What is the Talent Opportunity Program? - TOP Gymnastics

talent opportunity program gymnastics, tops diamond team, TOPs Program Overview -

What is the Talent Opportunity Program? - TOP Gymnastics


USG TOPs Program - Ohio Fitness Garage

What is the Talent Opportunity Program? - TOP Gymnastics


USA Gymnastics Talent Opportunity Program, otherwise known as “TOPs” is a talent search program for female gymnasts ages 7 to 10-years old and an educational opportunity for their coaches. TOPs is a nationwide program that is held once a year. At least 3,100 gymnasts participate in the state and regional testing. Out of those 3,100 athletes, about 300 will qualify for national testing. Gymnasts ages 7 to 11 qualify for the national level based on their test scores at the state and regional level. The 9 to 11-year olds will be selected for the national team based on their national testing scores. Ultimately, about 70 gymnasts will comprise the national team.

The Purpose of TOPs

TOPs was created with the main purpose of identifying talented young gymnasts who may eventually succeed at the national team level. At the club level, TOPs coaches identify gymnasts between the ages of 6 and 10 who display natural physical and mental ability, and who have the right attitude and work ethic to excel at the highest levels of the sport. This allows USA Gymnastics to have awareness of the most naturally talented athletes from their earliest stages in the sport and to build and maintain a national team that has depth of talent.

The Process of TOPs

Kids who are identified as having TOPs potential usually will train at their clubs in a specific TOPs group or within their current group while adding a TOPs specific training plan. Coaches will be able to determine, pretty early within the TOPs training, if a selected gymnast is truly a good fit for the program. The kids will train for strength elements, flexibility, skills, and more. These are all the areas they’ll be evaluated on during state, regional, and national testing. The TOPs program is demanding and only a select few will ultimately stick with the program until they are 10-years old. For those who stay in TOPs long enough to age out, the Hopes program is then available for 11 to 13-year olds who desire to remain on the elite track.

Important Side Note

On a side note, if your child isn’t selected for TOPs, or is selected but isn’t a good fit for the program, it is not an indicator of your child’s potential for long-term success as a gymnast. TOPs simply identifies kids who learn quickly and have great body awareness combined with physical aptitude at a young age. Many kids who were never in TOPs move on to compete at the top levels of gymnastics and in college gymnastics. Some kids just take longer to really takeoff within the sport. The key is passion. If your child truly loves this sport and she is willing to work hard to succeed, TOPs will not be the determining factor of her future success.




More Post from Heather Traves

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