As the year comes to a close and we prepare for summer, it's never too early to start thinking about next year! We offer many different recreational and competitive gymnastics programs for children of all ages and abilities.
Pre-School gymnastics is a wonderful way for children from walking age-kindergarten to learn spacial awareness, coordination, strength, flexibility, self-confidence, and social skills, which will act as a foundation for a child's future. Our lesson plans are fun, engaging, and age-appropriate with the use of songs, games, and visual aides. The benefits of pre-school gymnastics are simply endless and I am a firm believer that it helps children succeed, whether it's in gymnastics, another sport, or simply being safer on playgrounds! We offer several different pre-school classes by age and they are 45 minutes long.
Our school age recreational gymnastics classes are enormously popular! In these classes, basic fundamental gymnastics is introduced on all the olympic apparatuses, as well as trampoline and tumble track. Participants learn how to work in a group and follow directions, as well as improving balance, strength, coordination, flexibility, spacial awareness, and above all, safety. Our lesson plans are designed for the child to grow and progress at their own pace and have a fun time doing it! Girls school-age recreational classes are 1 hour, offered throughout the week, and are separated by grade in school.
Though we unfortunately do not offer a competitive boys program here at Spectrum, we do offer recreational gymnastics for boys. In these classes, boys work on improving flexibility, strength, coordination, and spacial awareness. "Parkour" has become enormously popular among boys in the past few years (if you don't know what it is, here is a good explanation), and what better way for boys to become good parkour athletes than with a foundation in gymnastics? Parkour is basically outdoor gymnastics that's a little rough around the edges. Boys gymnastics classes are not only a good way to release some energy, but also can give them a good foundation in other sports for the future. The skills gained in gymnastics are not just limited to the sport of gymnastics or making a boy a safe and confident parkour athlete. They can also help make him a great football, soccer, basketball, or baseball athlete.
This class is for girls in grades 3, 4, and 5 that want more challenge than a traditional rec class will offer. This class is an hour and a half long, and the students work fundamental gymnastics skills, as well as more advanced skills like back handsprings, walkovers, etc. This class is a great option for girls who want to be challenged more and who want to do more gymnastics without committing to the competitive track.
6th Grade and Up Class
This recreational class is great for girls who used to do gymnastics and who want to get back into it for fun, girls who have never done it and want to start, or cheerleaders who want to improve their tumbling skills. This is an hour and a half long class where the students choose the skills they want to work on, and work at their own pace. While the class mostly emphasizes tumbling, the students also learn bars, beam, and vaulting skills.
Hot Shots is an invitation only class, offered once a week for an hour and a half. Students with a strong propensity and talent for gymnastics are chosen from our preschool and recreational classes for this group. Being in a Hot Shot class puts the child on track to hopefully one day be on the competitive team. A strong emphasis on flexibility and strength is introduced in this class, and students work towards learning the skills required for the competitive level 3 team.
This is another invitation only group, and the students in this group are selected from our Hot Shots classes. Pre-team is two days a week at an hour and a half each. The students continue to work towards gaining flexibility and strength, as well as learning the skills needed for the level 3 competitive team. Our competitive team gymnasts are chosen from this group.
Next year, the USA Gymnastics JO (junior olympic) program will experience some level changes and changes to routines. Our JO team gymnasts will compete in levels 3-9. Being on the competitive team is a big time and financial commitment, but the rewards can be numerous. As gymnasts progress through the levels, they learn more difficult skills with the ultimate goal in mind of being a high-level competitive gymnast. Our team competes around the state of New Hampshire, with a few out-of-state meets.
Prep-Op is a different kind of competitive team than our JO team. Gymnasts who show great ability can invited to join this team as an alternative to the competitive JO team. It is less of a financial and time commitment (the gymnasts do fewer hours and fewer competitions), but still gives the gymnast the ability to be part of a competitive team, as well as grow and progress in her gymnastics. The requirements for the various Prep-Op levels (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond) are less stringent than the JO requirements and give the gymnast more liberty in choosing what skills she wants to train. For a more in-depth explanation about Prep-Op/Xcel, please read this post.
Well, there you have it! For more information about any of the above programs, call the office or speak with your child's instructor.
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!