At Victory Gymnastics Academy, the gymnastics instructors don't just train kids to do the splits and flip effortlessly into handstands. In boys' freestyle gymnastics classes, they also train kids to overcome any physical obstacle?including a solid wall?through a mix of jumping, crawling, and climbing. A direct descendant of parkour, the sport only differs in one major way: it takes place inside, and the practice obstacles are padded, a setup that puts safety first.
The instructor's emphasize safety in their other courses, too. Sessions for preschoolers, for instance, unfold on scaled-down, age-appropriate equipment. During tumbling classes, kids try out handsprings and backtucks, finishing their new moves in an in-ground foam pit that minimizes the risk of injuries. Regardless of whether they're leading a recreation class or a competitive team practice, coaches supervise and correct kids' form, too, as when beginning gymnasts perform handstands by just standing upright and gazing at their hands.