnastics is televised much less than other mainstream sports, perhaps parents are failing to see how much this sport can actually benefit their child. Below is a list of reasons why gymnastics is awesome:

1) It’s Great Exercise: Obviously. Gymnastics requires an enormous amount of intensity and endurance. They are amongst the most flexible of all athletes, which in turn, leads to fewer injuries. It also improves balance and agility. Athletes also tend to develop more upper body strength than any other sport.

2) There are High Cognitive Benefits: Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between physically fit children and high academic performance. Physical exercise encourages healthy brain function and development. Also, the sheer amount of coordination that this sport requires only makes the brain stronger.

3) It’s Super Fun: Not only is this sport amazingly exciting for kids, but it’s also amazingly exciting for parents! Think about how exhausted children will be after jumping, swinging, running, bouncing, tumbling, flipping and leaping all over the place! They will practically be begging for a nap when they get home! You’re welcome, parents.

4) It’s Great for the Little Ones: Gymnastics caters best to the smallest and lightest athletes, which is great when so many sports cater to tall/big athletes (hockey, basketball, rugby).

5) It’s Loved by Ladies, Gentleman, Boys and Girls: This sport is constantly one of the most watched events at the Olympic Games. Why? Because there are so many events in gymnastics that no one ever gets bored. In artistic gymnastics, events for girls include: the vault, the uneven bars, the balance beam and the floor. For boys, the events include: the floor, the pommel horse, the still rings, the vault, the parallel bars and the high bar. Let’s not forget that there is also rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics, along with trampolining and tumbling. If a parent is going to invest in a sport, at least there’s variety in it.

All in all, gymnastics is a great sport to involve your child in. To see if it is something that they would be interested in, perhaps you could show them some videos found on the FIG YouTube Channel. I’m sure they will be begging you in no time.

By: Kayla Robinson

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