photo-25I have a lot of parents and club gymnasts ask me what they should emphasize when putting their floor routines together to stand out to the college coaches. There are many things I try to emphasize:

Music: Be sure it fits your personality. Unique music is always a plus! If you use slow music, be sure you have the dance background to enhance this, so you don’t get lost in the crowd. Often strong beats or unique catchy music turns heads of the coaches who are watching numerous floor routines at a meet.

Performance: College is much different then club. You often have large audiences that come to see a “show” on floor at the college meets. Coaches want to see you can perform your routine, whether it is slow or or fast. They want to see that you have potential to look out at the judges and the audience.

Unique: When I choreograph I try to put one unique fun “non gymnastics” move in the floor routine. Something that stands out and catches the eye of people watching your routine.

Skills: Depending on your level of gymnastics this can vary. Division 1 wants to see a good variety of dance “D” skills as well as “D” or “E” tumbling. They especially like the “D” tumbling skill in the last pass. The gymnast that can twist and perform double backs is at a big advantage.

Potential: College coaches are looking for the gymnast who has “potential” in all the above areas. It is a big plus if you are clean and do not have a lot of execution deductions in what you perform. They realize you may not be at your highest ability in club. Do what you do, and do it well! Be proud of your routine when you perform it.

College coaches know it is up to them to get the most out of you when you arrive and enhance all your strengths from your club background. Don’t lower your level of expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.

Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.

Ralph Marston