TOTS Gymnastics Classes
Millcreek’s TOTS or toddler gymnastics classes focus on developing your child’s strength, flexibility, and motor skills in a fun and safe environment. Experienced and USAG safety certified coaches will introduce your child to the most basic gymnastics skills on the traditional apparatus: uneven bars, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise. Our toddler class focuses mainly on tumbling skills.
At Millcreek we know it’s important to help kids and Toddlers learn to share, cooperate, and take turns. our coaches work hard to create an environment where kids can learn to be independent while interacting with other students their same age. This will help them begin to develop social skills and friendships.
Our program immediately starts the tots on much harder skills like back handsprings and back tucks. Here at Millcreek we recommend that your child begins at age four rather than age two or three. Four year old’s are usually more developmentally prepared and will learn more and quicker. Often parents are eager to get their children started in activities. As the owner for seventeen years I recommend waiting till four to get them started. Be aware that when your tots enter into programs at such an early age that they will be learning basic listening and how to cooperate in class.
Millcreek coaches focus on:
Improving strength, flexibility, and coordination
Refining motor skills
Introducing basic gymnastics skills on bars, vault, beam, and floor
Providing opportunities for social interaction
Learning to share, cooperate, and take turns
Maintaining a positive environment
Taking gymnastics lessons from the right program can teach your child how to develop into a healthy person and how to succeed in life. Many different gyms do not have a clear understanding of how to work best with children. They rely on inexperienced, unknowledgeable, untrained persons that have some knowledge of gymnastics. Teaching your child is the most important job anyone can have and something everyone should place high value on. There is much more to making a child successful than just having the knowledge of a certain gymnastics skill. Learning in any setting is about molding the brain and developing thinking patterns that leave a lasting impression to further a person’s ability to perform. Since a child’s brain is very moldable and impressionable you want to take great care to ensure that you choose the best environment for your child. We continually research the most up to date methods for developing children into successful people. Our program teaches your child gymnastics skills while developing their emotional intelligence, inner excellence, positive thinking, and many other important life skills.
“Positive or negative discipline treatment by parents and teachers affects how children learn to treat themselves. Children who are praised often are more likely to grow up to be self-affirming, confident adults, but heavily criticized children often grow into extremely self-criticized adults” – Pickhardt. “Interestingly, the same holds true for the business world. Human beings respond well to positive motivation. Humans grown or young recoil and withdraw under the thumb of negative motivation.” People succeed with positivity; negative thinking most often does not inspire people to do great things. In our program we strive to develop inner excellence with all kids. We teach them to be motivated by a desire of success rather than a fear of failure and how to develop a “can do” attitude.
Having a positive environment does not mean that things are always 100% upbeat and positive but rather that they are mostly positive as well as firm with clear expectations of the child. Without clear expectations for the child you can’t create a positive environment because the child is confused and not rewarded consistently for good actions. Just like parenting you cannot always be positive, you must lay down ground rules to have order and peace. We do not give attention to negative behaviors and we give a lot of praise when kids come out of their negative state. We also let them know that the negative actions are not acceptable in the gym. Being firm but nice is our philosophy that we try to follow at our gym and we believe this philosophy yields the best results. Kindness and firmness are necessary for positive discipline.
When you transmit realistic expectations of greatness to people they begin to reflect the image you’ve created for them. A self-fulfilling prophecy is “a prediction that directly or indirectly causes the prediction to become true.” Once formed, expectations about ourselves tend to be self-sustaining. The best managers have confidence in themselves and in their ability to develop and motivate people; largely because of the self-confidence, they communicate high expectations to others. In our gym we project the good qualities that we want to see onto the kids even if the quality is not entirely present. If you tell the kid that they are good at something then they start to believe it after a while, therefore becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The same thing happens with a bad projection; if you constantly tell your child that they are clumsy they will continue to take on that attribute and be okay with it and to accept that they are clumsy. Telling a child that they are graceful may not immediately be true but will put an idea of the way they want to be and think they are a little bit. They will be more likely to try to identify with being graceful and define themselves in that way.
By creating positive expectations of ourselves we can develop a sense of inner excellence. Experts in creating success in athletes define inner excellence as “a way of thinking and a way of acting. It is a quality of mind, a mentality that says no matter how difficult things become, you are responsible and accountable for your thoughts, feeling, and actions. Inner excellence is staying positive in negative situations and it is dealing with adversity in an optimistic way. It is finding love and joy in what you do and remaining steadfastly committed to you goals, values, and dreams. It’s staying cool when the heat is on.” (Casstevens, David; Mack, Gary) This type of thinking is not typically taught in a classroom setting but is very important to success.
“A child can be smart and intelligent, but can lack emotional intelligence or social skills that are required to be successful. Even the most exceptional students must learn how to listen, observe, ask questions and organize information as these are the essentials of learning.” (Breckenbrough) That is why at our gym we take the opportunities we have to develop emotional stability, emotional intelligence and social skills. We encourage students to ask questions, to observe other students, to listen and repeat instructions, and to organize the steps of learning a skill into the complete skill. By engaging the students in learning something they are inherently interested in they learn these skills more quickly and effectively. Learning these important skills in a fun environment makes it easier for the child to utilize the skills in school and life. Therefore every student in our program gets a definite advantage over other children that do not receive this thorough instruction on how to excel.
In our program we work hard to develop lasting positive traits in every child. By combining many years of experience with continual education we are always refining our program to create the best experience for everyone. We take our job of teaching your child very seriously because we understand the lasting effects that their experience in our gym will have on their life. We truly want to see every student succeed in our gym and in life.