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Tops

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sheplaysinthechalk

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Jun 19, 2008
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I'm sure that this may sound ridiculous to some of you, but...

What is TOPS?

I'm just curious, really. I asked at our gym, and they looked at me like I smacked them in the face with a frozen fish or something. She just kind of said "tops? gymnastics tops? it must be like some kind of team, but i really i have no idea what you are talking about. I think you might be mistaking gymnastics with cheerleading" She acted like i was asking a completely ridiculous question.

Now, i know that TOPS exists, but i just don't know what it is.

I just thought that maybe someone could explain it a little.

Thanks!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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USAG's Talent Opportunity Programme. :: USA Gymnastics ::

Used to identify gymnastics talent eary and give the gymnasts and their coaches extra focussed training. They go to the famous, or infamous, Ranch and work out together.

Here is a video of one very good tops gymnast who could go far.

YouTube - Nica Hults USA Gymnastics TOPs Testing July 15, 2007 this cannot be embedded.

Not all gyms use TOPS including WOGA, Nastia's gym or Chows, Shwans gym. But it seems TOPS has identified many great gymnasts. But it is not a predictor of Elite success or status.
 

DbacksMom75

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Proud Parent
Aug 18, 2008
112
Arlington, TX
Was it the coaches that sisn't know what TOPS was, if so I would be a little worried :p
My gymmie started TOPS training last month and it has made a huge difference in her strength abilities, last night she did her 1st press handstand by herself (on the beam not floor but we'll take it), last month she couldn't even do an "L" hold.
A few times a year the gym will take the TOPS kids to testing, if you place well you get the National team gear and the older kids (9-10 year olds) go to National Training camp in Houston.
 

sheplaysinthechalk

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Coach
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Jun 19, 2008
159
united states
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USA
lol! yes, it was the owner that didn't know what TOPS was. I feel bad laughing, but i knew that tops was something that existed within gymnastics, i just didn't know what it was.

I've read a little bit about it this afternoon. It sounds like it's a good program. I wonder, though, if this is something that our gym should be doing. Or at least using it as a guideline. The kids in our gym are definitely not participating in the kind of conditioning i saw in the video of the girl posted by BOG. they don't work on press handstands often, there is no rope in our gym. they don't practice holding handstands. i don't think i've only seen a few kids working on casting to handstand - never unassisted. They never do leg lifts - only v sits for abs....
 

dadingym

Member
Oct 10, 2008
111
TOPs is a very big commitment for the gymmie. Depending on the gym, the gym may seperate the gymmie from regular team(just to workout on TOPs skills) while other gyms hold extra or additional workout sessions for those who are asked to participate. I would read the USA Gymnastics TOPs webpage, a lot of good info!
 
B

bribri514

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TOPS is talent opportunity program (a pretty long process really) run by USAG for 7-11 year olds. it starts out as a summer program that's all about increasing strength and flexibilty. from there you can move onto national testing in the fall. if you test high enough you can be invited to a national training camp in december at the ranch. you can make a, b (9-11 yo) or diamond (7 and 8 yo) team depending on how you perform. carly patterson, chelsey memmel, alicia sacramone and sam peszek have been top performers in years past, so a lot of talented gymnasts are involved in it.

i started doing it when i was 7 and when i was 9 got to go to national camp (back when it was at tulsa). it was such an incredible experience and prepared me to move onto the elite training program (tops national team members cacn bypass going through the jo system to qualify at meets for elite, unfortunately i couldn't do b/c of family issue which kept me out of elite again when i went through level 10 and qualified for nationals). but yeah, TOPS rocks imho :) it's a lot of hard work, but totally worthwhile if youre really commited to gym.

hope this helps!
 
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