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3 year old starting gymnastics in a very competitive club, tips for helping her at home

(19 Posts)
indiana7 Wed 18-May-16 08:02:20

Hi, my 3 year old is starting gymnastics at a very competitve club. For her confidence I'd like her to be able to be strong enough to join in properly. My husband just said lots of running & climbing which she does anyway is enough to get her ready but I'd like to know if theres any other fun stuff that would prepare the body strength & flexiblility wise(she is not at all flexible) She also does ballet.
We had an option of sending her to this very competitive club or a recreational club but we decided to go with the competitive club due to the facilities inc a trampoline a tumble track etc so she will have lots of fun.
Any tips for preparing my little gymnast will be greatly appreicated-she is so excited to start

VioletBam Wed 18-May-16 09:02:01

She is far too young to prepare in any other way than classes with good teachers.

You've arranged that so all you need to do is let her play and be 3. Her body is too young to train in a serious fashion at home.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 18-May-16 10:53:06

at 3 she shouldn't really be doing anything extra. Picking a good, well respected club with good facilities is the main thing, if they decide in the future she should do any conditioning at home as well then they will say so.

SavoyCabbage Wed 18-May-16 11:10:36

In a way, mine started at three. But the other children were three as well so there was no need to prepare them so they could keep up.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 18-May-16 12:05:16

Teach her to listen to instructions. My DD hated her club initially as all she wanted to do at 3 was bounce on the trampoline and wouldn't wait her turn. So the instructor was mean for not allowing a free for all.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 18-May-16 12:09:29

oh and just a word of caution, don't encourage stretching to increase flexibility unless it is under the guidance of the coaches, it can cause damage if done wrongly.

Mishaps Wed 18-May-16 12:17:42

Why are you putting her through this? Is it to keep up with other local children/parents? What can be going on in your head? This is a three year old FFS! - take her to the park and let her climb and race about poor child. The words "competitive" and "3 year old" should never appear in the same sentence.

Three year olds know how much they can manage when they are running, jumping, climbing. The last thing on earth they need is for their developing muscles and bones to be force-fed - what a disgrace!

These poor poor children having to be extensions of their parents' egos. I feel so sad for them. And starting this nonsense at three is beyond mad.

ReallyTired Wed 18-May-16 13:01:28

It sounds like you are doing all the right things. What will be will be. As your little girl gets older she will have her own ideas what she wants to do. It's incredibly competitive to get into gymnadtics squads and the level of dedication required is immense. Your little girl had to really want it rather than her mother wanting it.

TheSunHasGotItsHatOn Wed 18-May-16 13:14:20

My dd who is 10 started gymnastics at age 3, she did her first competition 3 days after her 4th birthday. Gymnastics is her life she dedicated and trains a minimum of 18 hours a week with extra hours added during competition season, it takes up all her spare time and mine! However she has won some major competitions so all her hard work and passion for the sport is paying off and I couldn't be more proud. I would say let her be 3 and enjoy herself the rest of the class will be similar in age and ability and it will comewith time.

dodobookends Wed 18-May-16 15:16:03

let her be 3 and enjoy herself

^ this

indiana7 Wed 18-May-16 21:39:30

Thank you for the replies, we are enjoying our 3 year old so much & we absolutely let her be 3.. I don't know what to expect in these classes & I don't want her to feel out of her depth or discouraged if she isn't strong or coordinated enough to do it... If a little boy was starting football I'm sure his parents would play & kick a ball with him, if a little girl was starting tennis or basket ball I am sure the parents would be able to hit a ball or shoot some hoops. I was just wondering if there was a gymnastics equivilant that's all. Some good comments thank you.
We are certainly not "disgrace" for wanting to support our child regarding an activity she is very excited to participate in & one in which we know nothing about. I posted as I know alot of the mums on this particular thread are mums of gymnasts & it seems to be the norm now to start at from age 3-5smile

ReallyTired Wed 18-May-16 21:48:25

I suggest you get a IKEA gym mat. It folds up and is good value.

She could practice forward rolls or later on practice her bridges or cartwheels. You could get a low level balance beam off eBay. A trampoline is good fun at this age if you have space.

Ilovewillow Wed 18-May-16 21:52:33

My son goes to gymnastics, he will be 3 in August! It is also a very good competitive club. They are all mixed ability due to down having been there longer than others and different ages (all pre-school)! They are learning the skills for future development but unbeknown to them, they are just having fun. Any activity at this age needs to be fun.

indiana7 Wed 18-May-16 22:45:38

Thanks for the tips really tired maybe Santa will bring them if she is still enjoying it by Christmas. She would absolutely love a trampoline. I love Willow that's good to hear, I'd say she will love it too, she is very active & loves to climb & dance, lives for her weekly little ballet class & has been asking to go to gymnastics for ages, I'll let it up to the (highly qualified) coaches so & she can teach me her new skillssmile

dodobookends Thu 19-May-16 09:46:55

Do you have a climbing frame - or room for one - in your garden, or is there one in a nearby park? It's all got to be about fun and exploring what their bodies are capable of at this age.

I think if she were 6 or 7 and you asked the same question, you'd probably have got very different replies, btw.

(I'm the mum of a ballet dancer who was definitely not gymnast material grin but who did gym as a tot)

howabout Thu 19-May-16 11:17:01

Highly recommend gym class for toddlers - mine has been going since she was 18 months. It is a club which has Olympic standard gymnasts. At toddler level it is completely play based and definitely no homework.

Lots of games and songs and they are all making friends. Look forward to her showing you seal push ups, starfish jumps and crab walking from her "visits to the beach". There is also a lot of competition to be the train captain / aeroplane pilot when moving around the apparatus.

ealingwestmum Thu 19-May-16 12:23:42

By all accounts you've got things covered well for your 3 year old OP, a reputable gym club will know exactly what's appropriate for growing 3 year olds' bodies!

My DD, now approaching 13 has always regretted not doing any gym early (did ballet from 4). She did not develop the confidence that her gym peers had that is often instilled early when they have no fear, but risk managed well within a good gym set up.


kitkat1968 Sun 05-Jun-16 23:05:17

It would not matter which club she was at at this stage- they will teach her the same things ( pre-school gymnastics) which ever club she is at.I am a L3 gymnastics coach, but teaching pre-schoolers requires a specialist qualification.They learn through games singing and stories a lot.There are BAGA pre-school badges and they will probably work towards these.
Gymnasts are not allowed to enter proper competitions until the year in which they turn 8,

sanam2010 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:13:21

my 3 year old has been doing gymnastics since 18 months at one of the best gymnastics clubs in the UK. Their preschool classes are very nurturing and fun, not competitive at all. They have great equipment, great lovely teachers and the kids all have lots of fun. So hopefully even if it is a competitive club, it is still very child friendly and all fun and games in your case as well.

As others have said, don't worry about gymnastics per se, lots of running / climbing outdoors, playgrounds is probably best. On many playgrounds you have balancing equipment, monkey bars etc. Later she will probably like to try cartwheels and handstands in the park (probably more when she is 5 or 6). From what I have seen so far, in the 3-4 year group they focus on jumping, balancing, hopping, skipping, forward rolls, really nothing special.

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