Most Americans can name a famous gymnast, but 99% will likely name a female gymnast. It’s affirming that women do so well in a particular sport that they are the first athletes who come to mind when asked about it. That’s an entire article right there, but what it means for young boys interested in gymnastics is a very challenging prospect.
How many young male gymnasts want to grow up to be just like Gabby? We’re still at a place where children often need to identify with a role model of their own gender, and while that may change (and be a good change), boys in gymnastics classes have to do some research to find their role models. Not because they’re hard to find, but because the media has paid them little attention.
So how do you encourage a son who has an interest in gymnastics? Well, just like you would encourage a daughter who wants to play football. You make it happen. Gymnastics programs are available for all young kids, and while your son might be the only 10 year-old in the class, with courage, commitment, and your support, he can build skills that will offer a lifetime of returns. The physical strength and strength of character that result from sticking with a gymnastics regimen as a young man will follow him into his adult years and instill him with a respect for others who choose to swim upstream. That’s a son to be proud of.