Are you looking for a sport to get your child involved in? Is he or she not so keen on traditional sports like soccer, track and field, basketball, or swimming? Have you considered gymnastics? Visiting a gymnastics and dance academy can show you (and your child) the many benefits to the sport and provide more information on classes and how to sign up. Gymnastics is a sport that can be quite useful in later years — for example, around 98% of all female cheerleaders did gymnastics at one time. Many who attend a gymnastics and dance academy might shift from one to the other, using muscles and skills honed by similar hours of practice. Gymnastics classes for both adults and children are often available in many locations, making it a relatively accessible sport.
What are the Benefits to Gymnastics?
Gymnastics is an old sport — it’s been around for around 2,000 years — which means that it’s had time to be finely honed. It calls on muscles and motor skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life. For young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids between the ages of two and five work on motor skills like tumbling, catching, running, and throwing, many of which a gymnastic class for kids can provide. And, the Academy says that children at this age can start gymnastics — unlike many other sports — as long as the classes are appropriate for their maturity level and motor skills.
Gymnastics also promotes flexibility, strong bones, increased overall strength, coordination, and fulfills the amount of exercise that’s recommended. Being part of a gymnastics class or a gymnastics team will also help children learn social skills like working in a team, how to think independently, and how to be respectful of others.
Why Is Engaging in a Sport So Important?
According the United States Department of Health and Human Services, young people between the ages of six and 17 should be completing at least one hour of physical activity every day. Unfortunately, only one in three children are physically active on a daily basis and they spend over seven and a half hours every day in front of some type of screen, whether it’s their phone, computer, or the TV.
Without a sport, kids aren’t getting the activity they need to maintain a healthy heart or bones or to keep a healthy weight. Playing a sport can also help boost confidence and self-esteem, broaden social skills, encourage leadership and collaborative skills, and help children find friends and feel like they belong.
If the sport isn’t school related, it’s also a chance for children to broaden their friend base and meet other people from different backgrounds and areas. If the sport is school related, there’s a chance the kids will travel for “away” games, meets, or matches, which adds an extra layer of camaraderie and bonding.
How Do I Find a Good Gymnastics and Dance Academy For My Child?
Talking to other parents or community members is a great way to find a good gymnastics and dance academy for your kid. Check out the facilities and see what types of classes and pricing is offered. Are class times flexible? Are the coaches friendly and eager to teach or improve your child’s skills? If your child is just starting out, you probably want a coach who will be supportive and encouraging at first, instead of tougher and more disciplined, especially if the child is young.
You should also make sure that the academy has the right kind of equipment and that you get a sense of good communication and transparency from the academy. Attend trial classes with your child and make visits together. Does your child feel comfortable in the environment? Is he or she eager to get started? Answering these questions is a good start to finding the right academy for your child.
Encourage your child to get moving and become active with gymnastics! It’s a versatile sport — and when the Olympics roll around, your child’s imagination can be fired by watching young athletes perform on a world stage.