There’s good news and bad news. The role that you play in your child’s experience of rhythmic gymnastics can make or break their desire to do the work, go to the gym, and actively participate. And yes, it can feel a little overwhelming to realize the impact that you can have over their experiences.
Don’t worry. We’ve got some actionable tips and tricks for you here so that you can relax and enjoy your child’s enjoyment of this beautiful sport.
1. Be Early
Have you heard this one: “15 Minutes Early Is On Time; On Time Is Late; Late Is Unacceptable”? Let it sink in, and then take it deeply to heart. When it comes to everything from rehearsals to performances, you need to give your child the absolute best advantage. A young brain can take time to adjust to a different environment and get into the right frame of mind.
Those 15 minutes can make the difference between your child getting to relax and warm up properly, thereby stopping injuries and allowing them to enjoy their rhythmic gymnast experience.
2. Be Consistent
Young people typically work better with a consistent, understandable routine. So if you slack off on this, it can accidentally teach your child bad habits, and also make their experience less enjoyable. If you get into the habit of missing practices, your child isn’t just going to fall behind but they will feel more sensitive about not knowing the thing they are supposed to know. Don’t do it to yourself, or them!
3. Forget About Medals
If you start to prioritize winning over all else, you’re going to undo a lot of the benefits your child is learning through being a rhythmic gymnast. Young people are aware and understand deeply their place in a competition – you don’t need to drive that home. Instead, try to reduce their panic over winning, and allow them to love gymnastics for its own reasons.
4. Question Your Gymnast
If your child suddenly decides they don’t want to go to the gym, do the work, or go to rehearsals, make sure you know and understand why. Talk to their coach, and understand that sometimes a child may be going through something deeper = particularly if it becomes systematic. Work it out with them: they’ll thank you for it later.
5. Provide Motivation
There’s no-one who knows your child better than you do, and so use that to your (and their) advantage by motivating them and helping them along the way. Whether they respond to your presence at shows or going to the movies after training, show them that rhythmic gymnastics is fun and that their participation is rewarded.
6. Praise Them
Increasingly, positive motivation is being acknowledged as a powerful way to make sure that children stay on track. The coach’s job is to correct their athletic performance and position – they need you as their parent to provide the praise for trying to do better.