The following is an essay written by Marie L., a 12 year old former gymnastics team member here at Gymfinity. She is also considering a return to the team and I think her essay helped her thought process. I was not Marie’s direct coach but I remember that the other coaches spoke highly of her and that she was a pretty neat kid. Many of the ideas in this essay were written about in the blog last week, but I think a summarization from a person who’s recently been there is a great addition. I also have notes following the entry.
Are you deciding whether or not to start the gymnastics team? Before deciding, look at the advantages and disadvantages of the sport. It will help you make your decision.
Joining the gymnastics team has many advantages. For example, gymnastics can help you in many different sports. Tests have shown that gymnastics can help improve flexibility, coordination and physical development. Gymnastics is an independent sport. Therefore it can also help in sportsmanship. (1)
Another advantage of doing gymnastics is that when you are training, you can show your personality through which skills you chose to do. When I was little I was very shy. Through gymnastics I could express myself a whole different way. I soon gained confidence in myself with the help of my coaches and teammates. Gymnastics gives you a new outlook on life.
The last upside is that you are constantly training to get better or to perfect your skills. This can have a positive or negative effect on people. (2)
When you set a goal in gymnastics you stick to it until you reach it and then set another goal. (3)
Even though there are upsides to gymnastics there are also downsides. One downside is the injuries. It is a proven fact that gymnastics is one of the only sports where there is always a chance of injury. This is one concept to take into consideration. (4)
Another disadvantage is the time, Gymnastics is a year-long sport and therefore takes up a lot of time. This was one of my worst problems in gymnastics because it doesn’t really leave time to do other sports such as volleyball. If you know how to manage your time well then this shouldn’t really effect you.
My last disadvantage is that you have to try your hardest and do things you never thought you would. You must train really hard and have confidence in yourself, you must also learn to face your fears and find the daredevil in yourself. (5)
Have you made your decision yet??? Are you excited to start competing and find new friends? Can you manage your time and finish schoolwork with gymnastics practice? I hope this essay has helped you decide. My last piece of advice is to have fun with whatever your decision.
1. Well said. Gymnastics as well as most sports develop physical, mental and emotional characteristics in children. I, completely subjectively, think Gymnastics does it best.
2. We feel that the consistency in training is a plus.
3. This is the part I spoke about being so highly important for children to develop. Marie said it perfectly.
4. statistically gymnastics ranks 47th on a list for sport/activity reasons that children are admitted into urgent/emergency care. Out of all “Head/Neck and Back” trauma admissions, gymnastics accounts for .67 of 1%. That’s pretty good. Watch out for Rock climbing (ranked number 1), football, and Cheer (largest percentages for male and female sports respectively).
5. I would list this as an advantage, as I want my children to constantly be looking inside and expanding their perceived potential. The dare-devil thing scares me when I think about my sons but I understand what she meant and I agree. Gymnasts must find the risk taker inside. The risk, however, is managed by consistent and responsible coaching.
Thanks Marie for your essay, I think they are very valid and thoughtful points that you presented. Thank you also for allowing me to reproduce it here. I hope your teachers give you a good grade; you deserve it. J.