2019 / 2020 Gymnastics

Xcel Team Handbook For
Parents and Athletes

Welcome to Flyaways North Gymnastics Xcel Team!
We are so excited to be starting our 2019/20 Season with you!

Here at Flyaways North Gymnastics, our Mission is to 
Develop the whole Gymnast in both body, mind and spirit in a safe and welcoming environment.

What is Xcel Gymnastics?

USAG (USA Gymnastics) is comprised of two different competitive Programs, JO (Junior Olympic) and Xcel. USAG judges serve both programs. Traditionally, USAG has operated exclusively through JO with Levels 1-10. The JO program requires more time and a high level of dedication. At the more advanced levels, the commitment can extend to the whole family due to extensive travel required for training and competition. A solution needed to be found for those athletes who wish to remain competitive but want to explore different activities or have the opportunity to just be a kid as well. The outcome would be a program that could be balanced along with other activities. Xcel was created here in Minnesota and has since become the majority of registered athletes competing through USAG all over the country.

Registering with USAG - Parents are now required to register their gymnast(s) through USA Gymnastics. A renewal notice will be emailed to you from the Team Director. Follow the steps in the email to register your gymnasts. Parents should not go to the USA Gymnastics website to renew their child’s membershipwithout first receiving the parent registration email. All gymnasts must be registered by July 1st. The Team Director will take care of the registration process for all meets.

Annual Breakdown -
 May-August: Training Season

Level placement for the upcoming season
Submit form as commitment to the Upcoming Season
Summer will be spent developing new and upgraded skills and techniques
New Routines will be set AND learned
Obtain or renew athlete memberships with USAG
Begin meet registrations
Parent meeting to get familiar with each other, go over logistics and have a chance to voice

any questions or concerns
Receive a Tentative 2019-2020 Schedule
Gather measurements and order uniforms They will be distributed before our first

performance or competition

 September-November: Pre Season
Receive the Final 2019-2020 Schedule
Fine tuning our Routines
Closed Mock Meet with a USAG Judge – In-House (early October)

 December-April: Competition Season
Focus at this time will be on routines
New and upgraded skills will be worked on with less frequencyMeets

 April/May: Post Season
Basics and strength training
Try Outs & Recommendations handed out
Focus on preparation for Training Season - Safety, Process, and Progression

Safety - The well being of our athletes is paramount. We believe in developing strength, flexibility and proper progressions in order to minimize risk of injury. We focus less on how long it takes to achieve a skill and more about developing the understanding of the skill and pairing it with a body and mind that is well prepared to tackle to challenge. That being said we reserve the right to postpone working on certain skills if the coach feels the gymnast isn’t ready. Also, your gymnast will not compete certain skills in their Routine until the Coach feels they are completely ready! We ask that you respect this process. The policy ensuresyour daughter’s physical safety as well as her confidence moving forward.

Injuries It is the gymnast/parent’s responsibility to inform the coaches of anything that may hinder their performance during practice or competition. If the gymnast sees a doctor for any physical or emotional issues it is vital to pass that along to their coaches. We ask that you get a very specific restriction list in writing from the doctor and pass this along to their coaches. We will keep it confidential if necessary. This allows us to make any modifications necessary to avoid further injury. Keep in mind that an injured gymnast comes back with an advantage if she continues to attend practices. Even if only to condition, listen, and observe. This keeps her mind and body fresh and better prepared to rejoin when she recovers. We also require a doctor’s note to resume regular gymnastics activity. If taping or bracing is necessary, the coaches will help you with it. You could cause further damage if taping/bracing is done improperly or if it is not needed.

Open Communication - We encourage open communication regarding injuries and illnesses among the athlete, parents, and coaches. Being honest about pain level is important. If the gymnast hides physical pain in order to continue practicing, this just sets her further back and breaks down trust between the athlete, coaches and parents. In contrast, if a gymnast creates “injuries/pain” in order to get out of doingconditioning, she will be limiting her progression and may reflect a lack of commitment to the team.

Rips and Grips - Grips are for Kips! Some coaches require that all gymnasts use grips. At our gym, and at this level we wait until your gymnast has their “Kip”. If you are interested in purchasing grips, come to yourcoach first. We’ll be able to guide you in the right direction with the sizing and type. Not all grips arecreated equal. Hand-me-down grips are discouraged. They form to your hands as you use break them in. Do not go to your friends for advice on how to treat your grips. Your coaches know best. The same goesfor rips. When a gymnast gets a rip during practice or at a competition, it doesn’t necessarily mean thatthey are done with bars for the day. We’ll take care of it appropriately at the gym and are happy to offeradvice for how to treat it at home.

Fear and the Learning Process - Fear is a natural and healthy emotion to have when trying new things We must work with fear, not against it. Fear however, is very good at swaying your decision making if you allow it. Logic must prevail. We follow a process that begins with understanding the elements along with the strength, shape, flexibility, and power required to perform it safely and correctly. We then break the skill down into smaller pieces and drill each component. The athlete will realize that most if not all of the drills feel familiar, increasing their confidence. We want the gymnast to be confident in her ability to independently perform the skill safely and correctly. This process could take weeks or even years to achieve. Be patient, trust the process. We will never force an athlete to do a skill they are not prepared to do.

Hard Work Hard work and success is the “new” fun. Gymnastics should always be fun, however as yourdaughter strives for competitive success, fun comes from training hard with teammates, mastering new skills, and celebrating goals as they come. Success is not determined by winning a meet, or being the best. It is determined by the effort and the attitude a gymnast brings to their sport. With this being said,gymnastics is only one component of your gymnast’s life. We understand that there needs to be a healthy balance between family, school and gymnastics. Work hard and try your best. This is all we will ever ask of you and this is always what you should demand of yourself. Do not compare yourself with other gymnasts. You are different and will advance at different rates. Only concern yourself with things that YOU can control which are YOUR attitude - YOUR effort - YOUR gymnastics.

Level Advancement and Division Descriptions - Coaches are in control of placing each gymnast in the proper division. It is common for athletes to remain in the same level for two or more years. A gymnast competing for the first time, regardless of skill level, must begin at the Bronze or Silver Division. Mobility from one level to another is addressed on a number of issues - mastery of skills, poise, work ethic, meet performance, and attitude in practice. All are considered when making a determination whether a gymnast is ready to move up to the next level.

  •   Bronze - This is a beginner division. Each gymnast will compete the required skills at her individual ability. Meets include Invitationals, State, and Regional Championships.

  •   Silver - This is a beginner-intermediate division. Each gymnast will compete the required skills at her individual ability. Meets include Invitationals, State, and Regional Championships.

  •   Gold - This is an intermediate division. Each gymnast will compete the required skills at her individual ability. Meets include Invitationals, State, and Regional Championships.

  •   Platinum & Diamond - These are the top advanced divisions within the Xcel program. Meets includeInvitationals, State, and Regional Championships. We don’t have anyone training at this level.

    General Expectations of Athletes

  •   Display kindness and respect to coaches, teammates, and yourself

  •   Any bullying and/or disrespectful behavior is strictly prohibited

  •   Attend all practices and Flyaways North related events.

  •   Come prepared to practice...

Meet attire is for meets ONLY. Wear proper practice attire to practice. A leotard with shorts/leggings if you wish. All hair pulled back. Bring a water bottle and healthy snack.

  •   Be willing to work hard and always do your best.

  •   Communicate any pain, fear, unsureness, or distraction to your coach right away.

  •   Attend all meets.

    General Expectations of Parents

  •   Both you and your athlete must maintain an active annual membership wish USAG in order to participate in competition.

  •   Keep in mind that gymnastics is a year round commitment. We will be busy every month of the year and each athlete is expected to participate at every stage.

  •   Maintain updated contact and payment information on your GoMotion account at Flyaways North at all times. Neglecting to do this could result in missed information or instruction pertaining to team.

  •   If your daughter will be absent or late to practice or other mandatory events please notify us as soon as possible.

  •   Pay close attention to deadlines.

  •   Communicate needs or concerns promptly Please come to us with any concerns as soon as

    possible. It is very easy in a gym setting to play what is essentially the adult version of theTelephone Game. Most likely it’s a simple solution or clarification.

Meet Day Breakdown

  •   Open Warm Up - This time is for general stretching and basic skills.

  •   March In - Usually the National Anthem is played. All teams and judges are presented to the

    audience. After this the athletes present themselves to the judges of their first event. This is customary. It helps to break the ice before the competition begins. At this point the athletes warm up their first event and then compete right away.

  •   Warm Up/Compete - On each event, the team gets a timed group warm-up. The time allowed varies by the level and how many girls are in the group. After completing their first event they move to the next in Olympic order (Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor). Upon completing their last event, the girls may get on their jackets and pants and watch the remaining athletes. There may be a moment for a quick hug before the awards ceremony.

  •   Awards– Once the last athlete has completed her final routine we move to the awards ceremony. Once they are prepared it can take 30 minutes to hand out the awards.

    Competition Rules and Conduct for Gymnasts

  •   Arrive at least 30 minutes before warm up to prepare both mentally and physically for the competition. This is a great time to use the restroom.

  •   Gymnasts are required to remain with the team on the competition floor until the completion of the awards ceremony

  •   Gymnasts are not to be distracted by parents, siblings, or spectators throughout the entire competition

  •   Arrive looking top notch professional wearing your Competition Leotard, Warm-up and nice slip on shoes. Hair is to be pulled back neatly and secured tightly (preferably in a bun) with their team scrunchie that comes with their leotard. You should not have to adjust your hair at any point during the meet.

    Bring you packed Gym Bag - *Healthy snacks, water bottle, Notebooks, pencil, brush/comb, ponies,

    hairspray, hand sanitizer or wipes, small blanket, Grips and Wristies (for those that use them).

  •   NO JEWELRY OR NAIL POLISH! *Single stud earrings and clear polish are acceptable

  •   Any and all undergarments must match gymnasts skin tone and must be completely hidden under

    the leotard at all times.

  •   It is the gymnast’s responsibility, not parents or coaches, to bring gym bags and/or grips to and from

    competitions.

  •   Gymnasts are expected to display outstanding sportsmanship and respect at all times.

  •   Gymnastics are expected to remain positive and supportive throughout the competition. Tears are

    for injuries or when you scare yourself.

  •   Scores should not affect us during the meet. Good or bad, getting thrown off by numbers can affect

    your performance on the next event. We only expect you to do YOUR BEST!

    Competition Rules and Conduct for Parents

  •   We understand the need to plan, however, you must reserve the entire weekend for scheduledmeets. Final information regarding your gymnast’s session may not be available until one week priorto the actual meet date. The average meet can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

  •   Flyaways North will serve as your resource with any and all matters. We’ll be happ y to help you findwhatever information you’re seeking.

  •   DO NOT call the host gym for meet information. Once we receive it, it will be posted on the Team Facebook page, an email will be sent out and we’ll post it on the Team Wall.

  •   Coaches will determine the competitive readiness of a gymnast. We reserve the right to scratch any child from a meet or event at any time prior to or during a meet

  •   Gymnasts are to arrive 30 minutes before the competition begins. This time is for the gymnasts to check in, parents to pay admission, familiarize with the venue, and find seating. Gymnasts should find their team and sit together.

  •   Prepare to pay admission at each competition (generally cash only). Admission fees typically range from $5-$15 per person.

  •   Gymnasts must stay with their team at all times during the meet and awards ceremony.

  •   Parents should refrain from distracting their children during competitions.

  •   USAG Rules state that parents and spectators are NOT PERMITTED in the gym area for any

    reason. Defying this rule can result in disqualification of the gymnast and even the team! This includes approaching the judges and/or meet officials. Questions or concerns can be answered by your coach after the competition.

  •   NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY! Please turn off all flashes on phones, cameras, etc. before the competition begins.

  •   Please be mindful of comments and conversations at competitions. You never know who is sitting next to you, it may be the parents of a gymnast you just made a comment about.

  •   Parents are expected to carry themselves with dignity and respect, win or lose, and display good sportsmanship at all times

Payments/Tuition

  •   All Tuition is invoiced the 1st of each Month.

  •   A $10 Late Fee will be charged if Tuition is not paid by the 7th of each Month.

  •   Payments are to be made at our Website through GoMotion.

Payments made via ACH (Bank Account) are charged a 1% administration fee.
Payments made via CC are charged a 3.9% administration and a credit card processing fee.

  •   If you cannot pay via ACH/CC please see Miss Kim.

  •   If you need assistance with or cannot access your GoMotion Account please email

    HELP.FlyawaysNorth@gmail.com

TEAM Fees

*Team Fees are a combination of Meet Fees (both individual and Team). These fees also include Coaches fees and most of our travel and food expenses. It will also include our In-house Judge session.

 Team fees are due:

August 15th ($225 – includes State USAG Head Tax)September 15th ($210)
October 15th ($210)
March 2020 (Excess Meet Fee if applicable)

March 2020 (State Meet Fee – approx. $125)
April 2020 (Regional Meet Fee – Cost unknown)

 Team fees are to be paid at our Website through GoMotion.

Payments made via ACH (Bank Account) are charged a 1% administration fee.
Payments made via CC are charged a 3.9% administration and credit card processing fee.

  •   If you cannot pay via ACH/CC please see Miss Kim.

  •   If you need assistance with or cannot access your GoMotion Account please email

    HELP.FlyawaysNorth@gmail.com

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Contact Information and Resources

  •   HELP.FlyawaysNorth@gmail.com - For all general Team related questions, comments, concerns

  •   GoMotion - This will be your online source for all information pertaining to Team. Please check this

    regularly. We will email you with details when we update.

  •   Flyaways North Gymnastics – TEAM Page - Please check this regularly, we will communicate

    important information on this site as well.

    Parent/Gymnast Acknowledgement

    I have read the Xcel Team Handbook from beginning to end. I understand and agree to these policies and procedures. I also understand that the handbook is subject to change throughout the year. Should I have questions regarding any policies or procedures, I understand that I should contact the Miss Kim for the appropriate answers.

    ________________________________________ Print Gymnasts Name

    ________________________________________ ______________ Parent Signature Date

    _______________________________________ _______________ Gymnast Signature Date

    Parent/Gymnast Acknowledgement

    I have read the Xcel Team Handbook from beginning to end. I understand and agree to these policies and procedures. I also understand that the handbook is subject to change throughout the year. Should I have questions regarding any policies or procedures, I understand that I should contact the Miss Kim for the appropriate answers.

    ________________________________________ Print Gymnasts Name

    ________________________________________ ______________ Parent Signature Date

    _______________________________________ _______________ Gymnast Signature Date