I’ve heard it said that gymnastics is one of the hardest and physically demanding sports there is...Watching my daughter Muscles (7) at her 3 hour training session this weekend left me in no doubt about the truthfulness of that statement!
Of all the sports my children have been involved in so far gymnastics is the benchmark. The coaches are dedicated and are constantly working on perfecting each movement. It is a case of correct, correct…correct! There is a big emphasis on strength, technique and safety. They learn to do the tricks correctly to minimize the chance of injuries.
Muscles currently trains for 8hrs each week for gymnastics. I know that sounds like a lot at 7 years old….But she really, really does love it. She is in The National Gymnastics Program Level 2. In her little group of gymnasts she has made some wonderful little friends. All the girls are very motivated to give their absolute best. The girls push each other, but the coaches have been wonderful in that they make sure that the girls support each other as well. At this level there is a real focus on teams and team results. I think it gets more serous at level 4 when the girls are all vying for selection to the Nationals.
All the gym training my daughter does has made her very strong and very fit. I think it has been great for her other sports of running and athletics.
Of all the sports though, gymnastics is the one that I worry about the most. I have to admit that I walk though the doors at the gym to pick her up and am quite relieved she hasn’t gotten hurt. I’m not concerned at the moment, but if she continues with gymnastics then the training is sure to increase. I wonder if this increased training may have consequences down the road for her growth and development. I am worried that her dedication to gymnastics will mean she misses out on other important experiences….but that is a little way off…at the moment I am ensuring that Muscles has a rich and varied childhood to the best of my abilities.
I’m going with my instincts and trusting the coaches the moment. I’ll keep taking my little girl off to gymnastics, and paying for the training as long as she still wants to train….as long as her eyes still sparkle at the mention of gymnastics.
My little girl just loves her gymnastics…her free time is willingly spent practicing her tricks on the trampoline (and teaching her little brother!). She is always practicing her handstands and cartwheels wherever she is. Her bedroom wall is decorated with her competition leotard. She tells me she like to hang it there so that she can dream about gymnastics when she’s asleep……
Here is a sneak peak into her training….
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