Gymnastics Playbook: Preparing the Child for a Competition and What to Expect

Gymnastics Playbook: Preparing the Child for a Competition and What to Expect. a girl doing gymnastics

Every parent wants their kid to be successful in school, sports, music, and life in general. Raising a child is no easy task, especially if the kid is talented and has the ambition to become a professional athlete. In that case, the task of guiding your kid to success is even greater. However, it is not impossible as many other parents of accomplished athletes and gymnastics champions have done it.

But before we elaborate on how to best support a child preparing for a gymnastics competition, we need to explain how a gymnastics competition works, what to expect from one, what is acceptable behavior and what not.

Things Parents Need to Know About Gymnastics Competitions

First of all, it is super important to be on time so that the child has the time to do all the warmup stretches. Afterward, the coach takes over the child and guides them through about what comes next. Parents can only cheer, record, and support. When you arrive at the gym, you can ask for a schedule and can check when your child is expected to perform.

It is not recommended to enter the competitive floor, talk to the judges or approach them, bother other gymnasts, click photos with the flash on, and heckle from the stands. During the performance, it is important to keep quiet and let the child concentrate on the task ahead. Afterward, it is up to the judges to value their performance. Judges start with a 10.0 base from which they deduct for execution, technique, form, and landing.

How to Prepare a Child for Top Results?

Don’t mix parenting with coaching

Even if you are the coach! Coaching stops at the gym and parenting starts at the house. Those two should never be mixed together as they will take their toll on the child. It is essential for the child to have a proper rest after a hard training session. That means both physical and emotional.

Gymnastics Playbook: Preparing the Child for a Competition and What to Expect. a coach with girls

First listen, then talk

Pay close attention to her or his emotional and physical health. Days and weeks before a competition, the training sessions will intensify. That’s a difficult period for any athlete, not just a child. During that period is all about providing support, in any way possible. If you can’t get a read on the child, then ask and see what’s going on. Ask for help if needed, and make sure he or she knows that it is you who are there for him/her. It is you who are part of his team, and not the other way around.

Maintain regular communication with the coach

How regular depends on the coach and how he likes to handle things. Brief checks are a great way to learn how things are progressing and if there is anything you as a parent can do to help.

Make the experience fun

Don’t draw the fun part of things. At the same time that doesn’t mean not working hard and devote. A child that loves what it does will work much harder and with more devotion than a child that is pushed into that. Getting a gymnastic bar for home will definitely help make the overall experience fun and interesting.

Gymnastics Playbook: Preparing the Child for a Competition and What to Expect. a smiling girl


For many gymnastic champions, it all started at an early age, in some local gym with supporting (but not pushy) parents. The recipe is simple. If the child loves training, doesn’t complain how hard it is, expresses genuine interest, be there for it, the results will surely follow.

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