Gymnastics can be a complicated sport to perfect, but many gymnasts have done just that! There are many tips and tricks to being a gymnast, a coach, or a parent of a gymnast; learn all about those tips here!
Always warm up and stretch before practicing or competing.
Use grips and wrist braces to protect your hands and wrists on events that could injure them.
Make sure you have a spotter when trying new or difficult skills.
Follow the gym rules; they are made to keep both you and your teammates safe.
If you injure yourself or have pain somewhere, stop training and tell a coach or trainer; it is better to get help before you further injure yourself.
Watch film of yourself. In practice, record yourself so that you can watch it back and see where you need to make fixes or adjustments.
Make sure to work and strengthen both sides of your body during training so you can stay balanced.
Remember to take time to cool down and stretch after practice. That gives your body time to relax after training.
Make sure you have the proper hydration and nutrition. These two things can greatly increase your strength and stamina in the gym and at competitions. Also, make sure you get enough sleep!
Make sure you arrive to meets and practices early and with all the proper equipment. It is a good idea to have an equipment bag so you can have everything all in one place.
Be a good sport. When your teammates do well, cheer them on, and when your competitors do well, congratulate them.
Tips For Coaches
Make sure all equipment is safe and working properly.
Use the correct mats! You should use mats that are the proper thickness to protect the gymnast who is doing skills on or above them. If the mat is too thick and squishy, the gymnast may roll an ankle while landing, but if it is too thin, it may not provide enough protection. It all depends on what the skill and gymnast require.
Spot your gymnasts and make sure that they are not doing skills that are too difficult for them.
Celebrate accomplishments; when your gymnast has been working hard to complete a skill, you should celebrate when they do! Encourage them to keep working hard.
Quality is better than quantity. Make sure your gymnasts are doing accurate skills, rather than repeating inaccurate ones over and over. It is better for a gymnast to do one perfect skill slowly than 100 incorrect ones with no adjustments.
Remember the word "yet." If a gymnast tells you that they "can't" do a skill, a good way to respond is by saying that they aren't able to do it yet, but they will be with practice.
Tips For Parents
Make sure you and your child arrive on time to practices and competitions; warm up and instruction time are important!
Don't go onto the competition floor unless invited. Meet rules state that parents are not allowed to the floor except in the case of injury.
Don't heckle other gymnasts or coaches during meets. It is okay to cheer for your child and their team, but negative comments are disrespectful and can get you removed from the meet.
Encourage your child's goals, but don't purely focus on winning. Instead, encourage them to do their best when they can.
Trust the coach to do the coaching! They will know better and can more safely instruct your child.
Ask the coach if you have questions, but don't bother them with suggestions or worries every day. Instead, you can set up a schedule to check in with coaches to see how your child is doing!
Listen to your child! If they have concerns about their training, make sure they feel heard. And if they are hesitant about competing or continuing the sport, make sure their wishes are heard as well.