Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the club gymnastics team?

To join the team, simply come to one of the practices or email at gymnastics@mit.edu. You can start at any point in the year, but the best time to do it is now!

 

Do I need gymnastics experience to be on the team?

Not at all! We have gymnasts who started in college with no experience and are now competing on the team

 

How much gymnastics experience is normal or average on the team?

It’s hard to say! We have members who have been doing competitive gymnastics for a long time, and new beginners. No matter how much (or how little) gymnastics experience you’ve had, we’re sure that you’ll fit right in!

 

But can I compete if I am a complete beginner?

Yes! We have had many beginners compete with us in past years! Beginners can come to NAIGC Nationals and compete there, as well. If you are a beginner who wishes to compete, you are encouraged to come to all practices, and we’ll try to help you in any way that we can.

 

Do you have a coach?

Yes! Stephen Douglass is the head coach for the Men’s team, and Kayla Parcells is the head coach for the Women’s team.

In addition to being our men’s coach, Stephen is on the NAIGC Board of Directors (Regional Representative for ’14-’15), was a 2-time All-American gymnast, NCAA Division #1 Varsity Team Captain, Elite & Junior Olympic meet announcer, and (former) professional breakdancer. Stephen is also the founder and CEO of Scramble Systems.

Kayla is 12 year veteran of the USAG as junior olympic gymnast. Coaching & teaching for the past decade at the high school, recreational and junior olympic levels across the North East.
Kayla is also a guest teacher at the New Hampshire School of Ballet and works at the fitness based supplement company in Boston, Strength.com.

Both coaches’ duties include:

  • works with team leadership and athletes to develop and optimize our training program
  • helps us hold ourselves accountable to team vision, goals, mission, and legacy
  • plans and oversees team workouts; attends competitions
  • coaches each athlete to achieve his/her personal skill, routine, and training aspirations.

 

Can I use your space to improve my parkour / martial arts / cheerleading stunts?

No. Our space is solely for practicing gymnastics. It is a huge liability and safety concern for the club. Our team is all about a shared love of gymnastics. You also may not come in just to play on the TumbleTrak (sorry, we all love it, too!).

 

I’m a grad student. Can I practice and compete with the MIT Gymnastics Club?

Yes! We’d be thrilled to have you! We welcome any and all undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and professors who like gymnastics and want to compete against other schools on the NAIGC circuit.

 

How much does it cost to join the club?

Please see a detailed explanation of membership levels on the Join the Team page. TL;DR – depends on your commitment level, but it’s a nominal fee that just helps cover basic costs of running the club. We are of course flexible, so if you feel that such a fee would be a financial issue for you, please talk to one of the captains.

 

Do you compete? In what league?

Yes! We compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC). For more information, their website is: http://www.naigc.net

 

How many meets do you have?

On average we have around 4-5 meets a year, mainly between February and April. One or two of those are usually home meets, and the last one is NAIGC nationals (it’s awesome!), which is usually in the beginning of April. The 2015 NAIGC nationals is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from April 8-11, 2015, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

 

How are the meets judged?

Both the men’s and the women’s team are judged with USAG Level 9 standards with some specific club-rule additions. If you are curious about the details, here are the NAIGC Men’s Competition Rules and Women’s Competition Rules

 

What do I have to do to compete?

The minimum attendance required to compete is at the Rec Team membership level, which requires 2 days a week (excepting legitimate family/work/school excuses). Please see a detailed explanation of membership levels on the Join the Team page.

 

Do I have to compete all-around?

While we encourage everyone to try to compete all-around, it is definitely not necessary. If you don’t like competing on certain events or only like competing on certain events…that’s okay! You can pick and choose which events you compete on.

 

What do I have to do to compete at Nationals?

In order to compete at Nationals, we ask that you compete in two other meets throughout our season.

 

Who pays for the club’s travel to meets and Nationals?

We can mostly use our club budget to support these trips, though there may be some costs. In general, our budget supports travel and hotel costs and some food costs, but the exact details will vary depending on how many people are going to any given meet and/or Nationals. Please see a detailed explanation of membership levels on the Join the Team page.

 

What kinds of events do you have beyond practice?

We have quite a few team dinners and usually hang out before and after meets. We have a few annual team events such as Switch Day (everyone does one event from the opposite gender’s sport) and Halloween in the Gym Day (gymnastics in costumes!). We also have trips to gyms with pits in the area, as well as longer trips to world class training facilities like the International Gymnastics Camp. Finally, we sometimes take trips just for fun, such as a recent team trip to NYC.

 

What other options are there for gymnastics in the Cambridge area?

MIT has a Gymnastics PE Class – register for it through normal PE Registration. More information is here. Note that this class is not available every quarter.
Cambridge Community Gymnastics (CCG) offers adult gymnastics classes on nights and weekends for $10-$20 per class. More information about registration, class descriptions, schedule, and rates can be found on their website: www.cambridgegymnastics.org

These FAQ Questions (and some answers!) were borrowed from Penn Club Gymnastics website which can be found at http://pennclubgymnastics.com/

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