You are currently viewing Do’s & Don’ts for Parents of Gymnasts

Gymnasts are a special bunch! Gymnastics is a sport that helps children develop agility and strength, determination and discipline. Gymnastics is also fun! Kids who participate in gymnastics often have a “can-do” attitude, greater confidence in themselves and a very positive self-image. Overall, gymnastics is a great sport for kids of nearly all ages.

If your child is a gymnast, then there are many things that you as a parent can do to support your child. Knowing the “do’s” and “don’ts” of being a parent of a gymnast can help your child have a healthy relationship with their sport. 

Don’t Pressure Your Gymnast

Gymnastics is a competitive sport, but your child should get to decide how competitive they want to be in their sport. Don’t pressure your child to be more competitive. There are many things you can do to make your child feel pressured – avoid all of them!

Never compare the progress of your child to the progress of other children in the class. Don’t point out to your child their failures – celebrate their successes! At the same time, when you’re celebrating your child’s success, don’t teach them to be judgmental of other children in the class, and don’t indicate that your child would be less of a gymnast or a disappointment if they weren’t able to do everything that they’re currently able to do.

When your child participates in competitions, don’t place too much weight on the judges’ scores. This is especially important if your gymnast is younger.

If your gymnast would like to do better, don’t pressure them into setting unrealistic goals. Avoid pressuring your child regarding development of new skills. If your child is giving their best effort in gymnastics, this is all you can expect!

Do Focus on the Fun

Gymnastics is now and should always be a matter of fun. Competitions should be fun too! If your child is participating in competitive gymnastics, it’s important to ensure that your child understands that competitions should be about fun first, and competition second.

Don’t pressure your child with expectations that they should participate in competitive gymnastics when they’re older, or that the purpose of gymnastics is to get a scholarship to college. Focus on gymnastics in the short-term. Worry less about the long-term importance of gymnastics in your child’s life. They may decide that they would like to participate in gymnastics into their adulthood, but that’s not for you to decide.

Don’t Make Gymnastics About You

Your child should participate in gymnastics for themselves, not for you. Don’t pressure your child into thinking that this is a personal favor they’re doing for you. On the flip side, don’t make your child feel guilty for the time, trouble and money you’re investing in your child’s participation in gymnastics.

Don’t remind your child about your own gymnastics career or how you were able to participate in gymnastics when you were younger. If your child would like to quit their participation in gymnastics, let them. They should be doing gymnastics for their own sake, not for yours. Simply allow your child to enjoy gymnastics as is.

Do Support Your Child’s Interests

As a parent of a gymnast, find out what your child needs in order to enjoy gymnastics. Are they enjoying their class? Has their enjoyment gone down or up in recent months/years? Is there anything they need in order to continue enjoying gymnastics?

Your child may ask for some special equipment at home, a new leotard, help doing an exercise that will help them build their strength – whatever they need, show them support that will help them grow in their sport! Your child will appreciate it.

Don’t Stand for Unacceptable Behavior – Your Gymnasts, Or Your Own

Participating in gymnastics is a privilege that your little one should enjoy. A part of participating in gymnastics is listening to the coaches, treating them respectfully, and treating the other children respectfully as well. If your child is having a hard time with any of these rules, remind them that gymnastics should be fun for everyone – including their coaches and the other kids.

You can model this behavior for your gymnast by not talking bad about their coaches or any of the other children and by not spreading any gossip about any of the other children in gymnastics. Don’t interfere with the coaches efforts by contradicting things the coach says, or by bad-mouthing the coach when they’re not around.

Remember that your child’s coaches are their mentors. Don’t alienate them! One more thing: do what you can to get along with the other parents who bring their children to gymnastics. By showing a positive attitude and by displaying a positive overall relationship with the parents of other children, you show your child how important it is to play a positive role.

Message to Parents of Gymnasts: Have Fun With Gymnastics At Lake City Twisters

At Lake City Twisters, we know how important gymnastics is for kids – young and old. We’re dedicated to our gymnasts, and want them to have fun! If you’re looking for other ways that you can support your child in their sport of choice, let us know! We’ll be happy to help. To learn more about our gymnastics classes in Madison, WI and how your child can participate in gymnastics, call today.