Gymnastics

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Board of Instructors:

Kimberly Elliott, Women’s Director
Shannon Griffing, Men’s Director

Background of Sokol Gymnastics
The founder of the Sokol movement was Myroslav Tyrs, a doctor of philosophy and professor at St. Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, at the time a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In an atmosphere of rising nationalism sweeping across Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century, Tyrs foresaw the need for his nation to prepare for self-governance, in order for the nation to be truly democratic and free. Tyrs, an ardent student of the ancient Greeks, concluded that in order for self-governance to be effective, the citizens must be physically fit and morally strong. Tyrs resolved that moral and physical fitness could be best accomplished through a well-planned systematic gymnastics program.

Gymnastics is used here in the broad sense of the word, referring to all types of athletics, designed to benefit every participant, regardless of age or ability. The Sokol system places great emphasis on performance, with the fundamental principle being that the individual’s contribution to the whole is paramount to the success of the individual. This explains the great importance placed upon group calisthenics in the Sokol system of gymnastics. It is through low-impact, aerobic types of exercises, that individual development is fostered and in turn, that a person’s contribution to the whole is begun. Athletic competitions and group exhibitions are held to showcase the many talents of its members.

Benefits of Participation in Gymnastics Programs 
ALL children benefit from classes and participation in gymnastics. The areas listed below are a small sampling of the actual benefits of gymnastics activities. You have done a terrific job of parenting by getting your child interested in this educational sport. Gymnastics programs are not solely about creating gymnasts. Many of the benefits of gymnastics are NOT related to learning actual gymnastics skills, but are instead related to important developmental areas that will help your child become a better student and young adult. ALL children, regardless of ability, should stay in gymnastics for 3 – 5 years, if not longer, to get the full benefit of what gymnastics teaches.

Self-Confidence 
Through the challenge of learning gymnastics skills, the students gain confidence with each step they take. Learning skills on the beams and bars, for example, helps them gain confidence in their own abilities. This improved self-confidence will transfer to other areas of their lives, including school.

Coordination 
Gymnastics instruction helps develop better coordination and body movement. For the young child, a great deal of their self-confidence comes from how coordinated they are because their “world” is so physical rather than mental.

Flexibility 
Participation in gymnastics helps athletes become more flexible. Most sports, including baseball, basketball, football, cheerleading, tennis, and many others require flexibility in their athletes. Gymnastics builds flexibility better than any other sport and helps limit future injuries.

Fitness 
In today’s society, struggling with obesity, fitness is CRITICAL to the current and future health of our children. Gymnastics classes are full of activities that will make your child more fit and help keep them healthy. You have them in the right place if fitness is important to you and your family.

Strength Development 
Moving and lifting their bodies during gymnastics activities helps build leg and upper body strength. This contributes to their success in other sports, as well as every day activities. Do you want a strong child? You have them in the right place.

Body Awareness

Children must learn how to move their body to successfully complete a skill. Gymnastics teaches children to control many parts of their bodies at the same time. Having good body awareness is helpful in throwing a ball, since during a throw; a child must move her feet, hands, arms, and hips, all in the correct sequence!

Politeness 
Our teachers are expected to demonstrate politeness in the way they treat their students and the students are expected to do the same to the teachers and class mates.

Discipline 
Our instructors strive to provide structured, controlled learning environments, with rules that are to be respected at all times. This sense of structure contributes to boundary-acceptance and self-discipline later in life, as well as within the classroom.

Determination 
Some gymnastics skills are difficult to master, teaching children the importance of continuing to work hard even when things are tough.

Work Ethic 
Gymnastics is a tough sport, whose skills must be learned. The hard work and dedication it takes to master these skills shows them that the more they work, the more they learn. This discipline contributes directly to a strong work ethic later in life.

Social Skills 
Especially for the younger children, gymnastics provides a weekly chance to learn social skills like listening and following directions, taking turns, being quiet, respecting others and appropriate interaction with other participants. The gymnastics teachers work hard to provide a balanced social environment while teaching skills at the same time.

Overcoming Fears 
Some parts of gymnastics are very challenging. We think that this is good training for all kids, as they need to be challenged when they’re young. The key is that we set forth “attainable challenges” so they are successful the majority of the time. To face a challenge, maybe with a little fear, and then to accomplish the challenge is a wonderful part of gymnastics classes and it happens all the time.

Learning To Perform In Front Of People 
What a terrific, sometimes overlooked, benefit of gymnastics. Gymnastics classes have the students perform their skills in front of other students, helping them feel comfortable with peer evaluation and self-confidence. Gymnastics students tend to be more eager to volunteer to do things in front of their classmates at school, opening up doors to public speaking later in life.

Non “Star” Athletes 
Some children do not have the skills to be a “star” athlete in any sport. But in gymnastics we can control their progress and challenges. EVERY child can benefit from gymnastics. Those who are challenged or disabled in anyway, regardless of the severity, can find success with our terrific, caring gymnastics teachers.

Caring Teachers 
Our gymnastics teachers care about EVERY student regardless of their potential. We KNOW that every child can learn a great deal by being involved in this incredible sport. Every child is important in our gymnastics classes and we would love for your child to be a part of our organization.