Should I Sign Up My Child for Boys Gymnastics?
Did you know that many regard male gymnasts as the strongest of all athletes? There are so many benefits for boys who participate in gymnastics, there really is little reason parents should not encourage their sons to pursue gymnastics.
Reasons Why Your Son Should Start Gymnastics
Gymnastics is the number one sport for teaching the fundamental skills our kids need! From running to jumping and from balancing to rolling, your son will be able to develop his coordination and body awareness through this sport.
Boys gymnastics develops one’s strength and flexibility, which are not only essential in assisting a child in other physical activities he will take part in through his adolescence and into adulthood, but they also help to prevent injury. This is why gymnastics makes the perfect cross-training sport for boys, they learn how their body works and it provides them with a foundation for fitness.
Gymnastics is FUN, it’s like going to a massive playground- the perfect place for a crazy little boy to let all his energy out! Your son will learn how to swing like a monkey and even come close to flight which can be anything but boring! With increased activity comes an increase in endorphins, the happiness chemicals, leading to improved mood and positive feelings.
Gymnastics is a great way to get the children off those dreaded iPads! Your son will work alongside other children usually his own age and may even be placed in a group with other boys helping him to gain a sense of belonging.
Boys gymnastics equips children with skills to better handle physical and emotional challenges in life and helps them develop an understanding that other children also have thoughts and feelings just like them. Naturally, spending time around people that share a passion for the same sport is more likely to build great long-lasting friendships.
Your son will also be communicating with a coach, learning skills such as listening, following instructions, taking turns, and being quiet when needed. Engaging with adults helps teach children discipline and respect- good news for you as a parent!
Boys gymnastics requires commitment and self-discipline, which are both valuable life skills for not only now but all through adult life. Your son will receive positive reinforcements from coaches and other participants, and you will quickly see a difference in his confidence levels not only as an athlete but as an individual too which can spill over into other aspects of life such as school.
Gymnastics teaches you that hard work is necessary for results and that practice always makes progress. Your son’s confidence will grow when he starts achieving his goals and hitting mini-milestones along the way.
The beauty of boys gymnastics is that there are endless amounts of skills to learn, meaning your son will always have something to work towards! Do you think doing a backflip is scary? Children who overcome and conquer these fears at a young age grow to be more assertive and self-assured.
Training under the watchful eye of their coach allows them to make mistakes and learn as they continue to master tricky skills, giving them a belief in their own abilities and potential.
What Events Do Male Gymnasts Do?
This event consists of multiple swinging circles and daring release moves. The gymnast holds onto the bar with his hands and his body must not touch the bar at any time. They will use complex grip changes to add a variety of movements into the routine and will then finish with a dismount that often sees them reach heights even greater than the bar itself before landing safely on the mat.
On this apparatus, you may see gymnasts perform complex skills both above and below the bars. They may travel along the bar using combinations of swinging movements with strength or hold elements. The routine is usually finished with the gymnast performing a type of somersault or twist from the end or side of the bars to land on the mat.
This event is performed on a sprung floor area which aids the gymnast when performing powerful tumbling skills. A routine should include skills that show strength, flexibility, and balance whilst combining moves such as somersaults, twists, and hold elements. Unlike the women’s floor exercise, men do not perform their routine to music.
This event requires a sprint on approach, a powerful bounce on the springboard, a flight onto the vaulting table, and then straight back off it to land safely on the mat ensuring a controlled landing. This is a very explosive piece of equipment and you often see gymnasts reaching great heights and even performing multiple twists in the air!
This event demonstrates the gymnast’s strength and balance. They are suspended in the air with a ring in each hand whilst performing a series of swings and holds. The routine finishes with the gymnast releasing the rings to perform a dismount that contains multiple somersaults and twists to then land safely on the mat below
This apparatus is probably the hardest to master. A pommel horse routine usually involves very quick hand placements and usually moves up and down the length of the pommel horse. It will also demonstrate a series of continuous circular swings, pendulum-type swings, double leg circles, and scissor movements.
What Should My Son Wear to Boys Gymnastics?
Usually, boys aren’t required to wear a singlet unless they are attending a competition. A comfortably fitted t-shirt, athletic shorts, and bare feet will be just fine for training sessions unless, of course, they wish to wear a singlet, then that is absolutely fine too! Singlets can be worn with either shorts or stirrups over the top. In competition, shorts would be worn during the floor and vault events and stirrups would be worn during the rings, pommel horse, parallel bars, and high bar events.
Boys who have a longer style of hair need to make sure it is neatly pulled back to avoid it getting caught and out of their face so as to not obstruct their vision. Shorter styles can be left as they are and styled however they would like.
Jewellery is deemed inappropriate for safe practice in gymnastics and should be removed where possible to reduce the risk of injury to participants and coaches. If jewellery cannot be removed, you should inform the head coach and make sure that it is sufficiently covered with tape or with a sweatband i.e. new piercings or religious/medical bracelets.
To conclude, do we think boys should be encouraged to pursue gymnastics? The answer is a resounding yes! Gymnastics is an amazing sport that anyone regardless of age, gender and ability can participate in. According to Olympic gold medallist Kyle Shewfelt, “Every little boy should be put in gymnastics” and we have to agree with him! Male gymnasts are some of the most hardworking athletes of all and this is often just because they love the sport and we are confident that this will become the case for your son as it has been for so many boys before him.