You’ve enrolled your child in gymnastics classes and they’re exceeding not just your expectations but the expectations of their coaches. That’s an amazing feeling! As a parent, especially during an Olympic summer like 2016, the thought may cross your mind that your child could be the next Gabby Douglas or Aly Raisman. While we’d love an Olympian to come from Powerhouse, we want you to be sure about what it takes.
- It’s a family commitment. If your child is good enough to be a world class gymnast, it’s likely you will need to make a commitment to a gym and coach that are outside your hometown. That means either separating a parent and the athlete from the rest of the family or moving the entire family. That can take a serious toll on the kids as well as mom and dad.
- It’s a time commitment. Starting your child in gymnastics at the age of four or five and developing to advanced levels can translate into 3-6 hours per day at the gym, and more as they progress. That’s less time for school, friends, and family. You’re asking a lot of your little one so be sure they’re committed to the process as much as you’re committed to the idea of having a world class athlete.
- It’s about mental toughness. To get to the top of any sport takes dedication. Think of it this way -- a baseball player who bats a solid .250, not bad in baseball terms, only hits one of four pitches s/he sees. That takes passion to go back to the plate and try again. Your child may have the heart but not the skills and you’ve got to manage them through those situations. They may not get on every team they desire or win every trophy. Think about if they’re tough enough for that especially as they advance their athletic career.
Whether you’re raising an Olympian or a weekend warrior, it’s important to talk to your child about their expectations as an athlete. We’re here to help in any way we can and appreciate your interest in gymnastics!