What are team tryouts?
We recently completed our 2017-2018 Team Tryouts at Pinnacle Gymnastics. Athletes ages 5 through 11 showed off their skills, strength, and flexibility in an effort to earn a spot of one of our competitive teams.
With over 90 athletes vying for a spot on next year's team, the competition was tougher than ever. It was evident that our athletes are making great progress year round and really showed in their testing. For the first year ever, we filled each of our teams with some amazing gymnasts.
Congratulations to all of the athletes that made one of Pinnacle's competitive teams.
About our teams
MATS Team: Our MATS team is a tumbling only team. These athletes participate in an add on class to practice routines and team specific skills. Gymnasts will compete in 4-5 meets per year, including both of our in house recreational meets.
Team Development: Our team development athletes are chosen because of exceptional strength, flexibility, and basic skills. Team development classes work to further skill development while putting together basic routine combinations at our recreational meets in the Spring and Fall.
Xcel Team: Our Xcel team begins at the Bronze level and continues through Silver, Gold, and Platinum, peaking at the Diamond level. Athletes in this level participate in all four events and compete a skill set that matches their strengths and abilities. Most competitions are off site.
Junior Olympic Team: Our Junior Olympic team begins at Level 3 and continues through Level 10. The JO program is has rigid skill requirements and follows a set of compulsory routines designed by USA Gymnastics. Each athlete in levels 3-5 does the exact same routine and competes against athletes doing the same routine as well. All competitions are held off site.
Here are some real life lessons competitive gymnastics teaches children:
By Tony Retrosi
1. Dealing with difficult people.
In Gymnastics, it was difficult coaches and teammates. In the real world, it’s coworkers or neighbors or even in-laws. My daughter has dealt with coworkers who remind her of arrogant high school teammates. Her sports experiences gave her the ability to see past the annoying behavior and seek to understand.
2. Doing a job under pressure.
Recently, when Colby (one of our live in gymnasts) faced pressure as she was trying to become a pilot, I knew she would stay calm. As a gymnast in high school and college, she was the anchor of the team on Beam. It was imperative she stay calm under pressure. It’s hard on Mom and Dad to watch their kids compete under stress, but that pressure is a breeding ground for growing the ability to stay calm when they grow up and life throws them curve balls.
3. Sticking with a hard task.
In Gymnastics, your child can learn to keep working towards a goal, even when it feels hopeless. I see this daily in my daughter, who is working hard to achieve a personal goal in her life. She has faced numerous setbacks, but she will not give up. That type of persistence is only learned as one faces and works through challenges. She learned this as she fought for every skill she ever learned.
4. Ignoring Doubters.
There will always be naysayers and haters. We have all heard them when we coached teams that did not live up to expectations. We heard them when kids made mistakes and parents struggled to believe in their abilities. Our kids heard them from teammates who second-guessed each other. If your kids learn to ignore the negative voices in gymnastics, they will be ready to do the same in life.
5. Understanding the Boss (i.e. Coach)
As a coach and parent, I wasn’t perfect, there were times when the girls could not understand what I was asking. All kids had coaches who were difficult to read. You need to tell them their job is to strive to understand what the coach wanted and needed them to do, even if he wasn’t clear in his instruction. This endeavor to try to understand others before judging will help them through many relational and workplace problems.
6. Expressing needs and wants.
When you insist that your child confront the coach themselves instead of jumping in to do battle for them, they learn to express concerns to a person of authority. I see how my son and daughter have become confident communicators because we didn’t do their talking for them.
7. Exercising patience with people who can’t keep up.
There was always a gymnast who needs more help than others. The beauty of gymnastics is that it is an individual sport and children will all progress at their own pace. As adults, gymnasts are able to give encouragement and compassion to coworkers, friends, or neighbors who can’t quite keep up in life. I have no doubt that they learned this partly in the gym.
8. Respecting and benefitting from the strengths of others.
The ability to appreciate the skills of others and support their talents makes for a great team player, in the gym, in the office, in the home.
9. Finding Worth.
Your children can learn that they are defined by who they are, not by what they do.
When integrity, honesty and hard work become the true measure of a champion, and not just stats, trophies and accolades, then your kids will not base their self-esteem on performance — in the game or in life — but on who they know themselves to be on the inside.
10. It’s Fun
I miss watching my kids play sports. All sports. From little league to youth soccer. I miss watching my daughter compete in gymnastics. and Color Guard. Today, watching my daughter coach her Color Guard Team is just not the same. But as I see them apply their sports lessons to the real world as adults, I feel like a proud dad watching from the stands all over again.