Are you the parent of a young gymnast? Are you venturing from rec to pre-team and wondering what in the world you are getting your child (and your family!) into? These 10 websites are the new gymnast family’s must view to help you find your way through this sport.
10 Websites for Parents of Young Gymnasts
- USAG – Get to know what group your gym competes through and follow the national and local pages to see what’s going on. But, trust that the gym you’ve chosen has your child on the right path! Do you know the difference between JO, AAU and XCel?
- Chalk Bucket – This is a really a forum, but parents join this site, discuss everything from Olympics and various skills, to how to not being an overbearing gym parents. Note, use a non-descriptive user name, the gym world is small!
- Youtube – Okay, yes, this isn’t a real single website, but there are some really popular youtube channels that will help you know what it means when the coach mentions a skill name! A few users are Seven Gymnastics Girls, Whitney B, Bratayley and FIG.
- Gymnastics Progressions – They offer small tips on their Facebook pages (teasers really), but offer low-cost tutorials that young gymnasts can feel inspired by!
- Zulily and affiliate Amazon – In the first classes 2/3 of the girls will be wearing the exact same leotard, and once your child is going for more than an hour a week, you’ll need a back up leotard, so these websites can be your saving grace for something unique. They can also help you find floor beams and cartwheel mats to help keep your kid safe when trying things at home (with coaches’ permission!)
- Your child’s gym’s website and facebook page! Really, have it bookmarked so that you know when special events are happening, the coaches names (the one with a ponytail isn’t really the answer is someone asks who your child’s coach is!)
- Federation fo International Gymnastics – This is really more about the international scene, but they have unique articles and you can learn things like 41 isn’t too late to be an Olympic Gymnast! WOW, right?!
- Gymnastics Coaching – While not the prettiest site (I have some not so nice ones too, that really need updating, so I’m not judging, just informing), this site has updates pretty often as to what is going on in the sport, and gymnastics can really become consuming when you jump from rec to preteam and then team!
- Jag Gym Blog – This is a must-read blog, and I specifically want to look at one article: A dangerous dozen. I really think parents of any young athlete should read this!
- Once your child starts competing, or if you want to see how athletes do from your gym (as well as other gyms), then there are a few websites to look at, including Meet Scores Online and My MeetScores. It is annoying, but sometimes meets do not update scores often, and sometimes not at all!
Gymnastics can be a beautiful sport, and it really does take getting into at a young age, so it is important for parents to know what their kid is getting into and how fast it can progress early on. Be realistic though, and if your kid loves the sport, enjoys working hard and understands that they won’t always be the best, then this sport can really bring something to them.
Watching Team USA gymnastics
As an American, I’m following the road to Rio with Team USA, but since my husband is Indian, I’m also following the journey of Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian to make it to the Olympics for gymnastics! But, don’t assume bacause your 3 year old can do the splits and a kick over that they’ll make the Olympic team. After all, the teams keep getting smaller, and the competition is getting more fierece. Instead, realize that there is a lot a child can learn from when being a competitive athlete early on.