We get asked that question a lot. People who watch our team kids are so impressed with the level of skill that they feel they need to ask. The next question is usually “do you have anyone going to the Olympics?” and the whole thing almost always ends with “Wow.”
Now, we don’t claim to have any Olympians, and quite honestly those kids training for the Olympics are doing similar skills but it’s almost a whole different sport. The level of mental training and sports-politicking is beyond our comfort level and beyond my desire. Coaches at that level are involved with the athlete’s education, bringing in tutors, nutrition and providing meals and charting snacks and often counselling because those kids may not experience a “normal” childhood.
I’m pretty satisfied taking kids to the levels that we do. I know that gymnastics and Gymfinity benefit kids in Madison, Verona, Fitchburg and the surrounding area. By creating and supporting healthy kids at home we are in turn creating a healthier and better world of kids. Our program impacts kids who do gymnastics, of course, but we also have an effect on kids doing other sports and attaining high levels of performance.
For example, kids in karate or martial arts go farther when their training is combined with some basic (or advanced) tumbling as well as the strength and agility that gymnastics training inherently provides. Kids in dance often need to supplement their repertoire with tumbling skills to enhance performances and make them more “athletic”. I often relate to my kids how gymnastics made me a better soccer player. I was faster, had better eye/foot coordination and could roll back to my feet when I got tripped up. It’s safe to say that all kids in sports benefit from gymnastics.
Years ago, like in the 70’s, it was a trend that NFL teams had receivers taking ballet because the cross training made them more nimble. I don’t know if that is still common practice in today’s football but it was certainly evident to the NFL coaches of yesterday. That same thinking is applied to kids in sports now. Kids who did gymnastics are often more successful in sports than kids who did not. They hit a ball farther, run faster, jump higher and swim faster. In fact I had a gymnast years ago, who retired from team and became a scholarship softball player. Her high school coach loved her ability to knock a ball father than any other girl he’d ever coached. Former gymnasts make great swimmers because the shoulder strength developed naturally through gymnastics gives them great power in the water. I have had a gymnast when I was coaching in LaCrosse who received a scholarship to the UW for Volleyball. I hadn’t seen her in a few years and she shows up to bring me UW tickets to thank me for her training years back, what a neat kid (thanks Lindsey).
As for children’s gyms in Madison, Gymfinity is one that really encourages kids to follow the sport that makes them happy. It’s always been my philosophy. Other programs see it as a failure when children leave the gym, but we see it as a new opportunity for the child to grow.
When it comes to toddler fitness or children’s fitness in general, a parent could make no better choice than to enroll in gymnastics or a gymnastics based program. The benefits are obvious and the cross-over value is priceless as the child grows in sport. When it comes to children’s gymnastics, there is no better program than Gymfinity.
I own Gymfinity, and I approved this message.