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

Tumbling Into A New School Year

Believe it or not, some communities are already gearing up for another school year, so if you like to plan ahead, add tumbling mats to your list of school supplies. Why tumbling mats? Plenty of reasons, but let’s look at a couple. “I’m bored…” Ever hear that from your kid after school or on the weekend? Yeah. Reason #1. Or how about when they get home from a school day that sees them sitting in a chair for 95% of their day. What do they need when they get home? They need some time to be active and get those wiggles out. So rather than running roughshod through the house (right about the time you’re trying to wind down), give them some tumbling mats to keep them contained, safe, and active. Continue reading Tumbling Into A New School Year

I Was a Spotter

It’s true, for a summer during high school, I worked as a spotter for a gymnastics camp, parked on the tumbling mats with all the toddlers. When a forward roll became an almost-head stand, I was there. When a wild bounce off the mount trainer launched two unsuspecting pig tails into the crash pads, I was there. I wasn’t the one doing the gymnastics, but I got to participate in a very important role in gymnastics: safety patrol. Continue reading I Was a Spotter

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

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Not that you’re one of those pushy kinds of parents, but getting your child interested in gymnastics is actually a pretty easy thing to do when they’re little, especially if you give them something fun to associate it with, like a cool, cushy tumbling mat. It’s a very natural addition to childhood because it provides a place for play, nap time, and general roughhousing. They won’t even know you have a long-term plan in mind! Continue reading Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

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?

Outdoor Tumbling

Dare we begin to think about taking the tumbling mats outside? It’s warming up in some areas of the country and kids are wanting to get out and play. Nothing beats climbing trees or a pick-up game of basketball, but when gymnastics is your thing, you might think you’re stuck indoors year-round. Good news! You can always taking your tumbling mats outside to practice! Continue reading Outdoor Tumbling

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?

How to Make Your Gymnast Very Happy

I recently had a conversation with a young girl, who was wearing a gymnastics gym sweatshirt, if she had any tumbling mats or other gymnastics equipment at home. “You can get that kind of stuff?” Yes, I assured her she could. She was incredulous and ran to her father and told him about what I had just said. He and I talked briefly about it before we parted. Really? Could the idea of a tumbling mat at home really light a fire in a young gymnast so easily? Continue reading How to Make Your Gymnast Very Happy