Recruiting 101: Advice For The College-Seeking Athlete

The college recruiting process can sometimes be a confusing and somewhat daunting undertaking, but any college athlete would say it is truly rewarding to find the school of your dreams. Here are a few keys to making the process a little easier by concentrating on what really matters.

1. Focus on the big picture
Make sure you like the overall campus and the town, as you'll be spending four years there and you want to love it. The school should have the major you are interested in, because you are ultimately there to get an education through your participation in athletics--not the other way around.
2. Decide how far you want to be from home
How close/far you want to be from home should dictate which schools you are considering right from the start. Perhaps distance from home isn't a factor for you, but if it is important, make sure you figure out your ideal range before visiting too many different schools. If you want to stay closer to home, you don't want to fall in love with a school across the country. Put your time and effort into researching and visiting the schools that are truly potential options.
3. Know your level but don't sell yourself short
It's ideal to find a school that will fit well with where you are at in your gymnastics. You don't want to go somewhere where you'll never have a chance to compete, but it can also be great to challenge yourself by looking for a school that will push your limits. The chance to grow and improve in your gymnastics through college shouldn't be overlooked.
4. Make sure you mesh with the culture of the team
It's important to choose a school not solely based off the team and the coaches. You won't be on the team with several of the gymnasts you meet on your visit, as they will graduate and move on before you even arrive on campus. Also, coaching changes are very common in college athletics, so while you definitely want to click with the coach at whichever school you choose, make sure that is not the main aspect you consider.
5. Learn to embrace change
College is one of the biggest times of transition. You move to a new town and meet new friends, start new classes and encounter a new living arrangement. It's a great time to learn about yourself and how you work with others. Your gymnastics may change with having different coaches, and that's okay. Your body may change as you develop and mature, and that's okay. Your goals may change as you realize that the team's success is much more important than your own, and that is what college athletics is all about.

About Jill Hicks:
I was an elite gymnast and received an athletic scholarship to Oregon State. Because of an injury, I was asked to be one of the coaches, which began my 20-year career in college coaching. After Oregon State, I became the head coach at Cal State Fullerton. After coaching, I went on the Kellogg's Tour of Champions as the chaperone for the Fierce Five. When I returned, I launched my business, JH Consulting, which is an advising business for club gymnasts looking for help during the college recruitment process.

USA Gymnastics Seats New Board

Press release below via USA Gymnastics

INDIANAPOLIS, June 21, 2018 – At its June 20 meeting, the USA Gymnastics Interim Board of Directors confirmed the election of the new Board of Directors that was seated at the conclusion of the Interim Board’s meeting. Additionally, each of the five competitive disciplines has chosen its two representatives to serve on the newly created Programs Council. “We want to thank the Interim Board for their commitment to completing the necessary tasks of streamlining and reconstituting our Board of Directors in a short window of time,” said Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. “We look forward to working with the new Board to transform our organization to keep athlete safety and well-being as our priority and to promote a positive and empowered environment for our athletes and members to thrive and follow their dreams.” USA Gymnastics Board of Directors, as of June 20, 2018NOTE: Terms are staggered and indicated for each director.

USA & Canada Lead On Difficulty & Execution At The 2018 Junior Pan Ams

The 2018 Junior Pan American Games concluded last week in Buenos Aires, with Team USA taking home the team gold medal, in addition to multiple individual medals for Jordan Bowers, Leanne Wong, and Tori Tatum. Team Canada also took home multiple medals, including the team silver and individual medals for Zoe Allaire-Bourgie and Imogen Paterson. 

Event Finals Qualifiers - 2018 Junior Pan American Championships

Christy Ann Linder

Below are the gymnasts who qualified for the individual event finals at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The finals will be held Friday, June 15. The top eight gymnasts on each event, with a maximum of two gymnasts per country, qualify for event finals. 

USA, Bowers Strike Gold At 2018 Junior Pan Am Championships

USA Gymnastics

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

2019 Nastia Liukin Cup Series Qualifying Meets Announced

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

Wong, Bowers Lead Top USA Junior Women In The 2018 Pan American Champs

Christy Ann Linder

The 2018 Junior Pan American Championships takes place this week, with competition starting on June 13 and concluding on June 15 in Buenos Aires. The event includes a team final, all-around final, and event finals for both the men and women. Team USA is sending top juniors Jordan Bowers, JaFree Scott, Tori Tatum, and Leanne Wong. 

Team USA Set For Junior Pan American Championships

Team USA is set to compete at the Junior Pan American Championships this week in Buenos Aires. The men's and women's competition will be held June 13-15 and consists of a team competition as well as individual all-around and event competitions.

A New Mentality For Kyla Ross In UCLA's Title-Winning Season

Kyla Ross has competed on some of the biggest stages in elite gymnastics—the Olympic Games in London, the World Championships in Belgium and China. She was a two-time world all-around medalist and was the silver medalist at back-to-back national championships.

Opinion: The Engaged, Strategic Leadership That USA Gymnastics Needs

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For over a year now, USA Gymnastics has been operating in a state of turmoil from the backlash of Larry Nassar’s horrific crimes. What started as the largest sex abuse scandal in sports history has evolved to show major flaws in the way that the national governing body for gymnastics is run. They have been through a wave of resignations at the highest levels: the president of USAG, the national team coordinator, and the senior vice president of the Women’s Program, to name a few. 

Utah To Host 2018 American Classic And Hopes Classic

Press release below via USA Gymnastics.