Behind the scene at Big Rock

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to tell you a few things that are happening at the gym that you might not know about.

1.  We got some new equipment!!  We now have a tramp spring board that will help greatly with vaulting.  We also got a Forester bar that helps with bar skills and back extension rolls and what I call a torture bar that is supposed to help with posture.  It’s not really torture, just a way to get there arms above there head without us coaches having to say it a million times.  I’ve been looking forward to getting these items all year!


Forester Bar


Torture Bar


Vault Tramp Board






2.  A fun coach game.  We always play games for the kids.  Now it’s the coaches turn.  The kids get to vote for the next three weeks for which coach they preferred on four different coaching subjects. Example – who was the most positive.  The coach with the highest percentage of votes wins 50.00 per category and the runner up gets 25.00.  Just another way we train our coaches to be better.  Let the kids give us feedback.

3.  A clinic for our team kids.  Each year we try to invite guest coaches to come in and SUU_birdmark_logohelp evaluate how we are doing and give us new ideas on how to coach.  This is so beneficial.  We know we don’t know everything and we love to be critiqued too.  It helps us to grow.  The kids love getting a new perspective on tricks they are learning.  This year we’ve been fortunate enough to have these coaches come twice.  They are from SUU and coach the collegiate and Junior Olympic gymnasts.

5663c277241e4991a90223e74d1c429dWe’ll keep pushing forward to grow right a long with your kids.  If you stop learning, you stop growing.  If you stop growing you might as well be dead.

Competition Time! Epic’s Invitational at the Expo Center

Dear Big Rock Enthusiasts,

We just love gymnastics.  Epic Gymnastics hosted a great meet this weekend, January 24th – 25th 2014.  Our girls held it together very well.  I’m so impressed with how they conduct themselves at competitions.  It takes a lot of guts to get out there and do what they do.  They love it but it’s not easy. We have a great Xcel team this year.  I love how the girls support each other. They all get a long famously.  They also have a lot of heart.  Some are learning how to concur their fears, some are learning how tough gymnastics really is.  All in all they are learning and growing.  That is so important to us coaches.  Some successes we had at this meet are the following….

Bronze Level Team took 2nd Place!

Epic Invitational 2nd Place 2014

Bronze Level Girls:

Hanna Kailey took 5th place on Vault with a 9.15 (she flew high!)

Jamie Holt took 1st Place on Bars with a 9.675 (highest bar score so far for a Bronze at our gym)

Sophie Palmer took 3rd place on Bars with a 9.450 (super clean)

Kambree Roberts took 1st place on Bars with a 9.5IMG_0985 (all smiles)

Silver Level Girls:

Ashley Talbot got an 8.7 on Beam and did her back walkover by herself!

Anna Tanner got an 8.050 on Floor and really showed it off!

Kaitlyn Jackman got an 8.750 on Vault and took 1st place (blocked higher than I’ve ever seen her do before)

Marisa Franks got a 9.0 on bars and took 5th place (nice to see a 9.0 on bars in the Silver level, way to go Marisa!)

Alysen Talbot got an 8.45 on beam and also did her back walkover beautifully

Kimmie Christensen go a 9.1 on bars and took 2nd place (can’t wait to see what this girls does next!)


I think our girls do great with the time they are given in the gym.  Our Bronze and Silver level gymnasts spend on average 6 hours a week in the gym.  Most of our competitors for the same levels spend about 9.  I think we do alright for the time we have.  I of course wish we could do more but we have to find a balance for the kids and families involved with gymnastics as well as our coaching schedule.  We love what we do and most importantly we look for success in many different ways, not just how we place on the podium.

How we get trained to train your little ones…

Gymnastics is an extremely complicated and technical sport.  I don’t know of any other 20130814-SLP_4969sport where you have to master so many things.  Let’s think about it… soccer….run, kick a ball…Basketball…run, grab a ball and throw it….Tennis….run, hit a ball with a racket…. My husband would argue that Wrestling/Martial Arts are the hardest.  I just thought about that for a second and yes, I could see how wrestling compares greatly to gymnastics.  So for Dad’s out there reading this, I would say that if you want your daughters as mentally tough and gifted as your wrestling sons, put them in gymnastics.  I guess that is why my husband and I are so perfectly matched.  (for those of you who don’t know, my husband is an incredibly gifted martial artist and wrestler as well as a talented coach)


I got a little side tracked already from my topic so I’ll get back on it.  Coach training for us is an ongoing process.  We spend our entire careers always progressing and learning.  For myself, I started with reading gymnastics training books and looking on in the internet for coaching ideas (there are thousands) so it’s a great source.  I’ve also been certified as a Professional Coach through USA Gymnastics.  USA Gymnastics is our governing body over gymnastics.  They are extremely detailed about how to coach safely and what the best practices are for our industry.  I’ve learned a lot from them.  They do background checks and require two classes to take before you may become a member and then offer many classes to add on so you may progress your education.  I have personally attended many  coaching clinics in the state as well as last years National USA Gymnastics Congress, in Los Angeles.  If you’re wondering where I am this coming week, I’ll be in Park City learning our new Junior Olympic routines.  It’s a four day clinic with the master himself, Tom Knoll.  He’s the one that sets the standards for gymnastics in the US and creates the routines with his partners.  We are so lucky to have this wealth of knowledge coming to this state.  It really helps prepare us for how to compete well.

I also learn a lot just by trial and error.  I suppose that is unfortunate to the kids that learned  my error coaching technique but eh it builds character, right

?!  Of course I would never try a new spotting technique on an untrained student.  I go to clinics that show me how to spot properly.  We’ve also invited several amazing guest coaches to visit us and help us with our technique.

It’s not just me who coaches however.  We have six other amazing coaches, who have all been gymnasts or cheerleaders themselves.  A lot of training comes from just being an athlete yourself.  I’m so lucky to have every single coach at our gym have that background.  Especially in a small town.  They too, look online for coaching techniques, learn from my own coaching clinics I have for them and can occasionally attend a clinic given by other facilities.  We were all recently CPR certified except for our new boys coach Ronnie.  He just started but he will get certified soon.  We also have a coach, Kelly, who is an ER Nurse and has so many certifications that I can’t remember them all.

So as you can see, we take our training seriously and are always looking for exciting new ways to coach.  We strive to be our best.  That is important to us.  I don’t look at these kids and say, it’s ok to be mediocre because we live a small town.  I say these kids should have every opportunity to go for it all the way.  Having an untrained coach will hold you back and I never want to be that coach.  I didn’t grow up here so I don’t understand it when people are ok with just being so so at everything.  But I do love it here because I can be my whole self.  Mostly because I have time to share, learn, create and give.  In a big city I feel rushed and unappreciated because there are so many people fighting for the same thing.  I love this small town and the people in it.  You all contribute to my life’s pursuit of happiness and that’s teaching your kids.  ~Coach Carrie


A Coaching Story

By Coach Carrie

Today I was teaching a child how to get through a fear of a trick on bars.  The trick entailed jumping from the low bar to the high bar.  This girl was pretty tiny in stature so she was very fearful and has been for many months of this skill.  Every time she came to bars she would ask, “Are we jumping to the high bar?”, with this look of agony on her face.  I finally had an extra coach helping me today and not too many kids showed up for class so it allowed me to spend some extra time with her.  Well, I learned so much.

So I started setting up the bars.  First I pulled them close together and ask her, “are you scared?”  She said yes, then I put a mat under the bar to make it seem not so high and asked the same thing.  Still the same response.  Then I put another mat there and finally she said she wasn’t scared to try from that point.  I knew always to start a trick from a place of not having fear.  She responded ok to this but was still scared once she got up there.  I had to spot her and she still jumped to the mat before catching the bar.  So I took her down to the floor and put a bar on the floor for her to jump from to a low bar.  I made sure to put it ridiculously close so she couldn’t say she was scared.  She jumped just fine.  Then I pulled the bar on the ground farther away from the bar she was going to catch and immediately she started to get scared again.  I was stumped!  It wasn’t very far but she just wasn’t trying and still terrified.

I decided to give her control.  She knew the direction I wanted to head with progress but I then let her move the bar when she was ready and comfortable.  I was amazed!!! She moved the bar faster and farther away from the bar on her own than I did trying to push her into it.

Now here is the reason why this coaching method works so well….Kids want to learn and progress.  They know that in there DNA they need to reach out and try.  But that crazy response happens when I try “setting the bar” for them.  They instantly think the opposite thoughts of “this is scary, I’m not ready, I can’t do what she’s asking.”  Even though I think I’m being encouraging by saying, “no you can do it, just try, you’ll see it’s easy.” But only opposite thoughts race through her brain because children also want to naturally resist authority.  But when I handed over the power of making the decision on her own when to jump and how far to jump and even how many times to jump before she moved the bar she forgot all about resisting me and fear.  Now all she saw was a goal to move it farther back.  At the end of it all she was jumping to the high bar without mats underneath her and a complete look of satisfaction on her face along with a giant smile.

I’ve used this coaching method before but never saw in such concrete detail enough to say, “I’ve got it figured out.” It changed her world to be able to push her self with my expectationless support.  Once I gave her the freedom to push her self she set the goal higher than I had and progressed farther and faster.

Moral to the story is…trust your kids.  Let go of the need to have perfection right away.  If they are meant to be perfect at it, they’ll get there.  And if not, they sure did learn a lot trying and actually reap the same benefits, if not more, as the child who did get it perfect.

Our goal is not to make your child perfect at gymnastics but set goals and reach for them whatever there ability is.  Yes, some kids are destined to get great scores and take first place all the time but it’s always the kid that struggles and fights for what they have who appreciate it more.  As long as we see progress and a desire to move forward, they receive immense praise and affection from us.

Think of it like this.  When your child is a baby, is it better to give them the toy they are crawling for or have them work to crawl to it and get it themselves?

Thanks everyone for reading my blogs.  Always grateful.

~Coach Carrie




Fall Sign Ups Begin!!

Hey Everyone!!  It’s a great time to sign your child up for gymnastics.  We begin our new 20130406-SLP_6392season August 26th, 2013.  Here are some key points you’ll want to know about signing up…

1.  Registration is 25.00 per child or 50.00 per family (all current students will need to re-register as well) Please go to our website and download the registration form.  Fill out and bring back to us.

2.  Monthly tuition is due the last week of the month to pay for the new month forward.  If you pay within this time frame you get the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT.  If after the 1st of the month please add 5.00 to your payment

3.  Please have your child dressed ready to workout.  This means Leotard, tight shorts (skirts get tied up in the bars and coaches hands so we do not prefer them), hair pulled back and jewelry off.  Street clothes are not allowed as zippers, buttons and lose fitting clothing are safety hazards.  Shorts and t-shirt for boys.


POLICIES in our gym (very important)

4.  Please do not leave an unattended child to watch their friend.  We do not allow children to stay and watch for liability reasons

5.  Parents are recommend to come watch once a month but we prefer not more than that.    The reason is it makes children less focused on learning and they feel the pressure of parents watching.  But we do want you to see what we are all about, so visit occasionally.

6.  Parents are encouraged to not coach from the bench.  It makes the child feel embarrassed, the coach feels like they aren’t doing a good enough job and it puts added pressure on everyone.  Gymnastics skills and form come when the child’s body is ready.  Muscles have to be built, stamina has to be gained, and confidence has to be earned.  These take time.  We promise to do our very best in coaching your child.  Your child will respond better knowing that you love them no matter how they perform.  Always let us know if we can do more though, just tell us after class on the side.

These policies come to us from USA Gymnastics.  They are in place to help ensure quality and safety along with the right emotional support from everyone.  We want the best for your child, so help us make everyone’s experience better.

Summer Schedule

Hi Big Rock Parents,

Here is the Summer Schedule for our 2013 season.  Just in case you were wondering gymnastics, tumbling and cheer is a year around sport.  It is because there is so much to learn and experience. 
TUITION prices will not be changing until the fall season
Registration will happen again in the fall
Here are a couple of things that you might not have known:
1.  Level one’s can come two days a week for 60.00
2.  I run a summer discount special for people when they go on vacation.  Some people think that because you have a one week summer vacation planned in the middle of summer that you should take the whole summer off of gymnastics.  Well you don’t need to.  Let me know when you are going on vacation and I will take a week’s worth of tuition off for the month.  No excuses now 😉  Just make sure you tell me before you go on vacation and pay your tuition.
3.  5 week gymnastics course will run July 8th through August 9th for 40.00 
4.  Back Handspring clinic will be on Wednesday from 2:00 – 3:00 Every 2ND WEEK of the month
5.  Age you can start gymnastics – TWO
I have restructured the tumbling classes to have a beg, intermediate, and adv. class.  Here’s how you know what class you’re in.
If you’re new or don’t have a back handspring (BEG tumbling)
If you have a 1 back handspring (Intermediate tumbling)
If you have more than one back handspring and are working tucks, layouts or fulls (Advanced Tumbling)
The drill class will be mixed with the beginning tumbling class but any level can take it.  
When will you know if your child moves up a level?  It will be announced to you through email sometime after the Parents day/Competition.  
What needs to happen before your child does move up?  She/he needs to have completed the skills necessary to perform at the level they are in without a spot.  This is to ensure that kids don’t move too fast.  Most kids need a full year in each level before they advance to the next except for team (usually two years).  That is the Fall, Spring, and summer sessions.  However some kids will move earlier and some will move later than that.  It just depends on what skills they have.  Scores from the competition are taken into account as well.  
If you are in the gymnastics program and feel that you are not able to make it to the new schedule but still want to keep up with something you may opt to do our tumbling classes during the summer.  That will allow for progression but not a full commitment until the fall season comes again.  Many times if kids take the whole summer off and come back in the fall, they feel out of place and passed up by the group they worked with before.  If you can avoid this, I highly recommend it.  
This schedule may be subject to change as we work out the coaching staff availability.  
Occasionally Some classes may be at a different time once during the week as we have coaches that go on trips and summer camps and have fewer coaches on staff.  Please always check your emails.
Xcel Gold level and JO level 6 and higher are required to come on Optionals day.  Level 6 & 7 is also required to come on there extra day.  
Go to our website if you cannot read this
Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.04.28 AM

Xcel Barefoot Gymnastics Competition

January 19th 2013

Marisa on floor

Marisa on floor

Some surprising events happened at this years Barefoot competition.  Casey, our newest member to the team, did very well at her first competition.  She took first on Vault with a 9.15!  Alysen took 2nd place All around and first place on beam with a 8.85.  Kimmi took 4th all around and got a 9.1 on Bars!  Anna took 7th all around and her highest score was vault with an 8.6.  Ashley took 8th place all around and got a 9.1 on bars!  Marisa took 2nd all around and got an 8.5 on bars and Kaitlyn was 3rd all around with an 8.6 on beam.  All in all, I think we had a good time.  I’m so blessed to be around such positive girls and parents.  Each time we go to a competition we learn and grow from the experience.  Thank you all for your participation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

January Newsletter

Happy New Year!!!  Were gearing up for our Spring Season.  Lots of fun stuff to come.  It’s competition time for our team girls and we are ready this year.  I can’t wait to post our next successes.

We have a lot of girls moving up right now, so please check to see if you’ve received an email on that.  If you haven’t gotten an email, that means they will stay in there same level but also work next level up skills.  It just means they weren’t quit ready and need a little more time to improve.  Gymnastics is not a very fast progressing sport because there is so much to learn.  Many girls do two sessions of the same level before they move up, some even three.  It just depends.  Always come to me though if you have any questions about that.

The Spring Weekly Calendar – (check to see if your class is still at the same time.  I did have to re-arrange a few classes.)

News about Level 1+ Class:

We put this class together to show that your children will still be progressing at this level.  The “+” stands for doing more skills than just level 1.  We are still going to be challenging your child at level 1 and they will still think it’s cool to come.

Big Rock Competitive Cheer Program

big rock cheer logoGet ready because we’re starting up a cheer program.  We are going to be different than other cheer programs.  After being in the community for almost 4 years now, I feel like Big Rock has grown a reputation of raising great kids.  That’s what we intend to continue with our cheer program.

Why we are different:

1.  We have experience – I was a cheerleader myself, I’ve run a cheer program before, and we continually educate ourselves on the latest techniques and requirements

2.  We know how to work hard – Our trick is starting with the right group of people to begin with.  Everyone on the squad is required to have been a former gymnast or tumbler with us.  Therefore already setting the bar high for form, positive attitude, discipline and so much more.

3.  Setting a new standard for Cheer – With cheer there are some stereo types that aren’t the best.  We intend to show that our cheerleaders have the highest set of standards and look to cheer as a serious sport.

4.  Coming from a gymnastics background – With gymnastics in all of our blood, we can go out there and really show off.  I’m so excited to put together an elite team with high level of performance.

Requirements to be on the team

(read carefully and work hard to full fill the requirements so that one day you can be on the team)

1.  Must be a former tumbler or gymnast at Big Rock (if you aren’t sign up now and get the experience)

2.  Must have a positive attitude

3.  Must have a back handspring

4.  Must be willing to be to practice & competition every time (that means skipping friends birthdays, family parties and fun activities if it lands on practice day)  This is a team sport and requires excellent attendance and dedication.  Part of the reason why you have to be a gymnast or tumbler first is so that I know your dedication and attendance history.

5.  Must be 14 yrs or younger (age requirements are set by the governing body of cheerleading)

That’s it!  It’s a lot I know but I feel it’s necessary to provide everyone involved a positive and educational environment.

If this is something you are interested in please let me know.  We hope to get the cheer program off and running in April or May depending on who is interested.  I will only be taking up to 15 people this year.  Make sure you get your name on the list if your are interested.

Call Coach Carrie 893-8264

Have a happy New Year!

December Newsletter

‘Tis the season to be Jolly!  I’m so excited for December.  My Christmas wish is that everyone is safe and happy.  We are getting ready for our competitive season with our teams.  It’s crunch time and we are pushing hard for great form, safety and great attitudes.  I asked my Junior Olympic team girls what was important to them when they went to competition and they all said it wasn’t about the ribbons but about feeling personal success and having fun.  I just about cried.  I’m so glad they are learning what I feel is important.  I expected to hear “I want first place.”  From the many years I of teaching, I have learned that every kid has their gifts and their weaknesses.  My job is to show them what to do with both and learn to love the journey and not just the end result.

Drill/Tumbling Class little Recital

For this class we have showing you a dance routine and some tumbling skills on Thursday the 20th.  We’ll be presenting the routine the last 10 minutes of there class.  It’s a simple routine that isn’t quite polished but was fun to put together and have the kids do.  This just helps to build there skill as dancers and tumblers and shows you a little of what they can do and what we are working on this year.  So have fun and come for at least the last 10 minutes of class so we can show what a great time we are having.

Boys Big Air Class 

On there last class day before the break, we are inviting you to come watch the last 10 minutes of class to have them show off some of there skills.  Come see what they have been learning.  We don’t have routines at this time but we are having a great time building there skills.  This will be on Friday the 21st.

Level 1 – 3 & Tops Inner Squad Competition and Exhibition for Team Girls

We are gearing up for our semi-annual competition for our level 1’s, level 2’s, level 3’s and our Tops girls.  New this year, we will be showing off our team girls and letting them perform for you.  They will not be judged but will get to show their favorite event to you. This helps them get ready for their competition season as well.  Why do we put on a competition for you? It’s great way for us to show the athletes off and show them how much fun competition can be.  It also is a time that we evaluate them and see if they are ready for the next level.  We believe in competition because it builds character and pushes a person to do more than they thought they could do.  Also it shows them that hard work pays off or they need to do a little more.

Here is what you need to know:

Competition Day: Saturday, December 22nd

Where: at our gym

What your athlete wears:  a nice fitting leotard with shorts (please make sure no underwear or cheek can hang out)  hair nicely pulled back and completely out of the face and that’s it!

When: Level 1’s 9:00 am  

When: Level 2’s, Level 3’s and Tops 1:00 pm

The competition will be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours long.

Competition Fee: $12.00

Due by: December 17th

Please make sure you pay your dues and get registered for this event.  I have to purchase ribbons and need to know who will be there.  This is not mandatory.  So if you can’t be there or your child is really shy, don’t worry.  But please let us know if you can’t so we don’t bug you.  We’ll evaluate them at a different time and you can come in on a regular day and watch there progress.  But we do encourage all to attend.  It’s a great event and many parents love seeing their kids perform.

For the Parents:

How do you act at a competition?  Cheer, get excited, take pictures (no flash however) and encourage positive sportsmanship.  Not every child is going to stand on the first place podium.  Be happy for there accomplishments.  It takes guts to get out there and perform. Remember, this is not a serious competition, it’s more of an evaluation for the coaches and a fun performance for you guys.  This ribbons are for the kids.  Please don’t think gymnastics isn’t for them if they are last place.  It just means they have more to overcome and as long as they love it, they need it more than anyone else and they’ll benefit more than anyone else.  Gymnastics builds more than just what the eye can see.  Stick with us long enough and you’ll see….

For the Team Girls:

You’re invited to our inner squad competitions as guests and not competitors.  We would like you to show off your stuff to help you get ready for competition.  You are not required to participate and do not have to a competition fee since you’ll not be receiving ribbons.  You will be picking your favorite event and showing that during the competition.  You’ll also help with competition.  You’ll cheer on the younger kids and work behind the scenes to help the competition run smooth.  Please wear your competitive leo and warm ups with your hair tied back nicely.  Let me know if you’ll be attending and I will tell you which session to attend.  I will be mixing the Xcel and Jo athletes sessions so they can see each other show off.  I’m excited to have you come and be apart of this fun event.

Christmas Tree Lane

As most of you know, I’ve decided to put a tree up for Christmas tree lane.  We are taking pictures so that I can hang them on the tree.  So stop by and see the tree this year.  Let’s show everyone how awesome it is to be a Big Rock Gymnast!

Winter Recess Dates:

Closed December 24th – January 1st

We’ll be open again on January 2nd.  I hope you all find yourself having a wonderful holiday.

I think that’s it everyone!  Thanks for reading our newsletters and staying involved with the gym and your child’s success!  We look forward to seeing you all at our competition.


Coach Carrie

November Newsletter

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I like to reflect about the things I’m thankful for around this time of year.  I’m especially thankful for my wonderful coaches, our gym kids, the opportunity to do this sport, my health, my husband and my cute wonderful life.

Don’t be a Turkey and show up when the gym is closed for Thanksgiving Break

November 21st – 23rd

Stick this on your calendar and have a great holiday sharing it with family, friends and yummy food.




We are gearing up to compete soon.  Here is our competitive schedule for our Xcel and Junior Olympic Team.

BRG Meet Info 2013






OPEN REGISTRATION- maybe some of you don’t know but we can have anyone join at anytime!  We also start kids at 2 years old.  We’ll be running a special in a coupon magazine that is coming to your mailbox soon for 1 free lesson and 10.00 off registration.  So tell your friends if they have thought about signing up but just haven’t made it in yet.

For the month of November we are staying on track with our curriculum and progression.  The kids are gearing up for showing it off to the parents in December.  You’ll love what we have in store for your Christmas present from us.  I think the kids are loving the programs and working hard to impress.  Most importantly however we want them to impress themselves.  We want them to be proud of their accomplishments whether the go noticed or not so they learn to take personal satisfaction.

Thanks for reading our blog!