Most young people started in their respective sports because of their parent or guardian’s influence. The starting point of a parent taking a child to a sport session can lead to them enjoying it and returning or trying out a few sports until they find the one that suits them. Even in these first steps the process is not straightforward.
Parent’s perspective: Why did your child start gymnastics?
As a parent it can be helpful to take a moment and reflect on why you wanted your child to start:
It is a sport that you loved as a child, and you want them to have the same experience that you did.
You want them to be a Commonwealth or Olympic Gymnast.
You looked at local sports clubs, and gymnastics offered the most convenient options to get them active.
They were full of energy at a young age so you took them to pre-school classes to burn off that energy
Your child struggles with confidence so you thought a group activity would help them
Parent's perspective: Why does your child continue gymnastics?
The responses to this question can vary from the parents point of view to the child’s point of view, here are some examples:
Child - I enjoy it and love being around my friends.
Parent - They were actually quite good so we thought we would keep it going and see how far they get.
Child - I love challenging myself to learn new skills (even though I get nervous)
Parent - The club has become a family for us now so we feel like we would be lost without it.
As a parent take a moment to reflect on these and come up with your answers to the 2 questions. You may then find it helpful to combine this with some understanding of your child’s current goals in the sport.
Child’s perspective: Why do you do gymnastics?
Take a moment to sit down with your child and explore their why. Ask them why they do gymnastics. This may be a challenging conversation initially if it is something that you or your child aren’t used to doing. But as you keep coming back to this question you will see how the why can progress and develop as we get a bit older and our journey in sport progresses.
Child’s perspective: What are your goals in gymnastics?
Here we can discuss with them what they are currently working on, this can progress in to understanding their short term goals. You may also like to explore some medium and long term goals to understand how much they are thinking ahead or whether they are just focused on the short term.
Changes in goals will occur! This is one of the main things that we need to learn around the world of sport. We can be on track for a certain goal but then we experience a setback which impacts that goal. This isn’t to say that you won’t be able to achieve it (although we know that sometimes is the case), but we do know that we may need to adjust our time frames or the processes to get there when this happens. This is why it is important to explore these conversations between parents and children on a regular basis.