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

Boosting Gymnastics Confidence

Gymnastics has the highest percentage of 6-12 year-olds participating, more than any other sport regarding that age group. But you probably know this if you have a child in that age group. Chances are, you’ve spent some time driving to and from classes at a gym, watching your little one demonstrate their skills at home, and tensing up as images of broken bones leap to mind as your young gymnast demonstrates a backbend on the hard kitchen floor. If this is your story, there is a way to make the gymnastics life a little less harrowing. Continue reading Boosting Gymnastics Confidence

Keeping Them Active at Home

With any luck (and a few tumbling mats), you’ll find ways to help keep your kids active at home during the winter months. We’re not talking running around the house like a bulldozer active, but a healthy active, doing a form of activity that can help strengthen their bodies and focus their minds. Continue reading Keeping Them Active at Home

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

Everybody Gets Tumbling Mats!

Gymnastics can be a fantastic tool in your parenting tool kit. How so? Kids, especially in their early years, are prone to imitate their parents’ behavior (for better or worse). If you start 2017 off by bringing some tumbling mats into your house, you’re telling your child that an active lifestyle is something you value. Think of it as teaching self-care. Too often parents forego self-care in order to care for their children and others, and make no mistake, your kids are watching. And learning.  Continue reading Everybody Gets Tumbling Mats!

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

Dear Santa,

Mom and Dad say I can’t have electronics for Christmas because I spend too much time sitting still, so I would like a tumbling mat instead. I take a gymnastics class at the gym and it’s a lot of fun, but when I get home there’s no where to show off what I’ve learned. I tried it on the kitchen floor and Dad nearly had a heart attack, so I figure if they’re that worried about me, a tumbling mat would be a good gift for me and my parents.

Continue reading Dear Santa,