Pre-Development 'Mini's

For children aged 4 - 7 years interested in the Competitive Pathway

The ‘Pre-Development Minis’ is a pre-development program which aims to provide a stepping stone pathway to the Development Program* for very young gymnasts (aged 4 - 7 in the year).

We introduced the Minis program in 2019 to bridge the gap between GFA and NDP Development programs for younger gymnasts who show aptitude for early specialisation.  The program allows these young gymnasts to start their journey toward the competitive & performance pathway a little earlier, ensuring that the specific nature and type of training is appropriate to them and their aspirations.


Gymnasts should usually spend a minimum of 2 or 3 terms in the Development Minis, (depending on their age) before being considered for transfer to a Development Squad.  Gymnasts who are not ready after 3 terms may be offered an alternative pathway which will depend on their aspirations.

Entry requirements are a guide only...

Entry Requirements for Pre-Development program

We will consider Gymnasts who:

  • Completed Stage 1 within one term whilst 5 in the year OR completed Stage 2 within one term whilst 6 in the year.

AND...

  • Show natural co-ordination in core gymnastics elements and ease of general movement

AND...

  • Are already very ‘coachable’and positively responsive to feedback

  • Show signs of wanting to do things well and improve rather than just learn something new or be better than others

SELECTION & TRIAL

The Pre-Development Minis program is invite-only and consists of two sessions of up to 2 hours each per week (for days and times see the most recent Timetable).  They may also be invited for additional training from time to time and it is expected they will train throughout the school holidays.  Your coach will let you know the exact dates, times and cost of holiday training but the Squad calendar gives an idea of the days we are in during the holidays.

Gymnasts are initially selected for a terms trial in the Pre-Development Minis based on an assessment to establish that they meet the entry requirements that we have set.  They may be recommended for this assessment by their coach.  The trial period gives the program coach an opportunity to work with the gymnasts and establish their suitability for competitive pathway development over a period of time.  We look at a variety of aspects including relative progress, response to coaching (including both praise and correction), response to failure, motivation orientation, learning styles and overall approach in order to get to know the gymnast and establish whether development toward competitive & performance is a good fit for them.

The Fees for Pre-development Minis are due in advance each term and you should enrol and re-enrol via ParentMail as you would for GfA Classes.  Where applicable, sessions in the school holidays are charged separately.

THE TRAINING

The training involves a significant amount of body preparation including strength work, stretching and drilling in order to prepare their bodies for the harder skills. Though it’ll still be fun and they will learn a lot, the expectations will be higher and it wouldn’t be unusual to see them struggling from time to time.  As a club we encourage a task-oriented motivation in our gymnasts and this is even more important with gymnasts who are training toward competitive pathways as they need to develop training skills not just gymnastics skills.  This program does not follow our GfA syllabus and they will not be assessed on the GfA award schemes, however you can request an assessment against these schemes by booking a private session at any point if you want to know where they would be on that program.

UNIFORM

Development Minis are required to purchase the Pre-Development leotard.  The leotard is COMPULSORY to wear on Wednesday sessions and is usually required from their first session.

CLUB EVENTS

Development Minis are expected to participate in any club events that they are eligible for as a compulsory part of the program.

PROGRESSION

In the year they turn 7, (or earlier depending on suitability) they are age-eligible to join one of our Development squads if selected.  You will usually be given the options available to your gymnast in February / March of the year that they turn 7, although sometimes it may be later (particularly if they are a late birthday).

PRIVATE Instagram page…

‘altongymnasticsclub’ we love to post and document all their progress pictures and videos, competition results and just the funny things all our gymnasts get up too. If for whatever reason you don’t want your child to be posted then please let your coach know.

PARENTS ROLE

It can be very exciting to have your young child selected or recommended for a program such as Minis.  It might feel like a great compliment or it may feel quite daunting to consider the commitment both now and in the future if they are successful on this pathway.  It is important as parents to weigh everything up before you make decisions along the way but it is even more important to keep things in perspective and to help your child do the same.  Your role as a parent is unchanged by this selection… to support and love your child, regardless of what they do or do not achieve in life (or in gymnastics).

Clubs can provide the opportunities for gymnastics training and learning life-skills but it is how you use these that counts the most, particularly with young children.  The MOST important thing to remember is that it is THEIR SPORT, not yours.  Please leave the critiquing and coaching to the coaches, and let your child know how much you enjoy watching them enjoy themselves and working hard … make this a priority and don’t let yourself get worked up about their progress or skills they can or can’t do.  Through success and failure, keep your own emotions in check!   It is very important to consider the messages we send our children especially at such a young and impressionable age.​