More Than Just Cartwheels
Why I love being a gymnastics coach for kids
I get asked all the time. “Why do you teach gymnastics?” “How’d you get in to that?” “What’s the best part about your job?”
Well, let me set the record straight once and for all – there are just about five million reasons why I love teaching gymnastics to kids. And I could sit down and type out as many of them here as I could get my fingers to write down but, in the end, it all boils down to one thing: a cartwheel is SO MUCH more than just a cartwheel.
A handstand is so much more than just a handstand.
You see, my job description states that I teach gymnastics. And the kids think I’m teaching them gymnastics. And their parents think I’m teaching their kids gymnastics. Even my own mother thinks I “just teach gymnastics” for a living. But here’s the kicker folks: I am teaching WAY more than just gymnastics.
I am teaching each and every child that walks through those doors that they ARE special and unique, that they CAN do amazing and inspiring things. That with a little effort and lots of encouragement, they can accomplish ANYTHING they set their minds to.
Sure, I’m teaching them all how to stand on their hands and flip through the air, but I’m also teaching them what it means to persevere, even when things seem out of reach. I’m teaching them to be confident in their abilities and proud of their accomplishments, as well as what it means to be disciplined and respectful.
And I end each lesson with a satisfying sense of knowing….here I am pretending I’m only there to teach gymnastics….and the kids have NO idea!
They haven’t a clue that with each passing week they become more confident and outspoken. That in between each cartwheel and tuck jump, they are learning some pretty valuable life lessons.
But I can see it.
I can see these little mini-transformations in every single class.
I can see it in the smiles of the children after they do their backward
roll for the first time all on their own.
I can see it in the looks of joy the kids get on their faces when their name gets called to receive their Grading Certificate of Achievement.
I can see it when they run up to me at the beginning of class to exclaim that they’ve been practicing their handstands against the wall at home and they really think they’ve improved.
The kids can’t always see it.
They’re having way too much fun in their gymnastics class to realize.
But with every single high five I give out and every single smile I see in my classes I know I’m making that much more of a difference in the lives of all the wonderful kids I get to teach.
And THAT is my true job description.
They all might think of me as just the gymnastics teacher, but I know that each cartwheel I teach is so very much more than “just” a cartwheel.