Talent Opportunity Program is a program that is designed to help identify girls and develop girls in gymnastics. The concepts are if a gymnasts starts at a higher level of ability and performance, they will end up at a even higher level of performance. If you start with a greater aptitude they will progress faster. —USAG TOPs
TOPs is a program that helps the girls train and achieve higher level of flexibility, strength, and ultimately possessing these skills allows them to achieve and perform higher level skills in gymnastics.
Due to the nature of this program it also has been shown that as the girls get “stronger” and more flexible their routines and skills in general improve and as their skills improve they become more confident in themselves.
TOPs was developed, managed and ran by the United States of America Gymnastics, and is not unique to Emeth, Many gyms have this program, but not all gyms. Emeth has been participating in TOPs for several years, and has reaped the benefits of it.
TOPs program is open to girl’s ages 7 to 10 years old. At 11 years of age following the TOPs program girls would then if they qualify move to the Elite program leaving the Junior Olympics (JO) Program.
At Emeth the program is still open to girls on a per basis if Emeth continues to see benefits and progression in the program.
Younger gymnasts can be invited into the program if Emeth sees a potential that the program would be beneficial, and at times has been extended to the Recreational Program gymnasts when gymnasts in the recreation program are identified they can be requested to join as well. In this case joining Team is not a requirement, but the hope is they will continue on and join Team.
The TOPs season is basically from the end of Team (State Competition) to June/July for State TOPs testing.
During the months of June and July, gymnasts age 7-10 will be evaluated on physical abilities at the state or regional (not all states have their own testing) level.
TOPs is a year round commitment to train, improve, learn new skills, and keep “in shape”.
Ultimate Goal of TOPs (USAG Expectations)
The ultimate goal of TOPs is for the USAG to identify, train, and produce Elite/Olympic gymnasts. This is done by early identification and hard work.
This is done by testing at the gym level, the gymnasts that qualify move on to state testing, and then based on scores may progress to national testing and then finally making the National TOPs Team.
Ultimate Goal of TOPs (Emeth Expectations)
Emeth has a different expectation of the TOPs program (producing an Elite/Olympic Gymnast would always be welcomed) Emeth concentrate on producing “Strong” well rounded gymnasts who are physically and mentally prepared to perform at the highest possible level.
Gymnast’s that join and train with TOPs can see a noticeable improvement in not only their core strength, but in the overall Gymnastics performance.
The reality the number of gymnasts that eventually become Elite or Olympic Gymnasts is very, very small. The Number of gymnasts that make state and national testing is even smaller. Some numbers from the 2011-2012 season:
- Approx. 18,000 qualified for individual state level
- Approx. 200 qualified for National Testing
- 50 made the National A Team
- 70 made the National B Team
- 41 made the Diamond Team
Looking at the last Olympics in 2012, 2 of the National A Team made the Olympics.
As a parent it is natural and good to have high hopes and ambitions, but they need to be governed that just because your daughter is in the TOPs program, does not put them on a pre-destined journey to the Olympics. TOPs can lead them in this journey, but more importantly it helps them become “better” gymnasts.
TOPs at Emeth Gymnastics
Coaches at Emeth can identify girls that show potential in the areas of strength and skills, and these girls are monitored and then requested to enroll in the TOPs program at Emeth. Preparing for TOPs
Gymnastics is a “special” sport that is really is a hand’s off for parents. Parents although are welcomed at all practices, are restricted from “offering assistance” from the side lines. In many areas gymnasts really cannot practice at home. Families usually do not have high bars in the back yard, nor the proper safety gear required for vaulting or higher level beam and tumbling.
As your daughter spends more time in the gym with TOPs or Team, they are learning so much about the sport. They may not be able to verbally explain the what or why, but mentally know. Emeth in TOPs as well as Team spends as much time training/teaching the skills as well as explain the how and why. As your daughter continues to train they learn how their body works and how/why they need to do to achieve the skills.
TOPs Team VS TOPs
Emeth offers TOPs team which trains on Saturday Mornings and Thursday Mornings. TOPs Team consists of invited girls
TOP’s is an open enrollment program that trains on Saturday morning only.
Both programs train the exact same skills and progressions, but TOPs team meets one extra morning a week.
Information and Videos
- State Testing information
- State Testing Skills (Updated for 2013)
- State Testing Physical Abilities (2014)
- State Testing Schedule
- Skill Testing Videos
- Physical Abilities Videos
- TOPs 101 from USAG
- TOPs presentation from USAG/TOPs/National Team (from Feb 2015)
State testing is held at Olympic Dreams
4403 Logan Way Youngstown, OH 44505
Highlighted Gymnast or Accomplishments:
For a complete list of all of our gymnasts accomplishments, click here