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Hopes pre-elite program

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Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
I'm hoping to involve my level eight daughter in the Hopes pre-elite program next spring but our gym doesn't have such a program. We don't necessarily want to leave or gym in the SF bay area even though several relatively nearby gyms do have this program. Do you need to be sponsored by your own gym or can you be sponsored by another gym to a Hopes competition and then afterward return to your own JO program gym?

I understand, of course, that the gymnast has to be qualified. While a level eight, my dd has already learned L10 skills for TOPs nationals. Various coaches has told me she might be ready by next spring.
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
716
To compete in any meet, you must have a USAG professional with you on the floor. That professional need not be from your home club. However, you must compete for your home club and that club must agree to it. Still, what you are proposing is highly unusual.

The elite compulsory portion of the qualification will start as early as December. The optional portion will start in February at regional and national qualifiers. A Hopes gymnast need only average an 11.625 at optionals if the rules stay the same. In the past two years, there have been a handful of gymnasts who have competed Level 8 and still qualified with their optional score. They all had Level 10 + skills. Most Hopes gymnasts can score between a 12.00 and 13.00 on vault (the high 12s are for basic layout yurchenkos), a mid 12 on floor if they have two doubles, stay on beam for a mid to high 12 if they have all of the EGR requirements, so the problem is usually bars.
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
Thanks, LemonLime.

We'll try to do Hopes the conventional way by trying to persuade our club to take up the program. We, too, found that bars is the toughest. DD was awesome at TOPs on the beam. All her skills were on the high beam without mats except for the forward aerial which she did on the baby beam. She stuck that and her coach lamented that she hadn't done it on the high beam. DD did really well on the floor, except she couldn't do a doubleback because of a brused semisoid(sic)and she had a pretty good vault, too. Bars was the worst. She had all her skills but they were not connected and were done over the pit. But, like I said before, she is working really hard on her bars. Her bars coach(who is only part-time-two days a week)is hoping she can have most of the bars routine by December when she goes to the training camp in Houston.

But whatever happens, the TOPs experience has really turbocharged her development. She was a superb level seven after TOPs nationals last year and we hope the same will unfold in level eight.

Again, thank you very much.

Tuduri.
 

ZJsMom

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Former Gymnast
May 11, 2007
998
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Tuduri-- I'm just wondering whether your gym has an elite program? If it does, I'm sure after making TOPs team two years in a row, they have her on the elite track. If not, then you will have to switch gyms at some point if that's her aspiration. I guess I'm just wondering how much it really matters whether she competes in the Hopes division. If your gym is producing elites, why not just follow the proven path?
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
ZJsmom:

Our gym no longer has an elite program. We got a new director two years ago and our head coach moved back to Europe. Our level 9s and 10s then went to other gyms.

While our new director is doing a great job, our new interim head coach departed to another club. We have now been without a head coach for several months and my dd's level eight season is soon approaching.

The head coach who left had been our bars and vault coach. We now have a part-time(2 days a week)coach who does bars and vault. He has been coaching for over 20 years and has coached elites and olympic athletes. He really is good. Our coach director fills in the rest of the time, though her specialty is floor/beam. It is difficult for her to spot while the girls are learning new skills on the bars/vault. Meanwhile, we hire the part-time coach to do privates twice a week to make up for the lack of a full time bars and vault coach. That still leaves us one day short. But privates are so expensive we can't afford a third day with him. Besides, he has his own business and doesn't have any more time available.

While preparing for TOPs nationals, we also hired the director/coach to do privates on the floor/beam in order to learn level ten skills. The coach did a great job with my daughter. But we can't keep this up forever. It's just too expensive. We're paying over $1,000 a month with both tuitiion, which was just increased, and privates together.

Our director has promised to revitalize the elite program. She hasn't spelled out what she proposes to do. She is going to accompany my daughter to the TOPs training camp in December and I'm reluctant to destabilize the apple cart by talking to her about this. Still, I know I should.

I realize that if things don't change, I will have to make a descision in the near future. It's not easy because we really love and appreciate our present part-time coach and director. Still, while I'm just a layperson dad, I know that elite training requires more than what is presently available, especially for the amount of money I'm paying now.

Tuduri
 
K

krazykidzmom

Guest
You know not every elite goes through Tops and Hopes. Some go through the JO program and qualify that way.
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
Elite via JO or Hopes

Dear Krazykidzmom:

I don't think the programs are exclusive. My daughter is in JO level eight. The TOPs competition has proven to be a great motivator to my dd and has made her a better gymnast in the JO program. This was my daughter's last year of TOPs as she is 11 years of age. The Hopes program ends, I believe, at age 12. I want to take advantage of the Hopes program while my daughter is age eligible.

Will dd ever make elite? I don't know. But her progression in JO and TOPs shows she seems to have the potential. Therefor, she'll take advantage of whatever program is out there, like Hopes, that might eventually help her make elite and which will, at the same time, enhance her overall gymnastics skills.

Meanwhile, we'll continue in the JO program one level at a time. DD will continue to compete with her team and enjoy the camaraderie of her friends/teammates. To me, it is a win/win situation because Hopes and like programs, at a minimum, will improve dd's skills at each successive level.

Tuduri

Tuduri
 
K

krazykidzmom

Guest
I wasn't saying that one is better than the other. There are many gyms that don't have an elite program but have some elite calibur gymnasts. It is not fesible for some families to move to an elite program. Some big successful gyms in the country don't have the Tops or Hopes program for various reasons. My dd wants to be an elite gymnast but, she has to wait until she has completed level 10. Not until then do our coaches take the kids to Texas(very few I am sure).
I do believe my dd would love to participate in Tops or Hopes, because of our quality of coaches I don't believe she would necessarily be a better gymnast because of it.

I guess we are saving a lot of time and money, she has a big goal ahead of her if she wants to be an elite.

Good luck to your daughter and her season. Maybe in a few years they will be on the same track.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
I don't really believe in the tops or hopes programs, it puts undue pressure on the children and their families. I still take my gymnasts the pre elite road. You do realize that if your daughter goes to level 9 regionals or nationals she can compete at the elite qualifiers.
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
CoachL:

Thanks for the information. I didn't know that.

TOPs has proven to be very beneficial for my daughter. It may not be appropriate for every gymnast. However, most of the younger, high performing level seven gymnasts in the Norcal State meet in 2006-2007 were strong TOPs performers or actual TOPs National qualifiers.

What TOPs affords a gymnast can be accomplished in other ways and through other programs. However, in my daughter's case, I think it made her better gymnast at a younger age. She is in level eight but has most of her level ten skills at 11 years of age.

On the other hand, my niece was an elite gymnast at Techniques in Sacramento seven or eight years ago. She never did TOPs. That proves your point, too.

Thanks, again, for the information.

Tuduri
 
K

krazykidzmom

Guest
Because of the coaching situation at your gym, I am sure being in Texas around those coaches is very beneficial for your daughter. Level 7 is very different from level 8 and a world apart from the connections you have to have at level 9. Throwing level 10 skills, at her age few can do, but I am curious what exactly are her level 10 skills she is doing? Will she be able to score out of level 8 to level 9 after her first meet?
 
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LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
716
I don't really believe in the tops or hopes programs, it puts undue pressure on the children and their families. I still take my gymnasts the pre elite road. You do realize that if your daughter goes to level 9 regionals or nationals she can compete at the elite qualifiers.
Hopes is a form of "pre-elite" level. The requirements are marginally different with D dismounts (although most Hopes gymnasts compete D dismounts) and three bar releases (instead of 2) between Hopes and Pre-Elite.

Any child who competes at L8, L9, L10 or even L4 can compete at an elite qualifier. The qualifiers is open to any USAG member who meets the age requirements.
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
716
Because of the coaching situation at your gym, I am sure being in Texas around those coaches is very beneficial for your daughter. Level 7 is very different from level 8 and a world apart from the connections you have to have at level 9. Throwing level 10 skills, at her age few can do, but I am curious what exactly are her level 10 skills she is doing? Will she be able to score out of level 8 to level 9 after her first meet?
I'm not speaking for Tuduri's dd whom I do not know, but Tops 11yo skills include - among other skills - a double on fx (e.g., double back), a front acro on beam (e.g., front aerial), a yurchenko vault, blind/front giant/pirouette on bars, etc.

Even though the 11yo tops gymnasts compete these skills at national testing, that does not mean that they are Level 10, Level 8, Level 5 or elite in JO. It depends on the gymnast and their gym, but the tops 11yo skills are well within those commonly competed at Level 10.

Hopes skills are another level above, but the 11yo tops skills correspond closely to the elite compulsory routines.

Among other gyms, the following elite gyms with current national team members participate in pre-elite (formerly child elite and national elite) and/or tops competitions or have in the past 3-5 years . . . the list is extensive . . . Hill's, Dreams, Colorado Aerials, SCEGA, All Olympia, Brestyan's, Excalibur, Orlando Metro, DeVeau's, Geddart's Twisters, Sharp's, Parkettes, CGA, Stars, etc.
 
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Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
Parrallel progression

I am just a dad and I can't comment on the issues Lemonlime has addressed.
Last season, we considered jumping dd from level seven to level eight. But I figured, why the rush. I wanted dd to experience the satisfaction of doing well at her skill level and age group. Yes, she could have performed quite well at level eight, but it would not have been at quite the level of success she'd enjoyed at level 7. I figure that the satisfaction of achievement is a great motivator to subsequent advancement in gymnastics and other aspects of life.

I do not anticipate that my dd will jump from level eight to level nine midseason. She will be capable of doing this, she is capable now, but I want her to be performing at a very high degree of success. I want her to learn and refine all the basic higher level skills before she competes at any higher level.

The nice thing about TOPs, Hopes, and similar programs is that a talented gymnast can develop her higher level skills in a program parallel to JO while at the same time competing with her teammates within a JO framework. This has tended to accelerate my daughter's gymnastic development while, at the same time, enabled her to enjoy the camaraderie of a team structure. The socialization found within the relationships of a team is an important part of growing up.

We prize the personal relationships developed at the team and JO level but also appreciate the opportunity to advance and develop through TOPs and Hopes programs.

Tuduri
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
716
I am just a dad and I can't comment on the issues Lemonlime has addressed.
Last season, we considered jumping dd from level seven to level eight. But I figured, why the rush. I wanted dd to experience the satisfaction of doing well at her skill level and age group. Yes, she could have performed quite well at level eight, but it would not have been at quite the level of success she'd enjoyed at level 7. I figure that the satisfaction of achievement is a great motivator to subsequent advancement in gymnastics and other aspects of life.

I do not anticipate that my dd will jump from level eight to level nine midseason. She will be capable of doing this, she is capable now, but I want her to be performing at a very high degree of success. I want her to learn and refine all the basic higher level skills before she competes at any higher level.

The nice thing about TOPs, Hopes, and similar programs is that a talented gymnast can develop her higher level skills in a program parallel to JO while at the same time competing with her teammates within a JO framework. This has tended to accelerate my daughter's gymnastic development while, at the same time, enabled her to enjoy the camaraderie of a team structure. The socialization found within the relationships of a team is an important part of growing up.

We prize the personal relationships developed at the team and JO level but also appreciate the opportunity to advance and develop through TOPs and Hopes programs.

Tuduri
Very well said, Tuduri. I'm sure your dd will do beautifully this year - hopefully at both Hopes and JO!
 
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