2017-2018 Team Handbook
Star Center Gymnastics Competitive Teams
3100 West Slaughter Lane
Austin, Texas 78748
2017-2018 Team Handbook
Men’s Team Director and Head Coach:
Jamie Henderson –firstname.lastname@example.org
Star Center Gymnastics Booster Club
Charla Clark, President
Anita Mitchell, Vice President
Tracey Silverman, Secretary
Lindsey Haroldsen, Treasurer
Tracy Romero, Parent Rep
Aimee Villanueva, Parent Rep
The philosophy of Star Center is built on the concepts of teamwork and personal success. Teamwork is defined as contributing to the whole and helping others. Success is defined intrinsically, by setting realistic personal and team goals, then striving to achieve them. We use objective performance measurements to chart success as much as possible. The athletes are taught that success comes from within, from what they have control over, like achieving a skill or hitting a routine to the best of their ability at the given moment. We also stress that mistakes are lessons from which to learn and improve.
Star Center’s Goals for Athletes
Whether your child is a beginner or an Olympian, the goal is the same… for each member to have an enjoyable and rewarding experience participating in one of the world’s toughest, yet most beneficial sports – gymnastics.
We Aim for Success
As coaches, we want to develop happy, healthy, and confident gymnasts. One way in which we can help meet that demanding goal is to place gymnasts at the level where they can be happy, safe, and successful, both in the short and long term. What this means is that every gymnast must be able to perform the skills and routines required at a given level comfortably. We can never ask or expect our athletes to perform skills or routines in a competition that they cannot perform consistently in practice.
Non-Discrimination/ Non-Harassment Policy
Star Center is dedicated to the treatment of all persons with respect and dignity and to providing an environment that is free from any form of discrimination or harassment. Star Center prohibits and will not tolerate harassment of any kind to or by any persons, including teachers, staff, students, parents or any other person affiliated with or doing business with Star Center. This includes harassment for any unlawful discriminatory reason, such as race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age or religion. This policy also prohibits actions that, while they may not be as severe or serious as to constitute harassment in a legal sense, are nevertheless commonly understood to be abusive and disrespectful of others. Accordingly, slurs, jokes or remarks that are derogatory of a person or group’s race, ethnic background, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, economic status or age are considered inappropriate for the environment of Star Center.
Introduction to Competitive Levels
Boys begin competitive gymnastics with Level 4 and go up to Level 10. Levels 4, 5, and 6 are considered compulsory levels because they have pre-set routines written by the gymnastics governing body, USA Gymnastics (USAG). Level 7 is also a compulsory level, although certain optional skills are allowed on each event. Levels 8, 9, and 10 are considered optional levels. At these levels athletes and coaches make up routines best suited for the gymnast, as long as certain elements are included. Competitive levels are set each season, and may be changed for each individual gymnast only by the coaches.
In order to understand and appreciate what goes into the development of a competitive gymnast, one must understand exactly what it is we are trying to achieve during training. There are four fundamental areas of development that need to be addressed during training: Strength, Flexibility, Skills, and Mental Preparation.
One object of the training is to make the difficult look easy. This is much easier when the gymnast has the strength required to master the skills. Strength training takes up 40-60% of the training time depending on the training cycle during the season.
This is critical to the long-term success of the gymnast. Superior flexibility allows athletes to master skills more easily and plays a role in reducing the frequency and seriousness of injuries. Every workout begins with a pre-strength, warmup and stretching. These are designed to raise the core body temperature so that the body is ready for action. Warm-up and stretch start when practice starts, so BE ON TIME! All gymnasts will warm up, if they are late that may require more intensive exercises in less time in order to get to their training assignments with minimal delay, but they will warm up.
Skill development has to do with what we call “basics.” Basic skills are the building blocks for future gymnastics. The better the basics are the better the performance typically is. This is why we continually review and drill the basics. Increasingly difficult skills are taught in a step-by-step progression, building on the most basic skills.
Some say that gymnastics is 100% mental and 100% physical. The mental game of gymnastics often separates the good from the great. Mental discipline demands as much practice as skill mastery. We expect this to be understood and mental training is a part of every training session.
At Star Center, we strive to peak when it counts. Throughout the competitive season you will see your child grow and improve. The goal is not to peak too early (in a season or a career). The end of the season (at the big competitions like State, Regionals, and Nationals), and at higher levels as they mature, is when we want to see their best. We continually train in cycles, some weeks focusing only on strength, basics, and flexibility. Some weeks we may lighten the training load or schedule a day off to provide rest and recovery for tired bodies and minds. In this way we keep the athletes from losing interest with their skills and routines, because more strength and flexibility often make the skills that much better and that much easier. Each gymnast has a 1, 2, 3, and 4 year written training plan designed specifically for his/her development. This plan is constantly “tweaked” based on skill, strength, and competitive progress, injuries, and the gymnast’s attitude. The bulk of the plan remains constant and is used to develop daily, monthly and 12 week training plans.
Team Rules, Policies and team Placement
Placement on a Star Center Team is by invitation only. All gymnasts must be evaluated by a team coach and offered an appropriate placement for their child’s skill level. Competitive gymnastics requires year round training in order for athletes to succeed. It is expected that team members will train throughout the school year and through the summer months. During the summer, it is understood that gymnasts will miss some training due to vacations, however, tuition will not be reduced for days or weeks missed due to family trips, vacations, camps, etc. Level 4 and 5 gymnasts who are younger understandably may miss more than upper level gymnasts; however, it is strongly recommended that team members miss no more than two weeks of training in the summer.
“Train hard or go home.” All team members are expected to attend EVERY practice with energy, enthusiasm, and the desire to learn. If they are unwilling to train, they will be asked to leave practice for the day. They can come back to their next scheduled workout. Repeated “poor training” can result in dismissal.
Team members are expected to uphold the highest level of respect for their coaches, fellow athletes, training plans, and the sport at all times. Disrespect in any form will not be tolerated, and will result in disciplinary actions taken by the coaches (i.e. Asked to sit out or sent home).
Private lessons are not an excuse for missing workout. They are given only if the athlete comes to all of his scheduled workouts and is still in need of extra help. The head coach must approve all private lessons in advance. Private lesson must be paid in advance to Star Center through the front desk. Coaches are not to be paid directly.
All gymnasts must wear competition-type apparel in all workouts: compression shirt or shirtless is acceptable, competition shorts and/or pants. No jewelry is allowed. Hair must be kept out of the face during practice and competition. This applies year round and not just a few days before competition events! Body piercings of any kind are prohibited on the Star Center grounds.
Attendance/Injuries and Training
- All team members should bring to every practice the appropriate, training shirts, pants, shorts, and socks, as well as tape and grips (they should have a working set and a spare set for each event at all times) and other necessities according to level.
- Injured athletes are still expected to participate to the best of their ability. It is often possible to work around injuries and turn it into a positive situation by working on areas of weakness such as flexibility and strength. There is no reduction of tuition unless the injury takes you completely out of the gym for over a month. Should a doctor prescribe limited or no training for a period of time, a doctor’s written release is required to be given to David before the athlete can return to any/all of the suspended activity.
- All workouts are considered mandatory, and we must be notified prior to their training time if your child will be absent due to illness or personal reasons. Gymnasts must be picked up on time. They cannot remain in the gym after their scheduled workout is over.
It is expected that team members will train throughout the school year and through the summer months. During the summer, it is understood that gymnasts will miss some training due to vacations, however, tuition will not be reduced for days or weeks missed due to family trips, vacations, camps, etc. Level 4 and 5 gymnasts who are younger understandably may miss more than upper level gymnasts; however, it is strongly recommended that team members miss no more than two weeks of training in the summer.
Controlled Substances/USADA Policies
- The use of any controlled or USADA banned substance (alcohol included) without written doctor’s orders will not be tolerated and is grounds for immediate and irrevocable dismissal from the team.
- Athletes at Levels 8, 9 and 10, who are eligible for National Team participation, are subject to random drug testing by request of USA Gymnastics, or USOC. For a complete list of the substances, and both over the counter and prescribed medications that are banned for use you can go to the USADA website at www.usantidoping.org. Click on the box that says “Check the status of your medication” and enter the name of the drug or medication you are interested in. Growth hormone treatment medications are a special concern as most are banned for use. Also, antihistamines and asthma medications should be carefully checked on the USADA database, as well as ADD/HD medications. Again, this applies to Level 8/9/10 athletes who are ready to qualify, or members of a National Team only. If you have concerns about the medications your athlete is taking, please talk with David or Jamie so they can check on the status of the medication and if necessary contact USADA and USAG for possible exemptions that would allow the use of a banned medication.
Make the Commitment
By accepting a spot on the team you have told the coaching staff that you and your child will be 100% committed to the sport, to the team program, to attending all scheduled competitions, and obeying all team rules and policies. Gymnastics requires this 100% commitment for the child to have a successful and positive experience.
Athletes and their parents will sign a one year contract committing to participate and follow all team rules and policies for the entire competitive season: June 1 thru May 31. (Exception: Level 4-5 Men’s Team gymnasts are allowed to miss some off –season/summer training if the coaches are notified well in advance). It is preferable that summer vacations be scheduled early in the summer rather than later.
Competition fees and expenses:
Competition fees/expenses are separate and paid to the Booster Club and are in addition to the Star Center tuition. These are used to pay expenses associated with competing (meet entry fees, coaches traveling expenses, etc.) See link below for estimated fees:
Team is truly a Bargain!
There is no doubt that being a member of our team requires a huge commitment of time, effort, and money. It is considered an honor and a privilege to be part of the Star Center team program. Most parents will rate team involvement high on the list of significant events in their child’s life. Besides the obvious physical benefits, being part of a competitive team teaches your child self-discipline, how to work with others, how to handle themselves in a variety of situations, how to accept success and disappointment, and how to prioritize tasks and manage their time, among many other things! For these reasons team is really money well spent.
Our goal is to provide every scheduled workout throughout the year. Inevitably though, over the course of a year there will be practice cancellations due to scheduling conflicts, or for athlete recovery purposes according to their training plan. We do our best to keep these to a minimum, but please expect them. Tuition does not change with these cancellations. There will be times during the year when we call extra practices at no charge in an effort to provide your child with the best opportunity to succeed.
Written 30-day notification to the front desk and the head coach is required to remove a child’s name from the Team Roster. Clients are responsible for all fees accrued until written notification has been received. Clients will be responsible for payment through the month in which they drop or for an additional month if proper notice is not given.
Recruiting and Cross-Gym Training Policy
Star Center follows the USA Gymnastics Code of Ethics as should all gymnastics Programs. We do not recruit athletes and take a very dim view of programs that do. Any athlete desiring to be considered for Team membership at Star Center who is coming from another gym in or out of our city, may not train in our facility, “try-out”, or take private lessons from a member of our staff unless we have written confirmation from or a personal conversation with the head coach of their current team that they have permission to do so.
We will not accept athletes transferring from another gym in our city unless they have informed their previous club that they are leaving their program, brought all outstanding accounts current and ceased to train at their former facility. Star Center will contact the previous Team to ensure that these steps have been completed.
Star Center Team members are prohibited from taking private lessons from coaches other than our staff .They are also prohibited from “trying out” at another gym or for another team while still members of our Star Center teams unless permission is given by the Star Center head coach. Any athlete who seeks to transfer or tries out for another team without the knowledge of their head coach is subject to dismissal from their team at Star Center.
Athletes who leave Star Center to join other teams will not be allowed to return to Star Center with rare exceptions for extraordinary circumstances.
Parents of Star Center team members must not entice, suggest or recruit athletes from any other program, or even give the appearance that they are attempting to do so. Parents and athletes who choose to leave Star Center for other teams are prohibited from contacting remaining athletes or parents to entice them to leave Star Center. Violation of any part of this policy will result in immediate dismissal from Star Center and be reported to the USA Gymnastics State, Regional, and National Executive Committees. Other teams, coaches or programs involved will likewise be reported. USA Gymnastics at the State, Regional, and National levels can take significant disciplinary actions for violations of this policy.
Parent Protocol and Communication
At Star Center we focus on the positive philosophy of Team and Teamwork and invite you to do the same. We expect the parents to support not just their son, but all of the athletes on the Star Center Teams, from Level 4 through Elite. The simple yet effective acronym is applicable “Together – Everyone – Achieves – More”.
The guidelines below are in place to create a positive experience for both you and your child, and may be elaborated on as needed. We ask that you follow these guidelines to most effectively support the Star Center Gymnastics, its programs, its staff, and ultimately, your child. We appreciate your positive support!
- Parents can watch their gymnast from a chair in the lobby, but we ask that this be kept to a minimum. Seating is limited and we would like to leave seating available for recreational parents. Most recreational students only come once a week and we would like for their parents to be able to view their time in class. Parents are not allowed in the gym.
- Please do not coach your child.This is the coach’s job and with the sport of gymnastics being so complex, any additional or contradictory information to your child can present a significant safety issue. Parental coaching will also impede the progress of your child. Our coaches are experts in their field. Leave the coaching to them.
- Refrain from comparing your child to another child on the team. It is best to compare your child’s performance or progress to his/her own goals.
- If you are having problems with the program, a coach, or a team policy, please speak to the team director and/or head coach in private, rather than other parents. Expressing your concerns or complaint to others detracts from the positive environment and spirit of our gym, and does nothing to resolve your concerns. Continued negative comments are reason for dismissal from the team.
- If you have any questions or need to speak with a coach please do so by email or schedule a meeting. It is difficult for the coaches to speak with parents on the gym floor or immediately following a workout. We cannot speak to you while coaching—it is distracting, presents a safety issue, and breaks the continuity of the training session. If you would like to set up a conference just let the coach know by email. Coaches will schedule a time to meet. Competitive team’s director Jamie Henderson is the person to contact first with program, policy, or coaching concerns or questions. Schedule a conference with him by email:email@example.com .
Information is disseminated to parents in two ways:
- You will be sent information via email from coaches and the Booster Club
- You will be called at times necessary by your Team Level Representative
- Important schedule information for Booster club Meetings, Training Time changes and Competitions as well as fees will be posted on the Men’s Team Website at: http://www.scgboosterclub.com/. Please check this site often.
If you have any changes to your contact information, please email the Star Center Booster Club at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please enter the competition arena in your competitive uniform with your Star Center team warm-up on (Level 4—just competition top and competition shorts). Locate your coach and team immediately and report your presence.
- Please be sure your gym bag is prepared the night before competition. You should have your grips, your step in, pants and shorts, and an extra pair of socks (levels 5-10) in your bag.
- You may bring a bottle of water or sports drink and a healthy snack (fruit, fruit bars, granola bars, pretzels, peanuts, crackers) with you to the competition. Please no refined sugar at all! Never store a bottled drink or fluid in your bag!
- During the competition you must remain inside the competition area (usually roped off). If you need to use the restroom, please ask your coach. You may not visit or talk to your parents during warm-ups or the competition.
- Please sit together and still during the awards ceremony, and stay until all gymnasts in your session have received awards. You must be in uniform to receive awards. Don’t forget you’re representing Star Center. Wait until your coach has dismissed you before you leave the competition or awards ceremony.
- Please have your gymnast at the competition no later than 15-30 minutes before the designated start time. This may be earlier at the coach’s’ discretion.
- Do not coach your gymnast from the stands. That is what you pay your professional coaches for. Do not attempt to communicate with your gymnast during a competition or approach the field of play.
- Please sit together and cheer loudly (but respectfully) for all Star Center gymnasts.
- Judges, meet directors, other coaches, and gymnasts should never be approached at any time before, during or after warm-ups or competition. Please stay outside of any roped off areas. If you have any questions, please ask one of the Star Center coaches.
- Parents are not allowed on the competition floor (field of play) at any time (USA Gymnastics rule). If there is an emergency we will come and get you.
Missing any practice or portion of practice in the week before a meet may, at the coach’s discretion, result in being scratched from the meet unless you clear it through the coaching staff and make arrangements to make up the missed time. No money (meet fee or coaches fees) will be refunded for scratching.
Meet Entries and Fees are submitted usually a minimum of one month prior to the event and often, even earlier. Each Meet has a different policy regarding refunds for injuries and illness. Some offer no refunds at all though most of the time, at least partial refunds can be received at the request of a coach from Star Center. No refunds are ever given within two weeks of a meet.
Other Helpful Information
Our team coaches are truly unique in the gymnastics community. Selected for their care and expertise, Star Center has one of the best coaching teams in the country if not the world. Their experience and knowledge is unsurpassed. Their record of competitive success is legendary in the sport. They are true professionals that care about each team member and desire that they fulfill their potential.
In men’s competitive gymnastics, Star Center’s coaches have one of the best records of all time in the United States. Among them, they have been or had State and Regional qualifiers and champions, more than 132 qualifiers to the Junior Olympic National Championships, 29 Regional Team Members, 15 scholarships to major universities, and 21 National Team Members. Members of our staff have coached Jr. and Sr. athletes and lead US Teams in international competitions.
The Men’s and Women’s coaches work together regularly in designing training plans, comparing and sharing technical information, and supporting all our athletes with their combined expertise. Our goal is to insure that every gymnast on our teams has the very best information, guidance, and resources to develop in the sport.
Your athlete trains in a modern, clean facility equipped with multiple sets of all Olympic apparatus. In addition to a plethora of mats we have a six feet deep training pit filled with foam blocks. We have tumbling trampolines, and training aids that are available for our team members. For competitive men’s gymnastics, Star Center has one of the most efficiently designed training facilities in the state for a team of its size.
Plans for in the future include expanding the facility to provide additional space for pits, trampolines, new beams for the women, and an elite competitive Horizontal bar for the men.
Awards Banquet/Team Parties
After every competitive season we have an end of the year team award banquet where team members receive recognition for their accomplishments. We also have an annual Welcome party in the fall.
We conduct one major fundraiser for the year – the “Star Center Invitational”. The event was first held in 2005 and has become an annual gymnastics competition. This is a great event and is successful due to all the team parent’s efforts and commitment to running the best gymnastics competition in Texas! It is great fun and we take tremendous pride in hosting the Star Center Invitational! The revenue generated from this event helps to offset the expenses of your gymnast’s competitive season. It is expected for the family of each team member to work the SCI.
Other opportunities for parents to raise money toward their son’s competition season are made available through the Star Center Gymnastics Booster Club.
Training Apparel Storage
All team members may store their personal items such as clothes, backpacks and shoes in designated areas at the gym. Workout clothes, grips and other items needed for practice can be stored in your gymnast’s designated drawer inside the gym. Items should be taken weekly for washing. To avoid confusion and lost items put your child’s name on their belongings.Lost and Found
All items found at Star Center are placed in the lost and found box in the lobby. Star Center is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Lost or stolen cell phones and/or iPads, iPods, or video games are not the responsibility of Star Center. The athletes should not take these to the gym, or, if they must, should keep them in their backpacks or bags. Items not claimed after a week will be given to charity organizations. Socks are thrown away. Grips are returned once. After that, grips will be returned for a fee that the athlete (not his parents) must pay.