Gymnastics And Giftedness

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Is there a strong correlation between academic giftedness and talent or success in the sport? Or are there gifted traits that might actually hinder or become an obstacle when coaching a young talented gymnast? Does anyone have any experience or know someone who has had both a "gifted" and "talented" gymnast?

I would imagine that keeping them challenged and motivated would be a challenge. Also I would say they could get bored rather quickly with all the repetition that is required in this sport and tend not to worry too much on perfecting the skill but on moving on to more challenging skills.

Any ideas?suggestions?stories? I'd like to hear anything pertaining to this.
To be blunt:

Gymnasts have to be smart or they don't last very long.

Some are "ditsy", but most get good grades, and those who don't usually put extra effort into school to maintain a "B" average.

Gymnastics is inherently challenging. Smart kids don't get bored. Boring kids who look to the world to entertain them get bored. The only other kids who get bored are the ones who do gymnastics for all the wrong reasons.
Gymnasts tend to be dedicated with school work because obviously we know how to focus. I think taking a test is a little easier then flipping on a 4 inch piece of wood......
My dd is in the gifted program at school. I think there is a certain personality that these kids have to get to a higher level at gymnastics (as many have mentioned in other threads - talent alone is not enough). Those same traits make them strive to do well in school also. If you notice, once you get into the higher compulsory levels and optionals, most of the girls have very similar character traits. My dd loves to be challenged - which is why she loves gymnastics - it never gets boring - there is always something that can be improved upon, learned, etc.
My daughter is also in a gifted program, and I do think some of the personality traits that often accompany giftedness translate well to gymnastics. Independent, strong-willed, focused, determined, etc. (read "difficult child"). Other moms at the gym report similar traits for their daughters, though I do not believe the majority are academically gifted (though most do well in school). I also see these traits in gifted kids. My least favorite responsibility as a mom is chaperoning gifted class field trips- a whole class of like-minded kids, each one wanting to run the show!
We do not have gifted programmes here in Quebec, they believe in inclusivity, so all types in every classroom. ( I think it sucks really, but I do not write the curriculum)

I see in our gym the girls that do the best and stick with the programme are the bright kids. The ones who are top of the class, are A students and love to learn.

SO I would agree, based on my experiences, that most "good" gymnasts tend to be very academically inclined.

More than this though I see that they are capable of compartmentalizing their lives, and are able to manage school and long training hours very well.
Both of my daughters are gifted the eldest is a gymnast her perfectionistic traits and need to be challenged are well matched for gymnastics however her coach told me that gifted gymnast are the most difficult to coach. My younger daughter is a dancer which is also a good fit. They both have high levels of persaverance.
There is a similar discussion in another forum right now. I totally agree that brighter children stay in the sport longer, however I strongly believe its a 2-way street. The discipline they learn in the gym carries over into the classroom. They know what needs to be done, when it needs to be done...and they do it. They don't have the luxury of waiting until the last minute to work on a project like their friends. This will become more apparent as the girls get older. I know personally, gymnastics has made my dd a better student.
I totally agree with gymnastmom96! I think gymnastics is the reason i succeed in school and same with other gymnasts. It teaches you so many things that help you do well in school like: dedication, discipline, how to set goals and achieve them, good work ethics, and like gymnastmom96 said, you have to learn to organize your time because you have to be at training for many hours a week. Unlike other kids you can't procrastinate.
Another vote here for gymnastics and school work going hand in hand. My dd was never a star student in the lower grades, but as the work has gotten tougher, and the practices longer, her grades have gone way up. I believe it is a combination of the desire to stay in gymnastics, grades come first. And the dedication that she has learned in gymnastics, carrying through to her studies.

I was woried in the lower grades because I knew from experience that homework would get tougher as we went forward. My dd attends a private school which is doing work two years ahead of the public schools in the area. After 8th grade she will join the public school system, as we do not have a private school in the area, and I see no way to get her to a private school 45 minutes from the gym and still make it to gymnastics. Thankfully my cousins have taken the same track, and have done well in both high school and college. And at the high school she will be able to go into the gifted program which will keep her learning at the same level.

Our children deserve to be admired for the dedication that they put into their gymnastics and school "careers". Not that I don't let her know when I think she could do better, but for the most part I am in awe of what my 12 year old can accomplish. Now if I could only get her to clean her room.......

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