Gaining Independence, But It Takes a Village

Gymnastics overall is a sport that is performed independently. An athlete must focus on exactly what they are doing in order to achieve the completion of the skills they learn to master and have little dependency on what the other athletes do; they won’t get their Back Hip Circle if their peer doesn’t.

The amount of focus, though, needed to fly through the air, twist, leap, bend, hold, be inverted, stretch, fly backwards, and all the other amazing things gymnasts make their bodies do takes more than just the athlete alone.

To start, the parents/family members/care takers of the gymnast must provide all of the essentials with which to ensure the athlete can train. They provide the transportation, the healthy food for fuel, the equipment and wardrobe, the tuition for classes and private lessons. On an emotional level, they provide support and guidance to help overcome athletic and personal obstacles. Above all, they provide the powerful emotion of love. They want what’s best for their child(ren) and are willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy and healthy. They help clear the pathway so that the gymnast can perform to their full potential.

Second, the coaches provide the knowledge with which the gymnast can learn from. They provide time and energy preparing lessons so that the gymnast can develop a strong work ethic with the physical strength to perform the skills. They realize each gymnast learns differently, so extra time is spent brainstorming different ideas on how to teach the same skill. They provide feedback so the gymnast will know what they need to work on to progress. On an emotional level, they provide support and guidance to become the best athlete they can. Even though it’s through the sport, the confidence with which the athletes build in themselves; coaches know all too well it carries with them into who they are as an individual.

Third, the gymnasts’ peers provide a level of connection that is hard to create outside the common sport they share. A fellow gymnast understands the amount of work and dedication it demands from one’s body and time. A fellow gymnast should only promote positive and encouraging comments and attitudes because they know they need that themselves in order to succeed. In competitions, how well a team does together counts towards scores. Good scores = positive feelings of accomplishment.

In order for a gymnast to gain their independence and perform this sport to their full potential, it “takes a village.” While we’re celebrating the day our foundering fathers’ village gained our country’s independence; let’s also celebrate all involved who give our athletes the confidence and support they need to help gain their independence and prosper!

Happy Independence Holiday!