Gymnastics is a sport that has become extremely competitive for very young athletes. That is why parents have the necessity to be involved in nurturing, encouraging and caring for them. Coaches train our kids in what they know best….gymnastics. But we have a major role to play in their emotional and health well being.
Emotionally, we need to constantly motivate them to follow their coaches instructions, to stretch, to condition, to train hard, and remind them of the results of doing such things consistently. Praise them every time they conquer a new skill, show them to enjoy every milestone they reach, encourage them when they are struggling trough one. Talk to them, ask them how their workout went, keep an open line of communication, let them know that you are in this with them, that it matters to you too.
The nutrition requirements in this sport are very demanding, so we need to research, learn and provide them with such type of nutrition. Watch closely if your child looks, or comments that he or she is tired at all times, or if they are very prone to injuries. That is a sign that they are not getting the proper nutrition and hydration. Sugars, foods and drinks, prepared with high contents of sugar should be avoided. (See this link Sugar, friend or foe?).
They need to consume high quality protein found in eggs, chicken breast, fish, protein, shakes and bars for snacks (watch their content, read the labels). Vegetables, seeds and grains provide them with the wholesomeness of nature with vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and life giving macro-nutrients. The list goes on.
Last but not least they need to stay hydrated in and out of the gym.
Yes, you can! Don’t be overwhelmed, ask your child coaches, read, learn, research and make the necessary changes, and you will see your young ones thrive even more.