What Are the Benefits of Team Gymnastics?

Team gymnastics offers great opportunities for young athletes to learn how to work on a team and improve their physical performance. When a gymnast joins team gymnastics, he or she will learn many life skills that can follow throughout an athlete’s life. Let’s take a closer look at the many benefits of team gymnastics.

Athletes learn how to work on a team.
Learning teamwork is a vital skill that will follow teenagers for the rest of their lives. When a young person is part of team gymnastics, then he or she will always be part of a team that is working toward common and individual goals. This team will teach a young gymnast how to coordinate routines, listen to constructive criticism, and support others. These skills will help when that gymnast works on a team for a school project or joins a team of workers in a future career.

Athletes learn the value of second place.
Many athletes can become concerned with winning or beating others to gain a trophy or high score. The drive to constantly win and better one’s performance can be beneficial, but it should not come at the expense of others. Team gymnastics can teach athletes how to be a good loser and a good winner when their teammates win or lose. These skills will help in life and in future careers or competitions.

Athletes learn the benefits of support.
Team gymnastics is built around supporting and learning from fellow athletes. Many athletes can become concerned with their own progress or their own faults. When these athletes participate on a team, then they can gain support—or learn how to support—from their teammates. Fellow gymnasts can offer advice on improving movements or how to balance personal concerns with gymnastics. This type of support will keep athletes mentally and physically healthy.

Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center offers developmental and competitive team gymnastics for our gymnasts. We want all our students to learn the value of teamwork and gymnastics. Please visit us online or call us at (520) 818-7974 to learn more.

Keep Your Kids Cool with Heart & Soul’s Indoor Activities

If you and your loved ones are struggling to beat the record heat in Tucson this summer, consider cooling off at Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center. Our center offers a variety of indoor classes that are held in our cool, air-conditioned facility. While your kids are beating the heat in our AC, they will also be learning valuable skills. Take a look at some of the fun indoor activities that we offer for kids during the summer months.

Camps

Heart & Soul offers several different camps that are only available during the summer season. Whether your child loves gymnastics, dance, or music, you are sure to find a camp that is perfectly tailored to his or her needs. Each camp lasts for several days, so your child can look forward to several daily sessions of fun activities in our air-conditioned studios.

Gymnastics

During the summer months, the Heart & Soul gymnastics center is up and running. We offer classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. From tumbling to combo dance and more, our gymnastics classes will provide your child with a solid foundation in the art of gymnastics. Your kids are welcome to drop in and try one of the classes that are offered during the summer months.

Dance

Dance classes are also featured at the Heart & Soul Activity Center. Our company dances in a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, and hip hop. When you enroll your child in one of our dance classes, he or she will get to practice movement in our comfortable dance studios. If your child enjoys taking summer dance classes, you can also sign up for our year-round programs.

To sign up for cool activities during the summer season, contact Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center by visiting our website or calling (520) 818-7974. Our center offers a friendly and welcoming environment for kids of all ages, and we will be thrilled to help your family beat the heat in Tucson this summer. 

Learn the History of Gymnastics

Gymnastics has a long history that dates back to the ancient Greeks up to its modern development in 18th century Germany. Here is a closer look at the history of gymnastics:

The Physically Fit Greeks

The early Greeks valued physical fitness and the perfection of the human body. This led to the forming of basic gymnastic and Olympic sports, such as throwing, jumping, and running. The modern word gymnasium comes from the Greek word gymnazein, which translated to “do physical exercise.” Gymnasiums were schools for practicing gymnastics, exercising, and socializing.

The Highly-Refined Romans

After the Romans conquered the Greeks, they refined the Greek activities and developed them into formal sports and competitions. Romans also used these early gymnastic movements to physically train soldiers. They used gymnasiums for the same purpose of exercise and training. However, the gymnasiums were reserved for training soldiers rather than socialization. The sport of gymnastics would later fall out of practice, but tumbling remained a popular pastime.

The Modern Germans

During the late 1700s, physical instructors began introducing the early forms of gymnastics in their training schools. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn of Germany is considered the father of modern gymnastics for his developments of different gymnastics bars, the balance beam, and jumping events. Germany was the leader in gymnastic sports and clubs that would eventually spread across Europe and England. It was not until the 1860s to 1880s that gymnastics was brought to the United States.

The Olympic Competitors

Men’s gymnastics has been a part of the modern Olympics since their formation in 1896. Women’s gymnastics was added in 1936. Men dominated the sport for decades until the performances of Olga Korbut in 1972 and Nadia Comaneci in 1976. These women’s performances were highly televised and encouraged the popularity of gymnastics among viewers. Since these performances, gymnastics has been a heavily promoted sport for both men and women.

Introduce children to the wonder of gymnastics in Tucson, AZ with Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center. We have many classes to address all skill levels and interests. Please call us at (520) 818-7974 to speak with an enrollment expert.

Learn the Physical Benefits of Practicing Gymnastics

If you are seeking a way to encourage your son or daughter to get active, you may want to consider gymnastics classes. Along with the mental and social advantages of practicing gymnastics, this ancient sport also offers a wide range of physical benefits. With consistent practice, your child will start to feel stronger, healthier, and more flexible. Here is a look at some of the distinctive physical benefits of practicing gymnastics.

Improved Flexibility

During a gymnastics session, gymnasts will be encouraged to stretch their limbs and perform movements that promote full body flexibility. Increased flexibility has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including reduced injury and better strength. By promoting great flexibility from an early age, you can help your child remain physically fit for a lifetime.

Prevention of Disease

When your child practices gymnastics regularly, he or she will gain overall strength and health in the body. A healthy physique can lead to disease prevention at all ages and stages of development. By starting gymnastics at a young age, your child may be less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems in the future. If your child is currently struggling with a health issue, gymnastics classes could help on the path to wellness.  

Increased Bone Strength

The various movements that are performed during gymnastics practice can help to increase bone strength and density. Without sufficient bone density, your child may be more likely to develop skeletal issues as he or she ages. Overall, the practice of gymnastics is terrific for the development of strong and healthy bones.

If you are interested in signing your child up for gymnastics lessons in the Tucson area, be sure to get in contact with Heart & Soul. Our kids’ activity center offers many different classes that will help to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for every member of your family. For answers to your questions about gymnastics, dance, or any of our other popular kid’s classes, give us a call at (520) 818-7974.

How Gymnastics Can Help Your Child Become a Successful Adult

Part of raising your child is preparing them for adulthood. Enrolling your child in a sport, such as gymnastics, is great preparation for adulthood. Here is a quick look at the different lessons and traits your child will learn from gymnastics.

 

They will learn determination and resilience.

Determination and resilience are important to be a successful adult. These two traits can help your child succeed in their professional life and personal relationships. Gymnastics will teach them to get back up after a fall to achieve their goals, and this lesson will help throughout their entire life.

They will tolerate challenges.

Your child will learn to push past their physical and mental pain after taking gymnastics. In order to succeed, your child must learn that temporary discomfort—from a callused hand or coach’s lecture—does not mean they can or should give up. Gymnastics can help your child have a higher pain threshold and thicker skin against criticism.

They will learn how to set goals.

Goal-setting is an important task that every child should learn. It helps children to continue growing and succeeding. Gymnastics will teach your child how to set goals, whether they want to learn a specific flip or earn high grades on their next test.

They will learn patience.

Patience is important for your child to understand, because it teaches them to continually learn and progress. Their wishes and dreams will not come true overnight, and they will not happen if your child do not work to achieve them.

They will learn physical fitness.

Gymnastics is an incredibly physical sport. Your child must learn how to be healthy and physically fit to excel in gymnastics. This education in eating and training to be healthy will follow your child throughout their long and healthy life.

Enroll your child into Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center, and they will gain these benefits and more from our gymnastic classes in Tucson, AZ. We have talented and patient instructors to help your child succeed. Please call us at (520) 818-7974 to learn more.

10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Gymnastics Class

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.

Stretching Blog

When we sat down and started building our lesson plans for our pre-school and school age classes at Heart & Soul we knew that implementing warming up and stretching into them was an absolute must. We know that many parents wonder why we have their children stretch and especially why we spend time stretching, but let me tell you it is for a wonderful reason!

We start every class with 5 minutes of either a rapid movement game for the preschoolers or teacher lead cardio for our school age athletes. Starting a class this way allows the kiddos to warm up their muscles and their bodies, allowing them to get ready to move! The games that we play with our pre-school classes are what we refer to as gross-motor skill building activities, we focus on hand-eye or foot-eye coordination, learning how to kick a ball around an obstacle course, and building color knowledge. With our older students we make sure to get their muscles warm and their blood pumping with running, jump ropes, hula hoops and other teacher lead cardio activities. This ensures that every warm up is effective and FUN!

We spend another 5 minutes stretching after the warm-up activity. This is the time when we teach your kiddos about important body positions, alignment, and helping them build their flexibility. We hold stretches for 10-30 seconds, this amount of time allows the kiddos to lengthen their muscles without causing any damage. Holding a stretch longer than these times can cause permanent damage, like scar tissue and have negative effects on your child’s performance. We also make sure that we stretch both sides of our bodies equally, favoring a right or left side can lead to a multitude of physical problems later in life, so we like to make sure that every side of the body is stretched correctly. The act of following a weekly stretching routine will not only help kiddos build strength and flexibility, but it also helps to improve their concentration, focus and memorization skills. Setting the tone for the class by following the teacher during stretching, ensures that they will follow directions and listen more closely throughout the rest of class. This is also why it is incredibly important to be on time for classes, so that none of the warm-up is missed.

When we begin to build focus and memorization in young children, we know that it will help them throughout life! With the practice of stretching, it has been found to help with lessening pain related to growth plates, helping to build better posture, and it also has been found to lower the amount of sports related injuries over the life of an athlete. Listed below are some of the basic preschooler and school age stretching if you want to bond at home with your kiddos and stretch together!

Tumble with Me Stretching

  • Reach tall to the sky! Can you tickle your nose? Tickle your tummy? Tickle your toes?
  • Jump open your feet! Can you make a big rainbow to one side? And the other side?
  • Sit down in a butterfly stretch and make your toes kiss! Can you put your nose to your toes?
  • Open legs into a straddle! Can you tickle one foot? Can you tickle all the way to your other foot?
  • Reach tall in your straddle and TIMBER!
  • Bring toes together into a pike stretch! Say go away toes (point) and come here toes (flex)! Catch your toes!
  • Make a tuck position, place your hands behind you on the floor and make a table.
  • Come down and rock and roll in your tuck position!
  • Stand up and show your stick-finish-flare! (Ta-Da!)

School Age Stretching

  • Arm circles backwards and forwards (5 ea)
  • Crisscross arms in the front and back (feet shoulder width apart)
  • Trunk twists with feet apart
  • Roll neck side to side then hold while looking at their toes
  • Straight body then reach for toes, while keeping their legs straight
  • Squat down and jump to a push up position and do 5 push ups
  • Set knees down and stretch wrists on the floor
  • Do hip flexor and hamstring stretch
  • Right and left leg splits- hold each for 10-15 seconds
  • Middle split hold for 10-15 seconds
  • Roll hips back and sit in a straddle for straddle stretch hold right, left and middle for 5-10 seconds
  • Swing legs together into a pike position- reach and hold toes for 10 seconds
  • Bridge position for 10 seconds- have feet together with knees bent, pushing their shoulders over their hands
  • Rocking chairs x 3 to a stand

When Is the Best Time for Kids to Start Gymnastics?

Healthy play is a vital part of maintaining good physical and mental health for children of all ages. Taking part in gymnastics is a wonderful way to get your child moving with friends while learning valuable skills such as balance, self-awareness, patience, and perseverance. If you’re wondering when your child should begin taking gymnastics classes, keep reading for customized tips you can use to guide his progress.

Tumbling

Tumbling classes are an ideal sport for very young children, particularly those younger than four or five years of age. During tumbling, infants and toddlers get the chance to play and move in a soft, safe environment as they practice their gross and fine motor skills and enjoy time spent in a group. Early tumbling classes are typically less structured and act as more of a social activity, while providing the opportunity for very young children to learn how to move their bodies in new and fun ways. However, even basic tumbling training sets the stage for more focused gymnastics classes as your child grows and matures, both physically and mentally.

Gymnastics

More structured gymnastics classes are typically recommended once children reach the age of four to six. This is because children at these ages have developed a better sense of balance and self, allowing them to take part in the more complex movements performed in these classes. Older children with no tumbling experience can enjoy gymnastics just as easily; many parents wait to enroll their kids in gymnastics classes until age nine or ten. Additionally, if your older child does not enjoy team sports such as baseball or soccer, gymnastics is a wonderful way to spend more personalized, focused time while still taking part in a group activity.

At Heart & Soul Kids Activity Center of Tucson, we make it easy and fun for kids of all ages and abilities to enjoy gymnastics and tumbling. You can find out more about our classes, events, camps, and skill clinics when you visit us on the web, or call (520) 818-7974 to discuss enrollment.