Laurie Hernandez is one of my favorite gymnasts of all time.  Her sassy and vibrant personality jumps out of the TV when you are watching her.  I was excited to read her book and find out more about her story.

I love Laurie’s book!  She brings a young, bubbly perspective to the process of becoming an olympic athlete.  It is very clear that Laurie was not an underdog. She had a much faster rise to fame and peaked right before the Olympic Games.  Timing is everything. I didn’t really know much about Laurie prior to Summer of 2016 so it was nice to find out what she went through to get to her level of gymnastics. Laurie did not start competing with the Senior Elites until 2016.  She did not have as much experience as some of the other Senior Elites but that didn’t stop her.

Laurie shines brightest on the Floor Exercise event.  She proves that it is not just about tumbling. Dance is so important in a gymnastics routine and she shows it better than anyone I have ever seen.  I love watching her perform on floor. She has received the nickname “The Human Emoji” and you can clearly see why. Laurie has has so much attitude and makes sure to show off every move in her routine.  Check out her amazing floor routine!!

Performances like this one helped the US Women’s Gymnastics team win the Gold medal and it also landed her a spot on the show “Dancing With The Stars”.  How cool! I love that Laurie talks a lot about the exciting things that happened following the Olympics. Her perspective is fun to read!

You also should follow Laurie Hernandez on Instagram.  She always brightens my day! Check out Laurie’s book and did you know that she also has a children’s book?  This girl is awesome!

Laurie also announced that she was back in the gym training for a comeback!  I can’t wait to see her in competition again. She is so fun to watch.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

Last winter I had some down time to sit and read Aly Raisman’s book “Fierce” and I loved it!  Aly laid it all out there for her fans and I am glad that she shared her story so openly. Aly Raisman started appearing on the radar as a contender for the 2012 Olympic team as an underdog.  She was a fantastic gymnast but wasn’t the best in the nation or the world leading up to the Olympics. I was very happy to see her make the team because she was one of my favorites. She really peaked at the perfect time and showed the world that she was no longer the underdog once at the Olympics.  She emerged as the team leader and helped the US Women’s Gymnastics team win Gold as the anchor on the floor exercise and it was such a magical moment watching her seal the deal. Another amazing moment from those games was when Aly performed her stellar routine at the Floor Exercise Individual Final and brought home another Gold medal.

You can clearly see in Aly’s book that it wasn’t easy for her to reach her goal.  She had a lot of challenges and pushed through and is a true fighter. I really love how Aly talks about many different aspects to being an elite athlete and the sacrifices you go through to achieve your dreams.  She even brings up the fact that a lot of moments when she was feeling tired or was having issues with aches and pains was resulted from her diet. She details what she did to help her get back into competition ready shape for her comeback leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games.  What a comeback it was. Aly came back better than ever and led the team to another Gold medal. She also impressed in the All-Around competition bringing home the silver medal after just missing the podium at the 2012 games. It was fun watching her again.


I think Aly Raisman is a great role model for young girls and I recommend this book whether you are a gymnast or just a fan of Aly. Aly is a big advocate for self care which is something we all need more of in our lives.  It is important to work hard, but you also need to make time to pamper yourself a little bit and enjoy life.


Thank you Aly for sharing your story! Check it out!


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy


Watching my brother Josh this weekend at the Midwest Regional Wrestling Championships has inspired me to write this blog post. He has been such an inspiration to me and he possesses all of qualities needed to be a successful athlete.  These qualities pertain to any sport or activity including gymnastics.

Everyone always says that hard work and a positive attitude are the key to success. It is so true!

My brother, is currently wrapping up his Wrestling career as a senior in college. This weekend he punched his ticket for the NCAA Division III Championships. He is ranked in the top 10. However, four weeks ago he suffered a knee injury significantly decreasing his chances of qualifying for the NCAA Championship. Nobody wants to go out their senior year on a bad note and I am so happy he was able to get healthy enough to lay it all on the mat to qualify for the NCAA’s for the 2nd time.

Talent certainly helps but you can also be a “good” athlete who turns into a “great” athlete by setting goals for yourself and working hard. My brother is the perfect example of this.

Not every practice is going to be a good one but what is important is how you handle yourself when things aren’t going your way. If you throw a fit or get down on yourself every time things get tough, you are hurting your progress for achieving your goals. I truly believe that you need to fail in order to succeed.  When mistakes are made, you want to reflect on those mistakes and learn from them. It is ok to be disappointed but you want to quickly turn that into inspiration to get back at it even harder so you can overcome your challenges.

In order to achieve your highest level of potential, every practice and every turn needs to be done with focus, confidence and maximum effort. You want to practice everything you do with excellent form as well. It is amazing how much improvement can occur when an athlete works their hardest day in and day out.

Other qualities necessary for success are…

  • Being a supportive teammate
  • Coachability
  • Leadership
  • Good sportsmanship
  • Discipline
  • Staying healthy/rehabbing injuries
  • Visualization
  • Confidence
  • Patience

You want to be confident in what you are doing but you don’t want to be have an attitude that rubs people the wrong way. Have good sportsmanship with your competitors.

I think being a good teammate, leadership, sportsmanship and coach-ability go hand in hand. In order to reach your individual goals, you need to have a good support system which is where your team and coach will come in. You spend a lot of time with these people so you will want to give and earn their respect. Be a supportive teammate and be proud of their success even if you don’t have the best day. Having excellent leadership skills really go a long way. You are setting the tone for your other teammates, especially the younger athletes in your gym. Being a good leader includes having a good attitude and respecting your coaches.  Having coach-ability qualities means that you listen to your coaches’ advice even if you don’t necessarily agree. If they give you corrections, you will want to do your best to implement them to show that you respect their opinion and are willing to do what it takes to get better. It is never a good idea to argue with your coach.

It is important to be confident and aggressive in sports, but you never want to be cocky. You want to be confident in what you are doing but you don’t want to be have an attitude that rubs people the wrong way. Have good sportsmanship with your competitors.

Visualization is a great tool to use when you are in line waiting for your turn or even at home before you go to bed. Just close your eyes and picture the skills or routines you are about to do or even picture yourself on the top of that podium at a competition. It is even a good idea to write your goals down in a journal or make a poster to hang in your room to remind you of what you want to achieve.

Patience and discipline are a given. You will want to avoid missing practices and make sure you are doing your conditioning and stretching properly. Patience can be hard sometimes but if you keep working hard, your patience will pay off.

One of the most important ingredients for success is staying healthy and rehabbing your injuries properly. Stretching and warming up properly before you work out or compete is so important. Keeping your body conditioned allows you to protect your body when doing your skills. If you do get injured, you will want to do the necessary exercises and rehab to get yourself back in competition as quickly as possible.

I can honestly say that I have first hand seen what putting all of these important qualities together can do for somebody and it is really remarkable what can be accomplished. Try your best to bring these qualities to your gymnastics and it will truly pay off for you.

I have seen too many gymnasts including myself be their own worst enemy. Make the decision to change that! Be proud of what you have already accomplished!


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

There are very important steps necessary before you dive into all of the action.

Every new gymnast is eager to learn fun flips and tricks when they decide to try gymnastics. Of course the ultimate goal is to get to the “fun stuff” but there are very important steps necessary before you dive into all of the action.

The number one priority when doing gymnastics is safety. It is so important to start out with the basic skills and drills to ensure that you are learning the proper technique and body awareness before you start throwing more challenging tricks.

Focus on keeping your arms and legs tight and straight when working on your basic skills.

By practicing basic skills and form repetitively, you will train and condition your body to be ready for that next step in your journey as a gymnast.  Make sure you focus on keeping your arms and legs tight and straight when working on your basic skills. If you practice basics with sloppy form, you will continue to have problems with your form once you move on to higher level skills.  I know that it can sometimes seem boring but keep at it and I promise it will pay off.

Once you start upgrading your skills, I highly recommend continuing to go back a refine and perfect what you have already learned, especially handstands!  It can only help your development and discipline to achieve your goals in this great sport.

Keep up your hard work!


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

I wanted to address the issue of using vocals in  floor music. We have found that many gymnasts and coaches prefer to stay away from using vocals in their floor music because they fear getting a deduction. Rule 9-2-4b of the NFHS rule book clearly states “Human sounds are allowed, provided there are no words spoken or sung.”

Here at we love to use vocal sounds as an instrument to make a music piece a little bit more unique and exciting. There is a lot you can do with the human voice to add a dash of creativity and to add an extra layer of detail to the track without the risk of suffering a deduction.

For the most part, we like to use vocals in subtle way. Sometimes people wouldn’t even notice that there are vocal sounds in the song because it sounds like an instrument. We want to explain to our customers that it is ok to use vocals in a song as long as there are no words. The human voice should be looked at as an instrument and we can do a lot with it.

I personally used floor music that had human sounds in it and I never received deductions. I never had a judge say anything about it being a problem.

We understand the concerns that people may have regarding this issue but we ask our customers to be open to the use of the human voice in their floor music. If done right, it can add the perfect touch to your floor music.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

What are the USA Gymnastics, AAU, and High School gymnastics music requirements?

We often get this question and we understand why. To understand the requirements, you have to know how the organization programs are structured and where your gymnasts fits into these programs. I will take some time here to explain how gymnastics music length ties into the different levels and programs the different organizations provide. It is likely your gymnast is part of a program that places them into different levels. The most prominent organizations in the United States are USA Gymnastics, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The main difference between USAG and the AAU organizations is in their mission. USA gymnastics mission is to train and a select U.S. teams to compete in the Olympics and World Championships. The AAU provides programs dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness.

Generally speaking, if your gymnast is part of an AAU program, you are operating on rules derived from the USA Gymnastics rules and regulations.

The AAU has stated the following:

AAU will follow USAG rules and updates unless specifically stated otherwise in the handbook.

There are two sets of programs outlined by the USA Gymnastics organization. They are Junior Olympic (JO), and Xcel. The JO programs are identified as levels 1-10 and the Xcel programs are identified  as Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. The music length requirements are identified below for each of the program levels described.

Junior Olympic (JO) Levels

  • Level 1-3
  • These levels are non-competitive and have no music requirements.
  • Level 4-5
  • These levels are compulsory. Gymnasts at this level are not able to select their own music.
  • Level 6
  • Between 1:05 (one minute five sec.) and 1:15 (one minute fifteen seconds)
  • Level 7-10
  • Max 1:30 (one minute thirty sec.)

Xcel Level Music Requirements

  • Bronze Division
  • Max :45 (fourty five sec.)
  • Silver Division
  • Max 1:00 (one minute)
  • Gold Division
  • Max 1:00 (one minute)
  • Platinum Division
  • Max 1:30 (one minute thirty seconds)
  • Diamond Division
  • Max 1:30 (one minute thirty seconds)

High School Level Requirements

The NFHS states that gymnastics floor music shall not exceed 1:30 (one minute thirty seconds). You want your music to be a minimum of :30 (thirty seconds) otherwise you will receive a (2.0) deduction from your score.

For more information on high school gymnastics rules, download the NFHS manual below.

We suggest in any circumstance that when it comes to ordering the correct length of your gymnastics music for your gymnast, it is always best practice to get verification from your coach and/or choreographer. They will be aware of any special rules or requirements that may affect the selection of your gymnastics floor music.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

The high school gymnastics season is super short in comparison to club gymnastics which goes all year round. You worked really hard to learn new skills and improve your routines and now the season is winding down. It is so important to stay in shape during the off season so that you don’t have to start over when you come back next school year. There are a few options for you as an athlete to keep in shape during your off season.

It is so important to stay in shape during the off season so that you don’t have to start over when you come back next school year.

If at all possible, it is best if you can sign up for a high school program at a club or park district facility where you can practice 2-3 times per week. By doing this you will be able to continue improving your skills and can upgrade your routines for the next season. As a coach, I can absolutely tell the difference between an athlete who practiced after season ended and someone who did not.

Another option that is going to be more affordable is attending open gym at a gymnastics facility.

Another option that is going to be more affordable is attending open gym at a gymnastics facility. This is great because you do not have to sign up for a session of classes. You can drop in when your schedule allows. The downfall with open gym is that you do not have a coach working with you and it is usually held only once a week. If you do not work so well independently, this may not be the best option for you.

Your high school may hold a summer camp for your sport for several weeks over the summer. If you have that opportunity, it is a great idea to sign up for that along with your other training that you are doing.

A lot of my girls do Diving in the fall, Gymnastics in the winter and Track & Field in the spring.

The last option that I suggest is being a two or three sport athlete for your school. A lot of my girls do Diving in the fall, Gymnastics in the winter and Track & Field in the spring. I am truly a fan of this option. I think cross training in different sports is a fantastic way to keep your body in competition shape. I feel that sometimes it can be hard sticking to one sport. Being a multiple sport athlete eliminates the feeling of getting burnt out from doing the same thing over and over.

Trying a new sport is exciting and you may surprise yourself at how gymnastics has conditioned your body so well that you are capable of being a great athlete with a sport that you have never tried before. I highly recommend going out for Track & Field. You may be thinking… “I don’t like to run” but the great thing about this sport is that there are so many different events. A gymnast would make a great pole vaulter, high jumper, triple jumper, shot put or discus thrower. Gymnasts also make great divers too.

If you choose to do nothing during the 8 months off of high school gymnastics, you will really regret it. You will come back and realize how out of shape you are and you will not be able to do your skills or routines that were a no-brainer for you before. You will also notice that your teammates that did workout will be able to pretty much pick up where they left off.

We hope everyone had a great 2015-2016 high school gymnastics season and we hope this advice is helpful to ensure that you have a successful future with the sport that you love.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

We would like to welcome all of the new optional Level 6 gymnasts to our site.

Starting August 1st, 2013, all Level 6 gymnasts will be considered an optional level.  This means that you will be able to customize your own routines within the requirements and guidelines on all apparatus to showcase your strengths on each event.

Level 6 used to be a compulsory level where all of the routines and floor music were the same for every gymnast.  The new rules allow you to choose your very own gymnastics floor music to help create your unique floor exercise that is unlike any other gymnast out there.

Our goal at Gymnastics Tracks Floor Music is to provide fresh, new gymnastics floor music that is sure to impress the crowd and most importantly, the Judges. We release new music every month!

Order your brand new gymnastics floor music from us today to kick-start the brand new season as an optional gymnast! The Level 6 time limit is 1:15.  All of our music has a short version available for purchase to meet this requirement. See our F.A.Q. page for more information.

To see all of the new optional requirements check out the official USAG website or download this PDF file of the related rules.

Good luck this season!


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

I was an active gymnast from age 4 until I graduated High School at age 17.  From that point on I have been coaching and judging gymnastics. I feel like I have experience with many aspects of the sport of gymnastics.  Anyone who is looking into the sport of gymnastics needs to decide what their looking to accomplish with this great sport. There are a few directions you can go and it is important to know the differences so you can make a decision as to which route you would like to take.

Recreational Program

A great starting point is a recreational program.  Here you will be able to learn the basics of the sport and to see whether or not you enjoy gymnastics and want to continue on with it.  I teach recreational gymnastics and my favorite part about it is that it allows kids to participate in multiple sports simultaneously. Doing a sport just for fun without having to fully commit allows students to stay involved in the other activities they enjoy without having to choose which one or the other.  It is also very affordable. Many recreational programs also have beginner, intermediate & advanced classes so you can continue to improve your skills.

Competitive Club Program

The next step after a recreational gymnastics program is a competitive club program.  Just like many other club sports, competitive gymnastics is very demanding and time consuming. It can also become very expensive to belong to a club team. I did club gymnastics from age 7-15.  One thing that I loved about club gymnastics is that I made some amazing friends that were like my family. Club gymnastics teaches you discipline and how to work hard while overcoming your fears.  Although the time you put in is a lot, it can really pay off. Having more practice time will allow you to perfect your skills and form as well as continue to improve and upgrade your routines. Through club gymnastics you will get the opportunity to place or even win competitions. If you are looking for more than just doing gymnastics for fun, you will want to look into a club gym near you.

A Fork in the Road

As gymnasts are entering High School, they will now have to make another tough decision.  They can continue competing for their club team, compete for their High School team, or in some cases if a club allows it you can compete for both.  Not all High Schools have a gymnastics team. If they don’t then that makes your decision easy. If your school does have a gymnastics team, you are presented with the opportunity to represent your school as a team and an individual.  The High School season is much shorter and practices are usually shorter too. I did club gymnastics my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. Because of this, I missed out on a lot of fun school activities. During my Junior and Senior year I competed for my school and I loved it!  Without club, I would not have had the skills that I had but it was great to finish my competitive gymnastics years representing my school and making it to state as a team. I was able to enjoy life as a high school student with a little bit less pressure.

Some gymnasts will even get the opportunity to compete in college which is a great accomplishment.  A small percentage of gymnasts will become Elite and have a chance to try out for the Olympic team.

Here at, we wish you the best of luck with your gymnastics career whichever route you decide to take.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy

When it comes time to get a new floor routine, it can be difficult to choose the perfect gymnastics floor music. Choosing the right gymnastics floor music is very critical because it sets the tone for your entire routine.  Gymnasts tend to listen to many demos of gymnastics floor music and it can get very frustrating if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for.

The first thing you need to do is to decide what your strengths are as a gymnast and dancer. Don’t try to be something that you are not. The goal is to inspire and entertain the audience by enhancing your abilities as an athlete. If you are graceful and have excellent jumps and leaps, you may want to choose a slower, more orchestral piece. If you have more of a peppy quality to your dance, you may want to consider hip hop or techno floor music. The judges like to see the gymnast’s personality come out in their performance. If you accomplish that, your score will reflect it.  You also need to remember that this floor routine will be something that you have for at least one season or more. You want to make sure that you love it because you will be practicing and performing it over and over. You should definitely take the time to choose wisely.

Here at, we combine our knowledge and experience with the sport of gymnastics with our background in music to create a variety of fresh, new and exciting gymnastics floor music to vamp up your next floor routine. We will continue to expand our library to provide a wide selection of unique tracks. If you continue to listen to floor music and still feel like you can’t find that perfect sound, you may want to consider designing your own custom floor music track. We can work with your ideas and creativity to produce a track created just for you! All you have to do is place the custom floor music product in your shopping bag and complete your purchase. A producer will contact you shortly to discuss your ideas. After 7-10 business days, we will send you the first demo of your piece. After you listen to it, you can give us your feedback and we will continue to work on the song until we have created the sound you have been looking for to help inspire you to choreograph a stellar routine.


Christina Tardy Gymnastics Coach

Christina Tardy