Download the Xcel Team Handbook

Welcome to Energy’s Xcel Team!!

We are so excited to be starting our next season with you! Here at Energy, our philosophy is rooted in giving girls the power to build their own foundation for the future. We do this through goal setting, developing  strength, flexibility and gymnastics skills. However, the most important thing we do is mind set training. Developing control of their mind allows them to harness their power to grow confidently and influence the world around them. The purpose of this handbook is to provide a clear picture of who we are as a team as well as outline our rules, policies and expectations associated with being a member of Energy’s Xcel team.

Contact Information and Resources

team@energyfitnessgym.com - For all general Team related questions, comments, concerns
Parent Portal - This will be your online source for all information pertaining to Team. Please check this regularly. We will email you with details when we update.
Annie - Team Director - akousoulos.07@gmail.com
Claudia - Team Coach and Choreographer - cpemmet@gmail.com

 

What is Xcel?

USAG (USA Gymnastics) is comprised of two different competitive Programs, JO(Junior Olympic) and Xcel. USAG judges serve both programs. Traditionally, USAG has operated exclusively through JO with Levels 1-10. The JO program requires more time and a high level of dedication.  At the more advanced levels, the commitment can extend to the whole family due to extensive travel required for training and competition. A solution needed to be found for those athletes who wish to remain competitive but want to explore different activities or have the opportunity to just be a kid as well. The outcome would be a program that could be balanced along with other activities. Xcel was created here in Massachusetts and has since become the majority of registered athletes competing through USAG all over the country.

 

Registering with USAG - Parents are now required to register their gymnast(s) through USA Gymnastics. A renewal notice will be emailed to you from the Team Director. Follow the steps in the email to register your gymnasts. Parents should not go to the USA Gymnastics website to renew their child’s membership without first receiving the parent registration email. All gymnasts must be registered by (September). Coaches will take care of the registration process for all meets.

 

Annual Breakdown -

  • June-August: Training Season
    • Summer will be spent developing new and upgraded skills and techniques
    • Level placement for the upcoming season
    • Gold gymnasts will have deadlines for routines and floor music which are to be approved by your coaches
  • September-November: Pre Season
    • Submit acknowledgment form as commitment to the 2019-2020 season and receive tentative 2019-2020 event schedule
    • Learn routines
    • Obtain or renew athlete memberships with USAG
    • Begin meet registrations
    • Gather measurements and order uniforms They will be distributed before our first performance or competition
    • Parent meeting to get familiar with each other, go over logistics and have a chance to voice any questions or concerns
  • December-May: Competition Season
    • Focus at this time will be on routines
    • New and upgraded skills will be worked on with less frequency
    • Meets and Showcase performances
  • May: Post Season
    • Basics and strength training
    • Focus on injury prevention in preparation for Training Season

 

Safety, Process, and Progression

Safety -  and well being of our athletes is paramount. We believe in developing strength, flexibility and proper progressions in order to minimize risk of injury. We focus less on how long it takes to achieve a skill and more about developing the understanding of the skill and pairing it with a body and mind that is well prepared to tackle to challenge. That being said we reserve the right to postpone working on certain skills if the coach feels the gymnast isn’t yet ready. We ask that you respect this process. The policy ensures the your daughter’s physical safety as well as her confidence moving forward.   Please note that the non-mastered skills they are working in the gym are not always considered competition-ready and may not be included in the routine.

 

Injuries - It is the gymnast/parent’s responsibility to inform the coach of anything that may hinder their performance during practice or competition. If the gymnast sees a doctor who has given a do’s and don’ts list, it would be beneficial to pass that along to coaches. This allows us to make any modifications necessary to avoid further injury. Keep in mind that an injured gymnast comes back with an advantage if she continues to attend practices. Even if only to condition, listen, and observe. This keeps her mind and body fresh and better prepared to rejoin when she recovers. Serious injuries require a doctor’s note to resume regular gymnastics activity. If taping or bracing is necessary, the coaches will help you with it. You could cause further damage if taping/bracing is done improperly.

 

Open Communication - We encourage open communication regarding injuries and illnesses among the athlete, parents, and coaches. Being honest about pain level is important. If the gymnast hides physical pain in order to continue practicing, this just sets her further back in the long run and breaks down trust between the athlete, coaches and parents. Contrastly, if a gymnast creates “injuries/pain” in order to get out of doing conditioning, she will be given a modified version with the understanding that it reflects a lack of commitment to the team and limits their progress moving forward.

 

Rips and Grips - Grips are optional. They are a tool used to help protect the palms (rips still happen), and to better “grip” the bar. Some coaches require that all gymnasts use grips. At our gym, and at this level they are optional. If you are interested in purchasing grips, come to your coach first. We’ll be able to guide you in the right direction with the sizing and type. Not all grips are created equal. Hand-me-down grips are discouraged. They form to your hands as you use break them in. Do not go to your friends for advice on how to treat your grips. Your coaches know best. The same goes for rips. When a gymnast gets a rip during practice or at a competition, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are done with bars for the day. We’ll take care of it appropriately at the gym and are happy to offer advice for how to treat it at home.

Fear and the Learning Process - Fear is a natural and healthy emotion to have when trying new things. It forces us to slow down and analyze potential risk and make decisions accordingly. We must work with fear, not against it. Fear however, is very good at swaying your decision making if you allow it. Logic must prevail. We follow a process which begins with understanding the element and the strength, shape, flexibility, and power required to perform it safely and correctly. We then break the skill down into smaller pieces and drill each component. The athlete will realize that most if not all of the drills feel familiar, increasing their confidence.  Often times this includes taking steps back in order to progress. The final piece is the athlete’s level of confidence. She should be confident in her ability to independently perform the skill safely and correctly. Even if this is the only piece missing, it would be unsafe for her to attempt the skill and therefore she isn’t quite ready. This process could take weeks or even years to achieve. Be patient, trust the process. We will never force an athlete to do a skill they aren’t prepared to do.

 

Level Advancement and Division Descriptions - Coaches are in control of placing each gymnast in the proper division. It is common for athletes to remain the same level for two or more years. A gymnast competing for the first time, regardless of skill level, must begin at the Bronze or Silver Division. Upon receiving a 31.00 All Around score or better, they will be eligible to move to Gold. Again mobility to move to the next level will be at the discretion of the coaching staff. If the goal is to eventually move to Gold within the season, the athlete must abide by the rules and policies and compete with their current division until they achieve the mobility score and have approval of the coaches.

 

  • Bronze - This is a beginner division. Every gymnast performs the exact same routine with elements which are designed to develop required skills and technique. Meets include Local and State.

 

  • Silver - This is a beginner-intermediate division. Each gymnast may choose between two pre-choreographed floor routines. Every gymnast has the same exact beam routine These routines are performed with slightly more advanced skills, which are designed to develop required skills and technique. Meets include Local, District, and States (usually the season finale)

 

  • Gold - This is an intermediate division. The routines do not have to be alike but must include certain elements. Meets include Local, District, States (usually the season finale), and Regional Championships.

 

  • Platinum & Diamond - These are the top advanced divisions within the Xcel program. Meets include Invitationals, State, and Regional Championships. We don’t have anyone training at this level.

 

Meet Day Breakdown

  • Open Warm Up - This time is for general stretching and basic skills.
  • March In - Usually the National Anthem is played. All teams and judges are presented to the audience. After this the athletes present themselves to the judges of their first event. This is customary. It helps to break the ice before the competition begins. At this point the athletes may have already warmed up their first event and will compete right away.
  • Warm Up/Compete - On each event, the team gets a timed group warm-up. The time allowed varies by the level and how many girls are in the group. They may not compete on the same piece of equipment that they warm up on. If this is the case, they are allowed a “touch” which is just a few seconds to test out the piece of equipment they’ll be using. After completing their first event they move to the next in olympic order (Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor). During competition, scores are arbitrary. We do not make it a point to constantly check our scores while we should be focused on the task at hand. There will be plenty of time for that afterwards. Upon completing their last event, the girls may get on their jackets and pants and watch the remaining athletes. There may be a moment for a quick hug before the awards ceremony.
  • Awards– Once the last athlete has completed her final routine we wait for 5-10 minutes for the awards ceremony. Once they are prepared it can take from 15-30 minutes to hand out the awards.

Competition Rules and Conduct for Gymnasts

  • Arrive at least 20 minutes before warm up to prepare both mentally and physically for the competition. This is a great time to use the restroom.
  • Gymnasts are required to remain with the team on the competition floor until the completion of the awards ceremony
  • Gymnasts are not to be distracted by parents, siblings, or spectators throughout the entire competition
  • Arrive looking top notch professional wearing your uniform in full.Hair is to be pulled back neatly and secured tightly (preferably in a bun) with their team scrunchie that comes with their leotard.  You should not have to adjust your hair at any point during the meet.
  • NO JEWELRY OR NAIL POLISH! *Single stud earrings and clear polish are acceptable
  • Any and all undergarments must match gymnasts skin tone and must be completely hidden under the leotard at all times.
  • It is the gymnast’s responsibility, not parents or coaches, to bring gym bags and/or grips to and from competitions.
  • Gymnasts are expected to display outstanding sportsmanship and respect at all times.
  • Gymnastics are expected to remain positive and supportive throughout the competition. Tears are for injuries or when you scare yourself.
  • Scores are not important during the meet. Good or bad, getting thrown off by numbers can affect your performance on the next event. You will have plenty of time to look at scores afterwards.

Tuition, Fees & Parent Team Organization

Parent Team Organization (PTO)

  • A group of parents, one from each division, will volunteer to be head organizers. Energy will participate in setting up a non-profit account and 501C3. The organization will operate separately from Energy; make its own rules of engagement, dues, etc. with the approval of Energy Management.

Coaches Fees

  • Parents are responsible for ALL meet related fees for coaches.
  • Each division Bronze/Silver/Gold is responsible for those fees associated with their coach.
  • Only parents of participating students are responsible for those additional fees. Parents of gymnasts participating in a meet are responsible for the coaches’ fees.
  • The parent organization will be in charge of collecting fees and paying coaches directly
    • Local meets:
      • $100/session– per coach
        • There can be two sessions per day.
    • Away meets: outside of Massachusetts 
      • $100/session plus travel, food & lodging expenses - per coach
        • There can be two sessions per day.

Tuition (Academic Year Vs. Summer)

  • Registration fee – Annual 
  • Pre-paid full year receive 10% discount
  • Sibling discount Accepted
  • Monthly payment plan pay at regular tuition fee
  • Summer camp as part of monthly payment schedule receive a 10% discount on the two weeks for summer camp
    • Any additional weeks of summer camp receive a 50% discount on the first week.
  • Summer camp as separate payment – regular summer camp fee

What else will we have to pay for?

  • USAG Membership(s) approx. $30-50
  • Meet Fees approx. $30-50/meet  Last year meet fees ranged from $70 - $120
  • Team Fee (~$30/meet) 
  • Team leotard approx. $85
  • Warm-up suit (optional) approx. $110
  • Bag (optional) approx. $30-50
  • Incidentals - Grips, tape, water bottles (optional) approx. $40-60

General Expectations of Athletes

  • Display kindness and respect to coaches, teammates, and yourself
  • Any bullying and/or disrespectful behavior is strictly prohibited
  • Come prepared to focus on the task at hand
  • Attend all practices and Energy related events.
  • Meet attire is for meets ONLY
  • Wear proper practice attire to practice. A leotard with shorts/leggings if you wish.
  • Communicate any pain, fear, unsureness, or distraction to your coach right away.
  • Gold gymnasts will submit routines and floor music by the given deadline.

General Expectations of Parents

  • Both you and your athlete must maintain an active annual membership wish USAG in order to participate in competition.
  • Keep in mind that gymnastics is a year round commitment. We will be busy every month of the year and each athlete is expected to participate at every stage.
  • Maintain updated contact and payment information with Energy at all times. When you have a change in email address, phone number, or credit card information, please let us know immediately. Neglecting to do this could result in missed information or instruction pertaining to team. Please note, that if a reply is needed and we don’t receive one from you, this could affect the ability to participate. You may also be responsible for payment associated with the event.
  • Communicate needs or concerns promptly
  • If your daughter will be absent or late to practice or other mandatory event please notify team@energyfitnessgym.com as soon as possible.
  • Pay close attention to deadlines
  • Please come to us with any concerns as soon as possible. It is very easy in a gym setting to play what is essentially the adult version of the Telephone Game. Most likely it’s a simple solution or clarification.

Competition Rules and Conduct for Parents

  • We understand the need to plan, however, you must reserve the entire weekend for scheduled meets. Final information regarding your gymnast’s session may not be available until one week prior to the actual meet date. The average meet can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.
  • Energy will serve as your resource with any and all matters. We’ll be happy to help you find whatever information you’re seeking.
  • DO NOT call the host gym for meet information.Once we receive it, it will be posted on the website, and an email will be sent out
  • Coaches will determine the competitive readiness of a gymnast. We reserve the right to scratch any child from a meet or event at any time prior to or during a meet
  • Gymnasts are to arrive 20-30 minutes before the competition begins. This time is for the gymnasts to check in, parents to pay admission, familiarize with the venue, and find seating. Gymnasts should find their team and sit together.
  • Prepare to pay admission at each competition (generally cash only). Admission fees typically range from $5-$15 per person.
  • Gymnasts must stay with their team at all times during the meet and awards ceremony.
  • Parents should refrain from distracting their children during competitions.
  • USAG Rules state that parents and spectators are NOT PERMITTED in the gym area for any reason. Defying this rule can result in disqualification of the gymnast and even the team! This includes approaching the judges and/or meet officials. Questions or concerns can be answered by your coach after the competition.
  • NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY! Please turn off all flashes on phones, cameras, etc.before the competition begins.
  • Please be mindful of comments and conversations at competitions. You never know who is sitting next to you, it may be the parents of a gymnast you just made a comment about.
  • Parents are expected to carry themselves with dignity and respect, win or lose, and display good sportsmanship at all times

Parents of Gymnasts (POGS)

  • A volunteer group of parents who will assist with certain team related tasks. For example, things like organizing fundraising events, gathering measurements for leotards, jackets, and pants, etc.
  • We will schedule a meeting in September to discuss logistics.
  • Please email team@energyfitnessgym.com if you are interested in taking part in this.