Gymnastics is one of the oldest sports of all time, and one that has largely kept its popularity today. Olympic gymnastics tickets are some of the first tickets to sell out every four years. So, how can you go about becoming a gymnast? Read this article and you will be on the right track for a future enjoying all the joys gymnastics has to offer:
Types of Gymnastics
It's very important before you go off and start doing anything, that you know there are very many types of gymnastics. The seven types of gymnastics are:
- Women's artistic
- Men's artistic
- Group/team gymnastics
It's important that you research all of the different types and choose one that interests you; the next steps will depend on what you choose at the base level. But don't think that you only can do a specific category. The best gymnasts are good at a variety of types. Also, it's important to note that at the moment, only women are competing in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
Where to Start
So now that you have found the type of gymnastics that you're interested in, how do you pursue this passion? The first thing to do is to go to your local gym and ask them if they have any classes pertaining to your interests and also to your age group.
It's also important to consider how much the class will cost, how many hours a week you're expected to go, and whether or not they compete. If you're simply a hobbyist, you might want to stay away from any professional competitions. Keep in mind if you're starting gymnastics at an older age that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to compete on a professional or even semi-professional level. With that said, if it's your dream and passion, then go for it!
If you're younger, between the ages of 5 and 7, there are many opportunities for you that may be found outside of the gym. Many private organizations offer classes that strictly allow children of this age to learn gymnastics and dance, this is probably the best way to go if you're child is between these ages.
Start Home Practice
Also, start practicing at home. All the best gymnasts put a ton of time in at the gym, of course, but they also are constantly practicing outside the gym.
In today's world, getting gymnastics equipment for your home isn't out of the question. There are tons of pieces of equipment that are affordable and extremely beneficial for any budding gymnast.
Here are some good items to get you started:
- Gymnastic bar (you should also practice on uneven bars, if you're female)
- Home balance beam
- Gymnastics mat
Any of the above will give you a leg up in your practice and be hugely helpful in your training.
Being a gymnast isn't easy. It's very stressful both mentally and physically. You must realize that you will make many mistakes as a gymnast and that you shouldn't be too hard on yourself from every little mistake, but that you should learn from it and take it as a positive criticism or experience.
Another tip: Whenever you're feeling at a low, watch professional gymnasts! They can be a continual source of motivation. Videos like this one:
Finally, something very important to remember is to have fun. Sure you can have a dream to make it to the Olympics, but gymnastics is an activity meant to provide excitement and joy. If you're not having fun, then maybe gymnastics isn't for you. You can get frustrated and the sport can get competitive, but at the end of day, you should enjoy being a gymnast.
Always remember to have fun!