“I like being with the other boys on the team, I like learning new things, I like climbing the rope and doing trampoline.”
Troy Graley is 6 1/2 years old. He started gymnastics as Emeth just before he turned five. It’s amazing how much Troy has learned and grown while being a part of both classes and the boy’s competitive team at Emeth.
Here’s what Troy had to say about his memory of his first class-
“I remember going on the little bars. I liked to go on the little rings, and I liked learning to swing.”
But it wasn’t all fun for Troy at first, his parent’s wrote us a note about how it started for Troy.
“Troy started taking gymnastics at Emeth just before his 5th birthday. At the time he could barely ride a tricycle! Not because he lacked the ability or coordination, but because he lacked the confidence to keep trying when things got tough. Preschool was a challenge and Troy had trouble following simple directions that came easily to the other kids his age. We were just beginning to learn about the challenges Troy faced both speaking and understanding language. I had met “Mr. Judah” previously outside of the gym. I was amazed at the passion he shared as he spoke about teaching gymnastics. I was also intrigued with the classes he taught just for boys. When Troy first started he had difficulty understanding and remembering the directions that were given during class. Instead of asking for help Troy would lay on the floor and sometimes cry.”
But things started changing
Mr. Judah was patient and firm. He encouraged Troy to keep trying and praised him each time he tried. Eventually we added some private lessons to help Troy gain a better understanding of the skills he was learning in class. Mr. Judah put a lot of effort into finding the best ways to help Troy learn. Troy’s progress took off! We started to see lots of smiles and a lot less crying. Troy began to confidently try new skills and follow more difficult directions. He even started to ask for help and clarification when he didn’t understand. And much to our surprise within 3 months Troy was riding a regular bike with training wheels!
“Troy is a great example of why I do what I do, using gymnastics to build character and confidence into the lives of boys and young men,” -Mr. Judah, one of Troy’s coaches.
Troy is a Champion at Emeth Gymnastics
“When Judah first asked us about putting Troy on the competitive team, I thought he was crazy! Troy really loved gymnastics and I didn’t want the pressure of competition to destroy the confidence he was gaining; not to mention the fact that the twice per week practices ended later than Troy’s usual bedtime. But Judah promised that there would be no pressure and he really thought Troy would benefit from being on the team. We had no idea just how true that would be! We immediately noticed how much Troy was watching and learning from the other boys on his team. Troy began speaking more and trying to follow along and do the things they did. Even the older boys made a special effort to acknowledge and encourage him. Troy had more interaction with other coaches and staff, all of whom were patient and encouraging. Especially, “Miss Laura” (at the front desk) who patiently tried for almost a year before Troy finally returned her daily greeting! Troy’s confidence soared! Just 6 months after starting gymnastics he began riding a 2 wheeler all on his own!”
–Chris & Aaron Graley, Troy’s parents.
Read the whole letter from Troy’s parents, Chris and Aaron, wrote:
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