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What it takes to be in the TOPS A Team and B Team

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4theloveofsports

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Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2011
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USA
My daughter qualified for national testing as a 9 yo and again as a 10 yo. She was certainly better prepared as a 10 yo missing B team cut-off by less than a point. But I am extremely proud of my daughter and feel she may be just as talented as those girls that made it.

After many conversations with parents at national testing, posts here in chalbucket, other websites, newpaper articles, blogs, etc., it is evident that most, if not all those that make it to A and B team put in an insane amount of hours to prepare for the testing. Many are homeschooled already and/or modified school schedule. Many put in upwards of 25 hours a week and between 35 to 40 hours per week during the summer. My daughter practices 15 hours a week (3 hours a week, 5 days a week) and last summer (and this is somewhat a sore subject that I don't understand), her gym cut practice time to 12 hours a week (M-TH 3:30-6:30) with optional camps in the morning (additional fees of course). In addition, she does not start sporadically training the ability test part until after States championship and did not go heavy into skills training until after we got confirmation she qualified nationally--one and a half months before actual national testing. But even though my daughter is extremely disappointed she did not make the team, I cannot see having her increase her training like the other girls. It may have been nice to start training more than a month and half before testing but I can't see putting those many insane hours on my daughter. I also don't want her (nor would I think she would want) to miss out on school and friends.

Maybe we are not cut out to go the elite route because of our mentality right now and maybe that is why those girls make it to A and B deserve to be there. They may be cut from a different watchamacallit?
 
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Mom2twingymnasts

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Proud Parent
Aug 19, 2010
477
USA
Country
USA
Our TOPs group train together for 5 hours a week – the focus is on conditioning. On top of that they train with their group that is based mostly on level. My daughter is a Level 7 in a level 6&7 training group and her group trains for 17 hours per week. I think that is allot for a girl that just turned 10.

I think my daughter and her team mates also didn't start heavily working the skill elements until they knew they made it to national testing. It made it a stressful August and September.
 

my4buffaloes

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2010
5,288
Midwest
TOPs training is 1.25 hours a week. During regular practice though they are also incorporating some of those skills in - such as rope climbs, presses, splits, etc. Our gym usually has some girls make the National Teams each year, even with this little training.
 

Clover

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Proud Parent
Jul 28, 2011
416
SW US
Country
USA
Our girls only add 1 hour a week for TOPS training (physical abilities). So, the odds of anyone making to National Testing are probably not very good. I think most of our girls are just in it to get stronger and more flexible.
 

sportzmomov3

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 6, 2009
156
Metropolitan USA
Country
USA
Trust me on this one: you do not need to actually do TOPs to "make it" in this sport, nor do you need to go to TOPs camps to make it to elite. Don't have the stats because I don't bother with these types of details, however I do know many current National Team members never "trained" TOPs. It's all about the type of gym you're at, the coaches' experience, and the individual gymnast. TOPs does not make an elite.

All this to say, if your DD wants elite, find a gym and coaching that knows how to get her there - TOPs isn't mandatory, although the conditioning is standard for any gym that does train elites as they incorporate it into the regular training conditioning.
 

DbacksMom75

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 18, 2008
112
Arlington, TX
Always keep in mind that WOGA does not participate in TOPS and has produced quite a few Olympians and National team members. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but TOPS was created to help train not only athletes but coaches. That is why WOGA doesn't participate, they already know how to train an elite gymnast. There are many roads to one destination...
 
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gymyahoo

New Member
Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2011
40
Trust me on this one: you do not need to actually do TOPs to "make it" in this sport, nor do you need to go to TOPs camps to make it to elite. Don't have the stats because I don't bother with these types of details, however I do know many current National Team members never "trained" TOPs. It's all about the type of gym you're at, the coaches' experience, and the individual gymnast. TOPs does not make an elite.

All this to say, if your DD wants elite, find a gym and coaching that knows how to get her there - TOPs isn't mandatory, although the conditioning is standard for any gym that does train elites as they incorporate it into the regular training conditioning.
We have elite girls in our gym who never did TOPS and are part of the national team. We also have girls that have made TOPS A camp the last couple of years. We'll see whether or not they make it to Elite but there is no question they are stronger than most gymnasts in their level. Their TOPS training is incorporated into daily practices. You can take a different path to the Elite level as long as you and your DD are with a coach that creates an atmosphere geared toward that goal. I agree with Sportzmom.
 

GymWithoutEnd

New Member
Nov 15, 2011
30
TOPS seems like a good way for lesser known gyms to get noticed and hopefully respected by the national gymnastics people. It's a political tool for gyms. WOGA doesn't have to participate in TOPS because they already have a great reputation.
 
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