Dear Emeth TOP Parents,
Enclosed is our updated TOP policies for our 2012-2013 Season. Differences or changes from last year’s policies are written in red. All TOP athletes who plan to begin or continue with the program must return this signed form by October 6th, 2012.
TOP Athlete: ________________________________________________
By signing below, I confirm that I have read the Emeth 2012-2013 TOP Policies and that I understand and agree to respect the policies and will encourage my child/children to do so as well.
Parent Signature: _______________________ Date: _______
By signing, I confirm that I have reviewed all of the TOP policies that apply to me with my parent and I agree to respect these policies as an Emeth TOP Athlete.
Athlete Signature: _______________________ Date: _______
Emeth Talent Opportunity Program
Description, Rules & Policies
I. What is TOPS?
TOP stands for Talent Opportunity Program, which is a nationally recognized program designed by USA Gymnastics specifically for athletes that show exceptional potential in our sport in the areas of strength, flexibility, good form, and technique. The program is meant to take these girls at a young age and provide them with intense training in all of these areas that will significantly increase their rate of progress in the sport and create potential for them to reach Elite, which is the highest level of competition in the world. The TOPS program provides increased strength, confidence, and precision for all its participants. Within TOPS there are opportunities for those who excel to participate in additional training from time to time and to interact with other talented athletes and coaches in our country. Those who achieve the highest ratings in the TOP program throughout the country may become National TOP Team Members. Although there are many TOP athletes that do not reach the elite level, committed participation in the program significantly improves their confidence and potential, and we have seen significant benefits for every girl who has committed to the program as long as it has been in existence at Emeth.
While TOP is an excellent program for some athletes, it is not for everyone, and it is not the only way to high level gymnastics. TOPS is extremely demanding and requires a higher level of commitment. At Emeth, it means adding one or more early mornings of extra training time into the athlete’s schedule, as well as the possibility of going to State TOP testing between the ages of 7-10, special TOP camps, and National TOP testing for 8-10 year old TOP’s that qualify. The family of an athlete who achieves the right to go to a National TOP test or training camp will be faced with the decision of sending their child to the National Team Training Center in Texas for these events!
TOP training is focused on training two areas: Physical Abilities (P.A.) and TOPS Skills. Physical Abilities are a set of 7 nationally determined tests that measure an athlete’s strength and flexibility. TOPS skills are nationally determined progressions and skill standards that point towards the elite level. The supplemental training of TOPS naturally increases a gymnast’s level of success as they progress through the Junior Olympic levels of competition and helps to identify whether an athlete has potential to reach the highest JO levels or the elite program.
II. Emeth TOP Program
A. Eligibility for participation in the Emeth TOP Program
To join the Emeth TOP program, athletes must meet the following requirements:
- Be from 4-10 years old
- Be a current member of the Emeth Girls’ Team or a current class student that has received a specific invitation by a TOPS coach.
- Regularly attend your girls’ team practices or regularly attend your gymnastics classes.
Athletes older than 10 are no longer eligible for state testing, but if they have reached a reasonable level of P.A. and skill by this time, they can continue to benefit from TOPS and may be eligible for other opportunities such as Emeth TOPS Team and participation in select off-site training. Continued participation in the TOPS program past age 10 will be a decision that is made between that athlete, her TOPS coaches, and her parents.
B. Promptness Requirement
Athletes are required to arrive on time to all TOP practices. Arriving on time means that the athlete is inside the gym, dressed for practice, and ready for instructions from her coach at the start time of practice. We do expect athletes to attend the full length practice, however, if there is a school start-time that conflicts with the schedule, we allow early dismissal from training. Athletes who are late for practice will not practice that day.
C. Attitude Requirement
A positive and appropriate attitude is essential for every girl who is in the TOP program. This includes treating every girl that is a part of the TOP program as well as every girl that is in any level of team with kindness and respect. We will not allow any type of negative or unkind competition to be demonstrated from TOP athletes towards anyone else, both during TOP practices and during regular team practices. We also expect every girl to participate in all parts of their TOP practices without complaining of any kind, and without unnecessary tears. If any of these attitude requirements are violated, the athlete will be corrected, and her parents will be informed. If violations continue, she will be dismissed from the program.
D. Practice Attire
TOP athletes are required to purchase a specific practice leotard which is worn to all TOP practices. Shorts are not permitted to be worn during TOP practices.
E. TOP Practice Schedule:
Option 1: Saturday mornings, 7:00-9:00 am
Option 2: Saturday mornings, 7:00-9:00 am & Thursday mornings, 6:00-8:00 am
2012-2013 Emeth P.A. Tests:
There will be three P.A. tests this year. Each girl is tested according to state rules for her age, competes against her previous scores and receives prizes for personal improvement.
Test #1: Saturday, October 13th 7:00-9:00 am
Test #2: Saturday, January 12th 7:00-9:00 am
Test #3: Saturday, May 11th 7:00-9:00 am
2012-2013 Emeth TOP Skill Evaluations:
There will be two TOP Skill evaluations this season. These tests will show where each athlete is at in their progressions towards TOPS skills and indicate whether performing the state testing skills required for their age is within reach.
Skill Evaluation #1: Saturday, March 2nd 7:00-9:00 am
Skill Evaluation #2: Saturday, May 25th 7:00-9:00 am
G. TOP Age Designation
As of the first of the year, TOP Athletes are always considered to be the age that they will turn within that calendar year, regardless of whether they have reached their birthday or not. For all tests throughout the schoolyear, our athletes are tested at the age they will be for the following summer’s test.
H. Emeth TOPS TEAM
Based on results of both May tests (P.A. and skills), qualifying athletes will be invited to the Emeth TOPS Team. Being on this team requires a commitment to attend both Saturday and Thursday morning TOPS practices, along with a third TOPS Team practice. (Time of the third practice will be given out in May.) Emeth TOPS Team members who are between ages of 7 and 10 will participate in two TOPS state tests during the summer, which gives them potential to qualify to National TOPS testing.
III. State and National Testing
A. State Testing
Each Summer there are State Tests administered by each State’s TOP director. Emeth athletes who qualify to and join the Emeth TOPS Team participate in two State TOPS tests. P.A. and Skills are evaluated at these tests, results are sent to the national office and tabulated, and athletes are ranked among all of the other TOP athletes that are tested throughout the country. At the end of the summer, the national office selects the highest scoring athletes in each age group. The highest scoring 7 year olds are placed on the Diamond Level National TOP team. The highest scoring 8-10 year olds are invited to National Testing at the National Team Training Center in Houston, Texas.
B. National Testing
National Testing takes place in the fall of each year at the National Team Training Center in Houston, Texas. Athletes who qualify to National Testing will travel to Texas with an Emeth TOPS coach. Athletes who go to National Testing have potential to be invited to a TOPS training camp in December and be placed on the National TOPS Team.
IV. 2012-2013 TOP Tuition
The following tuition is effective as of October 1st, 2012:
Option 1 (Saturdays only): $40 Per Month
Option 2 (Thursdays & Saturdays): $60 Per Month
If you are on the automatic charge option for your team tuition, your TOP Tuition will be charged along with your team tuition on the 5th of the month as long as you are enrolled in TOPS.
There are no discounts for TOP Tuition, and there is no pro-rating or make-ups for missed days.
Tuition is due on or before the 5th of the month. Athletes with unpaid tuition past the 15th of the month will not be permitted to attend training until they have paid their balance.