Today I would like to share the first real sport we’ve placed Emelina in – gymnastics.
To date we’ve had her in a short swimming class (Mums and bubs) and other local ‘play’ events but this is her first real effort at weekly sport/exercise.
How does gymnastics work?
Well to be honest it’s more specialised play at this age 3-4yo group.
She’s grouped together with other kids who are at a similar motor skill, movement patterns, spatial awareness and memory called Comets.
We spend 1 hour in the gym per week at this stage and in the Comets group the parents play a vital role in facilitating what the instructor wants from the kids.
As you can imagine a lot of kids this age are very excited and the teacher can struggle to rein in their enthusiasm – especially Emelina 🙂
Once Eme gets the hang of the weekly routine and shows that she’s mastered the movements she progresses to the next group – Meteors.
It could almost be 2-3 years until Eme progresses so a lot depends on how well she responds to her training and if she continues to enjoy it.
Once the kids develop and train independently parents are welcome to watch the kids practice in the observation deck from above.
But I wanted to go through the thought process on why we picked gymnastics for Eme.
You see, both Leki and I were pretty sporty growing up. I was a keen netballer and Leki played soccer and rugby union.
We both played in team sports.
We had our fair share of dizzy highs and tough lows and the thing about sport is that you learn a lot of great lessons along the way.
It teaches how you work together in a team environment for the common goal, how to gracefully accept defeat, make sacrifices for your team members and to always try your best.
I always wondered how I would go in a sport where I only have myself to depend on. So if I ‘won or lost’ it was completely on my own effort.
For example, when I played netball, if I played poorly it wouldn’t be so bad because my team members can help me by lifting their game to a higher standard. Or if we lost because my team mate made a poor decision we would all suffer the consequences.
In an individual sport I think it teaches you to be even more disciplined because you are only going to get out of it as much as you put in.
I think of athletics, swimming, tennis, boxing, running and plenty more.
Can you imagine showing up to training with only you and the coach working on your skills. It’d be tough work! When you have other people around you in team sport you can be more enthusiastic because they can pump you up and vice versa.
Not so much with solo sports like gymnastics.
So why have we decided on gymnastics?
Because of the discipline.
Of course she’s still young and enjoying running around and jumping about but when she’s of a certain age she will have to knuckle down and really learn to persist.
No one else can do it for her. She can’t hide behind her team mates if she’s not performing well. She has to be good enough or simply train and try harder.
The other reason is because gymnastics can simply get the best out of your body.
Do you watch the top level athletes at a big international event like the Olympics Games?
My favourite athlete were always the gymnasts. Bodies carved out of marble but as bendable as a rubber band. Not only were they strong they were flexible too! That is something I would love for Eme to have.
Strong mind and body but a flexible spirit because her body won’t be the limitation.
I appreciate all the different types of sports that are available to us but we’ll stick with gymnastics and see how we go. The great thing about gymnastics is that she can use her ‘powers’ for other sports if she decides to try them out.
How did you pick sports for your children? Do you simply pick whatever your interests were or did you leave it completely up to them?
Healthy mind, healthy body 🙂