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Plant City Observer Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 8 months ago

Titanium gymnastics teams join forces, succeed

The Plant City and Lithia-based gyms are performing well in the 2018 competition season.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

Sometimes, two heads work better than one.

Titanium Gymnastics and Cheerleading can vouch for that, as its Plant City and Lithia locations are working together to win lots of hardware at competitions this season. The all-stars cheer teams have been to five competitions and consistently performed well — especially the Level 1 Mini team, which has placed in the top three in each event. Most recently, on Feb. 25, the Level 1 and 2 all-stars teams took first and second place, respectively, in the JAM Bash Kissimmee competition, held at Silver Spurs Arena.

Titanium’s Level 2 Juniors team loves performing in front of cheering crowds, big or small.

The move to consolidate the gyms’ rosters helped bring Titanium’s total number of competitive athletes in the program up to 47 for 2018, which coach Gina Pribil said is an increase from last year’s total.

“We’re hoping to keep building that and see where we can go,” Pribil said.

The Level 1 and 2 teams have been the center of attention thanks to their winning ways.

Pribil said the Mini team, made up of kids age 5 through 8, quickly got over any nerves they had early in their first competitive all-stars season. The group built up its confidence over time and is now the “sassiest” in the program.

“They’re a really sassy team,” Pribil said. “There’s only six of them, but you would think there’s 20 of them with the amount of sass that they have. Their sass keeps you on your toes and they have no filter whatsoever.”

The Level 2 Junior team, Pribil said, looked more confident than ever before at JAM Bash.

“They were nailing their stuff five times harder and better,” Pribil said. “They were pushing themselves even more and really encouraging each other.”

When practicing in the Plant City gym, the Juniors always have their own “audience” — drawings of fans made by the athletes that hang on the back wall of the training room. Pribil said the team thrives off of crowd noise and competing in front of an audience, so they pretend the pictures are real people and get encouraged to do their best.

The Level 1 and 2 teams spend three and four hours a week, respectively, honing their craft in the gym. Proper stretching and strength and flexibility training are prioritized early in practice sessions before the gymnasts hit the floor to work on their routines. Pribil and the Titanium coaches often have the athletes practice their tumbling skills 10 times in a row, then show the coaches they can do their techniques properly. If mistakes are made, the gymnasts have to start over again until their technique is perfect.

The Titanium teams have two events left on the schedule. For now, their eyes are set on the American Open at the Orange County Convention Center, which will take place March 24 through 25. Everyone in the program wants to win first-place trophies, but Pribil said the ultimate goal of this season is to help every gymnast walk away with more self-confidence than when they started.

The Plant City gym will host intermediate and pre-team gymnastics tryouts at 10 a.m. April 14 for $10 per athlete. It will also host cheer tryouts May 15 and 17. The Lithia gym’s cheer tryouts will be held May 19.

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Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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