OUR GYM TEAM
I. NHG PHILOSOPHY
At New Heights Gym our philosophy continues to remain the same - gymnastics should be part of ALL children’s lives while keeping the children’s best interest as top priority. Our program can accommodate you whether gymnastics is your main sport with a scholarship as your goal, or if you use gymnastics to supplement other sports like cheerleading, pole vaulting, baseball, karate, or other sports, or if you use gymnastics as a fitness and discipline tool, or even if you use gymnastics as a social sport for the love of gymnastics. The benefits of gymnastics are endless. We do realize that each gymnast and his/her family have a different goal and a different reason for doing gymnastics. What our job as coaches entails is for us to provide guidance on how to be the best they can be and how to reach their goal, provide the proper coaching of technique and skills, and provide a safe, fun, disciplined environment. Our gymnasts should be proud of what they have accomplished and for all they have endured. As a family, you need to discuss and be on the same page as to what your child’s intentions are and what their goal is. We realize that their goals will change. A coach needs to know what the gymnast’s goal for the current year is. The gymnast needs to be able to talk about his/her goals with the coach so that there are no mistaken expectations. As with life, communication is the key to getting exactly what we want.
II. WHAT DOES TEAM MEAN
Gymnastics is a sport for everyone, but competitive gymnastics is a tough, demanding sport and may not be the right match for everyone. It takes dedication, hard work, patience, and determination. In the first few lower levels of competitive gymnastics, a gymnast can do well based on only talent or hard work. But as the levels get higher, so does the difficulty. That’s when a gymnast can’t rely on talent alone. In order to be a "good” competitive gymnast, the bare minimum just doesn’t cut it. The scheduled class time is for "coaching” time and is the bare minimum needed to learn and perform the routines with an average score. The strength, flexibility, and skills work need to be done in addition to the scheduled classes. It is up to the gymnast to decide if he/she wants to be an average gymnast or an above-average gymnast. Two of the forgotten benefits of gymnastics are the self-discipline and self-motivation. Real gymnasts shouldn’t need a coach by their sides 8 hours a day, they should be able to want the gymnastics bad enough to motivate themselves to work the skills and strength that are needed for improvement.
We now have two competitive gymnastics programs: Competitive Team and REC Team. The Competitive Team practices 2 or more days per week depending on levels. They attend 3 or more competitions. And their goals include: wanting to do more than one day of gymnastics, wanting to master the sport of gymnastics, wanting to show off their gymnastics skills at more than just one meet, wanting to compete at a regional or national level, wanting to compete in college gymnastics, or wanting to go to the Olympics. The Competitive Team is for those that love gymnastics and have the heart and desire to be good and take their gymnastics to the next level. Our REC Team program is designed to accommodate our gymnasts who love gymnastics and want to continue learning the new and harder skills but can only commit to one day per week. Just like the Competitive Team, our REC Team is by invitation only. Only the gymnasts that have passed the skills test from the recreational classes will be invited to REC Team. The REC Team will have an opportunity to perform and compete for our McDonald’s Invite. For our older teen gymnasts that want to compete in the high school meet and want to just continue training gymnastics one day per week, we have also designed the Teen-nastics Class.
Being on Team, whether it is REC Team or Competitive Team, means you are a representative and an example. You represent New Heights Gym. You represent your town. You represent your family. You represent your school. When you are at the gym whether it is for team practice, or for tumbling, or for extra workout, or for camp, or for fun - you are always an example. You are always expected to follow gym rules, show great sportsmanship, portray a positive attitude, and always expected to give it your best. We don’t expect you to be perfect or to always win, but we do expect you to care enough to do YOUR best and to give it your all.
III. GOALS QUIZ
The Goals Quiz helps us determine what is important to the gymnast and the family. It also helps us guide you into making decisions about competitions, levels, skills, etc.
First, determine what are your expectations and goals (as an athlete, as a parent, as a family)?
a) What do you expect from this sport of gymnastics?
b) What do you expect from this gym and the coaches?
c) What do you expect from your child?
d) What are your goals for this coming year? Next 5 years?
Do these expectations or goals include winning? Mastering certain skills? Moving to next level? College scholarship? Olympics? When thinking of expectations and goals, take in consideration family lifestyles and commitment. Parents, haveyou done or coached gymnastics when you were younger? Do you have more than one child to worry about for scheduling and financial purposes? How does nutrition play a part in your family? Is there family support for getting to practice on time? Are you able to make all the required practices? How much time is spent on own to work strength and flexibility? Is there family encouragement for when the tricks get scary and the child wants to quit? Is there family discipline in making sure athletes have proper amount of rest the night before practice or a competition? Is there parental guidance when choosing the number of activities or sports done at one time or on same day? All these questions help guide us in choosing the program right for you!
Second, where do you place emphasis? On winning? On improvements in score? On achieving a new skill? On overall performance and presentation? On attitude and how they handle defeat and fear? At New Heights Gym winning means successand success is having the peace of mind and self-satisfaction in knowing that every effort was made to the best of ability, not necessarily being 1stplace or making more money or being a champion. So,
a) What do you consider as winning? What do you consider as losing?
b) Do you consider your child a winner or loser?
c) Do you consider our gym as winners or losers?
IV. SUGGESTED COMPETITION LEVEL
Deciding each athlete’s level has always been a touchy subject. This is strictly the "suggested” level of competition which the coaches feel is best for your child at this point. Nothing is set in stone and the athlete can move up once skills are mastered, even in mid-season. It all depends on your goals. If the child wants to get a medal or win state, then if they are on the borderline they need to stay in the same level. Each child is different and should be taken into individual consideration. If you have other expectations or would like to talk in further detail, please set up a meeting with Bridget to discuss.
All gymnasts want to move up levels whether it’s because they get "bored” with the skills they’re doing, or they want to be with their friends, or they just want to say they moved up to the next level. Again, this is another "goals and expectation” issue. Our belief is that unless the gymnasts were scoring 9.5+ for girls or 12+ for boys on each event, then they really shouldn’t be bored. This is where patience and self-discipline comes in to play. We don’t want to move a gymnast up to the next level if they haven’t mastered the necessary skills in their current level. Each level has important major skills that are needed in future levels. It’s called Progression, and that’s what makes gymnastics so beneficial. If we move a gymnast up too fast or when they really aren’t ready, first they lose the whole idea of "the art of gymnastics” and perform "backyard gymnastics” instead and second we risk damaging self-confidence. We want to create beautiful gymnastics, where technique and detail matters. We don’t want to put too much emphasis on scores and winning, but we do want the emphasis to be put on the skills, the presentation of the routine, and the right attitude. If the gymnast wants to move up to be with their friends, then they really don’t love gymnastics. Friendship should not be based on what level you compete in gymnastics and Gymnastics should not be based on friendship.
Another area to mention when determining which level is best for your child is whether or not he/she can perform the routines and skills on their own with little or no spotting from the coaches. The meets are NOT a time for coaching and learning the skills. The meets are a time for performing. If the gymnast does not have a certain skill on their own without a spot, their options at the meet are: perform the routine and skills to their best ability, leave that skill out and get a very low score, or scratch that event. The gymnasts know what skills they can and cannot do way before they go to a meet. As parents that’s where you come in – positive reinforcement and support to overcome fear and not give up.
Another thought when determining level is how many competitions will your child actually compete in? If your plans are only to compete at the McDonald’s Invite, then choose the level that makes your child look his/her best. Our home meet is where family and friends come to watch. If your child does not have the necessary skills to move up, then stay in the current level and shine for their home meet and in the mean time be working that next level. If they don’t have the skills of the next level by September, then they won’t be ready to compete that next level by November. But if they continue to work that next level, they could possibly be ready to compete that level by January.
V. TEAM REGISTRATION
All team gymnasts, REC Team and Competitive, must be registered with the state in order to compete. Girls Levels 1 & 2 will register with Louisiana Recreational Gymnastics (LRG). The cost for that is $25. Girls Levels 3 – 10 and ALL Boys will register with USA Gymnastics and LaUSAG for a total cost of $85. These fees are paid to New Heights Gym, and one club check will be paid to the appropriate association. Our Annual Gym Registration Fees are also due, $50 for one child or $75 for a family.
VI. TEAM TUITION & PRACTICE SCHEDULE
REC Team girls Level 1: Tues. at 6:00 – 8:00; Tuition = $75/month.
Comp Team girls Level 2: Mon. & Wed. at 5:00–7:30; Tuition = $105/month
Comp Team girls Levels 3 & Up: Mon. & Wed. at 4:00–7:30 & Fri. at 4:00–7:00 = $125/month
Comp Team boys Level 4: Mon. & Wed. at 5:30 – 7:30; Tuition = $105/month.
Comp Team boys Level 5 & Up: Mon. & Wed. at 5:30 – 7:30 & Fri. at 5:00 – 7:00; Tuition = $125/month
VII. RULES OF THE GYM
1) Gymnasts are expected to follow the USA Gymnastics Code of Ethics.
2) Gymnasts are expected to be competent at their current level before moving up to next level.
3) To encourage extra workout, competitive team gymnasts will be allowed to take a tumbling class at no extra cost. But keep in mind that this is a privilege and can be taken away at any time by the discretion of the coaches if it is abused or if there is too much play and disruption. The paying customers will receive the most attention.
4) Team gymnasts need:
a) notebook to keep track of progress, goals, etc.
b) athletic tape, or I will sell them a roll of tape for $5
c) tennis shoes for running outside
d) water bottle (empty or full)
5) Discipline Problems: 1) Warning; 2) Sit out for 5 – 10 minutes or until ready to join in; 3) Send Home. For Non-Discipline Problem (Hurt, Sick, Whatever Reason can’t do normal practice workout) choices are: 1) Do Scheduled Workout; 2) Do Posters; or 3) Go Home
6) No cell phones on inside the gym. If necessary, we will collect cell phones at the door to be kept in office until they leave.
7) Gymnasts are expected to wear appropriate gym suits for workout. Fitted gymnastics shorts are allowed. Hair pulled out of the eyes is a SAFETY issue not a glamour issue. Please send your child with rubber bands for their hair. At a competition, gymnasts are expected to present themselves in the proper attire. Deductions will be applied for inappropriate attire. No bare midriffs, backless leos, non-gymnastics tshirts, boxer shorts, or pajama pants allowed. No underwear or sports bras shall be exposed. No jewelry with the exception of one pair of stud earrings.
8) No parents inside gym unless received permission from Bridget first. We would like to also limit the frequency of gymnasts interrupting class by going talk to parents or friends in the lobby. Every time a gymnast leaves practice they disrupt their own lesson as well as their teammate’s lessons.
9) Pay tuition and coach expenses on time. Tuition is due on the first of the month, but we allow payment up to the 15th of the month without late fees. Coach Expenses and Meet Fees are due by set deadlines. We will apply late fees for tuition, meet fees, and coach expenses.
10) No Food, Drinks (except water), or Gum allowed in Gym!
11) Please advise gymnasts to stay within the gym building and not outside while waiting for their rides. We are unable to monitor your kids outside. As parents, if you notice any kids outside unsupervised, please send them in or notify one of the coaches. We need your help reinforcing this rule.
12) Do not bring valuables to the gym. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or broken items.
13) When eating or cooking food in the waiting room, please advise your child to clean up their mess, throw away their trash, and dump leftover food in the garbage can and not in the sink.
14) Facebook and other multimedia channels of communication can be a great and effective tool for getting info out there to the public. It can also be a way of keeping contact with friends and loved ones. But it also can be misused, mishandled, and dangerous some times. People, young and old, put way too much private and personal info about themselves out in public viewing. They also post negative thoughts, ideas, and actions which can either hurt someone, hurt themselves, or cause a negative impact on their future. College recruiters and employers do monitor these facebooks and multimedia channels. They do check out potential candidates, and if they don’t like what they see they will not hire or give out scholarships. For us personally as a gym, we monitor our students’ facebook pages in hopes of protecting them, protecting ourselves, and hopefully positive and productive advertisement. Cyber bullying among kids has grown out of control and we do monitor our gymnasts for that. We will contact the parents if and when we come across any cases of cyber bullying or stalking. Just like cyber bullying, negative publicity about our coaches or our gym on a public network like facebook would kill our business and will not be tolerated.
VIII. TEAM UNIFORMS
All Team members are required to wear the mandatory team uniform for all gymnastics competitions. Female gymnasts must wear the proper black briefs under their leotard. Female gymnasts need to make sure their bra straps or sports bra does not show. The judges will deduct if any under garments are seen. No bright nail polish allowed for gym meets. Light pink, beige, or clear polish is acceptable. The judges will deduct for bright polish. Warm-ups are optional. For the Awards Ceremonies, team members are required to either wear their team competition leotard, their NHG warm-up, or an NHG shirt. No blue jeans, no pajama pants, or other un-official attire will be accepted. At the awards ceremony you are representing New Heights Gym. All payments for uniforms must be received by the deadline. Deadline is important for getting uniforms in by first competition. We only make one uniform order. Your uniform will only be ordered if payment is received. If payment is received after the order, the amount will be charged with an additional $20 late fee! There will be no exceptions. We do encourage purchasing used uniforms if they are available.
All Team members are given a TENTATIVE competition schedule. Please be aware that schedules are subject to change. Our Competitive Team gymnasts are expected to attend 3 competitions: our home meet (the McDonald’s Invitational), the State meet, and one voted meet. Of course you can always compete more if you wish. The more competitions you attend, the better you will get. Not only does competition train you to perform your routines in a mindset of "perfection”, but it also gives you the opportunity to see other gymnasts, use other equipment, and make you more aware of the sport. The schedule lists a weekend for each meet, but meets only last 4 – 5 hours on one of the days of the weekend. However, we don’t get the exact date and time of the competition until about 2 weeks before the meet. So, when choosing your meets and scheduling your time keep the whole weekend open and flexible. Once the host team sends the meet schedule to New Heights, we will distribute a schedule to each gymnast registered for that meet. Parents are not allowed to call the host gym, the meet director, or anyone involved in the meet to get scheduling info, directions, etc. All calls must go through Bridget. This is very important!!
Meet Fees vary per competition. Meet Fees are usually required 1 – 2 months before the meet actually occurs. Deadlines for turning in meet fees are very critical. Please pay close attention to deadlines so your child doesn’t get left out of a meet or so you don’t have to pay late fees if they even accept a late entry. We will do it a little different this year. We will collect the meet fees for the 3 required meets ahead of time this year (by mid-October). Any additional meets chosen to attend will be required by the due date on the schedule.
Coach Expenses will be determined once a meet schedule is received and will be collected BEFORE the meet. If you register for a meet and you choose not to go to the meet for whatever reason, you are still required to pay the coach expenses for that meet. Coach Expenses are based on the coaches’ time at the meet, mileage, lodging, and meals. The total coaches’ expenses are divided by the number of gymnasts registered for that meet and shared accordingly.
Each family determines how they travel to/from a meet. We don’t travel together as a team, but we do encourage sitting together at a meet. Each family is responsible for getting their gymnast to the competition on time and in proper uniform. We encourage that gymnasts arrive at a competition 15 minutes before open stretch time. Gymnasts should use the restroom and eat properly before getting on the competition floor. Once on the competition floor, gymnasts are not allowed to go back and forth to the parents and vise versa. Parents are not allowed on the competition floor nor inside the competition boundaries. Parents are not allowed to use flash photography at all during the competition, only during the awards. Parents are not allowed to speak to any judges at any time!! Any parental contact with a judge is immediate expulsion from team! All questions, requests, concerns, or complaints must go through New Heights Gym.
X. PARENTS CLUB
Not many gymnastics clubs offer a Parent’s Club. At New Heights Gym, we believe our Parent’s Club is a vital part of our gym. Not only does it allow parents the opportunities to defray some of the uniform and competition costs, but it allows parents the opportunity to have an active role in their gymnast’s sport of choice. Without our Parent’s Club, our "home” competitions would not be possible, our gym would not have that family-oriented atmosphere, and the team kids would not perform as well without their parent support. It is totally optional, but highly encouraged, to be part of the Parent’s Club.
It needs to be understood that the fundraisers are part of New Heights Gym and are coordinated in the name of New Heights Gym Parents Club. The proceeds or profits will be distributed to the appropriate accounts and are to be used only for competition costs, coach expenses, uniform expenses, and registration fees. The funds are not to be used for personal expenses, tuition, or any other unrelated costs. If you have money in your parents club account and you decide to quit team or quit the gym, then you forfeit your funds and the money goes to the gym. How the Parents Club account works is that after expenses are paid, a portion of the profit is credited to your accountand a portion of the profit stays in the Parents Club General Account. The parents and athletes who participate in the fundraisers will benefit directly from the profits. Those who don’t contribute do not benefit.
XI. MOCK MEET
One of the ways we get ready for competition season is by hosting a Mock Meet. The purpose of the Mock Meet is to give the kids and the parents an idea of what a meet is like, how it is run, what it will feel like to be judged, and hopefully answer all the other 50 million questions that are running through your minds. Parents are invited and encouraged to come to the Mock Meet and bring a camera. It will also be used as a Dress Rehearsal, where the gymnasts will be required to be in uniform. This will give them the full effect of a meet, how it will feel to perform their routines in uniform, and give them an idea of what they still need to improve on and what their scores will be.
XIII. McDONALD'S INVITE
Our home meet, the McDonald’s Invitational, will be held on first weekend in December. Please mark your calendars. We need everyone’s help for that weekend in order for it to be a success. That one meet shows everything about us – how we are as a team, how we are as a family, how we are as a community. This meet is not just for New Heights, it is for our kids. Please be willing and available to help make it a great event! Each year we sell Good Luck Program Ads for the McDonald’s Invite. The ads show your gymnast how proud you are of them as well as help us with the printing costs of the programs.