I recently took the opportunity to advertise Kanakuk Kamps on the back of the program for the Illinois State Level 5 Gymnastics event being held April 3rd and 4th in East Peoria, IL. It didn't cost a lot and felt like a great opportunity to share Kanakuk with a new group of families. It also felt like a neat opportunity for ministry as well. I recruited Kat Hilton, a Kanakuk Institute student, Kanakuk photographer/counselor, and former LSU gymnast to help me draft an article specifically for gymnastics parents entitled, "What I wish my mom and dad would say on meet day…". You can see it below. Then following are some of Kat's gymnastics accomplishments. It's kind of a neat story.
Growing up in competitive gymnastics, competing for Louisiana State University (LSU), and now training high level gymnasts as a coach at Kanakuk Kamps, I know what the words; pressure, determination, and perseverance mean. My life as a gymnast has defined them.
Your gymnast daughters are unique. They live in a world few will ever understand. Commitment and desire run deep, driving them to achieve, accomplish, and succeed in this highly physical and mental sport!
The support and encouragement of my teammates, coaches and especially my parents allowed me to walk on at LSU and be a first place winner.
As a gymnastics parent you may never understand the pressures, intensity, joy, and passion that your gymnast encounters, but the encouragement you share today can make all the difference.
You’ve supported her all the way and here’s what she’d want you to say today…
• No matter what, I’m proud of you.
• You’ve got this!
• I love to see you chasing your dreams.
• I still love you, No matter what.
• I’m so excited for you!
• You’ve worked so hard for this! Enjoy it!
• No regrets! Give it all you’ve got!
• I love you!
• I’m so excited to see you compete!
• Your effort inspires me, I’m proud of you.
• Remember to just have fun.
• You are doing awesome!
…and remember, it’s not the score that matters, only that they gave their all. Gymnastics parents alway stay positive. Hugs and little notes of affirmation in their gym bags are always a great way to let them know you are behind them.
Kat Hilton's story (in her own brief words)
"I was actually a walk on and I had to fight to get on the team.. my head coach at LSU didn't think I would make it. God had a different plan. I won my first meet for LSU..."
The rest of Kat's story is chronicled here:
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2003)?A walk-on that worked her way into the Tigers' bar lineup ... Had a phenomenal collegiate debut against Denver, scoring a 9.925 on the bars to win the event title ... Her score ranked as the second-best by a Tiger on the bars in 2003 ... Scored a 9.800 against Florida. Recorded a 9.875 on the bars at the SEC Championships ... Matched that mark a week later at the NCAA West Regionals.
JUNIOR SEASON (2004)?Competed on the bars in eight meets for the Tigers ... Scored a season-best 9.900 against Texas Woman's and Arizona ... Notched a 9.875 at the NCAA Central Regional Championships ... Posted a 9.850 at the NCAA Championships ... Opened the season with a 9.850 at Michigan State ... Finished the year with a season average of 9.750 on the event.??
SENIOR SEASON (2005)?A bar specialist for the Tigers, she competed on the event in seven meets in 2005 ... Won the bars title in the Tigers' quad meet with Illinois-Chicago, New Hampshire and Western Michigan, scoring a season-high 9.875 ... Title marked the third of her career on the event ... Notched a 9.825 at Ohio State ... Scored a 9.800 at both Kentucky and Auburn ... Averaged a 9.796 over the course of the season ... A member of the SEC Honor Roll.??
Kat, thanks for sharing with us and the parents of gymnasts everywhere. In our book your gymnastics training will pay eternal dividends. You may even run a gymnastics camp or gymnastics school someday.
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