Gymnastics as a competitive sport requires dedication, long hours of training, and a certain level of natural talent. However, as Everest Gymnastics explains in the following brief Q&A, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to recreational gymnastics.
Q: Is it true that you have to be a natural athlete to enjoy gymnastics?
Everest Gymnastics: You can enjoy gymnastics no matter how fit you may be. As long as you are physically able to perform basic gymnastics functions, you can build strength, grace, and concentration over time. Many children who are enrolled in gymnastics class are there simply to supplement their physical activity level. We believe that every student has the ability and the right to have fun even if they do not wish to commit to competitive gymnastics. It’s also important to know that you do not have to be petite to participate – 2008 Olympic contender Marie Sophie Hindermann is 5’9” — 6 inches taller than the average female worldwide.
Q: Gymnastics is extremely dangerous, right?
Everest Gymnastics: All sports can be dangerous if safety guidelines are not followed. Fortunately, you would be hard-pressed to find a gymnastics training center that did not put the safety of its students first. While gymnastics often involves complicated moves, including being airborne, it takes years of practice to get to that point. During the formative years in the sport, a gymnast is guided by a coach or group of coaches that tailor to his or her needs to his or her specific abilities, both physical and cognitive. In other words, you will not see a three-year-old doing anything beyond what would not reasonably be considered safe for that age. Even elite athletes must follow safety protocols and may be penalized during competitions for failure to do so.
Q: Why aren’t there any boys that take gymnastics?
Everest Gymnastics: That’s not true at all, there are many boys that participate in gymnastics; we even offer some classes geared toward boys. Gymnastics requires exceptional strength and many young male athletes have found that participating helps them create muscle definition, stay in shape, and increase flexibility. For these reasons, gymnastics is an excellent sport to participate in during the off-season for boys who play football, baseball, and other sports.
There are dozens of false beliefs about gymnastics. The best way to decide if gymnastics is right for your child is to schedule a visit and see for yourself how gymnastics, both recreational and competitive, are handled in a real-world setting.