GYMNASTICS FOR AUTISM (edited guest post from USGCOA)

Jayce Coach Gymfinity

This article is shared from the blog of the United States Gymnastics Club Owners Association (USGCOA). It was originally written to encourage club owners to offer a program in their gyms that allows for children with Autism to experience gymnastics. I did edit it from it’s original, removing the parts that applied to club owners specifically. I felt that the information was worthy of sharing with our families, friends, and fans. Gymfinity does offer a class every Saturday morning for children with special needs. We have had this program since Gymfinity started in 1999. We were then, and remain today, one of the few programs that offer a class for differently abled kids.

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Being lost with a borrowed compass

fear of a virus that statistically doesn’t have them high on the risk-o-meter.  I struggled with staying masked, for how long, which kids? I also thought about how I have kids I have been coaching for 2 years and I cannot remember what their faces look like. Then again, I worried that if we take masks off, that we will see kids by the dozens calling off due to the virus. I needed to stop. I needed to find my compass.

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Gymfinity’s Secret Sauce

Gymfinity Maddy Lund Gymnastics

We have assembled the best teachers and coaches of any gym I have seen. It is quality in the head: being able to teach and educate kids, and in the heart; having a passion for teaching, learning, and impacting others that makes these very special coaches.

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The Gifts Gymnastics Brings

Gymnasts on the beam at Gymfinity

I love gymnastics and feel that it is the best developmental tool a child can experience. Gymnasts are not only stronger, but smarter, and justifiably feel better about themselves. These are all skills that they can carry with them through life ensuring success and happiness along the way. 41 years ago, when I started teaching gymnastics, I did it because it was fun. As time went on I was shown time and again the benefits that I wrote about above. I saw the kids I coach become doctors, lawyers, mothers, politicians, engineers, counselors, teachers and more. Every one happy, Every one a success. And every day since my decision to teach gymnastics back in 1980, my mission has been validated.

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How did I ever get here?

J Orkowski's High School Gymnastics Team

I look at those formative years and recall some of my role models. Most of them would not even recognize me if I walked up and shook their hand. If they did, it would be as Harry’s little brother, the quiet nerdy kid who was either reading or standing on his hands.
I was thinking the other day, how so many of the people who influence us in life rarely ever realize the impact they had. I wouldn’t even know if they were aware of me let alone know that after 40+ years, I am still in the sport.

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How to live without fear: make the new year less scary

overcome fear

Sometimes it’s good to be afraid. Fear is an instinct that rears up when we perceive danger. There are some instances when being afraid can keep us alive. “Hey, go wrestle that alligator.” “No thank you, that scares me.”  When we perceive danger, Adrenalin is released, our heart rate increase, or senses are on edge,…

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Thoughts on the de-certifying of USA Gymnastics

Recently the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) has filed to remove USA Gymnastics as the governing body for gymnastics in the US. Though it sounds like doom and gloom for American gymnastics, it is, in my opinion, an important step in the organization getting it’s house in order.  Gymnastics meets and clubs will continue operation…

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Making Sports A Better Place to be.

My last post I explained how a recent study done by the Sports Fitness Industry of America noted that the number of kids participating in sports has decreased 8% since 2008. I explained that I feel the decrease is due to 6 reasons: Cost, Skewed definitions of success, decrease in providing children with fitness opportunities,…

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Glory for the Effort

Our society has been extraordinary at giving people who have worked at nothing huge amounts of notoriety. Think of how many names were made famous for no reason at all; Paris Hilton, Omorosa, anyone from the Bachelor, or any member of the Kardashian family. Why do I know their names?I would have no problem if…

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Confidence is created. And it’s easy

The gymnast steps onto the floor to salute the judge to indicate being ready to show their routine. The judge makes eye contact and raises his own hand to signify that the panel is ready to watch. A crowd of over 1000 people anxiously watch too. In the crowd, the gymnast’s Mom, and she is…

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