Friday, April 11, 2008

Suggestions for Practicing Gymnastics at Home

Children and adults alike all tend to have a natural desire to practice a skill or hobby that they enjoy and gymnastics certainly is no different. However, one major difference that can occur from gymnastics and say dance or even basketball is the gym where you learn and practice gymnastics is heavily padded and designed to ensure your child is safe, while your home resembles just that – a home. This means there is a much greater chance of your child being injured while they are at home, than when they are at the gym.

There are some ways you can make it safe though so your child can still practice. While not all moves are able to be practiced at home, your child can still have fun, practice, and you can still have your piece of mind knowing they are safer. After all, practice makes perfect and most highly skilled gymnasts need plenty of practice.

You should know your child’s limitations. Much as they may want to come home and work on a skill that they have not yet mastered you need to put your foot down and say no. Working on a skill at home that is not mastered is a fast track to being injured and not an advisable idea. Many children will whine about why they cannot practice the skill and you as the parent should be able to help them understand that new skills should only be attempted in front of the coach, and in a setting that is properly designed for instruction.

Another thing you should look out for is objects and furniture that are in the way. Practicing skills that are already mastered is generally not a problem as long as your child is not landing in the middle of the flowerbed, on the couch or crashing into the television. If they do not have enough room to practice, try moving some things out of the way and see if it is possible to create the necessary space. In addition, if your little gymnast is a serious enthusiast you may want to look into purchasing some tumbling mats that can be laid across the floor to make it even safer.

Monitor your child while they are practicing. While they certainly do not need you hovering directly over them, they do need someone to watch and make sure they do not injure themselves. It is advisable to keep an eye out to make sure that in the event they do get injured you can quickly help them. In addition, this allows you to really see what your child is capable of and what they have mastered.

Keep all siblings and pets safely out of the way. While it may seem like a great idea to let siblings practice gymnastics together it is a recipe for disaster since other children may not have any experience at gymnastics. Remember to limit the gymnastics practice to only those children that have been taking lessons and know what they are doing. If another child is expressing an interest, look into lessons for them as well rather than having the other child teaching.

With some careful consideration and thought, it is possible to still practice gymnastics whether you are at home, or anywhere else. Taking special care to avoid obstacles and hazards is the best way to allow you to still practice while having fun.

By: Simon Tay, the author of Your Personal Development Website:

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