Protecting the Young Gymnast

Sometimes you need more than tumbling mats and crash pads to protect gymnasts. If you read the news, you know you also need a vigilant protector, a parent, guardian, grandparent, to keep your gymnast safe in a news world full of abuses. It’s a horribly painful reality, and it’s not just in the world of gymnastics, though we’re on center stage right now. We must stay active and alert in all of our children’s activities, regardless of how much trust we place in another person or institution. So once again we venture onto the soapbox to proclaim our gymnasts worthy of the utmost protection and care. Continue reading Protecting the Young Gymnast

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

Boys Need Encouragement in Gymnastics

No, you won’t see young men on television competing on the balance beam, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t gymnasts. They actually compete in more areas than women (men six, women four), but we hear and see so much more about women’s gymnastics. It’s a wonderful situation to be in, as women are so often overlooked, but it can make it hard if you have a little guy who wants to be a gymnast. While men’s events are televised, women gymnasts seem to get the limelight in media coverage. Men’s events are just as powerful, graceful, artistic, and awe-inspiring, so it’s worth the effort to find some role models in the male gymnastics field for your son or grandson to follow. Continue reading Boys Need Encouragement in Gymnastics

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

Tumbling Mats: The Better Bandage

Falling during practice of just about anything will hurt less if it’s done on tumbling mats. I just watched a video of a toddler on a rocking horse manage to rock it completely backwards. My very audible gasp as his head was introduced to a tile floor identified me as a parent of a former toddler, but as a blogger about gymnastics and the safety precautions we take in this sport, it got me to thinking about how many other places would benefit from the use of tumbling mats. Continue reading Tumbling Mats: The Better Bandage

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