View Full Version : Derek Jr's first gymnastics meet

Derek Simonds
01-14-2007, 02:11 PM
I thought I would share this with the community. My son participated in his first ever gymnastics meet this Saturday.

I put together a short video of each one of his events. My wife and I are very proud of him and his team. Derek Jr is 6 and the youngest on the team.

I am also proud of the coaches. They are two younger guys who have worked real hard with the team. When you are working with younger kids if it isn't fun they aren't going to stay interested. Thanks Coach Craig and Coach Jacob for keeping it fun for the kids.

The meet was an AAU sanctioned event and Derek Jr qualified for state with an overall score of 48.4

A couple of fun things from the video.

Jr led off the entire event by being first on the rings. Rings are his strongest event probably based on the fact that we have a set hanging in the garage.

The judge for pommel horse told our coaches that our team did the best out of all the kids competing. Pommel horse is so hard for the little guys both from the required strength stand point and the size required to clear the handles.

The entire team competed as Level 4 and they all did very well. This is a brand new team for the gym and for them to take first overall in their first meet as a team was a great start.

Here is the link.


This is the first video I have ever edited so please bear with me on the quality.

Scott Kustes
01-14-2007, 03:48 PM
Awesome Derek! I have 2 decades on him and can't do half that stuff. Thanks for sharing and tell him to keep up the good work.

Eva Claire Synkowski
01-14-2007, 05:17 PM
man, i definitely should have done gymnastics was i was young - too much time on my feet, and now pretty hesitant when it comes to gymnastics.

strong work derek - i hope he sticks with it!

Pierre Auge
01-15-2007, 07:26 PM
Derek Jr. has some nice swings going as well I can see his High Bar skills progressing fast along with his ring skills. He didn't quit on the Horse either which was good stoicism. That was a pleasure to watch.

Yael Grauer
01-16-2007, 11:45 AM
Very nice!!!

Derek Simonds
01-17-2007, 08:01 AM
Its funny when your son is learning skills you never learned as a child. I have loved it because I get to learn them right along with him. We will go up to the gym and take turns doing the ring and high bar routines. His form is a lot better than mine on the high bar.;)

I plan on learning the P-bar routine this coming month so we can work on that one together as well.

As a parent I always want to make sure that it is my sons choice to continue doing activities and not mine. He really loves gymnastics and loves to do it with me. So I guess that is a blessing.

Allen Yeh
01-17-2007, 08:21 AM
Cool video!

I had some questions because I'd like to get my youngest stepson into gymnastics and he has expressed interest.

1. How long has your son been doing it?
2. How many times does he practice per week?
3. Do you pay monthly at the place you go to? Or is it more like little league and you pay per "season"?
4. How did you find the place you go to? I've looked in the area and found a couple but I have no idea how to go about finding out if it's a "good" place or not (talk to me about martial arts schools and I'd have a better idea, gymnastic places not so much).

Thanks for the video again.

Josh Whiting
01-17-2007, 11:14 AM
On the horse he showed some serious determination for a 6 year old. Awesome!

Jamila Bey
01-17-2007, 04:18 PM
What a cutie!!!

It's so great that you're encouraging his interest in something he likes so much. Congrats to you both.

Mike ODonnell
01-17-2007, 06:19 PM
Nice...I took gymanstics once at age 10 and got a ribbon cause I could do a cartwheel....the bar has been raised since then it seems!

Chris Forbis
01-18-2007, 02:38 AM
I strongly believe that starting a kid early on gymnastics (and Olympic lifting) will make for a monstrous athlete later in life. (Maybe this should go in the things you can't prove thread...)

Great video.

Mike ODonnell
01-18-2007, 06:20 AM
Makes sense...as I sucked at gymnastics as a kid and never learned about O'lifting till later in life....and I never had a pro career except in beer drinking.

Derek Simonds
01-18-2007, 07:32 AM

A short version of this story. My wife started taking him to mommy and me when he was about 16 months old. My wife really liked the gym that she was going to with Jr. so we bought it. He has attended some kind of class pretty much ever since then. In October of last year we sold the gym to another gym in our local area. The gym we sold out to is where he is now on the competitive team.

1. How long has your son been doing it?
At some level for about 5 years

2. How many times does he practice per week?
Up until he was on the team he went for 1 hour a day 2 days a week. Now that he is on the team he goes for 3 hours a day 3 days a week. He has been on the team for 1 year. He was too young to compete until this season so I should say he was on pre-team for about 6 months and on team for 6 months.

3. Do you pay monthly at the place you go to? Or is it more like little league and you pay per "season"?
It is monthly.

4. How did you find the place you go to? I've looked in the area and found a couple but I have no idea how to go about finding out if it's a "good" place or not (talk to me about martial arts schools and I'd have a better idea, gymnastic places not so much).
It is exactly the same as a martial arts school. You need to go and watch the coaches and the students. You can tell a lot about the gym just from the vibe of the place. Gym parents love to talk so sit with some of the other parents and ask them what they like and what they don't like about the gym. Most gyms will give at least the first class for free. Some will do a week. For mens gymnastics the most important thing is that the kids are learning the fundamentals and having fun. It requires so much strength for many of the moves that a male gymnast has a much longer career than a female (I am not saying that female gymnatics don't require strength). In my opinion the most important thing is to make sure that your son is enjoying the classes, if he is he will stick with it.

Mike, I got one of those blue ribbons as a kid and now I am about to share one my deepest secrets with only you. In high school I was on a competitive cheerleading squad. After high school I promptly forgot all of my gymnastics training and went pro in beer drinking as well.

Allen Yeh
01-18-2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks for all the information Derek! I'll take a look at some places as soon as we get this pinewood derby thing knocked out, hurray for Boy scouts huh?

Robb Wolf
01-19-2007, 07:42 AM
That was AWESOME! keep the videos coming Derek!

Derek Simonds
01-19-2007, 05:32 PM
Man I remember the pinewood derby. My dad and I would work on that pine and make it into a speed racer. Of course my dad being a mechanical engineer his tolerance was a lot tighter than the other cars.

Robb I just found out that we have 6 more meets this year so I will keep the videos coming.

BTW excellent e-zine this month I really enjoyed the articles on grappling and the snatch.

Jesse Woody
01-29-2007, 05:53 PM
I don't even have sound, so if it had music I missed it, but it was still totally worth the watch. That is awesome and inspiring, though it makes me quite angry that I chose to give up gymnastics after only one season when I was 8! I hope he keeps it up, great stuff!

Derek Simonds
02-19-2007, 01:37 PM
I promised more videos and here is Jr's next meet.

This was a USAG meet and the judging was tighter than the AAU meet. Jr did good all around he just wasn't as tight on his form. A couple of things worth noting, he did two pull ups on the ring (optional), he did significantly better on the pommel horse, he almost made the press on the p-bars but ended up kicking in and his swings on p-bars were a lot higher this time in fact so much so that he rolled his landing from the momentum.

He placed in his age group in 3 events and ended up 8th overall. He also qualified for state and the team took 3rd place which beat their arch rivals.


After the last meet they started working on their skills development for their level 5 routines. I am pretty stoked because one of the skills is a muscle up. We have watched several videos and are going to start practicing this week. I don't have my muscle up yet so it gives me a great reason to focus on it.