Oh boy, time to blow the dust off the blog. Nearly four months with no posts? Yikes! So sorry! Fall was just a *little* crazy for me.
Where to begin? First of all, a belated WELCOME BACK! It's been a great couple months so far. We have a TON of full classes, and even added more to accommodate the demand. Our Xcel team has nearly tripled in size, our JO team is throwing some pretty high level gymnastics, and team USA brought home team gold at the World Championships, and Simone Biles became the first woman in history to win three consecutive world all-around titles. Simone now also holds more world medals than any other female gymnast, as she added team gold, all-around gold, vault bronze, beam gold, and floor gold to her ever growing collection. We are watching living history with Simone Biles, who is well on her way to being the greatest female gymnast of all time (but I think she's already captured that title). Could we watch her next summer add some Olympic medals to her collection? Let's hope!
Challenge of the Month Club
Last year we did monthly challenges to kind of spice up our recreational classes. We've kept them around this year and are so pleased with the results! September's challenge was 20 push-ups in 30 seconds, October's challenge was a full split, and "Ninja November's" Challenge is a straddle through vault, So why the challenges? Don't worry, there's a method to our madness. Let's start with the push-ups. Why push-ups? Not every kid who walks through our doors is going to be a competitive gymnast, and truth be told, competitive gymnastics is not the be-all and end-all of the sport. We are trying to foster a love of fitness, of well-being, of personal health, and of course, of gymnastics. Upper body and core strength is important for anyone, and both of those are trained through the practice of push ups. The greatest thing about gymnastics: is that it is truly the foundation of all sports. It requires strength, coordination, agility, spacial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and flexibility, which leads me to the October challenge of splits. Flexibility is good for the muscles and the joints as it enables us to move more freely, and we all know how important movement is! Finally, why the straddle through vault? Well, why not? It's fun! The straddle through vault brings us coaches back to the "old days" of gymnastics where the vault was a "horse", not the table we have today, and the straddle through was a very popular recreational vault. Thanks to the popularity of American Ninja Warrior (and do you notice how many former gymnasts are on the show?), the "ninja" craze is bigger than ever. We got some brand new mats specifically for ninja obstacles last month, and so, "Ninja November" was born!
But the best thing about our challenges is that what it brings out in our students. Push-ups and splits are HARD. That's why these are "Challenges" of the month, not "Skills" of the month. What we see in the students is remarkable: many show incredible determination and to achieve the challenge and earn their spot on the TV montage. They worked hard, practiced at home, and many were able to achieve their goal through hard work. Working hard to achieve goals and persevering through things that are challenging are life lessons that we are teaching through our incredible sport. Gymnastics is not just about learning how to flip. It is so, so much more, and we hope you are able to see it through your child!
Competition season is upon us! Our JO team, levels 3-8, opened up their season last weekend at the Harvest Classic, hosted by Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons. Many members of the team were competing a new level for the first time, and for most of our level 3s, this was their first meet EVER and they ROCKED it! This meet was unique, because it's a "feedback" meet, meaning that the judges can give feedback from the routines in addition to the score. Coaches were encouraged to talk to the judges (typically a no-no in regular competition) about the routines. We got a lot of good feedback (it's wonderful for us coaches to have 8 different sets of eyes other than our own to give us different perspectives), and walked away with 4 individual all-around champions and a ton of top 3 event finishes!
Here are the full results:
Ashley - 3rd bars, 5th beam, 5th floor, 6th AA
Becca -5th vault, 3rd bars, 6th floor, 5th AA
Chloe - 10th vault, 10th floor, 10th AA
Maddie - 7th beam, 5th floor, 9th AA
Olivia - 5th bars, 4th floor, 7th AA
Emily - 3rd beam, 5th floor, 6th AA
Sophie - 6th floor, 8th AA
Aisling - 4th bars, 10th AA
Aislinn - 2nd vault, 1st bars, 6th beam, 7th floor, 3rd AA
Alanna - 6th vault, 8th AA
Hannah - 1st bars, 2nd beam, 7th floor, 2nd AA
Lilly - 6th vault., 5th bars, 3rd beam, 4th floor, 4th AA
Marissa - 5th beam, 11th AA
Reyanna - 7th bars, 9th AA
Abby - 3rd bars, 4th AA
Lilly - 2nd vault, 1st bars, 2nd floor, 1st AA
Olivia - 8th floor, 12th AA
Ali - 2nd vault, 1st bars, 3rd AA
Amanda - 3rd bars, 7th beam, 1st floor, 3rd AA
April - 8th vault, 6th bars, 4th beam, 5th floor, 7th AA
Ava H. - 5th vault, 4th bars, 6th beam, 6th AA
Ava S. - 2nd vault, 7th bars, 1st beam, 4th floor, 1st AA
Emily - 14th AA
Isabell - 3rd vault, 3rd bars, 4th AA
Isabella - 8th bars, 6th floor, 9th AA
Katie - 8th vault, 8th floor, 10th AA
Lauren - 8th beam, 12th AA
Elise - 1st vault, 1st bars, 3rd beam, 1st floor, 1st AA
Elizabeth - 6th bars, 5th beam, 5th floor, 5th AA
Emma - 2nd bars, 5th AA
Emmelyn - 2nd vault, 2nd bars, 3rd beam, 1st floor, 1st AA
Eres - 4th AA
Kaitlyn - 1st beam, 3rd floor, 3rd AA
Lane - 1st bars, 4th AA
Leanna - 7th vault, 14th AA
Sophia - 6th vault, 3rd bars, 9th AA
Way to go Spectrum! Next meet is the Judges Cup on December 5th and 6th! #teamSGA
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!