An Introduction to Gymnastics in the Discourse Community

Gymnastics in the Discourse Community

There are many different Gymnastics clubs all across the nation. There are preschool, elementary, junior, high school, college, and professional clubs. Most of the time these clubs are determined by age and skill. These “clubs” can also be referred to as discourse communities. John Swales, a man who taught me what a discourse community was, states that “a discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.”(The Concept of the Discourse Community) One thing that he said that really stuck with me about discourse communities are that the members of a certain community are all coming together not just for social reasons, but to work toward the same thing.

Discourse communities can typically be any group. Some examples of discourse communities are families, fraternities/sororities, sports groups, clubs, and every your work. These are discourse communities because you all come together for certain reasons. Weather that reason is to help out the community, win competitions, or even just make money, everyone in that community all have the same goals.

It is never too late to join gymnastics, which means it is really too late to become a part of this discourse community and sometimes what you would even consider a second family. Weather you start gymnastics when you’re 3 years old, or you start it when you’re 16 years old, you typically start out learning the same skills. The members of the gymnastics community are all athletes who want to learn how to do gymnastics.

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The parents are also part of this discourse community, because all of the parents want the same thing. They all want their children to become good at gymnastics, and they all want them to win their competitions. A lot of athletes and parents have higher goals. Most athletes’ goals in gymnastics are to go to on and compete on the USA Olympic gymnastics team. I have been in the gymnastics community for around 18 years now. I grew up doing gymnastics, and I am now a gymnastics coach.

When you become part of a gymnastics team, no matter the age, you all have the same basic goals. Most gymnastics teams meet every night or every other night in order to stay in shape, get stronger, and become better at gymnastics. You practice your floor routines, multiple times in order to make it perfect. You also practice your bars, beam, and vault routines to make sure that you are strong enough to complete them without making mistakes. These goals are shared by the entire team, not just one person on the team. Swales also states that goals can either be written down, or they can be understood by the community. All of the athletes when they join this community understand the dedication that this community requires.

In the gymnastics world, we have what would sound like a foreign language to someone who is not a part of this discourse community. If I were to walk up to someone outside of the community and say things like “half out pike, half out tuck, brani straight, rudi, full in, or full out” most of them would be sitting there very confused and thinking “what the heck is this girl talking about!”. People in the gymnastics community have our own method of communication. We use these words to help each other out, not to socialize. When you are in practice, a member of the team will sometimes ask another member of the team to watch their skills, and tell them what they need to be work on. Most of the time, the response is normally “that looked great, but you could have stayed tighter and kept you head in on the double pike.” This is one way that this discourse community communicates.

Being in gymnastics is a great thing no matter what age you are. Weather you have huge goals on becoming a big time Olympic athlete, or just doing it to learn how to keep yourself in great shape, gymnastics is a great sport to be a part of. For younger children, there are many reasons to be involved in gymnastics that actually do not even have anything to do with gymnastics! Gymnastics for younger children teaches separation, following directions, following  safety rules, patience, working cooperatively, conflict resolution, persistence, discipline, coordination, and self-confidence. Being in a discourse community is exciting and rewarding. You have your own group of people, sometimes of all ages and genders, where you all have something in common. You don’t have to worry about others not understanding what you’re talking about while in your discourse community. I really enjoy being part of my discourse community, and I enjoy having new people join our community.

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An Introduction to Gymnastics in the Discourse Community. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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