As camp director of the 2010 Region 5 Hi-Tech Gymnastics Training Camp, I had a good chance to evaluate this year’s core of talent in Region 5. Hi Tech camp is one of 4 Regional Training camps geared towards gymnastics coaches education on advancing the skill levels of our top athletes. It is reserved for Elite and Level 10 National Qualifiers and assumes that gymnastics coaches have been drilling the basics at home… so in other words gymnastics SKILLS ARE FLYING LEFT AND RIGHT.
This year’s camp was hosted at University of Michigan’s paradise facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Approximately 70 of the region’s top J.O and Elite athletes were in attendance which makes for a great college recruiting ground for some of the top college gymnastics coaches. Many of the nation’s top collegiate programs were represented (Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Florida, Utah State, Kentucky, Central Michigan, Ball State, and Western Michigan to name a few.)
Having lost it’s first overall national title in 7 years, Region 5 has set it’s sights on regaining that title. Last year a very strong region 3 team earned the respect of the nation and earned the right to be called the best J.O. Region in the nation. This seems to be a strong source of motivations for Region 5, a region that has set the standard for quality gymnastics for the past 20 years.
Judging by the talent on hand at this gymnastics training camp, Region 5 will have a strong team representing in Long Beach this coming May. There is much work to do however. Talent is one thing but fine tuning it and maximizing the potential is the key. I would have to say that the skill/difficulty level is quite impressive BUT the execution (AS ALWAYS) really needs to be addressed. There are far too many alignment, amplitude and execution errors that need to be fixed if Region 5 plans to regain the national title in USA Gymnastics. FAR TOO MANY! This of course was the message driven home for the attending coaches and judges.
The camp featured an outstanding cast of gymnastics clinicians, each doing their best to educate the athletes and coaches as to the techniques and standard of execution necessary for success. The athletes seemed to be receptive, so hopefully they will take the lessons learned and apply them on a daily basis back at the home gym.