Recruiting 101: Targeting the Right College for You

Gymnasts have very little free time. Therefore, it is important to put your energy and effort into finding the college gymnastics teams that are realistic for you. Yes, academics are the top priority when choosing a school, but below that we are going to discuss other items that are important to having a successful college experience.

1. Skills

I always say skills drive recruiting. The college coach needs the highest start values possible per routine with the least amount of execution errors. Since college gymnastics is judged by the JO rules, the highest-ranked teams typically have the strongest level 10 or elite level routines. Watch the teams you desire to be on -- do you have similar skills and are your start values about the same? Or will your routines eventually be at the skill level of your teams of interest and do you have the execution needed to produce the similar scores?  

2. Division

Most gymnasts will say… I want a Division I scholarship. This is what they hear others talk about and what they see on TV.  But is this the right level for you? Remember it is never fun to not compete. You want to be on a team that you can contribute to and make the lineup. Division II and III teams have some very talented level 10s with 10.0 SV, so be sure to keep your perspective broad at first and your eyes open to your true physical capabilities.  

3. Coaching Philosophy

It is important to be matched with a coaching staff that is right for you in regards to its coaching style and philosophy. You will spend a minimum of 20 hours a week with the coaches. You want to be comfortable with how they teach and motivate their team. I love when college gymnasts are still learning new skills. Leaning new skills makes college gymnastics more fun and challenging.  

4. Training Facility

You need to look at the training facility of your schools of interest and be sure it has the equipment you like and the pits or landing mats you need. As your body ages, this becomes even more imperative.  

Jill Hicks has an advising and consulting business for parents and gymnasts. She will be offering an online course she has designed for the parent and gymnast who wants to know more about the college gymnastics recruiting process. This course has 10 modules and a workbook for the gymnast to fill out as she listens to each module. If you would like more information, email Jill at

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.