Gymnastics is widely known as a sport which can benefit a person’s overall fitness, balance and strength along with assistance performance and growth in other sports.  But, many people don’t realise that by taking part in gymnastics sessions they can also gain many of the psychological and cognitive benefits improving the life of an individual.  These benefits include:

  • Self discipline and social interaction
  • A better understanding of physics
  • Better coordination, balance and flexibility
  • Improved concentration and mental focus

Self discipline

Gymnastics often offers special social experiences which can be difficult to find in other areas of life.  It creates the opportunity to experience good sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication and fair play.  This also requires perseverance and patience.  Gymnastics does teach people to work hard as its objectives can take years of hard work to complete.

Mental function

Participating in gymnastics obviously offers physical gains.  But it is also beneficial in improving mental focus and concentration which is an important aspect of most people’s lives.  Studies have shown that there there is a link between activity of the physical nature and cognitive function, especially in children.  Gymnastics covers a wide range of activities where mental application is important.

Starting from a young age, infants are encouraged to learn to how their body works and to build upon this understanding.  Using gymnastics equipment, this process allows quicker development.   When the body is trained to perform with and without static gymnast equipment, a child’s ability to improve their spatial awareness  is gains and control of their body can be attained.  Gymnastics gives children the opportunity to think for themselves and use their imagination to solve problems.

Child gymnasts can also improve their hand-eye coordination and also improve a range of their communication skills.  It can also provide chances for character development which can be difficult to find in other sports or physical activity.

Education

As someone progresses in a sport such as gymnastics, they will notice benefits such as higher self-motivation levels and better progression in other sports.  Their pursuit for success shows a better outlook on competition and an improved understanding of the importance of independent function and self reliance.

An interesting element of gymnastics activities is that a gymnast will experience a number of many different ways  of practice instead of just theory and ideas.  For example, scientists, discuss may discuss theories around momentum and inertia but gymnasts actually experience these theories so these experiences go much further than reading about them in a book or paper.  Quite recently, the National Science Foundation has been using gymnastics as a way of teaching fundamental physics such as this to students.