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Flathead Gymnastics Academy offers two women's competitive team programs, the USAGymnastics Developmental (formerly Junior Olympic Program) as well as the USAGymnastics Xcel Program. Team athletes commit to a 12-month training and competitive season spanning from April-March, with the competition travel season taking place from January-March. Training on team follows USAG skill and mobility requirements with athletes training at different skill levels, including Xcel Bronze-Platinum, developmental (levels 1-2), compulsory (levels 3-5), and optional (levels 6-10).         


Depending on level, team athletes train between 6-20 hours per week in the gym, developing greater strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination while learning new skills appropriate to their level. Each gymnast on team learns routines on Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor which are practiced and perfected in preparation for competitions. Team gymnasts compete in meets in Montana and out-of-state from January – March each year, ending with State, Regional, and National competitions for qualifying gymnasts.

Team Grip Information

It’s time for grips! If you’re receiving this email it’s time for your daughter to get her first set of grips or update her old pair! If your daughter already has grips, here’s how you can order her next pair! Attached below is a link where you’ll find a link to DGS’s ( webpage that is associated with FGA. From here, you can order all sorts of stuff, including, grips! Feel free to peruse the site to see if there’s anything else you may be interested in.


Also, there’s always Amazon ( As it turns out the recommended grip can also be found on Amazon! If you are a prime member, this means free shipping and free returns, plus this particular grip at the moment is about 35% cheaper than on DGS’s website or direct from Gibson. I would definitely consider going that route for now. 


Measuring for Grips: 

The Gibson website (, has some great information on measuring your daughter’s hand, including a video link that walks you step by step through the grip ordering process. Not all grips are sized the same way, but following the video on this link is a super helpful way to make sure your daughter gets in the correct pair of grips. You can also order from this link, but you may not receive the grips very quickly. You’re better off ordering from Amazon or the DGS Link on our FGA Team Webpage. T


The Right Brand:

The recommended brand, Gibson “Just Right Uneven Bar Grips” are what we’ve found to be one of the best choices for an athletes first grip. This grip is a middle of the road price and has been an awesome fit for girls first getting into grips. Once the girls get into the upper levels, they will go through multiple pairs in the span of a year (2 or even 3 pairs), but their first pair of grips should last them for at least a year. once the grips become stretched warn to a particular point, or the girls grow out of them, we then recommend that they order a new pair. 


Grips For Optionals/ Platinum and up: 

If your daughter already has grips, she may be in need of a new pair. If she is an optional or platinum level gymnast (Levels 6-10), we require them to have a NEW pair of back-up grips, broken in and ready to be used at a moment’s notice in case of a grip failure. Once the girls begin to learn elements with grips on, those elements change significantly without grips and can become dangerous if they are attempted without them or with a pair that needs to be retired. Optional level athletes may want to venture out brand and style wise, but we recommend they stick with a single or double buckle grip. Some favorite brands that we recommend include Gibson Summit, Reisport, US Glove, and Bailie (all found on the DGS Website). If girls truly want velcro, they can definitely go that route, but buckles seem to cause less adjustments during practices.


 Once the girls receive their new grips, have them bring them to the gym for us to double check the size and fit, before any attempts at “breaking-in” the grip so they may be returned if the fit is not correct. 


Wristbands and Grip Bags:

Also, appropriately colored wrist bands have arrived! We now have pink and green wrist bands available for purchase at our front desk. We do not, however, have grip bags for sale. These can be ordered online or even be hand mad. They are roughly a 10inch by 9-inch draw string bag. The grip bag is also where girls should keep a roll of tape and a roll of pre-wrap. Athletic Tape and Pre-wrap are currently available for purchase at the gym as well. These items can also be bought locally or through Amazon.  Athletic tape is used at practices for periodic ankle taping, tape grips when the girls experience rips during practice, as well as to help take care of minor bumps and bruises. Band-aids just don’t cut it at a certain point.


Check List:

Gibson Grips:


  • Make sure to order Gibson Girls’ Just Right Uneven Bar Grips (There are many different types and styles of grips. Grips are designed for specific events. If the wrong grips are ordered, they CANNOT be used and will need to be returned.

  • Style: Single Buckle

  • Video on grip sizing:

  • Pink or Green Wrist Bands from the Gym

  • A Grip Bag to make sure it all stays together

Please contact us if you would like more information or have questions about our team program!

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