How Gymnastics helps your child succeed in school (Backed by Harvard Research)
Harvard School of Education released findings on their latest research project, and they could have simply titled it “Why Your Child Should do Gymnastics if You Want Them to Develop the Kind of Character That Helps Them Succeed at School.”
Okay, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…but it cuts to the core of what children need to succeed in school and why gymnastics is the perfect place to develop it. The study involved 4,000 UK teenagers which examined the characteristics that best predicted a student’s future academic success and that characteristic is…
Grit, which was defined as having determination, courage, persistence and a ‘growth mindset’, was a better predictor than intelligence in predicting which children succeeded in the classroom.
Gymnastics develops determination.
Determination is that quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult. Simply watch a beginning gymnast learn a cartwheel or a pullover, and you are seeing determination in action!
Gymnastics cultivates courage.
Tumbling across a 4 inch wide beam? Running full speed at a standing object and then jumping (or flipping!) over it? Gymnasts routinely make the choice to confront discomfort, fear and to do the right thing. All hallmarks of courage.
Gymnastics plans persistence.
Fall seven times, get up eight is a Japanese proverb turned gymnasts’ motto. Developing that quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult…that is not only the definition of persistence but is practically the definition of gymnastics practice.
Gymnastics garners a growth mindset.
It’s practically impossible to not have a growth mindset, the belief that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work and be a gymnast. Otherwise, why would a gymnast practice? Turns out that a growth mindset helps create a love of learning and a resilience essential to great accomplishments. Ever met a gymnast who didn’t love to learn new things or who accomplished something without having to rise in the face of difficulty or after a set back? Me neither.