5 Life Skills Gymnasts Learn on the Mat
It’s not surprising that the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics encourages young athletes to be good team players and to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Gymnasts also work at mastering the sport’s physical skill set, which is excellent for coordination and core strength. What is often overlooked is that the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics both instills and strengthens life skills in its participants that promote success and resiliency.
Here are five life skills that gymnasts learn on the mat.
Gymnasts learn good manners because there are behavioral expectations that the instructor instills in their athletes. While taking Rhythmic Gymnastics classes, children acquire good posture, elegant movement, and grace. They are expected to listen and focus while receiving instruction and practicing their movements. When working in a team, they learn how to speak to peers and instructors with respect. When they win or succeed, they will learn to do so with tact. When they lose or struggle, they will learn to do so with grace. This is all part of learning mannerly social behavior which they can take with them from the mat, into the real world.
In the modern workplace, creativity is one of the top traits valued by employers. It's a skill that's hard to develop. Rhythmic Gymnastics is the perfect way for a child to express themselves through movement. Self-expression is the essence of Rhythmic Gymnastics because it is a unique combination of sport, dance, and art. No other sport fosters creative expression to the extent that Rhythmic Gymnastics does. Rhythmic Gymnasts find ways to express themselves in unique and individualized ways which is what makes this sport so meaningful and beautiful to watch. Rhythmic Gymnastics provides a safe space for your child to creatively express their feelings and emotions.
Rhythmic Gymnastics fosters healthy competitiveness. Children who are trying on the mat to prove to others and themselves that they can do well and who are striving to be the best they can be, achieve in other aspects of life. Through rhythmic gymnasts training, young athletes gain the attitude that they should never give up and that they are just as deserving of success as other peers. Developing a healthy sense of competitiveness is very important in building success in other aspects of life.
4. Discipline and Dedication
These two qualities go hand in hand. Children who, from an early age, are accustomed to hard work and discipline, grow into adults who are hardworking and disciplined and are able to dedicate themselves to achieving what they want. A child who devotes themselves to practicing Rhythmic Gymnastics will learn willpower, patience, hard work, and discipline. Through trying, failing, and trying again, they will see that hard work and discipline will lead to success. For children to become resilient, they need to be willing to dedicate themselves to achieving a goal and be disciplined enough to work hard at achieving it. Rhythmic Gymnastics can help to instill these values. As gymnast Shawn Johnson said, "I was told early on in my Rhythmic Gymnastics training that I was full of energy but not full of talent. So, believe me, hard work and determination can get you where you want to go."
5. Perseverance and Consistency
The key to being a moderately successful rhythmic gymnast is consistency and perseverance. This is not an easy sport. The movements are challenging. So, to learn the sport, young athletes need to practice consistently and persevere when they are struggling. This teaches children, from a young age, that they should keep trying even when it is hard. These are traits that will bring athletes success in the real world no matter a rhythmic gymnast’s chosen career path. They will feel encouraged by their peers and their instructor to practice these traits until the athlete adopts them fully.
These life skills all help to foster a well-rounded child who has the skill set to be successful – not just in Rhythmic Gymnastics, but in life. At Balance Academy, we believe in instructing the whole child, not only the rhythmic gymnast. Our programs are structured to support their development instilling these values. Register your child at Balance Academy today and set them up for a successful tomorrow.
At Balance Academy, we are passionate and proud of the quality of our instructors. Our coaches believe in a healthy and full development of the entire gymnast, in a safe and fun environment. Follow us on Facebook or see what we do on Instagram, to find out more about what we do, and chat with other parents about why they love what we do.