Do you have a strong gymnastics family? Here's why it's a challenge.
Having a gymnast in your family can be fun but also intense and time-consuming! Everyone in the family enjoys it when your gymnast advances to a new level. And everyone in the family suffers when your athlete is injured or feels like they’ve failed.
We’re a gymnastics family ourselves - that’s how Snowflake Designs got started - so we understand the highs and lows of being a gymnastics family. We’ve got three generations who have been involved as gym moms and dads, athletes and coaches.
Read on to find out how to build your own strong gymnastics family:
Our family extends beyond our blood relations. We consider our employees, consultants and customers to be part of our family. Then we’re also part of the bigger U.S. and worldwide gymnastics family. Right now, that part of the gymnastics family is struggling - whether you follow the national competitions or not, it’s more important than ever that we, as athletes, gym moms or dads, and industry members help each other stay strong.
That’s why our theme here at Snowflake Designs this year is “STRENGTH.” You’ve seen that theme in these blog posts which are already some of our most popular ever:
These posts talk about the individual gymnast. Here’s what we’ve learned about keeping your entire gymnastics family strong.
A Strong Gymnastics Family Gets Everyone Involved
Gymnastics is one of the hardest sports that a young girl or boy can participate in. It can be even harder if your gymnast feels like they are the only one who cares or the only one who knows anything about their sport.
We probably don’t have to tell you this if you’re a typical gym mom or dad, but you want to learn about the sport and know what your gymnast is working on. Then, share that perspective with grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, and siblings. They probably don’t understand how important gymnastics is to your athlete. Share with them how the skills and strengths that your gymnast is developing will benefit them for life.
Invite friends and family to a meet or training session so they can see your gymnast in action and so they can see and meet other gymnastics families. You probably can’t stop your gymnast from showing family members their latest skills at the drop of a hat. Why not make it an official “talent show” or “demonstration” at the next gathering?
Encourage your gymnast to share what they’re doing with friends or younger or older siblings and teach some (safe!) gymnastics skills like handstands or forward and backward rolls.
Expand Your Family
Gym moms (and dads), we know you are a special kind of “good crazy.” But it’s a lot more fun if you have friends in that crazy boat with you! If you don’t have a relationship with other gym moms, who can you talk to about your leotards collection obsession or how much you worry about your gymnast?
Make a point of getting to know the other gym moms. They’re not your competition or rival… they’re your support group and the only other people who really, truly get you! Don’t neglect the gym dads. They might feel like an outsider or that they’re not welcome, so make a point to help and encourage them. A newly single dad has a lot to deal with and you could really make a difference to them and their gymnast.
Can’t find anyone at your level to talk to in your home gym? Get online to find your tribe. We’re big fans of the The Crazy Mamas of Gymnastics (and a couple Dads too!) group on Facebook.
Remember the Point
Finally, and most importantly, remember the reason you’re doing this. We all get caught up in the daily details. Everyone wants the best for their gymnast and who doesn’t want their gymnast to be the best in your gym, win gold at every meet, or even earn a spot on the Olympic team?
But for most gymnasts, it’s all about fun and building great skills that will benefit them for life. Gymnastics helps strong girls and boys become strong women and men … and have FUN doing it!
As a gym mom or dad, your job is to support your gymnast but also to ENJOY the experience. We all love stories about the parents who sacrifice every moment, mortgage their house and spend their life in the gym in support of their athlete who becomes world champion. But those success stories are few and far between. Don’t become a family who gives up everything, with a mom who resents all the time spent, and a gymnast feels like a failure because she didn’t deliver.
You’re doing this to enjoy the powerful sport of gymnastics, encourage your strong child, and be together as a family.
Thank you for letting us be part of your strong gymnastics family!