Programs: Competitive Gymnastics
GOALS OF THE PRE-TEAM PROGRAM
The primary objective of the pre-team program is to provide your daughter with the necessary foundation to perform optional level (i.e. Levels 6-10) competitive gymnastics. The main focus will be on developing strength, flexibility, and reinforcing the proper body positions to perform complex gymnastics skills. By accomplishing this goal, most of the necessary skills for entry-level competition (currently level 3) will naturally fall into place.
This process takes time. By building a strong foundation in the pre-team program, we are providing your daughter with the opportunity to reach her maximum potential with the fewest setbacks along the way. It becomes very frustrating for an optional level gymnast to have to go back to working simple skills because she is not progressing due to a lack of solid basics. Going slow at the beginning, leads to faster progress and better results later on.
OVERVIEW OF THE PRE-TEAM PROGRAM
The pre-team program has three levels: A, B, and C. Each level has been designed to last at least one year. Although some athletes may progress more quickly through the levels, this should not be considered the norm. Evaluations will be performed at the end of the school year and if your daughter moves up, she will do so at the beginning of the summer. In order to advance to the next level, several factors are taken into consideration, including: age, maturity, ability to focus, work ethic, strength, flexibility, and the ability to achieve certain body positions. Your daughter’s skill development will NOT be limited to the level she is in and it should NOT be considered a disappointment if she does not move up a level. Especially at the younger ages, it takes some kids longer to put everything together. This has nothing to do with ability or future success in the sport. If this is the case, we may hold your daughter back because we see lots of potential and we want to ensure that she has that solid foundation that was mentioned earlier. Please support us by not making level advancement the primary goal for your gymnast. Goals such as increases in strength, flexibility, or holding a longer handstand would be more beneficial. This will allow your daughter to enjoy gymnastics for what it is and will also promote longevity in the sport.
The following is a brief description of each level:
Pre-team C is the entry level into the pre-team program for younger gymnasts, generally ages 4-6. At this level, gymnasts train 1.5 hours, once a week. The focus will be on having the athletes maintain a tight body position and have good body control through a variety of assisted skills, the most important of which is the handstand. Attention will also be given to your daughter’s presentation, a very important aspect for competitive gymnastics. The gymnasts will also be expected to have a handstand, a good cartwheel, an adequate bridge, and a pullover on the bars before moving to the next level. Strength and flexibility work will also be done while keeping the assignments fun and age appropriate. Gymnasts who begin with pre-team C, should expect to progress through all three levels of the pre-team program.
Pre-team B is the entry level for gymnasts 6 and over or the next step in the pre-team program for those who began with pre-team C. At this level, gymnasts train 2 hours, twice a week. The pre-team B program continues to emphasize the tight body positions and presentation initiated in pre-team C. In addition, the hollow body position and a tight arch are introduced. Strength and flexibility work are also a major focus. Furthermore, this is the level where many of the level 3 skills are first introduced. In order to progress to the next level, a pre-team B athlete must consistently demonstrate the following:
- good body control and tension while performing any skill
- at least 3 consecutive full chin-ups on the high bar
- at least 3 consecutive leg raises with perfect form on the high bar
- climb the rope at least half way up
- a consistent pullover on the low bar
- a good cartwheel
- a good handstand
- a bridge kickover
- confidence and the ability to stay on the balance beam while performing basic walking and jumping complex
- be willing to attempt any of the level 3 bar skills, unassisted
In addition to the above mentioned skills, the gymnast must demonstrate her desire to progress by showing age-appropriate focus and a good work ethic.
Pre-team A is the last step before entering the team program. These gymnasts train 3 hours, twice a week. Body positions, strength, flexibility, and presentation are still a focus at this level and will remain so into the team program. It is expected that these gymnasts have the body control and tension to begin working on drills for some of the more complex skills that will be introduced in the team program.
At the end of the school year, gymnasts at this level will be considered for the team trial summer program. They will train level 3 hours (9.5 hours per week). This will allow them to adjust to these hours before school starts and it will give them extra time to work on any level 3 skills they have not yet achieved.
For movement to team at the end of the summer, gymnasts must not be missing more than one skill per event and the skill that they are missing must be close enough that it can be attained and performed safely unassisted before the enrollment deadline for the first competition at the end of the year. Furthermore, your daughter must have a consistent back handspring on the floor, unassisted by the end of the summer. If your daughter is missing a skill on bars, she must be able to perform at least 1 long hang pullover on the high bar and 5 consecutive chin-ups to move to team.
COMMITMENTWe consider pre-team to be a part of our team program and therefore expect the same level of commitment for both pre-team and team athletes. There are no make up classes at this level. We therefore expect that you make every effort to get your child to as many of her scheduled classes as possible and on time. We understand that there are family and school commitments that may prevent your child from attending every practice. We are supportive of this but hope that you schedule around practice times whenever possible. Tuition is due in full on the 25th of the month for the following month and we do not prorate tuition according to the number of classes your child attends. Our coaches invest a lot of time into the development of your child and lesson plans are created assuming your child is present for most of her classes. Lack of attendance at this level means less reinforcement of those basic skills and body positions required for higher-level gymnastics.
TEAM PROGRAMThe team program consists of levels 3-10. The first three levels are compulsory levels where everyone performs the same routines. Levels 6-10 are optional levels where everyone performs their own routines. Gymnasts must consistently and safely perform ALL of their required skills, unassisted, in order to compete at that level. Repeating a level is common and should not be considered a failure. Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity for your gymnast to focus on her weaknesses, which will ultimately make her a better gymnast. Every gymnast has her strengths and weaknesses. Success at the early levels does not always equate to success later on. Try not to compare your gymnast to someone else. Rather, sit back, enjoy the journey and see where it might lead your daughter.
For more information about our competitive gymnastics team visit the girls gymnastics team page.