Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Why is gymnastics a good sport for my child to be involved in?

A- Studies show that children learn cognitive skills more effectively in an environment that includes the body as well as the mind. Gymnastics & early childhood movement education is directly attributed to developing neurological pathways in students & promoting readiness. Gymnastics improves self-esteem, while also improving overall physical fitness. In a study of school-aged youth, researchers found that the risk of substance abuse by adolescents is decreased by physical training programs that incorporate life skills. Gymnastics increases bone density, and helps to reduce osteoporosis. Also, gymnastics helps children meet new friends!

Q- What is so great about gymnastics as opposed to other sports?

A- The sport of gymnastics is one of the few sports that improves all three areas of physical fitness: strength, flexibility & endurance.

Q- My child is heavy….Is gymnastics a good activity to help her lose weight?

A- Gymnasts and tumblers can sustain up to 16 times the body’s own weight on impacts and landings. Therefore, it is not recommended that any child be enrolled in gymnastics classes, until a proper, healthy weight is already established. Injuries suffered as a result of obesity, can cause life-long complications. The skeletal system can suffer severe permanent damage on these impacts from a heavy child. Meet with your child’s doctor to begin a safe diet before signing up, and make sure the Dr. gives a thumbs up on a proper weight to achieve for doing gymnastics.

Q- I have heard that is is bad to coach my child while attending her gymnastics classes or practices, why?

A- Parents coaching from the sidelines is discouraged. Many of the most talented gymnasts have dropped out while there was still a great amount of potential left in them for the sport, because their parents were found to be pushing them too hard. The most successful & well-adjusted athletes are those with parents who were always patient, supportive, encouraging & motivating. When you pick up your child, try saying positive things like “Good job today”….or “I am proud of you, you have been working hard!” Instead of “Why didn’t you make your kip today?” Or instead of “I saw you on the beam today and you looked sloppy.” If they look sloppy, they are going to hear it enough from the coach. When you go to a dentist, you pay a dentist to work on your teeth. When you pay a beautician to fix your hair, you let them have at it. If you pay a coach to teach your child, don’t interfere with their job! You wouldn’t tell your dentist or beautician how to do theirs! Let your child relax and have fun outside the gym. Don’t pressure them to be perfect! It will likely backfire! The most successful gymnasts are ones who left their problems from home at the gym door, and who were able to leave gymnastics in the gym.

Don’t coach from the sidelines.

Q- How can my daughter get her backhandspring before cheerleading tryouts?

A- Anyone can learn a back handspring in 6 months of continual, regular attendance. Some of the most uncoordinated children with no prior gymnastics experience, have learned how to perform an excellent backhandspring and even a roundoff-backhandpsring in the course of a year. Do not try to learn a backhandspring 2 months before tryouts. You will find yourself potentially at risk for an injury to not allow yourself more time to learn such a difficult skill, as well as disappointed if you are unable to pull it off. Stay loyal to the gym year round, and you will simply be amazed at your abilities!

Q- How long does it take for a child to get from the beginner level to the Competitive Team. How do I know if my child has what it takes? Will she ever get there?

A- As a rule of thumb, I have never seen anyone who I didn’t think could eventually make the team. I have learned to “never say never.” I have seen children with no immediate response to the sport, who struggled to do even the most simple skills in the gym, with basically no strength or flexibility, who have gone on to become champions, leading our gymnastics team in ability. The goal of a beginner student is to learn what we call a “bridge kickover.” The goal of an intermediate level student is to learn what we call a “back walkover,” and hopefully also a “back handspring” at least on the wedge or marshmallow mat. The goal of our Pre-Team students is to have at least a “roundoff backhandspring” on their own on the floor. There are other skills we like to see, however, the above mentioned skills are the key ones they need to advance.

Ability to listen, pay attention and work hard are key requirements also. While it may appear your child is struggling, and has no potential, please be patient, and if your child loves the sport and would like to make it to the team, I have learned that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Patience is the key on the part of the parents. If you would like to see video footage of some of our team girls when they were in beginners, we will be happy to show you, and you will be able to relax and not worry! Everybody has to start somewhere!

Also, students sometimes tend to stay longer in beginners. It is when they start figuring things out in the gym, they will begin to advance to the next level more quickly each time. Students usually stay in beginners for up to a year. They are only in at the intermediate level for an average of 6 months, and then on Pre-team. After approximately 6 months on pre-team, they are finally to team level. By the time a girl has become a really advanced team gymnasts, she has spent about 1,000 hours in the gym. Until your child has been in the gym for a thousand hours, make no comparisons of your child and the competitive gymnast.

The only way to excel in tumbling or gymnastics, is to be committed year round to the gym. No one has ever reached their full potential without consistent year-round training.