With the Olympics dominating my television, two things have been running through my mind:

  • One: I cannot imagine how proud the athletes and their parents must feel to be representing our amazing country and YEARS of dedication to a sport.
  • Two: How did these parents know what track to put their kid on?

Well, the latter inspired my post today.  How did Mama Phelps know her son had something special and that he wasn’t just long, lean and awkward? Well, read below and you may learn something that applies to kiddies of all ages.


Shawn Johnson’s mom said she put her in gymnastics at two-years-old because “she had too much energy.”  Do you have a little one that’s bouncing off the walls?  Well then gymnastic may be the sport for your future Olympian.  This article has some good insight about how you can tell if your child is ready for the “next level” of gymnastics, but what about before then?  If your little one is vertically challenged, has a muscular build and is lean, you may want to call Bella Karoli!  Of course there is a lot more to it than that, but gymnastic certainly requires a specific body type.

If you’ve been thinking about gymnastics for your toot, there are several options in the Austin area {Capital Gymnastics, National Elite Gymnasts, Star Center Gymnastics, Champions Academy and Crenshaw Athletic Club are just a few.}


Missy Franklin won her first gold yesterday at 17-years-old. Woo! Go team USA.  While she was interviewing, one of the commentators was saying that she wears size THIRTEEN shoes…THIRTEEN! That’s double my shoe size. Basically, she has “built in flippers” and that makes her that much better of an athlete.  So what should you be looking for if you’re interested in a swimmer?  Height–most swimmers are taller than average, Long Arms–swimmers that compete well have arm spans that are longer than they “should” be for their height (ex: Michael Phelps is 6’4 with a 6’7 arm span,) long torso, short legs (help with power), huge hand and huge feet.  If you see some of these qualities in your little one, you can work that talent at a few places in Austin: Nitro Swimming and Emler Swimming.

Track and Field

I’ve always been one to stay away from anything called a track or a field, so I certainly do not know what it takes to be great at anything in this category.  But I can tell you, after looking up some USA Greats like Jackie Joyner-Kerse and Lolo Jones, I can tell you this category requires a lot of dedication.  Unlike Gymnastics and Swimming, Track and Field stars have a variety of body types especially because Track and Field encompasses so many categories: running, hurdles, shot put, javelin, long jump and pole jump. Some of the sports have subcategories (like the running) and require even different physical characteristics than the others.  BUT here are some things to look for: A distance runner is typically slender and less muscular, while sprinters tend to be more muscular and toned. Hurdlers are usually tall and have long legs, while a long jumper may resemble a sprinter. Throwers may be larger and have more muscle and strength, while high jumpers tend to be taller and lighter. Some athletes may fall in the middle, in which case you may have some options as to where you want to put them.

So, those are just a few of the Olympic sports that have the Barry home hootin’ and hollarin’ and that you can start to nurture from a young age.  What’s your favorite event during the Games?

Oh…and as a Mama Bear…how devastated were you for Jordyn Weiber?



  1. I cannot imagine the parents stress!!!! I would be a nervous wreck watching my kids. But oh so proud.
    On a side note…we recently did swim lessons and Emler and they were Ahhhhhhmazing. Love them!

  2. Ha! This is awesome! I’ve been wondering the same thing… when do you “decide” what sport to push… So far Lincoln has a really long torso, great sized ears, and skinny legs… what sport is good for those physical characteristics?


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