How To Become a Gymnast
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Becoming a Gymnast
When you watch gymnastics on television it can look pretty simple. The truth is, becoming a gymnast is a process that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson himself would be impressed with. Let's face it, there are no gymnasts performing "The Rock" on the balance beam. The first thing you need to do if you want to become a gymnast is find a gym.
There are two types of gymnastics. Recreational gymnastics and Competitive gymnastics. Choosing which type you would prefer will make a difference when you chose the type of gym and coaches you prefer.
Cartwheels, Handstands and Muscles
- It's important to choose a facility that has all of the necessary equipment: a vaulting table, uneven parallel bars, a balance beam and a 40' x 40' tumbling floor. If you find a gym that has a Tumble Track or added trampolines, consider it a bonus. They are used for drills and training and can be hours of fun.
- It's necessary to have the proper workout attire. Most female gymnasts wear a leotard however, it's most important to be able to move around easily and go upside down with no problems. The skirts, tutus and tights are darling but they get in the way of gymnastics. It's best to leave them at home.
- Through proper exercise and conditioning, the body gradually becomes stronger and more flexible. The best gymnasts are very strong and very flexible. USA Gymnastics has a TOPS (Talent Opportunity Program) program that includes recommendations for exercises and stretching for girls who hope to be future Olympic gymnasts.
- Adding dance to gymnastics training is beneficial because there are a lot of dance elements in gymnastics. As gymnastics becomes more difficult and girls graduate into higher levels of competition, the dance requirements are more accelerated. Additionally, dance will help athletes improve their flexibility which is very important to being a successful gymnast.
- Private lessons are often good for athletes who want to perfect their routines or skills. They're also good if you're experiencing difficulty with a particular skill. Coaches can zero-in on one particular person, skill or piece of a routine - with one athlete at a time. The down side to private lessons is that they can be expensive.
- If you want to have a gymnastics skill named after you, it must be successfully performed, recognized and judged at an international competition such as; the Visa Championships, the Olympic Trials or the Olympics.
What event will you watch the most?
The Best Gymformation I Can Give
- It's important to learn the gymnastics and dance methods and terminology correctly if you are serious about your gymnastics career. Bad habits are extremely difficult to overcome and learn past. It takes an average of six weeks of correct training or sixty-six consecutive correct tries to change an ingrained style. See Coaching For Excellence.
- If you decide to take your gymnastics career seriously and become a registered athlete you can compete in AAU (non-profit) or in USAG (not for profit). The biggest difference between the two organizations is price. USAG tends to be more competitive where AAU is more about the kids having a great time and feeling good. Additionally, not all gymnastics clubs offer AAU or USAG. Do your homework and decide which you prefer.
- Search your area for a gym that is a good fit for your needs. Visit the gym and allow your child to do a free trial class if the gym offers one. Many teams will allow kids to work out with their team for a try-out. It's just as important that competitive gymnasts gel with their team and coaches as it is for the team to accept them. For more great tips on choosing a gym see Competitive Gymnastics For Young Girls: What to Expect.
- Gymnastics takes many years to develop. I consider it a "rise over time" sport. Progression in gymnastics may be slow and steady and that's okay. Athletes will progress at different rates so it's important that you don't watch other athletes and wonder why your child is behind or comment that your child is springing ahead.
- Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique : Home
The International Gymnastics Federation is the official governing body for gymnastics in the world.
- The Real AAU Gymnastics > Home
The Real AAU Gymnastics, AAU Gymnastics
- :: USA Gymnastics :: Athlete Membership Information ::
USA GYMNASTICS Athlete Membership
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Videos is a medly of USAG athletes.