Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a gymnast?

Have you ever wondered...

Have you ever thought about the difficulty level in gymnastics? Most of the time parents sign up their children for gymnastics classes in order to channel their child's energy. What many of the parents don't realize is what it takes to become a gymnast. There is more to gymnastics then running, flipping, and twisting at a gym in a leotard. A gymnast learns more than how to execute skills on each event, but they ultimately learn how to perform and compete under pressure, and they learn lessons that aren't typically learned until later in life.

Women's gymnastics is characterized by 4 events: Vault, Bars, Beam, & Floor. In order to compete as an all-around gymnastics, individuals have to learn the appropriate routines and skills for each level. There are ten levels in competitive gymnastics (10 being the most difficult). As the difficulty increases for the levels of gymnastics, the gymnasts begin to leave the sport. Because the sport does not get easier, most gymnasts leave the sport due to injury, or they are no longer interested in so much putting effort to succeed.

Unfortunately, success in this sport is determined based off of the gymnasts performance at each competition. Performance quality is essential for every gymnast, it can make or break any routine. It is very important for a gymnast to be able to compete well. Being able to perform and compete under incredible pressure takes mental toughness. Competition & performance quality is great, but there is no meet if you are not able to train well. In my opinion, training to be a gymnast is the most significant aspect of the sport. High level gymnasts are in the gym 15-20 hours a week doing hundreds of routines and trying to perfect them for competition. A gymnast does each routine as flawless as possible, so that once its time for competition, they will not make a mistake during their single chance they have in front of the judges. In gymnastics, you don't get second chances in a competition.

Arguably, gymnasts grow up faster than their peers. In my opinion, they are forced to learn lessons that they may not have learned until later in their life. A few lessons a gymnast learns: discipline, courage, time-management, consistency, and determination. To say the least gymnastics is hard, and it takes more than you might think to be successful. On a positive note, gymnastics is the most rewarding sport because you can learn so many helpful life lessons and skills that produce well rounded individuals.

Act it Out

First of all gymnastics really is a demanding sport because it takes so much time. It is like a full time job for most high level gymnasts. Their time management skills are truly produced while they are carrying a full load of school work along with full time gymnastics. So next time you are watching gymnastics on TV remember that these athletes have spent hours and hours in the gym training to be able to do what they do.

Secondly, gymnastics has so many great health benefits. Not only does it meet flexibility and strength needs, but it allows for stronger cognition. The health benefits usually carry over for individuals after they have retired from the sport. Most people continue to exercise, and stay flexible even though they are no longer competing, which produces healthier, well-rounded individuals. Next time you meet a gymnast or retired gymnast, ask them about their health and physical training habits.