For children of all ages – boys as well as girls – gymnastics can be a great way to develop all kinds of physical, mental and life skills. It can also be an awful lot of fun and a great way for kids to socialize in a safer environment. Unfortunately some parents are put off the idea of enrolling their kids in a gymnastics class and encouraging them to take the sport seriously because, over the years, gymnastics has developed a reputation as a rather expensive sport.
Is gymnastics cheap? Not exactly, especially if you want – which you should – your child taught in a safe environment by qualified, caring and experienced coaches. Before you dismiss the sport as too much of a strain on your tight budget though take a look at some of the ways you can cut the costs that can make it a little pricey, most of which are incidental and not directly tied to the cost of tuition:
Saving on Basics
A leotard is a gymnastics must have and most kids will need more than one. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a good one though. As long as a garment fits, is made of a durable material and is properly taken care of there is no need to pay extra for ‘brand names’ over well made ‘generic options’ and a still in great shape hand me down is another economical option as well (check the local consignment or thrift store or with older cousins to find these!)
Cut Travel Costs
Many gymnasts progressing in the sport will not only need to be transported to and from classes and practices but to and from meets as well. And, to be fair, this can get expensive, especially in terms of gas costs and those take outs that seem like a must when you are faced with a tired, hungry gymnast who is quickly becoming a ‘hangry’ handful.
To save on gas consider car-pooling with other kids and their parents. This can also be a great way to help young gymnasts stay grounded and confident before a meet, as hanging out with their teammates and friends is a great way to relieve stress and keep nerves at bay. And to avoid the costs of the drive thru get into the habit of packing plenty of (healthy) snacks and drinks at home and bringing them along for the ride picnic style. Not only should this prove to be the more inexpensive option but the healthier one as well.
Get the Whole Family Involved
Many gyms (including our own) offer discounts when kids take multiple classes or when siblings are enrolled at the same facility. So, if you have a younger child who seems to get a kick out of watching their older brother and sister out in the gym encourage them to stop watching and get involved. Kids as young as 3 or 4 can take gymnastics classes and even adults can enjoy some great dance classes at Integrity so the whole family can get involved.
See the Value of the Investment
Gymnastics classes are, in many ways, an investment in your kid’s future. Even if they do not go on to serious, competitive gymnastics the sport offers a myriad of benefits for young athletes of all ages and some of the lessons learned in the gym will benefit them for life. Therefore it’s fair to say gymnastics can be a great investment in your kid and their future and that is something, as every parent knows, is very hard to put a price on.
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