Team sports were such a huge part of my life growing up. I started playing soccer in early elementary, swam swim team every summer, and went on to play volleyball and swim team in junior high and high school. So when my first born was old enough to play sports, we immediately signed him up for soccer and t-ball. My first child is a boy, and well, boys play baseball, right? Yes, many boys love playing the typical team sports; baseball, basketball, and soccer, but did you know that introducing gymnastics to your son will actually help him excel in other sports? Not only that, according to Men's Health's list of the 50 fittest athletes, it is gymnast, Kohei Uchimora, who ranked third, ahead of Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Usain Bolt.
Even if you're thinking that gymnastics might not be your son's sport of choice, these benefits below will give you reason to choose gymnastics as the perfect cross-training sport.
Improves Motor Skills and Balance
in a gymnastics class your son will learn how to jump, hang, balance, swing, and use his upper body, which all contribute to coordination and body awareness. He will be using every muscle group in his body which will make him stronger and more flexible. This body control will help him with learning sport-specific movements, how to coordinate difficult positions, and in many cases rise to the top of their team as a leader, simply because of the way he will control his body- in a way that others will want to imitate.
The Perfect Injury Prevention Program
Gymnastics is the perfect sport for helping kids get strong, flexible and to learn how to warm up properly, therefore decreasing the chances of possible sprains and strains. Gymnastics is a weight-bearing activity, which helps develop strong bones (learn more health benefit of gymnastics here). Furthermore, if you've watched a gymnastics class, one of the core curriculum is teaching children how to fall safely. According to USA Gymnastics, teaching children to fall safely is to fall and roll, to spread the forces of impact over a larger area and time, which helps the children avoid injury. This fall-training can help prevent injuries in other sports.
Provides the Foundation for Discipline and Work Ethic
The sport of gymnastics is tough, and the kids learn skills that are progressive. Nothing is just given to them and the harder they work, the more skills they learn. There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait to move forward with something because of the lack of ability. Gymnastics teaches children that hard work is necessary for results, and that trying over and over again is part of the process. The drive and determination learned from gymnastics will carry over as a foundation for whatever sport your son wants to play.
Gymnastics Classes for Kids teach kids to listen, and often times children are given corrections after each turn. A gymnasts will most likely receive several corrections and feedback in just one practice and therefore they learn to take this feedback, not as criticism, but as necessary to improve his overall performance.
What boy doesn't like climbing, jumping and swinging? Doing gymnastics is like going to a giant playground, and it's the perfect place to get a child's energy out. Watch how much your son enjoys being upside-down and figuring out the crazy things he can do with his body. For me, this is reason enough!