New To Gymnastics? Here's What Every Parent Should Know

Posted on Aug. 19, 2016
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Congratulations, your child just began gymnastics! It's a great sport that hones your child's discipline, talent, and character. Things might feel a little overwhelming at first, but you'll eventually get the hang of things. To help you get started, here are some handy tips:

On time

Whether it be during practices or meets, gymnasts need to be on time. After all, this is one way to instill discipline. Make sure that your child's schedule does not interfere with practice. It’s also important to check your schedule to avoid problems later on, such as forgetting to drive your child to a meet because you were busy working overnight!

On offering support and encouragement

Gymnasts have their bad days, too. If you sense that your child's motivation is faltering, be ready to offer them support and words of encouragement. During tough times, your support means a lot to your child. Do try and remember that there's value in letting your child overcome struggles on their own. It's the type of fortitude that will turn them into a great gymnast someday.

On your child's appearance

Neat pulled-back hair? Comfortable leotards that fit? One search in Pinterest will yield thousands of results about cute hairstyles for gymnasts. They're often easy to follow and look awesome, but the general rule is just to keep hair neat and off your child's face.

Your child will be wearing leotards — a lot. If anything, they should feel like second skin. Make sure that leotards fit well and are comfortable.

On trusting your gymnast's coach

While you might resist the urge to cringe when the coach is giving (constructive) criticism to your child, it's best not to interfere. The athlete-coach relationship is different from the one you have with your child. At the end of the day, your child's coach knows what they're doing. Trust that they have you and your child's best interests at heart.

On proper etiquette

Meets are exciting — and nerve-wracking! But don't worry. Stay calm and follow these tips to navigate your first gymnastics meet smoothly:

No to flash photography!

It’s easy to get excited and take lots of photos of your child’s first meet but before you snap away, make sure your camera’s flash is turned off for safety reasons.

Don't enter the floor.

According to USAG's rules and safety policies, parents are not allowed to enter the competitive floor. If your child gets injured, coaches will ensure your child gets the proper medical attention they need.

Mind your noise.

It's alright to cheer for your child. It's their moment, and you're super proud but be respectful of other audience members. Avoid jeering or making rude comments.

Keep these guidelines in mind and you’re all set to become a winning parent!