Despite its fluid movements, gymnastics can be considered an extreme sport as it requires jumping, bending, running, and other physical acts. As a parent, you want your child to both enjoy their sport of choice and be safe. Here are some tips provided by coaches at Everest Gymnastics on how to do just that.
Your top priority is to find a gymnastics facility that puts safety first. Don’t just sign your child up for class at the first center with an opening. Look for reviews, ask friends with children who participate, and, most importantly, tour the facility. Ask the administrators about their athlete-to-coach ratio, and take a close look at their equipment. It should be age-appropriate and preferably designed and approved for use in a commercial setting. Everest Gymnastics uses only the latest USAG Certified Equipment, which is cleaned often and regularly inspected for damage.
Help them condition.
Gymnastics, along with other sports like volleyball and dance, can take a toll on the spine. Sprains and injuries are common, but can often be prevented with proper athletic conditioning. The coaches at Everest Gymnastics highly recommend encouraging children to participate in exercises that will build core strength and improve their overall flexibility. If your child is injured, take a break from class to allow them to recover fully before easing back into physical activity. This is especially important if they’ve suffered a fracture or significant sprain.
Listen to them.
Everest Gymnastics strongly encourages parents to open up an honest dialogue with their children about their activities. If they are not having fun, your child may be less inclined to practice, which is the best way to stay safe on the beams, bars, and floor. Further, pay attention to the frequency in which they are injured. Gymnastics, while certainly a sport that is accessible to all, may be more difficult for different body types as your child progresses into advanced classes. Pushing them to continue a sport that does not best suit their athletics style may lead to more injuries.
Keep in mind that children between the ages of six and 11 are most prone to injuries. The coaches at Everest Gymnastics understand this and are passionate about encouraging only skill- and age-appropriate activities, and will not push a child past any technique they have not mastered.