Gym classes have long been popular with adults and children alike, in the US. Every year, hundreds of potential gymnasts enroll in gymnastic classes, from toddlers in parent/child classes, to teenagers learning skills on balance beam, uneven bars or doing floor exercise.
Here are some things to keep in mind when enrolling your child in a gymnastic class:
Before your child does his or her first skill, warming up and stretching are essential, to avoid injury.
Although your child's may want to throw all caution to the winds while he makes those jumps, you should investigate the gym's safety record. Ask if the gym coaches hold certifications such as CPR and basic first aid. Check if the gym holds a USA Gymnastics Safety/Risk Management Certification
It is always advisable to ask questions of parents and children who go to a particular gym, but keep in mind that each child has a different take on gym classes. Some children like a big gym with loads of people practicing while others prefer a smaller gym, which provides more individual attention. Either way, an 8:1 ratio is ideal for young children.
Municipal gyms are often cheaper than private facilities. Private gyms, on the other hand, offer additional facilities, not provided by municipal gyms. Some private gyms seeking to earn money, try to put children through the ten levels of gymnastics before he/she is prepared to handle it. Parents are advised to keep away from such gyms.
Although many gyms have policies restricting the presence of parents, no gym should completely deny you access. If the gym does not want you to observe how they are coaching children, it is not advisable to enroll your child in it.
Make sure that you and the gym coach have the same expectations from your child. Gymnastics takes time to learn, so coaches and parents should emphasize the requirement for patience to the child.
One thing that you should remember is that the experience of a gymnastic class should be fun. Once our child decides she wants to enter gymnastics competitions, the level of hard work required does increase, but the fun element should not just go out of the picture.