Your daughter or son has been watching gymnastics on television or talking to someone at school. Maybe they’ve learned how to do a cartwheel, and now they want gymnastics lessons. After you find a facility for them to take lessons, there are still some basic pieces of gear they will need.
Before your child takes their first class, they will need the proper clothing. For girls, this is a leotard. They come in a couple of styles, but the most common right now is the tank leotard.
She will also need something to pull long hair back into a ponytail or similar style. If your daughter is an older gymnast, she will need a supportive sports bra to wear as well.
Leotards can sometimes be purchased from the gym where lessons are taken, but can also be ordered online or purchased from a sporting goods store. They can be somewhat expensive, so it’s a good idea to shop around before buying one.
Sports bras can be purchased at a sporting goods store, at many department stores and a variety of online retailers. These can also be expensive, so compare prices and make sure you know your daughter’s size.
Boys typically wear a t-shirt and shorts without buttons, zippers or snaps on them. These can be picked up anywhere.
Gymnasts of both genders practice barefoot. Another important thing to keep in mind is if your child wears glasses, make sure they will stay on while they practice.
Grips are worn when performing on the uneven bars, high bar or rings. They are worn on each hand to help prevent the gymnast from slipping as they perform. Some coaches want the students to wear them from the beginning, others prefer the students start out bare handed and progress to wearing grips. Grips have a strip of leather that fits across the palm, and is held in place by a Velcro strap at the wrist. The leather slips over the gymnast’s fingers to secure that end.
There are a few different kinds of grips, and they vary by durability and length of break- in time. Many coaches are quite picky about what type they want their students to use, so it is best to discuss it with the coach before you buy anything. Grips are available through the websites of the companies that manufacture them. Make sure you understand proper sizing and care when selecting grips. You will also need a pair of wrist bands to fit under the grips to prevent chafing from the grips.
Also called gymnastics shoes, these are tight slippers that are typically made of leather and provide some traction and cushioning when performing on the balance beam. These are also sometimes used when tumbling and vaulting. As with grips, some coaches prefer their students not use these, or they have specific brands they prefer, so check with them before buying. These shoes can be purchased from several websites. Prices are vary so do some research before you buy to ensure correct fit.
Boys also use gymnastics shoes in vaulting and tumbling. Check with your son’s coach before purchasing them.
Though there might be other things your child will need once they have been taking lessons for a while, these basics should get them through their first several lessons. If the coach requires anything else specific, he or she will let you know.