How to coach gymnastics AND have a successful relationship.

I published a version of this at my other website, Vacilando. 

I Do Not Give Relationship Advice, But….

While recently speaking at Region 2 Congress I was having a conversation with a newly married acquaintance. After the obligatory congratulations and wishing him luck I shared that my 25th anniversary was coming up. He asked- with all the traveling I do, What is the secret for a lasting relationship? He was worried that as a gymnastics coach his relationship may be doomed before it started. (I wonder what the divorce rate is for coaches? )

I was honored that he asked me and I really gave thought to my answer before I shared.

What came to me first is that no relationship is “perfect” there will always be some ups and downs. Consistent communication between you and your partner will help you navigate the bumps in the road. If something REALLY bothers you – you need to be able to tell them. AND you need to listen to the grievances of your partner as well with out getting offended.

When I was first married I had a habit of just kicking off my shoes when I came in from outside. It drove my wife crazy when she would trip on my shoes when she came in. She got so angry that she picked up my shoe and was about to throw it outside when she slowed down and thought, “Why don’t I tell him first?” . She told me and I said, “Oh, sorry about that. I’ll take care of that.” I never left my shoes in front of the door again. She told me- I fixed it. No big deal.

A good relationship is NOT a partnership. Most partnerships are viewed as a 50/50 agreement. In a marriage you have to always be willing to give more than you receive. It is more a 60/60 or 70/70 deal with each giving more so that the relationship grows. This is important to remember as time goes on. A flower planted in the richest soil will need some added nutrients after a few years. Otherwise the flower loses its brilliance.

When you return home from a trip whether it was for a conference or competition remember that your spouse has been home, taking care of things, their life went on. BEFORE you unload about what a great (or horrible) competition you had, what you learned at a conference or how well your lectures went. STOP, slow down, take a minute and listen to what has been going on in their life. What has been going on is important to them and you need to listen.

Gymnastics coaches are passionate about what they do. Most LOVE their job and the ability to interact with children and really make a difference in the lives of so many. As much as you are passionate about your profession, your spouse is equally passionate about something they do. It may be their job, it make be cooking, writing, or gardening. FEED their passion. Do not expect your spouse to fully understand gymnastics, but don’t be condescending. Explain things, share your passion but also share in their passion.

Never underestimate the value of kissing someone good morning and good night. Yes, I know — it’s so traditional. This simple loving gestures speaks volumes. I want to kiss you when I open my eyes. I want to hold you for a minute before we sleep. No matter what happens between you during the day, there will always be this.

Understand that relationships come with expectations and commitments. There are things that you will HAVE to do that you might not want to. Whether it’s a dinner party or a concert. Get over it. Put on a smile and go. (and while you are there- no whining). Relationships come with obligations. Your spouse probably doesn’t want to sit through a Level 3 meet. But does.

Give presents. Do the unexpected. Surprise each other. Is it the loving sexy text during the day? Or maybe buying his favorite cookies at the store? Surprises do not have to be big to be fabulous. It’s amazing how offering up a bit of a loving surprise can keep the heat burning.

Don’t pick on each other in public. Don’t make each other the butt of a joke in front of people. When we use the phrase “at each other’s expense” that is real. Every time you turn someone into your punch line, you are paying out of their self-esteem. Don’t do it. Along that same line, don’t correct your spouse in public. There is just no point to it. It is petty. If they are telling a story, “It was just before our son was born and…” and you remember that it was clearly AFTER he was born. So what? Was that important to the story? Let it go.

Help each other. Whether it is taking on some work, or simply cheerleading. How can you help each other when one of you gets overwhelmed? Don’t just ask, “What can I do?” do something.

Have each other’s backs. I do not tolerate people talking badly about their partner — ever. I don’t care how small it is. This is a zero tolerance zone. If your partner can’t count on you to defend them — who can they trust? and NEVER fight in public.

Lastly- It is very easy to list the faults of your partner or spouse.

She drives me crazy when she does________.

I really hate it when he ____________.

I wish they would just ____________.

We even find it easy to criticize ourselves.

I really need to be a better job at ________________.

But when was the last time you listed the things you love about your partner?

I love how she can make me smile even when I have a bad day.

I love the way he interacts with the kids.

I love how hard she works at her job.

I love the pride he has in his appearance.

Now go, make your list, and go tell them every once and a while!

Peace!

PS-

How did I know it was the right one? Even after 25 years? When I pull into the drive and see her car there, I just smile.

Gym Momentum Training Camp Boston 2015 Schedule

Gym Momentum Training Camp

SCHEDULE

Yellow Jackets Gymnastics. 4B Lookout Ln. Middleton, Massachusetts

Thursday June 25.
6:00 Arrival check in and Orientation.
7:00- 8:30 Light Training with personal coaches

JUNE 26th.
Training 9 AM – 5:30 PM. Lunch  and a snack will be provided
9:00-9:20 Warm Up
9:25- 10:00 event 1
10:05-10:40 event 2
10:45-11:20 event 3
11:20-11:30 Break
11:30-12:05 event 4
12:10-12:45 event 5
12:45- 1:45 LUNCH/ rest
1:45-2:00 warm up
2:05 –2:40 event 1
2:45- 3:20 event 2
3:25-4:00 event 3
4:05-4:40 event 4
4:45- 5:30 Open Training and Staff Presentation
Dinner On Your Own

Coaches meeting at Gym or Hotel 7 PM.

JUNE 27th
Training 9 AM – 5:30 PM. Lunch and a snack will be provided Training 9 AM – 5:30 PM. Lunch  and a snack will be provided
9:00-9:20 Warm Up
9:25- 10:00 event 1
10:05-10:40 event 2
10:45-11:20 event 3
11:20-11:30 Break
11:30-12:05 event 4
12:10-12:45 event 5
12:45- 1:45 LUNCH/ rest
1:45-2:00 warm up
2:05 –2:40 event 1
2:45- 3:20 event 2
3:25-4:00 event 3
4:05-4:40 event 4
4:45- 5:30 Open Training and Staff Presentation
Evening Activity TBD

JUNE 28th
Training 9 – 12:30 Workout. Lunch will be provided
9:00-9:20 Warm Up
9:25-10:00 event 1
10:05-10:40 event 2
10:45-11:20 event 3
11:25-12:00 event 4
12-12:30 closing statements and awards
12:30 Departure.

Clear Hip and Giant Lecture Notes

CLEAR HIP CIRCLES AND GIANTS
TONY RETROSI
tony@gymmomentum.com

5 SKILLS EVERY GYMNAST NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL
THE BIG 5
KIP
CAST HANDSTAND
CLEAR HIP HANDSTAND/ Other in bar skill
GIANT
FLYAWAY

Where it all starts
Straight
Hollow
Tight Arch
Arm extension
THE HANDSTAND
Clear Hip Circle

Body Shape Rules
Strong CORE Strength. (What is your Core?)
Ability to Hold Static Shape BEFORE you try to move through it
Work parts independently as well as together
Body weight, the light resistance, increase resistance with out losing shape.
Important Shapes
STRAIGHT
HOLLOW
ARCH

Clear hip/ Toe Hand/ Stalder Drills
Back Hip Circles in a row. Straight Body
Baby clear hip circles in a row. Getting bigger. Maintain Shape
Quick turns on strap bar (too much time bad for wrists)
LOTS and LOTS of Back Extension Rolls
Press Shaping
for Toe Handstand and Stalder
Jump Clearhip/ Toe on
Drills
Jump to toe circle
Double leg jam
seat circles
Basket swings
Down Swing

Clear Hips in a row
Wyler
GIANTS
The “up swing”
Many of the same drills as CLEAR HIPS
REVIEW
Maintain body shape
Opening of Arms
Toes lead the way
Neutral Head Position

DOWN SWING

Social Media Lecture Notes

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media
Tony Retrosi
Gym Momentum
tony@gymmomentum.com
Twitter
@gym_momentum
@tretrosi
@atlanticgym

Facebook
Tony Retrosi (tretrosi)
Gym Momentum (GYM-Momentum)
Atlantic Gymnastics (atlanticgym)

THE

LAST

THING YOU NEED

IS…
Social Media
Stop giving me that pop-up ad for facebook.com! There’s a reason you don’t talk to people for 25 years. Because you don’t particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn!

So what do YOU need?

Brand Story

The first thing
you need is a
SOLID BRAND

but what is a brand?
So you don’t really have a brand.
you have customers that have a perception of you.
are you happy with what they think of you?
do you even know what they think of you?
maybe its time you started…

LISTENing

This should be your
social media strategy

Social doesn’t fix real problems, it exposes them

Who is managing your
 social media presence?
Your assistant?
Nephew?
Mistress?
is it this guy…

WTF?

OBLIGATORY
BULLET POINTS.

Social Media = Human Interaction

Groups are built of like minded individuals

That follow trends

Make buying decisions

Trust opinions

and ultimately…

Become communities

DO YOU KNOW YOUR
COMMUNITY?
Pros of Using Social Media
FREE!!!!!
Quick Communication
Interactive.
CONS of SOCIAL MEDIA
Life span of Social Media is SHORT
TRENDY
What you say once could live FOREVER
Easy to loose control of your message
Worlds Largest Cocktail Party
“A great analogy for social media is the world’s largest cocktail party, only without the drinking and at incredible scale,”
At a cocktail party, you wouldn’t walk up to someone and say, ‘Hey, I’m Dave. My stuff is 20 percent off.’ What you do is ask questions, tell stories, listen and relate to people.
Key Technical Matters
Stay positive.
“Thanks” is not a rich enough social media message on Twitter or elsewhere.
“Thx” isn’t either. But it’s easier to type.
Your “special social media language” is the language of your audience. For instance, if you’re marketing to English speakers, your special social media language would be English.
Awesome is not a language.

Never attempt to use slang on social media that you would not use in real life.
Reread your tweet. Do not respond in an official capacity via social media while drinking.
Do not respond in a nonofficial capacity via social media while drinking.
Still, your company’s social media personality should be your company’s corporate personality after exactly one beer.

If your gym’s annual revenue is more than $2 million, you may not abbreviate “great” as “gr8.”
If your gym’s annual revenue is less than $2 million, you may not abbreviate “great” as “gr8.”
Like this: light, amusing, useful.
Not like this: languid, ponderous, moralizing.
No grammatical errors.
Funny only if you’re funny.

No lawsuit threats via social media.
If it involves “tips” of any kind, people will click.
Especially “simple tips.”
Also, “giveaway.”
WAYS TO INCREASE TRAFFIC
Post about GENERAL THINGS that your clientele would be interested in.
Things going on in your community
Parenting information
School Information

PHOTOS
VIDEOS
Funny
ASK questions
ANSWER questions
comment back to everyone
Trends
Diversify. You’ve probably seen headlines about Facebook’s algorithm changes. If you currently operate a brand or business page, one study found that only six percent of followers currently see your posts. Experts suggest that that number will continue to plummet, eventually reaching one percent.
Google+ is for real. If there’s one social network businesses should pay specific attention to, it’s Google+, which is already playing a more important role in Google’s organic ranking algorithm. I expect this trend will continue.
Visual content will win. An estimated 63 percent of social media comprises imagery. As such, visual platforms are playing an increasing role in social media for businesses. One study found that 29 percent of Pinterest users bought an item after posting or re-pinning it on the network.

Tumbling and Twisting Notes

Front and back tumbling
Tony Retrosi
tony@Gymmomentum.com

Tony’s 10 Commandments for tumbling

1. PLAN. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance
2. Teach the big picture. – Don’t be so technical when they are learning.
3. Patience – not everyone learns at the same pace
4. Teach it right the first time
5. Safety rolls. Learn how to fall. It is going to happen, be prepared

6. Small muscles help big muscles Use all of them! Conditioning for success
7. provide training stations, twisting rules etc. and encourage simple basics. — Then let them explore
8. Same direction twisting front and back
9. Arms lead the way
10. Spotting is a step not a solution

Give the gymnasts an opportunity to fail… and to succeed…
failure is a prerequisite for success. let them know that it is ok.
they can not make a correction without risking failure
the base
all gymnastics starts with tumbling
teach it right the first time
go back a step if the gymnasts gets confused.
– THERE IS NO SHORTCUT.

Try to be very methodical.
Give corrections not observations
be patient

Preparing the Body
Tumbling is equal amounts legs and arms. Your conditioning should reflect that.

What do your legs have to do?
The stomach holds the body together, it is often the “weak link”
Arms need to be straight, need to PUSH, Pulling exercises for balance.

Strength issues
Make the muscle strong. Then train it to be fast.
The use of plyometric conditioning
body shapes

condition FOR SUCCESS
roll back stand (both leg, single leg- progress to roll back jump.)
jump lunges (FRONt AND SIDEWAYS)
step up kicks
leg curls
leg extensions
toe raises

lots of jumping!
jump up and off of mat
bounding jumps
lead into lots of rebounds

Prepare the mind
Common fears
Visualization
Relaxation
teach – muscle memory
break the skill down
teach what each part needs to do
find as many places as possible to do those positions
important body shapes
hollow
arch
side arch (for twisting)
straight
candle stick

handstand
open shoulders
neutral head position
tight body

basic line tumbling
done every day
base for every event
have a plan, what do you want them to get from this?

Split walk 3 sec. square, then flat
Handstand forward roll straddle through
Back and Front limber
back extension roll
3 steps kick front, side, back
kick front, side, back, bwo

alternate front walkover
forward roll tuck, pike, straddle up to hs.
front and side cartwheels
side and front aerials

Progressions
Safety rolls- there is ONLY 1 guarantee, you are going to fall, so be ready.
Forward and backward rolls
Handstands before cartwheels
Front and back limbers
Front and back walkovers before handsprings
the round off- a sideways handspring
Far arm cartwheel
Over stuff
Onto stuff
Uphill
Down hill
aerials!!!

The hurdle
Stretched out skip
Arm position.
I tend to do hurdle front handsprings before round offs
Front HS
Heal drive

Front Tumbling progression
Headspring before Handspring
Handsrping step out before together.
Work Tight Arch
FHS step out- FHS step out- FHS 2 feet rebound
FHS – rebound- bounder (eventually front tuck)

FHS – front tuck/ pike- rebound- bounder
run punch front- rebound- bounder
run punch front- bounder- rebound
run punch front- punch front
FHS- front pike- front

Back tumbling progression
rows of BHS (time these!)
Round off BHS “set”
be willing to spot “set” and layout for good body position
i teach lay out first. then pike/ tuck
make sure they know how to land
Twisting drills

flipping drills
Double back, full in, Arabian double

Vaulting Bridge Notes

Building a BRIDGE between compulsory and Optional Vaulting

Developing Vault
a bridge from handsprings to optional vaults

Tony Retrosi
Atlantic Gymnastics Training Centers
www.atlanticgym.com

GYM MOMENTUM
www.gymmomentum.com

The Problem
Handspring vault –
The better you get at the compulsory handspring vault the better you get at NOT flipping.

USA Level 3-7
Compulsory Program
FORM AND EXECUTION
REINFORCEMENT OF BASIC SKILLS
GOOD PROGRESSION
LEARN HOW TO COMPETE!!
MONTHLY TUITION!
Good and Bad
GOOD
Run
board position
block (pop)
Landing

BAD
Non flipping
so competitive at compulsory levels it could set you back

Have A Plan
What drills and when?
What drills to continue?
When to introduce new entry?
How much time to spend?
How will the effect their score?

Atlantic Philosophy
Competition is good. You need to know how to WIN and how to lose.
Have the skill level BEFORE you reach that level of competition.
You are either getting better or getting worse. There is no staying the same.

BE VERY CLEAR WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS
LEVEL 4: HANDSPRING VAULT
LEVEL 5: HANDSPRING OVER TABLE TO STAND ON 2, 8 inch MATS.
LEVEL 6: HANDSPRING OVER TABLE TO STAND ON FAT MAT. TSUK/ YURCHENKO TIMER
LEVEL 7:LEARN A FLIPPING VAULT

LEVEL 9: H.S. FRONT, LAYOUT TSUK OR YURCHENKO-
LEVEL 10: HS front pike, Yurchenko LO full twist
PRE-ELITE MUST HAVE LAYOUT YURCHENKO ready to twist
Elite. Yurchenko 1.5+++

My Dream Compulsory Program
Level 3- Handspring to flat back on fat mat
Level 4- Handspring over table to mat 8 inches higher than table
Level 5- Handspring
Level 6- Vault “timer” to stacked mats.

Tony’s 10 Commandments
Have a Plan
RUN!!!!!!!
Teach Body positions (and relate it to their vault)
Learn to Bounce on the board
Teach them how to land

Teach them how to fall (because it’s going to happen)
Lay the base early for future vaults
Teach them how to flip other places that are easier before they vault
Be clear and be quick with corrections.
LET THEM PLAY

YOUR PLAN
WRITE IT DOWN!
BE FLEXIBLE, every kid, every group will be different.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
GET OTHER COACHES INVOLVED.
DRILLS AT EACH LEVEL. not just skills

6-8 year old
Develop steady accelerating run.
Develop an excellent handspring to stacked mats (with or without table)
Run must accelerate in run up for handspring
Correct board position and under swing
Maintain straight body throughout

8-10 year olds
Keep working Increased power and speed.
Introduce Round off entry vaults.
Learn a flipping vault.
Lots of tramp vault to increase awareness

10-12 year old
Complete Flipping vault.
Further development of second family.
Should be able to flip Yurchenko.

12-14 Year old
As vaults become ready to compete. Continue to work and refine everything prior to table. Run, hurdle, etc.
Tramp on light or off days.
Should have 2 vaults.

14+
Have one VERY strong vault with a second back up from different family.
Level 1-3 Pre Competitive Team
LET THEM RUN!
BOUNCE vs. JUMP
BODY SHAPES
tuck, pike, layout
HANDSTANDS!!!!!!

LEVEL 3
HANDSPRING TO BACK (COMPULSORY VAULT)
SPOTTED FRONT LAYOUT
HANDSPRING OVER FAT MAT
HANDSPRING OVER TABLE TO FAT MAT

FRONT TUCK OFF BOARD TO 8 IN MAT
CARTWHEEL/ ROUNDOFF TO CARPET SQUARE
ROUNDOFF ONTO BOARD REBOUND
ROUNDOFF OVER MAT
FRONT HANDSPRING OFF BOARD
HANDSPRING DRILLS
BOUNCE ON BOARD (front and back)
RUN AND REBOUND ON BOARD (up to 8 in mat)
DIVE ROLL
KICK TO HANDSTAND TO FLAT BACK ON MAT
FRONT AND BACK LIMBERS

CARTWHEELS ON LINE
ROUNDOFF ON LINE
PUSH UP BOUNCES
HANDSTAND SHRUG
LEVEL 4 VAULT, LOW MATS THEN INCREASE HEIGHT

LEVEL 4
HANDSPRING OVER TABLE (compulsory vault)
HANDSPRING POP TO HANDSTAND OVER TABLE
HANDSPRING OVER TABLE TO STACKED MAT

1/4 ON TO STACKED MATS
ROUND OFF OVER PANEL MAT OR TABLE TRAINER
ROUND OFF (TSUK TIMER) OFF BOARD
LEVEL 5
Handspring over table (compulsory vault) to 2, 8 in mats. Continue stacking mats for increased “pop”
Continue with development of different entries.
LEVEL 6/7
HANDSPRING VAULT
HANDSPRING 1/1 TWIST
ALL VAULTS- TIMER TO FAT MAT.

Finding Her Future. | Get Psyched!

Great Article from Wendy Bruce Martin at GET PSYCHED! Wendy will be coaching at Gym Momentum Training Camp This Summer!

Source: Finding Her Future. | Get Psyched!

My daughter was a competitive cheerleader from the age of 5. She took to the sport very quickly and her talent was undeniable. She started to excel in tumbling and it was obvious to me that she needed to hone in on this talent and see where it would take her.

When she turned 9, she had learned a double full on her own. It was amazingly technically correct and I had not taught her it, she learned it solely by playing around in the gym. And because I could see her talent, I quickly called around to gymnastics gyms and enrolled her in the amazing sport of Tumbling and Trampoline.

From the moment she walked into the gym we all could see her future. She was talented and boy was she good, so good that in her first two months she made the developmental team at the gym, the USAG Jumpstart team, and started her career in level 7.

She was a fast learner and it was clear that Tumbling and Trampoline was going to be “her” sport. She made flipping look easy. She was beautiful in the air and made the hard skills look effortless. She was way more talented than I was as a gymnast and I made the Olympics. I couldn’t help but to see into her future and revel in her own fame and fortune.

First I could see her making it to World Championships, hopefully by then Tumbling would have been an Olympic sport and she would be one of the first team members. Then I saw her getting a job with Cirque du Soleil when she was older, where I would go visit her with all my friends and family and we would watch her as the featured act. They could have t-shirts and merchandise made of her. I was so proud of a future that she hadn’t even had yet and didn’t even know that I was planning for her.

At the end of the year she was a State Champion and I was ecstatic that my dream for her was coming true.

Until, one day on the car ride to practice she told me that she didn’t want to go. When I asked her why she calmly said, “I don’t want to do it anymore.”

These words hit me like a slap in the face.

I tried to hide my shock and calmly said back, “Don’t you like to tumble?”

She replied, “Oh my goodness, I love it.”

She loved it? That didn’t make sense. She loved to tumble, she was amazingly talented, she had amazing coaches, and her future…didn’t she don’t have the same dream for her future that I had?

So I asked, “Why?”

She had no problem coming up very strong reasons, she said, “I don’t like it. I don’t like the pressure, being judged, being corrected on everything, the conditioning, climbing the rope, going to competitions, and (what she considered the final straw) wearing a leotard.”

Knowing that I should not try to convince her to stay and that I really could never try to convince her to stay, I pulled the car over, gave her a kiss, lovingly and unconditionally accepted her decision, and turned the car around to go home. That night when we got home, I called her coach. He was as shocked as I was, but completely understood her decision.

The next day I had an uncontrollable urge to cry (although I never did). I felt sad and depressed. When it was the time when I usually took her to practice, I felt empty. I thought about not seeing my gym mom friends that I had made. I thought about the class practicing and improving without my daughter, and not getting free tickets to Cirque. I thought about the talent that she wasn’t going to use and how my dream for her that wasn’t going to come true. I wasn’t ready for her to stop.

I seemed to be taking the loss of her sport worse than my daughter. She had known for weeks that she didn’t want to do it anymore. She had already come up with a plan on what new sport she wanted to try. She wasn’t worried about ending her journey in a sport she want to do, in fact the only reason she tried this sport was because she knew she was a great tumbler and thought this was the next step. But after a few months she knew that this sport wasn’t for her. She stayed in the sport because she decided to finish out the year. But after the year was over, she was sure she wanted to stop.

She was relieved with her decision. I was the one who was having a hard time. On the outside I was her accepting, nonjudgmental mom whom was proud of my daughter for having the confidence to tell me her desires. And I was honestly proud of her. She knew how talented she was. She knew that she was on track for greatness. She knew that everyone was shocked by her talent and yet she still had the guts to tell everyone that SHE didn’t want to do it anymore.

My emotions were all over the place. In one moment I was mad, mad that she wasn’t going to use her talent. In another moment I was in shock, because I thought she loved this sport and I didn’t see it coming. In the next moment I was in denial, I was convinced that in a week or two she would go back to the sport. In the next moment I was sad, at the loss of the (my) dream.

I had to come to terms with this loss and with any loss comes grief. There are many stages of grief, one of the being guilt. Oh and boy did I have guilt. What mom would let a 9 year old make a life changing decision about her future? This was hitting me hard. Maybe I should have stepped in and made her stay. Maybe I knew better than she and maybe she was too young to understand what this sport could bring to her future. What if my mom would have let me stop doing gymnastics at 9? I would have never made the Olympics. But then it occurred to me that I didn’t want to stop doing gymnastics when I was 9. In fact, I wanted to be in the gym every minute of every day. I loved it and if I didn’t like it, my mom would have let me stop.

My reality was that my daughter was the one who had to commit to practice every week, work through fears, push through painful conditioning, and (the worse part) wear a leotard. If she was the one who was going to have to put in the work, then she was the one who should decide it she wanted to or not.

She was happy with her decision and walked around the house like a weight had been lifted off her chest. Later that evening she asked to go bounce on our trampoline and at that moment I realized that she (nor I) had lost anything. We both gained many lessons; we realized that Tumbling and Trampoline, as amazing and incomparable of a sport that it may be, wasn’t HER passion. She still loved to tumble and flip, and she needed to find HER passion.

There were parts of Tumbling and Trampoline that she did love. She loved to flip, learn new skills, and she loved to perform in front of large crowds. But she wanted more.

She wanted a sport that had teammates, dancing, flipping, tumbling, excitement, music, and stunts. She wanted to cheer. It was very clear to me that she has found her passion. Her passion, her future, all of her dreams and goals was in cheer. She spends hours and hours outside of practice listening to cheer music, choreographing routines, practicing skills on her tramp, stretching and conditioning in her bed room, and watching videos. Her love for cheer in undeniable. And I do truly love that she loves her sport.

At times I look back on her Tumbling and Trampoline journey and I smile. It was a great experience for us all, but mostly for me. I grieved for the loss of a sport instead of realizing that it was an amazing chapter to her story; The story of my daughter’s childhood. And as with every experience, she is a stronger and has a better understanding of what she wants out of life. As a mom, I can’t really be upset at all. She knows what she has planned for her future, she knows her hopes and dreams, and I know as long as she is happy, so am I.