What makes parents think that certain activities, sports and recreational hobbies are being dangerous for their children. For some reason gymnastics is being somewhere on the top of the list of dangerous activities. The myth about gymnastics being a dangerous sports or/and activity turns parents away from even the recreational gymnastics despite the facts.
Why do we think that some things are high injury activities? Lots of times, we humans, judge things wrong that we don’t understand. Our self-protective mechanism is designed this way. That’s how our genes work, it is a survival mechanism, what we don’t understand or can’t do, we will try to avoid in order to protect ourselves. That’s why we think the sky diving is dangerous, bungee jumps are dangerous and gymnastics is dangerous.
On other hand, the facts are showing that injury rates from gymnastics are way less than people can think of. With amateurs it is 0.687 injuries per every 1000 gymnasts. Less than one person in a thousand will get somehow hurt by doing gymnastics. Contrary, in amateur soccer (high school athletes) the rates are 2.06 injuries per 1000 athletes. The basketball considered the most injury prone sports with 34.1 injuries per 1,000 population.
Parents must consider that in gymnastics, there are no big skills are learned on the first day or month. Young athletes should learn everything in progression from easy to hard, like the toddler learns how to crawl before standing and walking. All training is performed in controller environment, which includes structured coaching and safe standardized equipment. Gymnastics gym has a lot of padding and mats for the reason of not preventing someone to fall but to let person experience falling, experience mistakes and learn from mistakes without injuries. There are minimum of outside factors that influence the structure and the way the gymnastics practices go; it is more technical and more about developing skills over the personal qualities that players and coaches rely on in team and contact sports.
Most of the injuries in sports of gymnastics come from poor and unsafe coaching, athletes over training, athletes undertraining and poor conditioning, stress, equipment failure and lastly because of the accidents.
Being a gymnast means developing good balance, flexibility, strength and coordination, avoid falls and injuries, and not the opposite.