If you ask any young gymnast what they consider the most important aspect of their sport, they will probably say winning competitions. However, ask the coaches at Everest Gymnasts, and the answer will always be safety. Community Blog Online recently sat down with coaches from this Huntersville, North Carolina-based US National Team Training Center to find out more about safety on the mats.
Q: We appreciate you joining us today. With the Olympics just 14 months away, a lot of attention has been focused on gymnastics in the media. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.
Everest Gymnastics: We appreciate the opportunity. We have definitely seen an uptick in interest after Gabby Douglas made her big Olympic debut. This is great because gymnastics is an excellent sport that conditions both the mind and body. Plus, it’s fun and offers young athletes an opportunity to both socialize and learn how to trust members of their team.
Q: There’s no doubt about that, but the draw of winning a gold medal is pretty enticing, too. What does it take to become a successful gymnast?
Everest Gymnastics: First, it takes dedication. More than that, it requires a willingness to listen to your coaches. We all believe that safety is more important than success and that an uneventful class without an injury is far more valuable to our students than a sprained ankle during a competition.
Q: That’s an interesting perspective. Let’s talk about that. What advice do you give parents who are new to Everest Gymnastics and are concerned about safety? It is a very physical sport after all.
Everest Gymnastics: We start by encouraging them to find the right coach. Whether it is our facility or not, taking the time to tour the gym is an important part of the class selection process. Without the right people to teach your student, they won’t learn how to stay safe. They might be taught the moves, but without the safety aspects, it will all be for naught since the student will likely wind up with injuries more often than not.
Q: How long after an injury do you allow students back in class?
Everest Gymnastics: That depends on their doctor as well as the extent of the injury. Kids bounce back much faster than adults, but they are also more likely to want to ignore post-injury discomfort. We also recommend that athletes ease back into a routine and let their coaches know when something doesn’t feel right. Most of the coaches at Everest Gymnastics have competed themselves and understand how crucial a full recovery is.
Q: That’s a great way to look at it. Before we go, do you have any other advice for parents who are on the fence about enrolling their child?
Everest Gymnastics: I would say to give us a call and come take a look at our facility. Everest Gymnastics uses the most advanced equipment and safety gear available to athletes today. And we don’t reserve this just for our elite groups, students from 2-years-old and up are only taught moves that are appropriate for their age and on equipment that is sized right for their growing bodies and budding abilities.
Q: Thank you for your time today, you’ve given us a lot to think about. We look forward to speaking with you again in the future. To close, can you tell our readers how to find out more?
Everest Gymnastics: They are welcome to visit our website at Everest-Gym.com for more information or to see photos of our two locations, class schedules, and our current calendar of events.