7 Reasons Gymnastics Is A Great Sport For Kids

Alex Flanagan
In Gymnastics
By Alex Flanagan | February 16, 2017
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7 Reasons Gymnastics Is A Good Sport For Kids

(By guest contributor Amanda Borden)

I was 12-years-old when I decided I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.  I always loved sports. I played t-ball, tried ice skating and ballet and was on a soccer team for two years, but there was something about gymnastics.  I loved the challenge and the constant pursuit of perfection.

Now, as a mother of three children and the owner of my own gyms, I am inspired when I see
that same spark that I once felt in the eyes of the children I work with. Here are seven things I like about gymnastics and 7 reasons why it is a great sport for children.

7 Reasons Gymnastics Is A Good Sport For Kids

It’s a sport for all sports

Gymnastics provides a great foundation for ALL sports. Gymnastics develops strength, flexibility, balance, agility and coordination…all skills needed for sports like hockey, basketball, volleyball and football.  The flexibility used to do a leg split is the same flexibility a hockey or soccer player uses to save a goal. The balance and coordination a gymnast develops to jump on a balance beam is similar to the skills needed by a pitcher on the baseball mound. Whether you become a competitive gymnast or participate in other competitive sports, gymnastics gives you a great foundation to succeed!

 

It makes you a better math student

That’s right, math is considered a spatial sport, which means the more children move in different ways, the more connections are made in the brain that improve spatial awareness. Kids need good spatial skills to understand mathematical equations and geometric principles. Gymnastics does just that! Gymnastics moves improve body awareness and help wire the brain for math success.

 

Weather and seasons aren’t a factor

Gymnastics is a year round sport so there is no need to wait until gymnastics season; you can participate year round or on your schedule. It’s an indoor sport so you don’t need to wait for the weather to warm up or cool down. Plus, you can participate in your “off” season from other sports to build strength and coordination.

Amanda Borden teaching students

It teaches resilience and mental toughness

In a sport where the best athletes at the highest levels still fall and make mistakes, gymnastics teaches resilience and mental toughness.  It’s a sport where you fall again and again, and have to continually “get back on the horse”.  In 1992 I was crushed when I didn’t make the Olympic team. But the culture of gymnastics is to continue to get back up and never quit trying.  Four years later I not only made the team, but was named the captain of the gold medal winning team known as the Magnificent Seven. Gymnastics is a sport where you learn to quickly put your mistakes behind you and move on.

 

The outfits are awesome?

Leotards have evolved over the years allowing gymnasts to infuse their own style into their outfits. Gymansts can express their personalities through the vibrant colors and stretchy and shiney fabrics they wear. The variety is endless!  Who doesn’t’ love stepping out in  a bedazzled, glittery, sparkling outfit covered in crystals?

 

Social Skills and Life Lessons

Gymnastics requires kids to stand in line, take turns using equipment, to listen to and apply a coaches feedback. All things that develops real life skills like patience, following directions, being quiet and respecting others. Gymnastics teaches commitment, dedication, respect, time-management, and builds confidence and self esteem…. all the qualities we want our children to have to be successful students and human beings. With gymnastics offering programs starting at toddler age, gymnastics can be great social preparation for starting school. 

Amanda Borden coaching

Flying, swinging, climbing and bouncing

Swinging, climbing, jumping, flipping…..is fun!!! What’s a child not to love about gymnastics? With participation in youth sports declining and the obesity rate in children increasing…it’s important that we keep kids involved, engaged and most of all, having FUN while participating in sports!

 

Amanda Borden was the Team Captain of the history making 1996 Gold Medal Olympic Gymnastics Team. A wife, mom and founder of Gold Medal Gymnastics with locations in both Chandler and Tempe, Arizona that offer both recreational and championship training from tots to team. She was recently a gymnastics commentator for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and also covers Pac-12 gymnastics. Follow Amanda on  Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.

 

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