By Terri Laymon
Gymnastics is hard! No one can dispute how much physical and mental assertion is required to be a good gymnast; even more so if you want to be great! All the hours of practice, long and tough workouts, and mental acuity not only to win competitions and awards, but this also teaches life lessons that help defines what type of person you become as an adult. Life lessons learned along the tough road of a gymnast would include: responsibility, discipline, strong mentality, respect, and dedication.
Gymnasts are some of the most responsible people I know. They need to learn to be on time to practice and meets and have all the necessary items needed for practice and competitions. They know what is needed and where they should be at any given moment. This attribute carries over to school and work where they can be counted on to always do well.
Discipline follows right along with responsibility. Every gymnast knows that when they walk into the gym every day that they have only so much time to accomplish an overwhelming amount of tasks. A gymnast is disciplined enough to manage time well. This also includes time for chores, homework, and rest. These girls are focused on what they want and they are willing to forgo the extracurricular activities with friends outside of the gym in order to train seriously.
Practice for a gymnast can be brutal. It is important to have a strong mentality to overcome any emotional letdown from not always having a perfect practice. With coaches yelling corrections constantly, a normal person would soon feel discouraged and want to just give up. But, not a gymnast…they have a tough mentality that helps them to pick themselves back up and try yet one more time!
A gymnast is also full of respect for their coaches, their parents, and other gymnasts that they compete with and against. They know what it takes from all to achieve the level of gymnastics that they are at. This carries outside the gym to school, work, and home.
Dedication is such a strong skill that a gymnast learns. The workouts can be brutal. The practices can be long. The strains, sprains, broken bones, and other injuries are hard to endure. Yet, a gymnast will be dedicated enough to hang tough; they finish the practices, and work though the injuries. Dedication is a requirement!
The life skills learned by a gymnast are essential in building strong friendships with other girls and learning to work together as a team unit. Teamwork teaches the girls to work with others to achieve success. Success is the ultimate goal for every gymnast; success as a gymnast, success as a student, success in the workplace, and success in life.
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