TOPS Results

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Hello All, we found out Friday that my daughter missed the cutoff for B camp by two tenths of a point. Needless to say it was a very long weekend. The sad part is she was on B team last year and she was hoping to make it to A team this year. After the tears stopped and the self-esteem was repaired, she told me that even though she didn't make it she still wants to try it next year. I don't think I can watch her go through this again if the results are the same next year. I have to say, if I could go back and do it over again I would never put my daughter in the TOPS program. From my experience I feel that the program is too demanding both physically and mentally with no rewards. Please don't think that I am bitter just because she didn't make it. The truth is I never felt that there were any benefits from testing. I sometimes feel that the old gym we were at made a big hype about it and made us feel that if our daughter wanted to be an Elite gymnast, then she needed to train TOPS. They made me feel that my daughter was only going to be recognized through TOPS. Since I have come to my senses and done lots of research, I found out the TOPS is not as necessary as everyone makes it out to be. Even when she was selected to go last year, I didn't feel that the camp was very beneficial. To me it was just like any other summer camp/week long slumber party. I really wished that I would not have gotten into the whole hype of the TOPS program when she was 7 yrs old. I think she is and always will be an outstanding gymnast, even without all the TOPS training. Her coach told her that her scores are so close to the cutoff, and since the decline rate for B camp is around 30% she has a great chance of going back to Texas. If this is the case, I have already discussed with her that I don't think it is a good idea. Instead I told her that she can trade in her B camp ticket and I will take her on a week-end trip to California. (To see her best friend :) If it ends up going that way, I will let her decide. She is my one and only daughter, and I will support her in any way that I can :) Sorry about my long winded story. I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for reading.
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I have heard that lots dont take up B camp due to the cost and they have already had the experience of national testing. Your daughter has already had the benefit of the training for TOPS and she has already experienced national testing and B camp. Congratulations to her. Thousands never make it that far. Gymnastics is a demanding sport physically and mentally and higher up the worse it gets. It can be quite cruel at times. Hope your daughter is able to see the tremendous achievement she has already made when she has got over the shock. I hear only 11 11 year olds were invited to A camp this year and not many more 10 year olds. The bulk are always 9 year old as more 9 year olds are in the programme. they go on a percentage. So it kind of gets tougher every year.


Bummer she just missed it, but I can understand where you're coming from on not liking TOPs anyway. Congrats to her on working so hard!!


Apr 11, 2008
Hello there! I am sorry you are feeling down about the whole TOPs experience. I am sure your daughter is an AMAZING gymnast and you are very right...there are many avenues that lead to Elite. Our coach shared my dds results and the cutoffs and we do not think she made it either. It was a little easier for her because we recently returned to the US so she did not train much for it and does not have the investment some of the other gymnasts have in the program. Make sure your dd knows how great she is and do everything to get her excited for the new season. It is a wonderful honor to even get to testing and I am sure she will be at the Ranch again soon!


Proud Parent
Nov 15, 2008
Without getting into any TOPS stuff, just want to say your daughter is clearly a talented girl and a hard worker. She will no doubt go as far in the sport as she wants to go. And she is blessed to have a supportive mom who is looking out for her!


Nov 3, 2008
Region IV (Missouri)
Hi Melissa, I wouldn't stress too much about TOP's. Just going out for Top's means your DD is awesome already! I'm not sure there is much above "Awesome" that's worth all that. I love your idea about trading B-camp for a friend in California.

In the St. Louis area - no gym offers TOP's prep that we ever found. And like you, from what I've read from other parents over the last year or so, this may be a good thing after all. My Nastia still wanted to train/condition herself to Top's "style", but we have no plans to ever test or qualify. Her efforts alone are the envy of many other gymmies on her team - None of which can do much anything the test would require. I'm sure your DD enjoys the same satisfaction with her teammates. That's plenty. (IMHO).

Thanks for sharing.


Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2009
On my couch either reading or doing nothing...
Sorry for your lousy experience with TOPS but I agree with you too about all the hype that goes along with it and my daughter was on the TOPS team. I don't think that TOPS ensures their success like it's promoted to do by coaches. The original purpose of TOPS was to train coaches to train elites without having to leave their home gyms (so they wouldn't have to relocate to the few gyms who did have elites) but somehow the program has become an entity in itself. Gyms who have very successful elites (i.e. Parkettes, CGA, Hills) have continued to have their girls do TOPS but if I am a parent in those gyms I would question why. The TOPS training is a good program but it should be included in regular gym training. When you think of the $$ TOPS generates, you can see why it continues (with approximately 3500 kids doing TOPS at X amount of dollars per month, it really adds up!).


We have a similar program here in Canada called Pre-Novice - same kind of idea, kids who the coaches feel are cut out for it are invited into the program, and if they successfully complete it, they MAY (they age out at 12 and it is not a given, as many parents seem to think) start competing as a National Novice (under 14). Much emphasis (at least from what I know, Bog could I'm sure give much more information on all of this) is placed on physical ability and specific skills. They do perform routines, but they are very rigid in content.

The other route to National level is through our individual provincial programs - considered by some to be the "lesser" way to National, as in the athlete doesn't perhaps show quite as much potential (according to who is what I'd like to know :D). We just started a Pre-Novice program at our gym, so my gymmie (at age 11) is not involved in it. I don't know if she would have been regardless, but I do know that she is quite happy to be working her way through the provincial track - in her mind she is just as able to reach her goal of being a national level athlete in this manner. She actually was kind of worried that they might have wanted to place her in that group - she definitely did not want to be there, and in actual fact (more kudo's for the provincial route) she pretty much has all the skills that are taught in PN.

So, I guess what I'm actually saying is that I agree with those of you who are not at all sure that programs like TOPS truly are the "elite" way to go - and I'm not sure they actually put forth the most well-rounded athlete, in the end.



Oct 2, 2009
Both my daughters tested for TOPs for several years. The problem was our gym didn't really prepare them for it. I still enjoyed taking them to the test and giving them that experience. Of course, we never really planned on making it. Although, I thought with more traini ng they could have. They are both too old to test TOPs now but still like to do the training. I have noticed in our gym, the girls who participated in the TOPs training have advanced levels faster than the others.

Congrats to your daughter for doing so well!!!


Active Member
May 27, 2009
Region 6 (Northeast)
Just making it to the testing was an awesome experience on its own. If that met your and your gymnast's goal and you decide not to pursue it any further, you can now look back and know that you've done it and you've done it well!!! Only a tiny fraction of gymnasts can say that. So, a huge congrats to your family. :applause:

The expression of your feeling had brought it home for me to not second think our decision to decline such opportunity years ago (even though the idea of yielding such unique experiences is still quite attractive -- I envy you guys).

At this time, our daughter's interest in the sport is stronger than ever. As a ordinary gymnast (which I think she would have remained one regardless), without the high stress she is able to do what she can do best (on most days) at her own pace (with a little nudge by her coaches). I think the pressure itself would have either pushed her out of the sport or make her hating it (or us) by now.
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