Guest blog by Coach Heather
It’s back-to-school season … better yet, it’s time for a new season of classes at Gonyon’s Gymnastics! At Gonyon’s we are all aware of how difficult it is to stop gymnasts from doing gymnastics at home, outside in the grass or just about anywhere for that matter. While we encourage our students to practice on their own, we want them to be safe. Here are some tips and reminders for making sure your gymnasts stay safe outside of the gym.
The Gym is Padded, Your Home is Not
Gymnastics is a naturally fun activity and children enjoy it in both in the gym and outside of the gym. Gymnasts think they can make anything into a piece of gymnastics equipment. The difference between the gym and at home is that the gym is fully matted. At Gonyon’s we have mats everywhere, making the gym a much safer place to play and practice gymnastics.
If You Are Not Absolutely Sure, Don’t Do the Skill
To be safe at home, gymnasts need to lower the level of skill difficulty that they attempt to do at home. Although, it may be tempting to practice a skill they almost have in the gym, gymnasts should think carefully before attempting any skill they are not sure they can do safely.
Never Try To Learn a New Skill at Home
Gymnasts should never try learning a new skill at home. They first need to be taught by a professional coach with the correct mats and equipment.
Only Do Skills at Home that Have Already Been Mastered
Never do skills at home without proper gym matting that you have not safely mastered already in the gym. Mastering a skill means that you can do the skill EVERY time you attempt it.
Watch Out for Hazards
The gym is set up for our students’ safety. Gyms have wide-open padded areas that have been carefully cleared of obstructions. Your house is full of unsafe obstacles for gymnasts. Watch out for hazards including things like glass, mirrors, obstacles, and heavy furniture.
Don’t Spot Others and Don’t Let Others Spot You
Gymnasts should never spot other children while playing, nor should parents ever attempt to spot children. Spotting is more difficult than it looks and serious injuries can occur if a spotting error is made. Spotting is for professional coaches who have the training and experience to avoid any type of accident.
Don’t Try This at Home
Often friends, younger brothers and sisters, even older sisters and brothers want to try the skills that our gymnasts seem to do easily. Don’t allow or encourage your friends to try skills that you have spent many hours practicing and mastering. Other children and non-gymnasts do not have the skill and experience you do and may get seriously injured.
Have Fun, but Stay Safe
We love watching our students progress and learn new skills, but be careful. Follow the rules, use common sense and listen to that little voice inside your head. If it tells you not to try something, pay attention and wait to try it with a coach!