It’s Competition Time! What to prepare for and expect at your first Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition

Training is going well, your child is learning her routines beautifully and you’re all having a fabulous time. Your Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach has decided that your child is ready and will be competing in a couple of Competitions. This is all very exciting!

Here are a couple of things that you can expect and prepare for.



Rhythmic Gymnastics Club Attire

There is a very good chance that you will be required to buy a Competition Leotard, Tracksuit and Bag for your child. This may seem like an extravagance, but it is usually a Competition requirement - so be prepared for the additional expense.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for a Competition Leotard to fit properly. Please do not try and buy something that your child is going to ‘grow’ into. The same goes for trying to squeeze her into something that is too small. Your child is not going to look good on the Competition Floor and she will not feel comfortable.

Club Tracksuits can definitely be purchased in a bigger size for longer wear. Bags can be used for a long time if they are taken care of properly.


Practice Competitions

Many Rhythmic Gymnastics Coaches will arrange for a ‘Practice’ Competition before the actual Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition. Make sure that your child attends this - it’s invaluable experience for everyone involved. The Rhythmic Gymnast gets to experience the preparation and competition process in a ‘safe’ environment. Remember it can be quite daunting to perform in front of a panel of judges for the first time all by yourself! A Practice Competition is a brilliant way to know what to expect on the day. 

Entry Fees

All Competitions charge an entry fee. These fees are used by the Club / Region / Province to cover the hosting expenses of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition.


The Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition Bag

Make sure that this is packed the night before. There is nothing worse than trying to get everything together in a hurry (you're bound to forget something) or when you arrive at the venue, discovering that you don't have everything with you.

Some Rhythmic Gymnastics Coaches hand out a list of what they would like parents and Gymnasts to pack. It could possibly include the following: 

  • Rhythmic Gymnastics Apparatus - make sure that everything is clean and wrinkle free
  • Competition Leotard(s) - keep this in a separate bag on a hanger. Garment bags work very well in keeping them clean. Also make sure that you've marked your child's Leotard
  • Hair 'stuff' - elastic bands, hairpins, ribbon/scrunchie, hairnets, hairspray, gel
  • Snack - keep it healthy. They do not need foods loaded with sugar. Rather pack in something like a banana, yoghurt and a sandwich
  • Something to drink - water is perfect. Once again steer clear of drinks loaded with sugar (skip the fizzy drinks and energy drinks) 
  • Towel to wipe hands
  • Good luck cards for friends
  • Blanket in Winter - the competition halls can be very cold




Get to the Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition on time!

Make sure that you double check what time your child needs to be at the Competition Venue. Also make sure that you know where the venue is and how to get there.

Arriving late stresses everyone out and has the biggest impact on the Rhythmic Gymnast that has to compete.



At the Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition Venue

  • Your child should arrive in her Club Tracksuit (her Coach will specify)
  • Underneath her Club Tracksuit she should be wearing her warm-up clothes 
  • There will be a Registration Area / Desk, where your child will get her Competition Number and any additional information or updates about the Competition 
  • From the Registration Area, the Rhythmic Gymnasts are guided to a Grouping / Warm-up Area
  • Hair should be done. Many coaches have specific styles that they prefer and will show you before the time what to do. Hair is usually in a neat bun, on top of the head
  • Make-up on little ones isn’t really necessary. Coaches will guide you here. Please don’t put bright red, pink or orange lipstick on your child. Also give the blue, purple and green eyeshadow and heavy eyeliner a skip… does no one any favours…..
  • Your Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach will take over once the Gymnast needs to go to the Warm-up Area
  • This is the parents queue to leave their children and move to the supporter stands


During the Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition - for the Parents especially

  • Be the most outstanding supporter you can be - not just to your own child, but to everyone else's child as well
  • Competitions can take a long time, some are better organised than others. Just remember, the organisers don't intend to have Competitions run late
  • Keep your nerves and temper in check
  • Do not sit and gossip
  • Do not criticise your child, your Coach and other children competing or their Coaches
  • Most of all do not critise the judging


After the Competition

  • Please praise your child - it shouldn’t matter if things went horribly wrong or incredibly well. They should never doubt your support for a moment
  • Believe me, your Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach would have noticed all the mistakes and probably would have arranged for someone to video her Rhythmic Gymnasts. She will be analysing everything and make sure mistakes are worked on when your child returns to training the next week
  • Remember the more your child competes, the better she will get at it. It should be a fun, confidence building exercise. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about getting through the experience the best that she can
  • Lastly, say thank you to your Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach - she's poured her heart and soul into your child and it means the world if her efforts are acknowledged 

Michelle Kleu
Michelle Kleu