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Altius Gymnastics
Team Newsletter

Team Christmas Parties!

Please bring on day of your child's party:

  • 3 Christmas cookies to exchange with the team. Please DO NOT send a full package of cookies.  
  • A $7ish wrapped gift to exchange. This year’s theme is Arts & Crafts.
  • Consider making a cash donation to Milwaukee Pathfinders charity supporting homeless teens.


Monday, Dec. 9

Boys Level 5 - 6:15

Optional JO Girls - 6:30

Girls Level 4 & new 6’s - 7:00

Boys Level 6 and up - 8:00

Xcel III - 8:30   


Tuesday, Dec. 10

Boys Level 4 - 6:00

Xcel I and II - 6:00

Developmental Bronze & Silver - 7:00  


All practices start and end at regular times except for Xcel II Party starts at 6:00.


Please do not send donation, cookies, or gifts before the day of your child’s party.  


Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2019 United Way Giving Tree. Gifts are due back at Altius the week of December 2nd.


Christmas Break; December 23 – January 1; Regular schedule resumes on Thursday, January 2.

There will be limited practices for Boys Teams, Girls Levels 6 - 10, and Xcel Teams. Schedule TBD in December. 

Competition Recap; Scamps & MWT Meets

Level 5 Team
The Level 5’s had a tough job of staying focused on their current routines while balancing the excitement of learning skills and routines for Level 6. Claire R. deserves special recognition for recovering from a broken metatarsal in August and staying determined to achieve a Level 6 qualifying score at the MWT meet. With all 7 team members now fully focused on Level 6, our goals on each event are as follows.

·         Vault: We are developing a strong technique foundation for safe, powerful yurchenkos (Round off back handspring on to the table). Gymnasts who aren’t quite ready for this advanced vault will compete a ¼ on Tsukahara timer as we continue to strengthen the Yurchenko.

·         Bars: A major priority for Level 6 and beyond is developing an effortless kip cast handstand for use into toe circles, clear hip circles, and giant swings. In addition to casts, gymnasts are working towards casting, clear hipping, or giant swinging into their flyaways.

·         Beam: Our goal is to comfortably have a back handspring or round off on the high beam with two 8 inch mats by the practice meet. We are also working toward full 180 degree split jumps and combination cartwheel to back tuck dismounts.

·         Floor: Everyone is excited to perform their new optional floor routines. We’ll be working on adjusting timing and presentation as we add tumbling, leap passes, and turns to the music. 

Level 4 Team

Level 4 Team continues to work towards consistent performances in both practice and competitions. Coaches Chris and Jill have been using iPads to video routines and skills at both practice and competitions for the girls to better understand both the positives and improvements needs in their performances. Sometimes it takes actually seeing the mistake, instead of just hearing the correction over and over, to make a change.

·         Vault: We’ve had several great performances on vault over the past two meets including two 1st place and a 2nd place finishes! The key to vault is a fast, consistent run followed by a straight, tight body handspring that shows repulsion (a bounce) off the table, capped off by a controlled landing.

·         Bars: Gymnasts are starting to connect their full bar routines without extra swings and it reflects in the mid-8.0 range scores. Now we are focused on casting above horizontal and performing the entire routine with excellent form. The importance of consistency on squat ons and kips is reinforced every practice.

·         Beam: Our goal is to stay on the beam in pressure situations. The gymnasts can perform all the skills successfully in practice; we are working on being aggressive (performing with full height and amplitude) in our leaps, jumps, and handstands in competition.

·         Floor: We’ve seen considerable improvement on floor with both the quality of the skills and the exactness of the choreography. The gymnasts are focused on staying tight and precise throughout the entire routine, especially from the leap pass to the end.

The Level 4 Team will be preparing for State the weekend of December 7, then working towards higher level skills from mid-December to mid-January. We’ll be touching up on Level 4 as the Pink and Chicago Meets approach. 

Developmental Bronze and Silver Team
The coaches felt that our first fall season of competition in the Xcel program was a great success and came with several benefits; a variety of gymnasts had the opportunity to shine at the competitions and coaches were able to spend more time working on advanced skills at practice. Many gymnasts have already gotten comfortable with cartwheels on beam, front handsprings on floor, kips and squat ons, as well as vaulting over the table. As we move toward the winter meets, coaches will continue to work towards higher level skills and revisit details of the routines.

Gymnasts from the Developmental Team will be re-grouped in mid-February; gymnasts showing exceptional gymnastics potential and coachability, as well as good overall attendance will be invited to the Level 4 J.O. Team. New gymnasts from our Select Classes will be invited to the team at this time as well. The entire Developmental and Xcel Programs will be re-grouped in April after the final meet. 

Xcel I & II Teams

Coaches Austin, Laura, and Brittany are extremely impressed by the girls’ progress so far. Every single girl is has shown great improvement over the last couple of meets. The team will use the competition break in December and January to up their choreography game on beam and floor.

·         Vault: Consistent running steps are key to a successful vault in every level. Silvers are working on more speed plus a tighter body on the mat and more controlled landings. The gold rules have changed this year to include increased deductions on the “post-flight” phase (leaving the table to landing) of the vault. The coaches are focused on drills for maximizing the “block” (bounce) off the table.

·         Bars: Overall, bars was the best event for the Silver gymnasts. The girls have been working hard on getting greater amplitude on their undershoots and it definitely showed. Coaches are also preparing the gymnasts for squat ons and jumping to the high bar with good technique. The Gold Team needs to improve their cast height consistency with more focus on upper body and core strength.

·         Beam; Silver gymnasts will be working on more exact choreography as well as improving their handstands and split jumps. The entire Gold Team stayed on the beam at the MWT meet – a huge accomplishment! They are going to keep building confidence on their cartwheels and full turns.

 ·    Floor; The Silver Team did a great job of sticking their tumbling landings at both meets and floor was the Gold Team’s highest scoring event! Silvers are focused on improving their leaps and choreography. Gold’s are working on strengthening their front handsprings and back handsprings in preparation for harder skills. 

Around the Gym 

Boys, Girls' Optionals, Xcel III


All of these groups are in their final preparation for meet season starting in December with the Men's Strongman Invite at Altius on December 15 and the Level 6 - 10 / Xcel III practice meet on December 20.


It's a safe bet to assume that all of these athletes are experiencing a heightened anxiety level at practice over the next few weeks. As coaches, we are definitely aware of the amount of pressure each athlete may or may not be ready for. There are times that we push for a skill and times to back off a bit; we often do both in the same practice.


We need your help in regulating your child's stress level! All of our efforts can be wiped out with a negative talk in the car (why aren't you doing X yet?) or a "look" from the sidelines. 


There are a ton of great sports parenting articles on the internet. A few I recommend can be found here:
JAG Gym Blog
Competitive Edge; Are You a Winning Parent?

Complete Performance Coaching



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