The cartwheels and backflips acquired through gymnastics lessons are just an added bonus.
“What we’re really teaching are life skills,” said Carly Markesich, owner of Discover Gymnastics, “Come in as a small child, learn concentration, focus, resiliency, self-confidence and determination. Those are the things we really teach, and that’s what children will carry with them through their whole life.”
The slogan of the USA Gymnastics is “Begin Here, Go Anywhere,” meaning what you learn by participating in gymnastics can translate into any other sport.
Playing baseball in Little League doesn’t guarantee success in junior and senior high, but Markesich said that if young kids can become skilled, adept gymnasts, then it translates to all those other sports. With a gymnastics foundation kids are flexible, focused and they develop really good spacial awareness.
“We’re not here just to produce gymnasts,” Markesich said. “We’re here to produce athletic children.”
Discover Gymnastics has programs for 6-month olds all the way up to elite-level gymnasts.
The class for the 6-month olds is an opportunity for babies to get out of their playpen, stroller, car seat or high chair and get used to physical movement. The next level is for walking toddlers up to 3 years old.
The preschool program is coed and serves ages 3-5. Once they turn 6, the boys and girls are introduced to men’s and women’s apparatus.
“We have the full recreational programs for both of those groups that’s for 6- to 12-year-olds,” Markesich said. “Anyone that’s over 12 and is a beginner is more likely to go into tumbling and trampoline because they’re probably wanting to learn handsprings and flips for cheerleading or martial arts.”
If kids choose to go further in gymnastics, they can go into the Junior Olympics program or the Xcel program, which are available to both the girls and boys.
“Our woman’s program has become very strong and in the last couple of years and the men’s program head coach has done such a great job,” Markesich said. “We now have 35 boys competing for us, which in the gymnastics world is a good size boys team.”
Discover Gymnastics now offers a complete gymnastics program from 6 months to national team, but it took Markesich 20 years to build.
And in celebration of its 20th year, Discover Gymnastics will undergo a renovation in July and have a grand reopening to celebrate. The renovation will include some new equipment for each program, a new gym layout to produce a better flow, lighting upgrades and other touch-ups for a fresh start to the gym’s third decade. The grand reopening celebration will be on July 21.
The gym also is celebrating by taking its competitive teams to South America in August for a gymnastics tour
of Columbia. After attending the Pan-American Games in Peru, the kids will get to travel through Colombia both training at different gyms and sightseeing.
Over the last 20 years, Discover Gymnastics has served the community and become an integral part of it.
A way that it serves the community is through Discover Fitness Foundation (DFF), a nonprofit charity, also created by Markesich in 2010.
“We reach a lot of the community through the DFF,” Markesich said. “The DFF provides scholarships in five different gymnastics academies and primarily serves children with special needs, but also provides for talented athletes and children fighting obesity. We use gymnastics facilities as health clubs for kids by incorporating a gymnastics curriculum.”
Another way Discover Gymnastics serves the community is through longevity, with the kids it has served over the last 20 years now bringing their own kids there. Discover intends to continue to serve as one of the best choices for kids’ sports inside the loop for many years to come.