The First H.B.C.U. Gymnastics Team Is Aiming Even Higher By Tackling the Ultimate Goal
If you are old enough to remember before basketball, gymnastics was the only sport in which you had to be a certain height to compete.
And while that may seem silly to those of us who aren’t gymnasts, it does represent a very rare opportunity to have a sport specifically tailored to your needs.
What are the most pressing needs in gym classes?
Most sports have their own common practices and drills, but that’s not necessarily the best way to create a well-rounded athlete.
“You want them to have more skill and more balance, but also more strength on top of their skills,” said Kelly Patey, the director of the American Gymnastics League. “That is the ideal to have in your gym.”
That is why there is a common misconception that gym and football shares the same curriculum, which in general, is untrue. One of the keys to developing athletes in football is to keep them at a particular strength or speed, rather than trying to get them to reach their physical or mental goals.
“Gym is very similar,” Patey said. “The difference is if you are a sprinter or an athlete who is working out with a high velocity and not being able to hold it, then it is a very individualized sport.”
That’s the case for gymnasts, who need not be the same height and weight as football players in order to compete. It’s also not uncommon for gymnasts to spend their entire time working on their skills at a lower intensity than football players.
The way to help gymnastic athletes reach their highest performance potential begins with a simple question: What is the ultimate goal of my team?
“There are people who want to win the Olympics,” Patey said. “There are people who want to get to the national team. There are people who want just a little bit better. The answer to reaching your potential is to realize that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Those types of goals aren’t