The benefits of doing gymnastics......

 

Benefits of Participating in Gymnastics at 

Santa Rosa Gymnastics Center


ALL children benefit from classes and participation at SRGC. We have detailed below 7 physical and 9 non-physical benefits that flow directly from participating in our programs.  You have already done some wonderful parenting by getting your child interested in this educational sport. Many of the benefits from participating in gymnastics are NOT directly related to learning gymnastics skills, however through your child’s participation in gymnastics many developmental areas that will help them become a better student and young adult are touched. Gymnastics lessons are not just about learning to become gymnasts, there are many more important areas to consider......

Self-Confidence

At SRGC the gymnastics skills are broken down into small steps.  As your child takes these steps and learns the skills they develop confidence in their abilities. They learn how to progress and achieve and this self-confidence carries over into their school-work and other sports.

Our Instructors teach in a supportive, mastery oriented, approach that can help  budding athletes develop a wonderful sense of confidence. While physical activity tends to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, the right instructors help children develop an "I can" attitude that can give them that intangible high of knowing they can count on themselves to succeed.

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School found a correlation between physical activity and children’s self-esteem. The more time children ages 10 to 16 spent being active, the higher their self-efficacy and self-esteem were to reported to be (Strauss RS, Rodzilsky D, Burack G, Colin M., 2001).
"From the Office" USECA Newsletter, July 2003

Hard Work Ethic

Gymnastics is a tough sport.  It may be toughest sport in the world. One of the great things about gymnastics is that no one, not even our terrific teachers, can give your child everything. Your child has to earn the skills they learn themselves. And they will also learn that the harder they try and the more effort they give the more they will learn.  What a great lesson! Your child learns to work hard, develops self-confidence and increases their self-esteem by actually achieving success.

Discipline

This is so important today. We have rules in the gym to keep our students safe and to help them learn. Our teachers expect their students to follow those rules. In this way gymnastics is a very controlled environment and the more children thrive in this type of setting the better off they will be.

Also students who attend multiple classes will need to learn time management in order to be successful not only in gymnastics, but also in school and socially. It takes discipline of the student to be able to balance school, family, friends and gymnastics.

Politeness

We stress being polite in class as a logical extension of our lessons in discipline and social skills.  The teachers are positive and polite to the children and we insist that they be polite in return.  We also insist that they be polite to one another.  We try to help you in your efforts to raise a respectful child.

Courage

There are some aspects of gymnastics that are challenging. We believe that it is good to teach children that life is full of challenges and that they can overcome these challenges.  The key is that at SRGC we present them with “attainable challenges”. As they approach and succeed, maybe with a little fear, they will learn to trust their ability to be successful in the things they try.  What a wonderful lesson! It is a lesson we see children learn every day and it is an essential part of what we teach.

Determination

Ever wonder why our gym is full of mats and padded wall to wall? We expect our students to fall down.  We want them to fall down, and learn how to do so safely. This is the only way we can teach them to get back up and to try again.  Can there be a more important lesson?

Learning to Perform In Front of Others

This is perhaps the most overlooked lesson that children learn in gymnastics. Our students “perform” in front of others all the time. They are taught that performance is simply part of life  as they build up their confidence in their ability to do their best when others are watching. Our students are often the first to volunteer to go first and to demonstrate in front of the class. Public speaking?  How hard can it be after performing time and time again all by yourself on a balance beam or on a bar?

Cognitive Skills

New research suggests a strong correlation between physically fit children and academic achievement. Every time you send your child to gymnastics class, he/she is engaging in physical exercise that encourages healthy brain function. Nerve cells multiply and connections in the brain are strengthened. Studies show that children learn cognitive skills more effectively in an environment that includes the body as well as the mind (Barrett, 1998).  Early childhood movement education is directly attributed to developing neurological pathways in students and promoting reading readiness. While the preschool gymnastics teacher runs about and plays with the little kids in her class, she is preparing her students for successful experiences in school; children who have participated in movement education activities have longer attention spans, increased communication skills, general problem solving skills and improved self-esteem. It is not surprising that children who are engaging in consistent physical activity, like gymnastics, are more likely to get better grades than their inactive peers.


Social Skills

Especially for our younger ones, gymnastics provides a once a week opportunity to learn about social skills such as listening, taking turns, following directions, working independently, being quiet, respecting others, and a lot more. Our teachers work hard to build these social skills because they are so important to a quality learning environment.

Children can also benefit socially from engaging in gymnastics. Aside from simply interacting with other children in the class, some gymnastics clubs also encourage teamwork and partner drills in their classes. The more children can interact with different types of children both in school and in after-school programming, the more they will learn how to handle conflict and positively relate to others.


Statistics show that children actively engaged in organized "positive choice" extra-curricular activities such as youth sports are less likely to be involved in self-destructive and anti-social behavior and juvenile crime (Soenstrom, 1986).


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. Better school attendance, lower anxiety and depression, and decreased use of tobacco and alcohol were all reported after a twelve week physical training program (Collingwood, Sunderlin, Reynolds & Kohl, 2000). Recreational sports activities, including gymnastics is a key to balanced human development and has been proven to be a significant factor in reducing alcohol and drug use (Williams, 1994).


Fitness

The parent who states that they think "...gymnastics would probably be good for their child" might be surprised to know just how good it is. With pediatric obesity at an epidemic level of 13% of children and adolescents in the United States, getting children away from the television or computer games and into the gym is a terrific first step toward a healthy lifestyle. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report that youth who undertake lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity, reduce the intake of high-caloric foods and involve parents, have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity over the long-term. Gymnastics is perhaps one of the most comprehensive "lifestyle exercise programs" available to children. Incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline


Strength and Power

Do you want a strong child?  You have them in the right place. Gymnastics is all about lifting and moving the body. Lifting and moving on bars, and rings, and on the floor develops strength. Combine the lessons and benefits of gymnastics in terms of strength, flexibility, courage, coordination, and determination and you have the makings of a complete athlete who is ready for any sport or activity.

Coordination

Gymnastics instruction helps develop coordination and body movement.  Young children in particular gain a great deal of self-confidence through how coordinated they are because their “world” is so physical rather than mental. This specific coordination will give them a large advantage in any other activity they may participate in.  Studies have shown that young children who have the coordination to walk one foot in front of the other on the balance beam, teach their eyes the proper eye coordination needed to read. These children learn to read faster and with more ease.

Flexibility

Participation in gymnastics helps our students become more flexible.  Success in every sport whether it is gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, football, skiing, tennis, golf, or football requires flexible athletes.  Gymnastics develops flexibility better than any other activity and this increased flexibility has the added benefit of limiting injuries. Because gymnasts aim to achieve a variety of positions to perform skills on each apparatus, flexibility is important in everyday life it reduces tension, helps coordination, develops body awareness and promotes circulation.

Muscle Strength

Gaining Muscle strength through tumbling, jumping, static flexing, and holding one's own body weight in various positions help children develop strong and powerful bodies. Muscle is built through resistance training, which allows children to use their body's resistance as their own personal weight machine! Over time, these gymnasts get stronger, which aids in the development of lean, toned muscles, improved balance and perhaps even improvements in posture


Healthy Bones

These same types of movements assist children with developing strong healthy bones since gymnastics is a weight-bearing activity. Weight-bearing activities, according to the CDC, are activities in which the child's body works against gravity, meaning that a child's legs, feet or arms are actually supporting or carrying his or her own body weight. Studies have shown that gymnasts have the best bone density compared to any other athlete.


Health

European researchers found that physical fitness in children related to a reduced risk of developing asthma during adolescence (Rasmussen, Lambrechsten, Siersted, Hansen & Hansen, 2000).


Physical activity is instrumental in preventing certain cancers; from colon cancer and breast cancer to prostate cancer (Merrett, Theis & Ashbury, 2000). Increased exercise helped reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58% (Yale University School of Medicine, 2001). Beginning a physical activity such as gymnastics at an early age is no guarantee ,but active children are more likely to grow up to be active and healthy adults.


Physical activity has been proven to delay the development of high blood pressure and helps reduce blood pressure in adolescents with hypertension (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999).


Many studies have reported the benefits of moderate impact activities such as gymnastics has on the development of bone density and the prevention of osteoporosis. Plyometric exercises (also known as jump training) like tumbling and vaulting have been determined by the American College of Sports Medicine to be a safe, beneficial and fun activity for children.