Tag Archives: moving up to level 4

True Level Athlete…What does that mean?

17 Aug

Today was an interesting day. An athlete from another program walked in to find out more about RAW Alllstars. She was a great young lady, with lots of energy and a positive attitude (Something that is KEY in our program). 

After speaking with her, the coaches learned that she had been in Allstars for 10 years. – Just so you know, that is AWESOME, when a coach hears this. In addition she had done a variety of cheerleading teams: school, youth while doing Allstars. 

Our coaches couldn’t wait to see her on the mats. Now, just to let you know, we test every on Foam Based mats. Why? Foam mats tell a coach very quickly how much power an athlete really has. The springs are great, but the foam base mats can teach you a lot about an athlete. 

The coach and the cheerleader venture to the mats to start assessments. First, jumps. WOW this girl could fly. Now for tumbling – this is where WOW went to ouch. After 10 years of Allstars the athlete had not yet learned how to do a back walkover – front walkover, any of the basic level 1 tumbling. Back handsprings were also not a strength. The athlete was unable to demonstrate the basic technique of a Back handspring. Tuck – No, no tuck either. This was concerning as a coach, who could possibly pay all that money for 10 years of Allstars and not have the basic tumbling skills? 

After talking to the Athlete and checking with another program, the coach learned that she was actually originally from a Level 3 team being offered Level 4. Our coach informed the athlete that there was no way that our program could offer anything more than Level 1 while training with Level 2 to land the basic skills needed. I know this was not what she wanted to hear, but the reality was, she needed to know the basics before she could move forward. Our coach felt like anything above Level 2 would be unsafe for her and her team.  

Why are we talking about this? Well, its important for parents to know what they should expect from their program. It doesn’t matter how many trampolines, foam pits or spring boards a gym has if your athlete isn’t learning the most basic skills. The parent in question had no ideal that her athlete should have accomplished more tumbling skills in the last 10 years. 

RAW Allstars focuses on True Level Athlete’s. That means, every athlete will learn every skilled required of them while on Level 1, 2, 3, etc.  If athletes are on level 1, they learn both Level 1 and Level 2 skills in hopes that they can master and move up for the next season. The truth is not all athletes will progress at the same rate. Some will take a few years to move up a level, while others move up each year (or at least it seems that way).  Being a true level athlete also eliminates surprises. You will never walk into another program after being with RAW and not know how to do the skills of the level you were currently on. Every year we get kids from other programs who are unable to land a skill to make their High School or College Team. They come to us to perfect the skills their current program hasn’t taught them. As a coach, its a nice compliment when someone from another program comes to us for help (specially when they are still with their current Allstars program). But, parents, if you are paying $150 plus a month for 10 years and your child still hasn’t mastered the basics. You need to speak up. Don’t let ANY program waste your child’s time or your money. It’s not fair to you, it’s not fair to the child who can’t make her college team because she wasn’t trained properly for it, it’s just not fair. 

Athlete’s and parents, check in your progress. Make sure you are working towards the next level in every aspect of Allstars (tumbling, stunting, dance, showmanship). Stand up for your training. Your time is valuable and you deserve the best your program has to offer. When looking for a program, do not look for the cutest, tiniest outfits or the gym with the most kids, or someone who has 5 fiberglass spring board floors. Go to a program that has athletes who excel, those who have a proven track record for assisting kids in development, not one that has kids on Level 2 for 5 years. Look for a program that will help you grow as an athlete, performer, leader and person.