MAG Your Son Does What? (Gymnastics for Boys)

Men's Artistic Gymnastics

JBS

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Thanks to Jen Kula for another great article. You can see the article at the link below...


Excellent article... I have a son in gymnastics.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,444
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Tell us your Son's journey through gymnastics!
 

Cheryl

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Feb 28, 2018
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USA
Thanks so much. Spot on. My son started gymnastics at 8 because he was jumping off couches, doing headstands and splits and way flexible, so I signed him up for lessons. He loved it, and after a year joined pre team, and then at 10 did Level 4, so a late starter. I am always surprised at the physicality of gymnastics. He did soccer for a while, and some track, and the wrestling coach was his gym teacher and tried to recruit him for wrestling.

We’ve also had the issue of gym being perceived as a girls sport, and some of the boys have had some homophobic slurs. When the boys were younger every year the coaches gave a pep talk about how much mental and physical effort it demanded. But my son was still very hesitant to share he was a gymnast in the early grades because of the girly image the sport has. Now he’s 16, and his friends know, and since half his wardrobe is meet shirts, it is out.

One of the issues I’ve had with the sport is that for boys, the USAG rules change pretty drastically every 4 years, and those rules, especially the upper age level limits, don’t often encourage boys to stick with it and make it especially difficult for boys to do it as a second sport. The previous parameters limited Level 8 to 12 year olds, Level 9 to 14, which ended up washing lots of boys out of the system, if their gym didn’t have JD… and even JD was a mess. There also isn’t much to do in gymnastics post HS, very few college teams, I don’t know about club.

Also because gymnastics isn’t a popular sport for boys, it’s really hard to sustain it for gyms. Most boys the entire team is maybe 30 boys. My son is having a really hard time this year because out of his practice group of 7, 4 boys quit, and since they were good friends, he is missing the social aspect. Out of the 12 boys he started with in Level 4, he’s the only one left, and our current Level 4 squad is only 5 boys, so not only is retention hard, but so is building a program.
 
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