Girls Team Update

Pre-Season 2015

Welcome to Pre-Season!

We hope that your gymnasts all had a great first week of school! While we use the week off to gear up for our new session, we hope that the kids took advantage of establishing their school-year schedule and refueled to begin their pre-season training.

Pre-season is the time when we shift from working on skills, to stringing together sequences in preparation for routines. Gymnasts should expect less skill acquisition and more skill refinement during the pre-season. That being said, we will continue to offer incentives to work on higher-level skills. However, they will need to prove sequence and routine readiness instead of simply skill readiness to work higher-level skills.

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Coaching Information

This season will bring a few coaching changes that we are excited to share with you. Maci Sump was recently hired as the volunteer assistant coach for the University of Illiois Women’s Gymnastics team and will be joining the CGA staff this fall as well! Maci’s bio can be found on the Fighting Illini website here. Maci will focus primarily with the Girls Optionals, but she will also mix in with the lower level girls as well as teaching girls rec classes.

I’ve included a brief reference below for which coaches your gymnasts will have in practice, as well as which coaches will be attending meets with them.

Girls Level 2

Girls Level 3

  • Practice: Casey, Miss Leslie, Coach Luke, Coach T
  • Meets: Coach Luke, Coach T

Girls Level 4-8

  • Practice: Casey, Ian, Miss Leslie, Coach Luke, Maci
  • Meets: Casey, Coach Luke

If you have questions about your gymnast’s progress, your first resource will be the coaches that are taking them to meets. These coaches will have your gymnast in practice most frequently, and will be able to offer the most in-depth analysis of their progress, etc.

Girls Level 2 Update

The Level 2 girls are hard at work learning their routines! The choreography on beam and floor can be especially tricky for a new competitive gymnast, so we recommend that the girls practice (their choreography, not their skills!) at home. Miss Kristin has sent out verbal cues for the Level 2 beam and floor routines. Please encourage your gymnast to review these routines frequently for better retention in their practices. I've included the Level 2 floor music below as well. If you have any specific questions about the choreography, please contact

Girls Level 3-8 Update


Level 3 girls are hard at work mastering the building blocks of their vault skills. The handstand flat fall is key in transitioning to a front handspring vault. Levels 4-7 will compete a front handspring vault this year, and will be given opportunities to work on advanced vaults when they show a high level of proficiency on this skill. Level 8s will continue to train their advanced vaults to have the opportunity for a higher start value on vault this year.

Uneven Bars

Sequence difficulty will increase every 1-2 weeks, with drill stations designed to aid in adding the skill to the overall sequence. Next-level drill stations will be considered the next hardest skill to add to the routine in the coming weeks. The girls will have “ladies' choice” time when these drill stations and current weekly sequences are mastered (done without more than 1 small deduction per skill). This will allot them time to work on any harder skills they like, including skills from their current level or a higher level. Around end of October/early November (depending on level), the kids will start doing their actual competition routines.

Balance Beam

Our pre-season will be spent working multiple element routines (routine skills in sequence without choreography) each day. This will give your gymnasts the chance to do a high number of repetitions on their skills, while also building their routine endurance. Choreography will be worked on separately to focus on fine-tuning and will be done with 1-on-1 attention whenever possible. Gymnasts will continue to be given opportunities to work on advanced skills once their have successfully completed their daily routine assignments.

Floor Exercise

As we get closer to the beginning of season the girls will be expected to do more things that resemble routines. There will be more tumbling on the floor itself rather than the sting mats. Sting mats are used a lot in the off-season to aid in injury prevention. During the season the gymnasts are more prepared to know exactly how it feels to take off and land any new passes. Floor passes will also be done in succession on the 40ft X 40ft floor itself. There will be more tumble track endurance challenges as endurance becomes increasingly important for routine acquisition. We've included a link to the compulsory floor musics in this newsletter. Feel free to have your gymnast practice their choreography at home!

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Cardio Training

Though the girls have been doing cardio workouts all summer, the emphasis on cardio training will become increasingly more important now that we’re in pre-season. Cardio will be a large determining factor in your gymnast’s preparedness for meet season. Along with the progress of their skills, their readiness will hinge on their endurance to string all of their skills together within their routine. The amount of cardio that each level does in a week grows with their level. The Level 3 girls will do a short cardio workout on select Wednesdays at the end of their practice. The Level 4-8 girls will do a more extensive cardio workout every Wednesday night (don’t miss our #sweatyselfie posts on Facebook!). Additionally, the Level 7-8 girls will do more floor-specific cardio workouts on Tuesdays to meet the demands of performing their longer optional floor routines. Please keep these days in mind when your gymnast has to miss a practice. Missing cardio training is a sure-fire way to get behind in their pre-season training. We would also appreciate the effort on your part to make sure that your gymnast is coming to practice with a refillable water bottle (especially on these days) to keep them hydrated during these challenging workouts. The girls will be working hard during every practice, but they may be especially tired after their cardio days.

Establishing a Sleep Routine

It is easy to go to bed late during the summer when there’s nothing to wake up for in the morning. It’s also easy to eat and nap sporadically when your schedule is so flexible. This is all changing rapidly now that the fall is here. The kids are back to a tighter schedule and it takes time to adjust. Now that we're moving from the summer to the fall session there will be a number of changes mentally and physically for the kids. One way to get ahead of these changes is to plan on getting good sleep.

There is a lot of focus put on strength and flexibility when considering necessary tools to be a successful gymnast. However, the more time spent in the gym, the more diligent an athlete must be with their recovery. Eating healthier is an important tool that Mike highlighted recently. Getting enough sleep is also vital to the your gymnast's daily routine. There is more sleep than just getting in bed at the right time and waking up at the right time. It takes time to fall asleep at night and to fully wake up in the morning.

In the Morning

Early bird gets the worm
It’s easier to wake up when you have the energy to do so. A big breakfast will get the kids metabolism going to be alert in class. It will set your gymnast up to succeed throughout the day. Eating a big breakfast will get them early to bed and early to rise, so parents can get a little sleep of their own!

Light a fire

Temperature has a lot to do with waking up. Part of getting your body alive and moving is to start a little fire. Not a real fire, but you get the point! Jump into the shower like a moth to the flame! Get the kids a breakfast from the griddle; get them moving with a pet or sibling. In the end it’s about doing something that gets the heart rate up, if even just for a minute.

At Night
Be the “cool” parent
You can also use temperature to help your gymnast the fall asleep. The cooler they are, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep at night. When they’re cozy lying against the cool side of the pillow, their heart beats slower. A cool shower is a relaxing way of getting them ready to fall asleep…Caution: may cause serious bad hair days and late night trips to the bathroom! But hey, we're not advising the ice bucket challenge or anything! ;) The goal, as always, is to strike a balance.

No food before bed, dude

Eating less at night helps deplete all that endless energy the kids have! It’s best to eat dinner before practice when we finish at night. Keep in mind it’s important to at least eat a balanced snack before and after practice to help recovery. A quick snack right after practice will diminish hunger before bed. Prior to bedtime your gymnast should be slowing down the metabolism that we so carelessly sped up in the gym! A nightly routine will slow them down much better than adding calories. It’s also difficult to fall asleep in the middle of heavy digestion.

Counting sheep is not a bedtime routine

If you want good sleep, it’s best to let your mind listen to ebbs and flows of your body. But what if your body just isn’t getting tired when your parent, and your own mind are shouting in harmony “GO TO SLEEP!”? Slowing down your gymnast’s body is easier than shutting off their active imagination. You can realign their biological clock by taking them through the nightly motions earlier in the night. Brushing teeth, wearing pajamas, and reading in bed are all good ways to signal to the body that it‘s sleepy time. Television and other screen time should not be included in this bedtime routine. Screen time has been shown to keep kids awake later.

Questions about establishing a sleep routine? Contact

Meet Information

Meet season is right around the corner, and the competition schedule will be available in the near future. Our plan is to distribute this schedule at or before the all-parent CGA Booster Club meeting on Sunday, September 13th at 2 PM.

I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a few reminders about the upcoming meet season. First things first – Mark your calendars for the Justin Spring Invitational! This year’s meet will be December 11-13, 2015. We will discuss the meet preparation more extensively at the CGABC meeting. Secondly, when you receive the meet calendar you will have to turn in a meet sign-up sheet. We will be making more strict suggestions about which meets the kids should attend this year. Almost all of the meets on the calendar will be mandatory. However, we will offer the choice to opt out of 1 of 2 meets of our choosing if your schedule is unable to accommodate the full calendar. Since our training plan is designed with the complete meet schedule in mind, it is most effective when the gymnast attends all of the meets they are assigned to. We also ask that you keep in mind that gymnasts with an outstanding balance as of September 1st, 2015 will not be included on the meet rosters. Once the balance has been paid in full, we will try to add these gymnasts to the rosters, but there is a chance the meet director may not be able to add additional gymnasts to their meet.

We are all looking forward to another great season!

Questions about meet information? Contact

All-Parent CGA Booster Club Meeting

Sunday, Sep. 13th, 2pm

219 South Mattis Avenue

Champaign, IL

Justin Spring Invitational

Friday, Dec. 11th, 8am to Sunday, Dec. 13th, 10pm

1206 S 4th St

Champaign, IL

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Compulsory Floor Music by User 613897253