former or current gymnasts?????

This isn't really a question about my own fitness etc but a mom question. I have 4 kids. They have all gone through a local gymnastics program starting as toddlers. The toddler class is really a mommy and me class held in a gym where the kids can climb and jump and play et c...not really gymnastics. When the kids turn 3 they can try out Mini stars...a little kid class where they learn somersaults etc. It is all quite recreational and fun. My older two (9 and 8 year olds) have recently decided to stop gymnastics for other activities and that was a great choice for them. My almost 6 year old however is excelling very quickly and loves the sport. After much consideration we allowed her to moved to a class that meets twice a week for nearly 2 hours. She is aggravated when she has a class off. She really loves it. She smiles the whole time and bounces through the gym.
She is a human muscle...LOL. Last night the kids did a pre-competition..they did little routines and got comments etc. She had a blast. Right now this is fun etc. I have been talking to the moms and am discovering the expense and time committment that will come in the next few years if she prorgresses to the competition team. It is overwhelming and we couldn't afford right now and don't know how we would make it work in a few years..though I am certain we would figure out a way.
My question to those of you who were competitive gymasts What do you wish your parents had done differently when you were little? Do you wish they had pushed you more or do you wish they had backed off and let you lead the way? (that is our current approach ...let the kid lead the way) Do you have any lifelong strengths because of gymnastics? Do you have any life long trauma's due to the sport?

We are just trying to do right by our little girl but she is just that ...a little girl. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.


  • I was involved in both gymnastics and cheerleading in my youth. For me, I wish my parents were more involved/supportive instead of constantly *****ing about how expensive it was. They very rarely showed up to any tournaments or competitions and never really watched me compete. I didn't want someone to push me (I pushed myself hard enough), but it would have been nice for them to see me doing what I loved and worked hard for.

    As far as life long traumas, I do have very weak ankles and need custom orthotics in my shoes for my arches. I also have Spondylolisthesis. Nothing causes me sever pain, but I do need to practice good body mechanics when I'm being active (as everyone else should).
  • kelsully
    kelsully Posts: 1,008 Member
    Thanks. I will keep in mind not to moan about the cost. If we get to that point and allow her to go forward it will be our choice to spend the money and hopefully we can do it with a smile on our face. We try not to miss any of our kids events but it is getting tougher as the 4 kids all find their own thing ...schedules will conflict but we try to be fair.

    She is just so young and we really have to help guide her in this. At nearly 6 she can't look into the future to know what she is getting herself into...I just hope to have as clear a picture as possible so we can help her.
  • i was a cheerleader my whole life, and to be honest, i WISH my parents would have pushed me into gymnastics more. i mean i obviously appreciate the fact that they let me pick what i wanted to do (if it was up to my dad, god knows i would've probably been a football player, haha) because i did grow up enjoying my extra-curriculars (basically dancing).

    however, i grew up as a dancer gone cheerleader, and though i had the rhythm that a lot of the gymnasts lacked, they were amazing at floor tumbling (which we use in cheerleading A LOT).. and that's something i could never master. i truly believe it's because i started trying to tumble too late, rather than if my parents had pushed me into gymnastics as a child, it would have been so much easier to learn.

    gymnastics gets you so far. even if you decide to quit competitions, you can become a competitive cheerleader (floor tumbling is becoming more and more prevalent in the cheer world), and you will always have that amazing muscle strength/stamina that will make you excel in any sport you pick up. i personally am definitely going to enroll my kids in gymnastics, let them do what they want, but always speak highly of it to try and get them to stick with it.

    injuries.. well because i was an all-star cheerleader, our team was based off of a gymnastics gym so i was in the gym a lot/interacting with the gymnasts a lot, i even worked there, i saw my fair share of injuries.

    me personally, i had a wrist problems. i tore the cartilage in my wrist (my tfcc) and almost had to get surgury. they casted it and told me that there was a very slim chance that it would heal that way, but considering i was young, and lucky i guess, it did, so i didn't have to get the surgury.
    i also banged heads with another girl and her braces sliced me near my eyebrow.. had to get that glued.

    all of my injuries were from cheerleading/stunting though. cheer is also an expensive sport but i HIGHLY recommend it. it gives kids confidence as well as amazing bodies to grow into! the cheer industry is just exploding now.. it's going to be huge.

    hope i helped! good luck =]
  • sunnee
    sunnee Posts: 15
    I did gymnastics for 7 years before I had to stop due to my weight gain. The only problem I have is my hip because I fell off of a balance beam. It gives me some discomfort it I rotate the wrong way. But injuries are super common, especially the more advanced you get. I've seen girls have displaced discs in their back and broken wrists and ankles but the majority of injuries I've seen are in the back which is scary.

    The main thing I wish my parents would've done was to keep pushing me. They saw it as just an expensive waste of time and weren't very supportive. I always wished my mom would've stayed and watched me from the viewing box instead of just dropping me off and picking me up. Also when it comes to money, if your daughter gets older and is more interested in the floor activities as opposed to like bars or beam you can have her join a gym that has "cheerleading" which is basically just floor gymnastics and usually that is a lot cheaper than having her go to a full gymnastics gym.

    Lastly, competitions are super important in the gymnastics world. It gives gymnasts drive and a purpose to their hard work. And trust me, she will love practicing her routines in front of you and showing off for you at competitions. =)