A graphic with Kids Say the Darndest Things and pink doodles

Kids Say the Darndest Things: What Is an Athlete Thinking During a Routine?

The statement “Kids Say the Darndest Things” remains true about most things in life, even college gymnastics! In this series, we will take a different aspect of college gymnastics, from skills to leotards and everything in between, and have kids react. It’s Kids Say the Darndest Things…about College Gymnastics!

In this edition, we showed kids some of the most unique skills from routines throughout the last few years and asked them to put themselves in a gymnast’s shoes. What does a gymnast think about when competing their skills during a routine? Got any content you want us to show our kids? Leave a comment below and let us know!

NOTE: Names and ages of children have been changed to protect their identities. Proper permission was obtained to post quotes from those involved. No additional editing outside of correcting grammar has been done.

Clip 1: Bars – double front with a half twist dismount

Mark, age 8: “I’m going to die.”

Hannah, age 9: “Do I have to let the bar go? I’d break my neck and my arms.”

Abby, age 8: “I hope I don’t mess this landing up because of how fast I’m swinging.”

Brad, age 10: “Welp…here goes nothing. Here we GO!  *long dramatic pause* I…I’m alive?”

Ellie, age 9: “Ooooh, what score did I make? At least an 8.500?” 

Erin, age 10: “Thank God I landed because if I didn’t, that would be bad because we would be SO behind.”

Clip 2: Vault – Front Handspring Pike Half

Brittany, age 10: “It looks like I might break every bone in my body. What if I trip and land on my face?”

Adam, age 8: “…So you’re saying if I fall, my career is all over?”

Elliot, age 9: “Hey, I landed in the right spot! And I didn’t mess up at all!”

Aiden, age 11: “Thank goodness, I was a little scared because some people get injured from doing this stuff, but I nailed it.”

Clip 3: Balance Beam – front aerial to back-handspring swingdown

Brooke, age 8:  “WOAH! There is baby powder, so this is harder.”

Danielle, age 10: “Just keep my composure, make eye contact, and keep your balance.”

Ashley, age 11: “That front aerial was good, I guess. I just can’t fall when I do it backward.”

Christopher, age 10: “I’m going backward. But wait…where is the beam?? AH, I feel it! Don’t cry, don’t cry!

Ellie, age 9:  “Another perfect 10 as usual. These girls don’t stand a chance.”

Frankie, age 7: “Let’s gooooooo! Now I’m tired.”

Clip 4: Balance Beam – switch side

Brooke, age 8: “Do they WANT me to slip? There’s powder on the beam AGAIN!”

Sally, age 11: “Thank God gravity was on my side and didn’t let me fall.”

Maddie, age 10: “That was the perfect turn! I could have shown some facials, but at least I nailed it.”

Clip 5: Tucked full-in

Paul, age 11:  “Now, this might be really hard. I’m doing eight flips in a single jump.”

Molly, age 10: “OKAY! Everybody is watching me basically, so DO! NOT! MESS! THIS! UP!. And if I do, I’m literally on TV.”

Mike, age 9: “Let’s just give it a try….”

Abby, age 10:  “Dang, this flip is high!”

Timmy, age 11: “I got to surprise everybody with my amazing talent, so I can be famous and rich.”

Mark, age 9: “This might be easier than the Olympics!”

READ THIS NEXT: Kids Say the Darndest Things: Which Event Is the Hardest?

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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