27 Don’ts for Parents of Gymnasts
(found on http://www.startsateight.com)
What should I bring to my meet?Someone from our gym found this article on the 27 Don’ts For Parents of Gymnasts
that they were kind enough to share with us. I am posting it here, first and foremost as a reminder to me, (and hopefully for other parents as well) to always be positive and supportive, and keep the long term goal of happy, productive adults in mind!
It was written by J. Howard, Professional gymnastics coach since 1980, Tumbling, Double mini and Trampoline coach since 1986, gymnastics author of 26 books, Gymnastics/Sports hypnotist, Coach of Gymnastics, Tumbling, Double-mini, Trampoline and Cheer-leading State, Regional, National, Jr. Olympic National, Jr. Elite National and Jr. World Age Group Champion medalists, commercial gymnastics web site designer, consultant and owner, gymnastics business consultant, Gymnastics staff trainer, Gymnastics equipment and facility layout designer, NCAA Division I cheer-leading coach for two years, Company CEO, business, business strategy and computer consultant. Enjoy…Gymnastics in and of itself is beneficial for gymnasts at all levels of participation. Here are 27 things parents of gymnasts should avoid doing so they don’t interfere with the positive benefits:
- Don’t compare your gymnast’s progress with that of other gymnasts.
- Don’t become overly ego-involved with your gymnast’s success or lack of it.
- Don’t take judge’s scores too seriously, especially at the lower levels.
- Don’t forget the need for fun in gymnastics.
- Don’t stand for unacceptable behavior from your gymnast during practice or competitions.
- Don’t participate in gossip about anyone in the gymnastics community.
- Don’t interfere with coaches and their coaching duties during practice or competitions.
- Don’t pressure your gymnast regarding skills or competition.
- Don’t set unrealistic goals for your gymnast.
- Don’t predicate your love or attention on your gymnast’s competitive success.
- Don’t base your own ego or self-esteem on the success of your gymnast’s progress or competitive success.
- Don’t lose your long-term perspective about the importance of your gymnast’s participation in the sport.
- Don’t let yourself care too deeply about your gymnast’s competition results.
- Don’t undercut your gymnast’s confidence in their coaches or coaching.
- Don’t show any negative emotions while watching your gymnast practice or compete.
- Don’t try to make your gymnast talk with you immediately after a gymnastics meet, especially if they performed poorly.
- Don’t do or say anything to make your child feel guilty for the time and money you are spending on their gymnastics or any sacrifices you feel are making for them to participate in the sport.
- Don’t badmouth your gymnast’s coaches, your gym or other gymnasts in front of your gymnast.
- Don’t attempt to coach your gymnast yourself.
- Don’t alienate your gymnast’s coaches.
- Don’t predicate your support for your gymnast’s participation in the sport on any expectation of a monetary return like receiving a college scholarship.
- Don’t try to recreate your own career or live out your own sports dreams through your gymnast.
- Don’t do anything to make enemies with other gymnast’s parents.
- Don’t expect anything more from your gymnast except their best effort.
- Don’t ever do or say anything that will cause your gymnast to think less of you.
- Don’t use sarcasm, threaten or use fear to try to motivate your gymnast.
- Don’t expect anything more from gymnastics than physical fitness, life skills and fun for your gymnast.
What should I bring?
- Cash- You will have to pay admission to the gymnastics meet (Avg $10 per adult). You might also want to buy a program or concessions from the concession stand. Also, most meets have vendors that sell leos, tshirts and other miscellaneous gymnastics items. Don’t forget about the “shout-outs” and raffle tickets.
- Camera- You will be able to take pictures and videos BUT THE FLASH MUST BE OFF.
- Stadium Seat- Gymnastics meets are known for being long, usually 3-4 hours depending on how many gymnasts are in the session. Most meets have bleachers for seats, so a stadium seat or cushion might make you more comfortable!
- Healthy Snack for Gymnast- Because gymnastics meets are long you might want to bring a healthy snack along for your gymnast and a bottle of water. When the meet is over and he/she doesn’t have to wait to eat something, they will thank you! Many parents bring carrot sticks, a granola bar or fruit snacks.
What should I wear?
Arrive ready to compete:
- Wear Competition Leo or uniform
- Warm Up Suits are needed for walk-in & awards
- Have hair pulled back off face in ponytail or bun – preferably no bobby pins
- Extra hair bands, hair ties, scrunchies, etc.
- No nail polish
- No jewelry
- BRING GRIPS – if needed
- IGC Bag
What time should I arrive?
Your child’s coach will tell you what time to arrive, but here’s an idea of what your day might look like. First, Open Stretch. This is when the gymnasts start stretching on the floor, followed by Timed Warm-Ups, when they warm-up. Finally, March In is when the national anthem is played and the teams are introduced. Then the actual gymnastics meet will then take place, followed by awards. The gymnasts will need to be there at least 30 minutes early to check in. They won’t start competing until after March In. So any grandparents or other relatives don’t need to arrive at the meet until March In time.
Can I cheer for my child?
It’s definitely OK and encouraged for you to cheer for your gymnast and all their teammates. You can shout words of encouragement while they are standing waiting for the judge to acknowledge her before their routine starts. Then you can cheer after they finish a major element and at the end of the routine. But don’t cheer while they are in the middle of a hard skill—you don’t want to distract them.
Competition etiquette will help spectators enjoy the gymnastics meet while maintaining a safe environment for spectators, gymnasts, coaches, and judges. The meet is set up for the benefit and the safety of the competing gymnasts. Here are some general rules you should follow as a spectator at a meet:
Spectators are not allowed on the floor and/or in the competition area.
You cannot stand on the competition floor to video record or take photos.
Spectators shall not disturb the order of the meet, its competitors and its officials.
At no time will any parent approach or speak to any meet official or judge. Any problems should be directed to your Team Coach only.
Your child should not leave the competition floor once the meet has started to please make sure they have everything they need in their bag.
In case of an injury, the coaches and first aid staff will thoroughly check your child and if needed, you will be called over or they will come and get you.