So you’ve signed your child up for gymnastics class and now you’re wondering how to get the most out of her class and help maximize her learning both in gymnastics class and outside of class. Here are some ways to make the most out of gymnastics classes:
1. Ask Your Child’s Gymnastics Teacher for Feedback
Most instructors will communicate with parents after class and give brief feedback on how the group did. If it’s your child’s first class, make sure to touch base with her instructor to see how the class went. As weeks go by, it’s great to ask the instructor at the end of class if there’s anything your child can improve on or work on at home.
2. Celebrate Getting New Skills
Celebrate your child’s accomplishments in gymnastics, no matter how big or how small. This will help motivate your child to keep working hard and strive for more!
3. Sign Your Child Up for Open Gym & Special Events the Gym Offers
This allows your child to get more time in the gym and spend time working on different skills in a fun, less structured environment.
4. Practice Basic Gymnastics Positions at Home
Although the sport of gymnastics is a unique sport that requires highly specialized knowledge to coach, and because of these safety considerations, it is never recommended that a parent coach their child in gymnastics skills, there are some very basic body positions that you can help your child with at home. For instance: tuck, straddle, pike, plank, hollow, push-ups, splits, and sit-ups. These are all safe body positions that can be practiced at home and can help your child’s progress.
5. Help Your Child Set Goals
Setting goals is a lifelong, valuable practice that can start early in gymnastics. These goals can be completely different from getting specific skills — Is her goal to have fun? To exercise? To walk on the high beam for the first time? You can talk about these goals before each class or write them down and help your child to pursue these goals with positive perseverance.
6. Watch Gymnastics On TV or YouTube
Watching the USA Olympic team perform their routines or a high level competition on TV is extremely motivating for young gymnasts. It’s fun to see where beginning level gymnastics classes can lead and can create more enthusiasm for the work it takes to learn new skills and improve.
7. Nourish and Hydrate Your Athlete
The good, clean fuel that goes into your child not only gives her the energy to make it through a physically demanding class, but also plays a major role in how she’ll pick and choose foods later on to help maximize her performance in the long run.
8. Fill Your Child’s Emotional Bucket
The best part of being a parent is getting to be your child’s biggest fan. Lots of hugs, smiles and “way to go-s” are the privilege of being a parent. Give those thumbs ups!
9. Listen to Your Child’s Stories
Listen to your child’s stories about the class – new accomplishments, fears, frustrations and excitement, with understanding and enthusiasm. You are their greatest support.
10. Keep the Experience Fun
This is the number one priority. If at some point this changes for your child, then talk to the instructor first. See if there’s something going on in class that’s contributing to a lack of motivation or fun and then try to work with the instructor to change that. Sometimes its something as simple as overcoming a fear or frustration.