What to know when your child is starting gymnastics

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What to know when your child is starting gymnastics

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I think the most important thing in gymnastics is to start your child young because it's such a sport where you have to learn so many different difficult skills that you have to begin early. And so, I actually started Gabrielle late and so, she was sort of at a a small disadvantage, but in the end it all worked out. To keep her safe I really just encouraged her to listen to her coach and to have confidence in herself. That was the most important thing, is to believe that you can do it and try not to fear because as you know they do a lot of death-defying stunts in gymnastics. You can't let fear get to you. I actually saw a lot of moms start the Mom and Me class where they bring their 13-month or 18-month-old in, so that's a beautiful age to start because it helps them with coordination and it helps them to have a social setting where they're getting to interact with other kids and they just don't do any difficult skills. They bounce on the trampoline and learn to walk on the beam. So, it's really good, the mom and the child get to bond, and I've seen mom and sons, I've seen dad and daughters so, I've seen a wide range, a big mixture so it's a good way to interact with your child, too. The best time to start, if you don't start when you're a toddler, is to definitely start by the time you're six or seven because at that time you're beginning to learn a lot of different skills, and you just really need to have the time to prepare to build on the basic skills.

Watch Natalie Hawkins's video on What to know when your child is starting gymnastics...

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Natalie Hawkins

Mom & Manager

Natalie Hawkins is the mother of Gabrielle Douglas, 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist.  Virginia Beach native and single mother of 4, Hawkins faced many struggles putting Gabrielle through Olympic training, giving up everything she had to see her daughter succeed.  Hawkins allowed her daughter to leave their Virginia Beach home and close family bonds to pursue her dreams, train with Chow's Gymnastics in Iowa, and become the Olympian she is today.  Hawkins has since been honored in the P&G “Thank You Moms” campaign. 

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