Gymnastics for Life

Recently, a young girl who is naturally and unusually limber was encouraged by a teacher to give gymnastics a try. Her mother responded that she would be doing dance instead because “gymnastics isn’t something you can do your whole life.” The 90 year-old gymnast in viral videos recently disproves this theory, but the mother raises an important question: how can you make gymnastics serve you throughout life? Continue reading Gymnastics for Life

Where to Begin

There’s much to be said for a gymnastics practice area in the home, and gymnastics mats and equipment have become much more available and affordable in recent years for such purposes. They come in all shapes and sizes, so your biggest problem as you embark on the home gymnastics journey is going to be figuring out which pieces you need to pick up first, and which sort of secondary options you’re going to get the most mileage out of if and when it becomes practical to acquire them. Continue reading Where to Begin

The Balancing Act

If you’re that cool parent who wants to make going back to school something your child looks forward to, here’s an idea: introduce gymnastics (or encourage it if you’ve already started down that path!) with the most fun of “school supplies” your kid has ever seen: a gymnastics kit. Balancing school with an active lifestyle will never again be this easy. Continue reading The Balancing Act

Choosing the Best Gymnastics Equipment

If you’re newly in the market for gymnastics mats and equipment for any reason, the first thing you probably noticed is that there’s a whole bunch of stuff to choose from. Retailers rarely take it easy on you in terms of providing clear choices, so it will be helpful for you to have some kind of plan regarding what kind of gymnastics mats you’re after. Are you a parent of a gymnast who’s looking for some training equipment they can use at home? Are you opening a studio or adding new equipment to a fitness facility in order to start gymnastics practices there? Continue reading Choosing the Best Gymnastics Equipment

A Staple Home Gymnastics Apparatus

Has your child come home from gymnastics practice begging for a cheese mat? Do you have any idea what that even is? Perhaps you know it by its scientific name: the incline mat. Or maybe you don’t – but here’s the thing: you should become very familiar with it because it should become a staple in your home arsenal of gymnastics equipment. Continue reading A Staple Home Gymnastics Apparatus

Choosing the Right Gymnastics Equipment for Skill Level and Growth

Purchasing gymnastics equipment shouldn’t be like buying clothes or toys for your kids, knowing that they’ll outgrow them in a year or less. The good news is that you can get top-quality gymnastics equipment that will match their skill level now and will be able to grow with them as they get bigger and as their skill levels change. Continue reading Choosing the Right Gymnastics Equipment for Skill Level and Growth

ADHD or Just a Kid?

I work in a health food grocery store and am shocked at how many parents come in looking for a “natural” pill to help their kids with ADHD. I usually just direct them to the organic produce section of the store and encourage them to begin with a healthier diet, devoid of artificial colors, processed ingredients, etc. As a teacher for many years, I’ve seen kids “diagnosed” with disorders and as I watch them in class or at play, it occurs to me that they might just be really active, which is not something that needs medication. My solution was two-fold: encourage the parents to stop sending garbage food to class with their kids, and to encourage their kids to be active. One of the healthiest activities I could recommend was gymnastics, especially when the child is allowed to continue it at home after practice at the gym. Continue reading ADHD or Just a Kid?

Pushing or Inviting?

In a recent interview, gold medalist Olga Korbut talked about her style, not of performance, but of coaching young gymnasts. Her background in the sport makes her undeniably qualified as an elite coach, and her more recent background in motivational speaking has helped her understand the difference between those who are motivated and those who are not, especially when it comes to gymnastics students. Continue reading Pushing or Inviting?

Lucky Gymnasts

Well, it’s that time of the year again, where those who practice gymnastics get to laugh at the outdoor athletes and their chattering teeth. As the winter storms make their way as far south as Georgia, gymnasts are among the lucky few members of a category of athlete who get to practice in a nice warm building, rather than on a track, court, or field that may or may not be covered in snow and ice right now. Remind your kids if they ever gripe about going to practice that they’re the ones who get to use the tumbling mats and wedges instead of layers and layers of thermal gear and suffering. Continue reading Lucky Gymnasts

Keeping Ahead of the Holiday Curve

It’s a little-known fact that everyone is doing gymnastics during the holidays. Maybe not the fun kind with leotards and wedge mats and balance beams, but the mental gymnastics, where we justify eating more pie and drinking more egg nog than any human could possibly ever need. Eventually, we hit that threshold where the process of excusing our decadence is a source of more consternation than the pleasures of consuming an entire gingerbread house in one sitting can offset. At that point, there’s this moment of existential dread, grappling with the cruel injustice of a universe which provides us with so much good holiday food, but not a body that can reasonably be expected to consume it all. Continue reading Keeping Ahead of the Holiday Curve