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Altius Gymnastics
Team Newsletter

Grip & Equipment Check - Xcel 3, Optionals, Boys Team

With competition season fast approaching, now is a good time to have your athlete check the wear and tear on their grips. Any grips with worn out Velcro, loose finger holes, and ripped, thin, or stretched leather should be replaced before season starts.
Competition Recap

Thank you to all Altius families for help in hosting another successful meet! Our teams have been focused on improving and building on their Harvest Classic performances.

Developmental Bronze Team

“Overall I think this first meet was a great starting point for the girls and look forward to seeing them continue to grow.” – Coach Jamie

  • Vault: Every gymnast competed the handstand tree fall! Most vaults had the elements we have been working on; an arm circle hurdle, reach to handstand, and a nice tight hollow body. The group will be working on front handsprings over the pit mat to get ready for the next level as well as continuing to work on holding a tight body in the handstand tree fall.
  • Bars: Overall, bars was our strongest event. We’ll be spending time on dismounts; hanging on longer and straight legs. We are also focused on perfecting our glides for the Silver routine and as a pre-requisite for learning kips in the future.
  • Beam: The girls did excellent on beam; no falls, everyone remembered routines! We are working on tighter overall form and keeping the routine fluid without stops and jerky movements as well as form on levers and tighter pivot turns. We’ve also focused on handstand dismounts and leaps.
  • Floor: Again, all routines were remembered, and the girls executed all skills successfully. Like beam, we are focused on finishing all skills and not rushing through routines. Specific skills that need the most work are cleaning up the half turns and leap passes.

Developmental Silver Team

“Overall the girls did very well.” – Coach Ann

  • Vault was great. Strong runs and good body shaping. We’ll be working up to going over the table off a springboard.
  • Bars was good. Our plan is to continue to work on casting and kips for Gold/Level 4.
  • Beam: I like the confidence of the girls. We need to improve on hitting full handstands and holding them.
  • Floor: The girls remembered the routines and presented them well. We need to focus on our tumbling.

Xcel 1 Team

“We had a great start to the meet season! Everyone performed well and were great sports towards their teammates.” – Coach Laura

  • Vault: Our pre-flight and post-flight form has room for improvement. We’ll be conditioning our core strength to be able to hold a straight-hollow shape through the entire vault!
  • Bars was our strongest event this meet! Moving forward, our main focus will be on our dismounts and getting our undershoot consistently.
  • Beam: Nerves got the best of us here! We need to focus on routines, routines, routines! A lot of the girls got nervous on beam and that caused them to lose focus and fall or forget their routine.
  • Floor: Another strong event for this group! We’ll be focusing on improving our roundoff form! We need to focus on keeping our ankles together and rebounding in a hollow body.

Xcel 2 Team

“This meet went much better than the practice meet!” – Coach Laura

  • Vault; There is a lot of room for improvement on this event. We’ll be working on gaining shoulder strength in order to block higher and quicker off the table.
  • Bars: Casting will be our focus coming up. We need to gain some arm strength as well as core strength to achieve this.
  • Beam: Not as many falls as at the practice meet so that’s a win! Consistency is key on beam. We will be working on repetition of skills and sticking them all in a row. All of their handstands have improved greatly!
  • Floor was a strong event for us. We’ll be working on improving dance! We need to work on hands and arm positions with this group for a more graceful or bubbly feel to their floor routines (depending on their music).

Level 4 Team

The Level 4 Team has two competitions under their belts. They followed up the Harvest Classic with a meet at Salto on October 20. As a team, we are working on understanding the concept of “practice how you want to compete.” Our goal going into the next two meets is to hit 4 out of 4 events without any falls or major mistakes. The team’s conduct at meets has been excellent; they knew their warmups and it aided in their ability to remain calm and confident. – Coach Chris & Jill

  • Vault: Running speed approaching the table is key for a good front handspring. The gymnasts who are consistent and confident in their runs have been successful on vault over the first two meets, winning several medals. We will continue to focus on building speed and confidence in the run, along with tight body shapes when they hit the table in handstand.
  • Bars: The number of made kips improved from the Harvest Classic to the Salto meet! We stress the importance of making EVERY kip and EVERY squat on in practice so the gymnasts can be confident in their routine under pressure at a competition. Consistency in practice also allows us to focus on other parts of the routine; improve the tap swing form by focusing on the hollow shapes and connecting the kip to horizontal casts on both the low bar and high bar.
  • Beam; Like kips on bars, we stress the importance of making EVERY cartwheel in practice to build consistency. Some of the gymnasts are struggling with the concept of fighting to stay on the beam after a wobble. Leaping and jumping postures have improved. The quality of movement on the beam is good. The percentage of handstands made was high. The use of rhythm in the routine can help with the balance errors.
  • Floor; Floor tumbling has improved a great deal! Front handsprings are looking much stronger. Back extension rolls still need more control. Leaps form is good, but the height of the leap needs improvement. Over the next few weeks, our goal is to increase the height in the leap pass and increase the number of routines done with the music to be on the beat. We also want to work on stronger, straight leg back handsprings.

Level 5 Team

The Level 5 Team girls had a great Harvest Classic and are currently working towards competing two more Level 5 meets and preparing for Level 6 competition in January! – Coach Jill & Chris

  • Vault rocked, with many of the girls scoring above a 9.0; a point or more improvement over their Level 4 front handsprings at this time last year. We will continue to maintain front handsprings while shifting the majority of our vault focus to Yurchenko preparation for the future.
  • Bars: I was happy with the casts above horizontal on both the low bar and high bar. The goal is to keep feet off the floor on the kip after the clear hip and connect the squat on. We are also focused on developing consistent kip-cast handstands and building comfort with sole circles, cast flyaways, and giants.
  • Beam: The team did a great job putting their beam butterflies in a jar (as I’ve been teaching some of them since Level 2!). Great beam workers have a “no doubt” mindset when they are performing their routines. Our goal is to continue to work towards approaching routines with absolute confidence and being able to shrug off the inevitable mistake or fall.
  • Floor: Our main focus is improving switch leaps to hit a full split and straddle jumps to have legs above horizontal, as these are both important Level 6 – 10 skills that are also in the Level 5 routine. Similar to beam, I want to gymnasts to approach floor with a “show it off” mentality so our routines evolve into actual “performances” in the future.
Around the Gym 

Xcel 3 & Optional Team Practice Update

The girls have their choreography completed! The last couple weeks have been endurance routines and working the choreography to make the performance seamless.  When the girls first get a routine, they think a lot about what comes next rather than really being able to perform the routine.  The practice helps them to add the accent details to make the routine stand out.  In the next couple weeks the tumbling passes will be added.  Tumbling has been taking place more on the floor and less in the pit and onto mats. 

Vaults have also been moving from the pit to a more firm surface.  Xcel has move the vaults out of the pit and onto the competition landing surface. 

Beam routines are all choreographed.  The series are moving into the routine but numbers for consistency and execution are still being done separate.  The 6/7 group has upgraded dismounts from front tucks to cartwheel back tucks.  The connective dismount is always better than a single skill. 

On bars, giants have moved to the competition set of bars.  Dismounts are out of the pit and onto landing mats. Short mini routines have been done to increase the endurance needed for a whole routine.  Soon routines will be swinging in their entirety to be prepared for the practice meet in December. 

The optional season is just around the corner!

Go Altius! Strive Higher.