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“Gymnastics taught me everything- life lessons, responsibility and discipline and respect,” says Shawn Johnson, 2008 Beijing Olympics All Around Gold Medalist. A hotly debated issue is whether or not competitive sports are beneficial for children and teens. (This, though, will focus solely on gymnastics.) However, research shows gymnastics is a perfectly healthy sport which teaches life skills such as time management, sportsmanship, and healthy habits.
First, gymnastics teaches time management. For instance, gymnasts have long practice hours. According to Gymnasticscoaching.com and research surveys, these are the average practice times per level: “Level 4 – 6 hours a week = 3 days x 2 hours; Level 5 – 8.75 hrs a week; Level 6 – 11 hours …show more content…
The Red Heart Invitational (hosted by Bay Aerials Gymnastics in Fremont) and the Delta Classic Gymnastics Invitational (hosted by Champion’s Gymnastics Academy) only guarantees medals from 1 to 10th place, maybe lower if there are ties. When I competed there, there were about 25 to 30 other gymnasts. When you do the math, not everyone recieved a medal, let alone in each event (vault, beam, bars, floor)! When gymnasts see each others place better than them, they will understand not everyone wins in everything and then will learn to control their jealousy. This teaches young gymnasts that you won’t be the best every time, yet it is acceptable and expected to be proud of yourself. Also, children are most likely not to throw tantrums at the medal ceremony, seeing as they are representing their gym. Likewise, it is customary to shake hands on the podium- both who you beat and who beat you. As a result, gymnasts develop a good attitude and are taught to put wins in perspective. Although some people might have a different opinion, gymnasts actually won’t get a large ego from winning. Sure, a gymnast might have won at the competition the weekend before, but the coach is still going to make him/her do the same amount of conditioning as the others! Also, someone just can’t get first all the time, so he/she will be seeing others place better than him/her- therefore, gymnasts will realize they can’t win every time (really true in real life!). …show more content…
In fact, Christopher Bergland stresses that being active as children will lead to being healthy adults, as well as having lifelong habits of working out. Gymnasts definitely are active, as seen in the practice hours mentioned in the first paragraph. In gymnastics, flipping around requires muscle, flexibility, and strength; qualities that are easily transferable to other sports as well. Rita Wieber, the mother of Jordyn Wieber, says nutrition is very important for a gymnast. “Eat what she needs to perform at her best...be as healthy as possible,” she writes. Gymnasts usually do their sport until their mid-teens...being told about eating healthy will have a lasting impact on them. On the contrary, doctors and parents argue that because of the nature of gymnastics, gymnasts are susceptible to eating disorders. Actually, gymnasts who get eating disorders are most likely nagged by the coach to lose weight and become stronger. If the coach is verbally abusive and crude, should the gymnast even be training under them? Probably not! Anyways, gymnasts are not likely to be affected by anorexia, bulimia, and the like because gymnastics enriches confidence. Think about it- on beam, gymnasts are flipping on a four feet high, four inches wide piece of wood in front of judges. They put in their hardest work to get the best score possible, and they know it. Furthermore, healthy habits are just a few of the life skills

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