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Event Specialists

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luv2watchgym

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I posted this question on the coaches' forum but didn't get a reply, so I thought I'd try here.

My dd is a level 9 gymnast who has a wrist injury which may prevent her from ever competing bars again (a real shame since she was level 8 regional bars champion!). She absolutely refuses to quit gymnastics, but obviously will never get to nationals since she can't do all-around. Her coaches have been awesome about creating floor and beam routines that don't require her to put weight on her hands for more than a second. We're still seeing about vault since that only requires one or two touches as well, but they are high impact touches.

We know USAG allows event specialists to go to regionals, but not to nationals. Besides the college bound event in June, is there any other route for her to go in order to get noticed by college coaches? She will be a sophomore this year.

By the way, her coach says she already has enough skills to easily compete level 10 on floor, but USAG rules don't allow her to move up to level 10 without a qualifying all-around score at level 9.
 

gym law mom

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Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
Orlando Metro hosts a meet in the spring(May I think) for girls that didn't qualify for nationals. This meet gives those girls a chance to be seen by college coaches. A girl from our old gym went and did get a full gym scholarship---actually had 2 schools wanting her after they saw her compete in FL.

You or dd's coach might want to contact the host gym and see if she would qualify to go to this meet.
 
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hammy

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There's a competition known as the "college-bound" meet--I believe it is the one that gym law mom is talking about. If it is the same one that I went to (just different location)...then it's an awesome meet. The meet I went to for college bound athletes was set up in a very relaxed manner. I recieved a score in USAG code as well as NCAA code, and gymnasts were allowed to do things over if they messed up--for instance if you fell on a tumbling pass on floor in the routine you could do it again later. The college coaches also watched warm ups and pre-meet training.

I did not qualify for JO nationals, and I walked onto a college team. I was going to be an event specialist on bars, then work for my meet placement on floor and vault (in other words, if I showed off my stuff and proved myself worthy than i would compete floor and vault as well). Even if she were to walk onto a team, the team would most likely try and get a scholarship for her the next year through academics (that's what my college was going to do for me). However, my college gym career came to an abrupt end two weeks into the school year when my back refractured (in the exact same spot) and it was determined that it would take at least 6 months of doing absolutely nothing to begin healing and that was if it would ever heal. Either case being--be sure to choose a college based on academics and sports, not just sports, because you never know when it comes to gymnastics and injuries.

Long story short, event specialists are very common in college, and yes, they can still recieve scholarships of some sort--beit either academic or sports. Most colleges are able to fight for more academic scholarships than sports.
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
Different states/ regions allow event specialists to compete at different post-season levels. Some regions only allow up to the State Meet level- some up to the Regional level- definitely worth some research.

I would submit videos and take some unofficial visits to get college coaches interested- you might even invest in a professional service for the video because it will be very important.

Orlando Metro actually has held a camp where college coaches attend- you can find info on their website. I also know Woodward has college coaches there a lot in the summer- you cound find out which weeks are more loaded w/ college coaches and have your daughter attend. Also, if she is interested in a particular school attending their camp might be beneficial- that way they can get to know your daughter.

The college bound meet is also good and they allow Level 9's. (I think.) :D
 
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bribri514

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if your daughter keeps competing, and ends up really being an event specialist, you can always have her coach send tapes and letters to colleges you/they think would be a good fit. that's what my coach did, and in a real round about away, i'll have a chance to train/compete at college, starting w/ a DSS and western student exchange scholarships, then after a season, maybe an athletic scholarship. good luck!!
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
If your daughter has a few schools in mind that she would like to attend, I recommend you go ahead and make a quick video of her routines and send it off to the coaches of those schools.


If they are interested, they will contact you. But do it sooner, rather than later. Scholorships go fast, and coaches have their own responsibilities too.

Advocate for yourself. It's very few coaches that go and scout out. Most gymnasts pop themselves on youtube and send a link off to coaches for updates.

Dont bother with big productions. Just send it off, and wait for a response. Follow up as needed.

Remember, as a Jr. in highschool, college coaches are allowed to make something like 1 phone call in a school year assuming they were contacted first about the gymnast, and they cannot go and see the Jr. AT ALL in their gym.

As a Sr., coaches are allowed to call once a week if necessary, and visit up to 7 times in a year.

In either case (jr or sr), they can email as much as they like, and you can email them. Just be kind, courteous, and be succinct. You do not neccessarily have to tell them about the wrist injury, though it will eventually come up, and will most likely impact a scholorship, since coaches are looking for longevity. However, if she just wants to compete as a walk on, she will more than likely be welcomed with open arms.

Hope that helps!

Ryan
 
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vaultqueen

Guest
....

This sounds exactly like me. I have had surgery on both my elbows and about to have a third. But i refuse to quit gymnastics. So my coach told me about event specialist. I am going to do beam and floor. Because my coaches said they could make my rountines where I didnt use my arms as much. And I am also going to be a sophmore this year. But my dreams of ever making it to nationals are really over. But i just figured I should tell you my story. because are stories were very similar. <3
 
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