Gymnastics is a Great Foundation
for Many Sports
The skills learned in gymnastics
require flexibility, strength, coordination, and
much more. These lessons provide a strong
foundation for many other sports such as
basketball, soccer, swimming, baseball,
football, and running.
Gymnastics requires participants to jump! There
are skills on every apparatus that require a
child to jump. Jumping can be done forward,
while twisting, and even upside down.
Gymnastics teaches children to run. Children
must run full speed and then change the energy
into a round off, a cartwheel, or a jump. Many
sports require running. In basketball, children
must also run and then convert the run to a
Gymnastics teaches good balance. Balance beam is
an entire event devoted to balance. In
basketball and soccer, children must have good
balance to dribble the ball, run, and change
Gymnastics teaches coordination. Gymnastics
skills teach children to move various body parts
in different ways, at different times, and in
the correct sequence very quickly. This is
helpful when a child is learning to dribble a
ball, run, avoid an opponent, and then shoot the
Gymnastics helps children become more flexible.
Many skills challenge a child to move her
muscles to the limit. Swimming likewise requires
a child to have a good range of motion in his
arms to make the most of his stroke.
Gymnastics builds strong muscles. While doing
gymnastics, a child must support his body in
many different ways. He may be hanging or
swinging from the bars. He may be holding
himself up with his hands in a handstand on the
rings. He may be balancing his whole body weight
on only his gluteus
maximums. Most skills will help children
build muscles that are also important for him to
use in a variety of sports.
Gymnastics teaches children to move quickly.
When you think about it, gymnastics is really a
series of controlled FALLS! A child must move
quickly or she will not land properly. Quickness
is valuable in football, soccer, basketball,
running, and swimming.
Children must try most new skills repeatedly
before skills are mastered. Cartwheels can take
months or years (for younger children) to
master. Learning that repetition can bring
success is useful because most children will
need much practice to master the throwing skills
required in baseball and football and the
dribbling required in soccer and basketball.
Children must learn how to move their body to
successfully complete a skill. Gymnastics
teaches children to control many parts of their
bodies at the same time to perform a skill.
Having good body awareness is helpful in
throwing skills, since during a throw, a child
must move his feet, hands, arms, hips, etc.,-
all in the correct sequence!