When we moved last year Leighton started at a new gymnastics place. He grew a ton over the past year at his new place. He was on the XCEL team in the fall and spring which was a lower pressure more recreational team that he really enjoyed. In the spring he learned that he was going to be testing to be on the boys Junior Olympic Team at his gym.
He tried hard but just didn’t quite make it and didn’t make the team. He was pretty upset about it but also knew that he didn’t have the skills to move up to the team. He sat down with his coach one night after practice and asked him what he could work on at home and during practice so he would be ready for the team next spring. Coach Ryan gave him a list which he hung upstairs and then worked almost every day on some of the skills with the mats and mushroom that we have.
A couple of weeks ago we heard that the team coaches were thinking of re-evaluating some of the boys to see if they were ready to move up. I knew Leighton had been working hard, but I also knew that he had had a number of skills that he had to work on and didn’t know if his extra work had been enough. I was preparing my “sometimes even with hard work, it is not enough and you have to just stick with it longer” mom speech when I got an email from the team coaches stating that they felt he had improved enough to move up to the team.
I wish I could have captured his smile when he read the email and found out. It was a really good lesson this summer on hard work and it paying off, (much easier than the other lesson I was figuring out how to teach) and I’m excited to watch him continue to grow. He has practiced with the team a couple of times since because of a make up lesson and comes home totally spent but totally happy at the same time. It is a huge step up in intensity and skills but he has the confidence that his hard work will and does pay off.