Thursday, September 24, 2009

Parent Meeting Notes

Tumbling Program Parent Meeting June 17th, 2009
Welcome Back: Welcome back to everyone in the program if you have been part of the tumbling program before and welcome to the fall/winter/spring session of the program if this is your first year. At the Spring Meetings we informed you that we would be having individual group meetings this fall to address items specific to each group. Due to time constraints and the stress of September with school, tumbling and a plethora of other activities starting we decided to combine the group meetings into one large meeting. This is a new for us as we haven’t done this in the past. Feel free to provide us some feedback post the meeting via e-mail to let us know how you thought it went. We would request that questions asked pertain to the group and not specific athletes. If you have questions about your personal situation please address these issues with your coaches first, then with Niki or I. If your questions pertain to finances or volunteerism please address these with Agnes Jankura, the OGC Head Administrator. If you have an issue that is beyond the scope of the program or it is an issue with Niki or I as directors feel free to speak with Wayne Hussey our C.O.O. if you feel that you cannot address them with us directly.

Congratulations: Congratulations to all the tumblers who were offered spots in the tumbling program for the 2009/2010 season. We do appreciate your dedication, loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm for our tumbling program. By implementing the ‘Re-Tryout’ and ‘Tryout’ protocols we are not trying to be mean or unsupportive of those athletes that we have been working with us and developing in our program over the previous year (or years). Our program is a competitive program with a limited number of spaces and as you may have noticed if you’ve had the chance to watch any of the trainings so far this fall the gym is extremely full during the primetime hours so keeping our program within a certain manageable size as well within gym loading constraints we need to be selective. If we had more space then maybe we could increase numbers. Here at the OGC we strive to offer the best programming possible and sometimes bigger isn’t better. We believe that better is better. We are simply trying to ensure that those athletes who are the most deserving of a spot on the team are receiving those spots. If at some point we do ask your child to leave the program please don’t take this as a negative. One should think of their new situation as a good thing allowing the athlete the opportunity to explore other sports where they may be more suited physically, mentally or socially. Niki and I profess that our goal is to coach good kids and create well-round individuals. Being part of our program isn’t just about who is the best tumbler, it’s about helping young people to achieve their goals and when they leave our program we want them to think back to their years in tumbling and think that the hours of work and time spent in the gym was a great way to have spent their youth and hopefully it will have prepared them in some way for life after tumbling. We also profess the importance of finding the right chemistry between athlete and coach. You have such a great opportunity living in this area in that you are within driving distance of several other gymnastics and tumbling clubs. When Niki and I grew up we were pretty isolated and restricted to either one club or no clubs at all. A gymnast’s career is very short and very intense. If you and your child feel that our program is not the right fit for then please search out the situation that is. With a recreational program as large as ours and with open tryouts attracting over 60 athletes per year we will have bodies to coach so don’t worry about us. Obviously we would love everyone to stay and find our program meets their needs. We hope you will be able to establish a connection with us but we are realistic and know that there may be a better situation for an individual athlete and we support finding the best fit. The right fit may be another tumbling club, it may be another gymnastics discipline, it may be diving or snowboarding, it may be lawn bowling or chess. Each individual must find their own path and passion.

Staff Bios: Niki and I are happy to be back together coaching after a whole year of separation. My stint in China and Niki’s maternity has kept us apart. The dynamic that we have when coaching had been split. Some of the kids have noticed the difference over the year and others have happily kept moving along. We are glad that most have stayed and we are happy to be working as a team once again.

o Nicole Lavoie: Updated Bio’s will be posted on the OGC website under Competitive Staff.

o Donald Holmes

o Karen Dance

o Amanda George

o Kelsey Brasil

o Supply Coaches: We have several individuals who do supply coaching for the
tumbling program. Each one is an NCCP certified coach that is qualified to coach tumbling.

Overview of Tumbling System: Handout of level system and competitions.
o Developmental = Interclub = Regional = Pre-Comp

o Provincial *** NEW SYSTEM *** may result in some kids remaining in the same level this year due to more stringent level requirements.

o National ***POTENTIALLY A NEW SYSTEM*** this may result in some tumblers dropping back to Provincial A but we will deal with this when the new systems are presented to us

o Level registration with Gymnastics Ontario is October 15th, this is important because different level athletes pay different Gymnastics Ontario Fees.

Summer Long Tryout: Something new that we did this year to allow ourselves a little more time to select and place our athletes was to have a Summer Long Tryout session in the Provincial CBA group. In June we accepted 20 athletes, which is four more than our ratios usually permit. We did this because we wanted to see if there was a way we could retain everyone if possible. We believed that everyone we had offered a spot to in the 20 person group warranted an extended opportunity to prove to us that they deserved and wanted a place in the program. If by the end of the summer training we had found a way to keep everyone then we would do what we could to make sure that no one was cut; however, if we felt that there was reason to let a child go from the program we would have let you know by mid summer providing you with reasons for concern. We didn’t want to pull any punches and surprise people with a sudden notice of termination. We did have discussions with a few athletes and parents and the 20 person group is down to 17. Some athletes have been replaced into more appropriate groups (or at least the group of best fit for now). We may do this again in the future but don’t foresee it happening next spring. The program is going to keep getting tougher and tougher to get into so dedication, effort and attitude are all going to be evaluated throughout the year. If you have further questions or desire further explanations about this protocol please send me an e-mail.

Expectations: Our expectations are that you participate fully, that you work with us as we work with you to ensure the optimal situation for your child to develop and succeed. This is a partnership and we like to think of those families involved in competitive programs here at the OGC as part of our community. Please be an active member in our community and in the life of your child. The first thing you can do to is keep yourself informed by reading the Tumbling Blog. I’ll reiterate this point several times. Everything you need to know is there and will continue to be there.

Expectations and Attendance: Summer Attendance: During the summer session we expect 50% attendance as a minimum. We would prefer that your child attends 100% of their scheduled classes but we understand summer schedules are far more diverse and we would hope that kids take the time to enjoy summer camps, weeks at the cottage and time with family. Our big problem is that many families didn’t bring their child to at least 50%. This has put your child a great disadvantage in several cases. Please understand that this is a year round program.

Expectations: Fall/Winter/Spring Attendance: During the school year we expect 80% attendance as a minimum. Obviously the less your athlete trains the less they will progress and the less they will be prepared for competition. It is in your best interest to have your athlete at the gym as much as possible.

Expectations: Violation of Attendance Minimums and Removal from the Program: If Niki and I choose to remove an athlete from the program then your contract with the club will be terminated at that time and you will not be charged a 2 month contract breaking fee. If you choose to leave the program before the end of the season for whatever reason including failing to make the minimum number of attendance hours required you will be charged the 2 month contract breaking fee. We cannot hold spots for athletes who do not attend the program. If you have schedule conflicts that will prevent your athlete from reaching the minimum attendance requirement but wish to remain as part of the tumbling program please e-mail me outlining your situation. Please note that each athlete’s personal situation is unique and should not be considered president setting evidence when you make your case for your own child’s personal situation. Each request will be considered and addressed with respect to that individual and is up to the discretion of Niki and myself.

Schedule: Please note that we do try our best to establish a schedule as early as possible and try to keep things as similar from year to year so that parents/families can try to organize their lives. Changes to the schedule are not done haphazardly and are not implemented to convolute your life. There are many factors that go into the creation of the schedule and necessary alterations occur sporadically throughout the season. Adaptability and cooperation are key. We will try to be as sensitive to the profound impact that these changes have on our athletes and their support team (mom and dad).

o This week we asked the Developmental 1 Tumblers, Karen and Kelsey’s group to accept a change due to gym loading concerns on Thursdays. Developmental 1 now trains Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30pm as before but the Thursday time has been moved back by a half hour to 5:00pm start finishing at 7:00pm. Thank you for your cooperation. Our program must make some accommodations to allow gym-loading and equipment sharing with all the other disciplines. As the only competitive discipline to not make use of daytime training we were asked to be flexible. We do not wish to have any daytime trainings where athletes would have to take time out of school to come into the gym when there is more space at this point and especially not with our Developmental and Provincial levels. We may require it of our National athletes if we deem it necessary in the future. As for the rest of the groups the schedule is posted on the bulletin board, the blog and for the athletes it’s also posted on the in-gym bulletin board in the tumbling area. As well we often send the schedule to you via e-mail. We no longer handout paper copies unless requested. Please check the blog for updates, schedule changes, holidays, snowdays, competition schedules, locations, times, etc.

o Thanksgiving: We will be taking the Sunday, October 11th and Monday, October 12th off. Please enjoy one last weekend of relaxation as after that things will get very busy with training camps, traveling, and competitions.

o Christmas: We have not set our training over the Christmas holiday yet. Families of Developmental Tumblers should know that there is never training for Developmental tumblers between Christmas and New Years. There will be an altered schedule for Provincial and National level tumblers which will be posted closer to the time.

Event Schedule: An schedule of all known competitions, training camps, and other tumbling program activities was distributed and will be posted on the blog.

Beginner’s Judging Course: Gymnastics Ontario is offering a Beginner’s Judging course this fall and we would like some members to take part in judging. If you are interested please contact Niki or I as the registration information has been sent out this week.

Athlete Profile Pictures: This week athletes will be having their pictures taken for the Competitive Athlete Profiles that appear on the OGC website. If you didn’t submit a profile page with your registration package then all that will appear on the web will be their picture. You can find these profiles under Competitive Programs on the OGC home page.

Gym Closures due to Weather: If there is a gym closure do to the weather please keep checking the blog. We will try to post closures due to inclement weather by noon of that day. You may also call the gym to see if the class is running as there is usually someone in the office. We will also try to send everyone e-mails where you will be required to respond so that we know you know there is a closure.

Viewing Area Closure: During the summer months and sometimes during the fall/winter/spring the viewing area may be closed in the evening resulting in no parent viewing. If there are tumbling classes still running your child will be let in at the sliding glass doors at the front of the club and be ushered out at the end of their session. When the viewing area is closed no one is permitted in the gym lobby for safety and liability reasons. Our apologies for the inconvenience that this might cause.

Competitive Attire
o Volunteers are needed to assist Niki with this project. If you are interested please let Niki know.

o Tracksuits: Are optional for all Developmental Level tumblers but are required for all Provincial and National level tumblers. Please check to see if your tracksuit still fits. If you need one please contact Niki ASAP.

o Leotards, singlets and shorts: Athletes who will not be turning 8 years old by December 31st of 2010 do not need competitive singlet or leotard. Demonstration Team T-shirts can be purchased for those athletes. Any child in Developmental 1, 2 or 3 who will be 8 by December 31st of 2010 will be eligible to compete at the invitational Inter Club competitions and requires either a tank style leotard or a singlet and shorts combo (for the boys). Provincial and National athletes are required to get a long sleeve suit. Please inquire about this ASAP so that you can receive your suit in time for the competition season.

Fund Raising: We often do a few simple, short and sweet fundraisers in the tumbling program. Our objective is to raise a little bit of money to help cover the costs for us as coaches to attend invitational competitions so that we do not put the brunt of the cost on the athletes that are attending that specific competition. We will often request this of the athletes participating but we don’t want to bear down on them as the cost is often high anyways. This may be for any level of tumbling competition from Interclub Invitationals up to World Age Group Championships. Our fundraisers are usually not labor intensive so participation is appreciated.

o Juicebox Fundraiser: Order forms have been distributed. Orders will be collected up until October 5th. Cases of juice can be picked up during the week of October 12th to 16th. We will post a sign up for volunteer hours to help with the distribution of the cases of juice. You can respond via e-mail to pick up those volunteer hours.

o Family Fun Night: Handout. It will be on October 17th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Developmental and Provincial athletes pay $10 to come in and show off to friends. National Kids have to work at this event putting on a demonstration, coaching groups, and assisting in warm-ups. As well we ask the National group athletes to bring a snack or refreshment item so that we can provide a light snack for all of our participants. Participants that are not in the tumbling program pay $20 for two hours of gym fun, a demonstration, great obstacle courses and time to jump around in the gym. This event is a lot of fun and a great opportunity for parents to mingle and get to know each other. Participants must be between 4 and 16 years old. Please do not ask us to let in kids who are 3 and a half. We need to cut it off somewhere and the gym is usually very full during this event. Please preregister either through your coach or through the office. Please pay in advance to secure your spot. We will only take a maximum of 100 athletes.

Nutrition: Niki will post a Nutrition Fact Sheet on the blog at some point soon. Notes on nutrition prior to, during and post competition will be posted just prior to the first competition.

Sponsorship: Athletes are able to search for sponsors to offset the costs of training and competitions. The OGC is working of creating an up-to-date sponsorship package for all competitive athletes. Please enquire if you are interested in sponsorship. At this time we can provide you with a letter from the directors that you can take to a potential sponsor and further questions can be addressed through Wayne Hussey, the C.O.O.

READ THE BLOG REGULARLY: Very important that you keep up-to-date on the blog. It is the online bulletin board for our program. Everything is archived there so you can go back and pull any information that you might need.

Communication: Here is the chain of communication you can follow when you have questions:

o Ask your athlete. They usually know.

o Check the blog to confirm as the athletes sometimes weren’t really listening and may have gotten the facts wrong.

o Ask the coach directly, via voice messaging or e-mail. You should have our e-mail addresses as the coaches are always cc’d on any e-mails that go out from Niki or I.

o Niki or Don the Tumbling Program Directors and Head-Coaches, our e-mail addresses are: or

o Agnes:

o Wayne:

OGC AGM Reminder Sunday September 27th 7:00 to 9:00pm. Your attendance at this meeting will count towards some volunteers.

Closing Comment: This is the best tumbling group we have had in our career. We are excited to see how the year goes and happy to know that we will be enjoying the collaboration and assistance of a supportive and “Dialed In” group of parents. So thank you for being part of the OGC Tumbling Program and taking an active role in your child’s tumbling career.

Question Period

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