Do you know what’s more important than new skills to me? Great form and technique! I see young gymnasts and cheerleaders throwing skills all the time without proper technique and form. Yes, they did it. They completed the skill, maybe even for the hundredth time without injury, but at what cost to their bodies later? Lack of strength in the proper parts of the body along with poor form and technique leads to very basic overuse injuries, injuries to parts of our bodies like our spine, ankles, and wrists – parts we depend on all day every day. These injuries lead to dropping the sport, physical therapy if addressed properly, inability to participate in other sports, and even life-altering activities or limitation of everyday activities. Chronic back pain and other severe muscular and skeletal pain can become a reality. That is the last thing I want for your gymnast.
If you know anything about me, safety always is my top priority. I don’t take it lightly. That’s one of many reasons I was asked to start teaching gymnastics when I was just twelve years old.
Most people don’t understand the amount of strength and conditioning needed to do skills. A very strong core, incredible abs, powerful thighs, impressive triceps and biceps, excellent flexibility, and great timing are just a few of the key necessities for developing skills from a handstand to a handspring, for instance.
You’ll see all of the above mentioned necessities developing in your gymnasts when you attend Parents Preview Week next week. Taking our time to create strong bodies and minds means your gymnasts will experience much less injury, form good life-long habits including but not limited to stretching, care more about themselves mentally and physically, care about teammates’ wellbeing, learn their limits to help protect themselves, learn to self-motivate and set goals, overcome fear and feel brave more often, learn that practice and failure lead to their greatest successes, learn that hard work pays off, and experience the joy of accomplishing success on their own giving them confidence to strive and ultimately achieve greatness in their lives. And that is just a handful of the benefits gymnastics brings.
So, yes, I want to see what skills your gymnasts can master next but not at the cost of their health and wellness. We condition, do drills, stretch, and make their early skills strong so the next skills are easier and safer to achieve giving them a long and healthy future in gymnastics. I truly want your gymnasts to have the best and most amazing experiences in gymnastics so they can have a life that’s even better than they’re already headed for.
I felt compelled to share all of this information with you after reading this article about some of the most common gymnastics injuries. Plus, I want to give you the knowledge of our process. Keeping you informed is important to me. Knowledge is power. Plus, I hope you’ll think about some of the aspects your gymnasts have improved upon since starting, looking past just the skills and seeing the stability in that handstand, the straight legs, the powerful kick, the well-executed landing, the good form, the big arch, the straight arms, oh, and the smiles on their faces even when they fall.
While many of our skills have a ways to go before being truly mastered, I am SO PROUD of their hard work and dedication, sometimes overcoming fear, as they continuously grow and improve. And I could not be more pleased with their success to date. I clap and get excited every single class time. It’s just extraordinary to see their accomplishments and for them to realize that it all was their doing – truly the best part.