Boys Intermediate - Age 7+
90 min. / week
Class Focus: This Class is for Boys who have mastered the basics of Gymnastics. This class is USA Gymnastics Men's Level 2 Program. More class time is allotted in that the skills are more difficult to master. A larger emphasis is placed on strength & flexibility to make the skills more attainable. Intermediate students are introduced to more intricate skills on all of the various gymnastics equipment. The students continue more advanced skill work on all the Men's equipment - Floor, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar, Pommel Horse, and Rings.
The average student should expect to take a school year to master this level. Students successful at this class are promoted to Boys Advanced Recreational.
A Short Story on Stereotypes by owner Doug Pershun:
ESPN and the National Sports Institute concluded in a recent study that Gymnasts by far are the best athletes in the world. We've always known that here at EGC. But somewhere along the line, Men's Gymnastics got a 'negative image'. It was considered by many to be a "sissy" or "girly" sport. We suspect that title was given to Male Gymnasts by inferior athletes who wished they could do what the gymnasts could do.
Many years ago, I had a father come into the gym with his 2 children (Boy & Girl) to sign up his Daughter for Gymnastics Class. I had mentioned that we offered family discounts if both children signed up for class. He declined this offer stating the Boy did other sports. Over the next several months, he - like many parents - would come in early to peek in and watch his daughter do gymnastics. His Boy (about age 12) would always come in with him. I watched the boy watching the gymnasts perform their flips, especially on the trampoline. He had that look on his face like a little kid staring in the window of a Candy Store. This look wasn't unusual to me in that most kids love this place. We have rope swings, trampolines, bouncy spring-boards... what's not to like for a kid.
So I approached the father at the door and mentioned again that we have Boys Classes. "It looks like your son would love this" I added. He again said "NO!", and in a chauvinistic way stated that his Boy did "Manly Sports". He boasted for a bit about how his son was best player on his football team and also the star of the Baseball Team. He didn't want his boy in a 'girly' sport like gymnastics.
I smiled politely as asked if his son was strong? He went on to brag about how his son was the strongest on the team. So, I offered his a little challenge. I asked him to come out to the gym and see if he was stronger than the girls. He smirked.
I allowed him to choose the contests... Push-ups, Chin-ups, Sit-ups, Rope Climb.... He challenged me to all of them. I would allow the boy to go first. He wasn't bad, but not good by our standards. I would pick the youngest girls to beat him at each contest. So, I had 7 & 8 Year old girls beating his sons best Push-up & Chin-up efforts by a large margin. I didn't have to look too far through the gym to find girls who could destroy his son's best effort. Most of our 2nd Year & up students easily made short work of the boy.
Now, I didn't do this to by any means embarrass the young boy. I did it to prove a point to the chauvinistic father. I also explained to him that many of the boys attending really didn't have any dreams of being an Olympic Gymnast. Their parents did have aspirations of them being good at sports, and thus signed them up to get a good background on Strength, Flexibility, Coordination, Stamina... and all the basics we teach in our program. Many signed their boys up to enhance their abilities.
Every year we get students who want to be a better Baseball Player, and need to improve their flexibility for 1st Base and Short Stop. We get Hockey goalies who need the flexibility to split and block the shot, or Hockey players who want better speed and coordination on the ice. We get wrestlers who need the strength & flexibility in their back to bridge off opponents. We get numerous Soccer Players who would like to do a 'front handspring' throw in.
Gymnastics is and has always been the 'prerequisite' for all sports. At its very roots, gymnastics is Strength, Agility, Flexibility, and demonstrations of athletic feats. At one time in the US, every Physical Education program at every school had Gymnastics as part of its curriculum. If you go to any school, you will STILL find Units of Gymnastics within the Physical Education Curriculums. At one point in our recent history as a Nation, almost every High School had a Gymnastics Team, and every child in school had to climb the ropes, and learn skills on the Rings and Beams.
The shame of it is that in the 1970's we became a very litigious society. It started with the woman who spilled McDonalds coffee on her lap while driving, and sued McD's for 3 Million Dollars. After that, we sort of fell apart. Insurance premiums started going up as lawsuits started to mass. Often these lawsuits were petty or unfounded, but was an easy way for people to get rich quick. Slip & Fall Lawyer ads popped up all over the place. There were a few isolated incidents concerning Gymnastics injuries. Most were a result of the Football Team Players walking though the gym to the lockers after practice. One jumped on the Trampoline without supervision, and there was several Million Dollars to the school districts. The schools started dropping Gymnastics quickly - trying to fend off lawsuits and lower insurance premiums.
The damage done was that now, we face an epidemic of Childhood Obesity in this country. We get students on a daily basis who never learned to skip, can't jump rope, can't do a single push-up. We are excellent at fixing that, however our average students lack any basic preparation what-so-ever in the basics and foundations of all sports.
As a result, these lawsuits never decreased the popularity of gymnastics. If anything, gymnastics is one of the most popular sports in the world, and Olympic Gymnastics is the most watched sport - surpassing even the Superbowl. The gymnastics industry has grown significantly in the US, especially with the recent successes of the US Teams.
The father signed up his son that night. His boy loved the class, and his father noticed a big change in his physical prowess at his chosen sports.
Boys Kinder - Age 4 - 6
1 hour / week:
Class Focus: "Boys will be boys!" Years ago we only offered "mixed sex" classes for this age group. Although many boys were well behaved, there were always a few who had to push and shove to be first in line, had to be touching someone else in the class, or liked to rush into skills without reading directions. We decided to pull all of those boys out of their regular Kinder Class and put them in a "Boys only" class. This way they weren't terrorizing the girls in the class. We put one of our Men's Team Coaches on the class to try to keep order. They Loved it! The parents of the Boys, the Girls in the other class, the Men's Coach. So we've kept it ever since.
The Boy's Kinder Classes always seem to be a bit more unruly and chaotic, but be assured, they are learning. The Boy's Kinder focuses on introducing all of the Basic Gymnastics Skills on all of the gymnastics events. The Boys learn Beginner Tumbling, Vaulting, Bar Skills, Balance Beam, but also get on the Rings, Parallel Bars, and Pommel Horse. The Boys also learn flexibility, coordination, and strength.
Boys successfully completing this class enter the Boys Beginner Class.
Men's Competitive Travel Team
The toughest Boys in town! Competitive Men's Gymnastics is the most challenging of all of the sports. Do you have the work ethic, will power, and fortitude to make the team? Work hard and smart in our Recreational Program, and you will be rewarded to the Ultimate Team in Erie! Contact the office or our coaching staff for more information.
Boys Advanced - Age 7+
90 min. / week
Class Focus: This Class is for Boys who have mastered the Intermediate Level of Gymnastics. This class is USA Gymnastics Men's Level 3 Program. More class time is allotted in that the skills are even more difficult to master. A larger emphasis is placed on strength & flexibility to make the skills more attainable. Advanced students are introduced to more intricate skills on all of the various gymnastics equipment. The students continue more advanced skill work on all the Men's equipment - Floor, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar, Pommel Horse, and Rings. Students in the Advanced Class are prepared for skills commonly done by our Competitive Men's Team.
The average student should expect to take a school year to master this level. Students successful at this class are promoted to Boys Preteam or Men's Competitive Team.
Boys Beginner - Age 7+
1 hour / week
Class Focus: This Class is for Boys who want to try Gymnastics, but have little or no experience. This class is USA Gymnastics Men's Level 1 Program. This is where the Olympic Men's Team got their start when they were boys. This is the ABC's of Men's Gymnastics. The emphasis of this class is on Skill, Strength, and Flexibility improvement. The boys will work on all of the Gymnastics Events - Floor, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar, Pommel Horse, and Rings. Floor is the root of all of the events, so more focus is placed on tumbling until the boys develop the strength to use the other apparatus. Boys can expect to learn - Rolls, Headstands, Handstands, Cartwheels, as well as the equivalent beginner skills on the gymnastics apparatus. In addition to the events, the boys will work on the trampolines and spring boards, as well as learning to fall and recover.
Boys successfully completing this class enter the Boys Intermediate Class.