Gym Spotlight | Myrtle Beach All Stars

When was Myrtle Beach All Stars founded: “It was 2011. Our first year was spent recruiting and training athletes. Our first competitive season was 2012.”

Give us some background of how the gym came to be: “I had a gym in NC for quite some time and had considered opening up one if we ever moved to the beach. But as the years went on, I had forgotten that dream and eventually closed my gym and retired. A year after closing, we decided to move to the beach in 2011. A friend asked me if I was interested in helping out a gymnastics gym with their cheer team, but I had NO interest to come out of retirement. I pretty much just blew her off. She continued to bug me about it so I went down to check out the gym. I remember being immediately mesmerized by the talent and abilities of the gymnasts. I looked over at the cheer team and blurted out, “If you’re going to have a cheerleading program, it needs to be the same caliber of your gymnastics program. Otherwise don’t have one”. The rest is honestly a big blur. I don’t even remember what happened next, but before I knew it I was sitting down with a former gymnast trying to convince her to become a cheerleader and she was our first athlete!”

What was the most difficult obstacle at first: “Just happening into a program and starting from scratch without a plan in place, taking for granted that former gymnast didn’t had any cheer skills other than tumbling, and the realization that layouts and fulls didn’t matter if no one had ever done a gut stand.

How did you overcome that:  “We took a year to recruit and train athletes. We embraced that we were strong tumblers and when we were ready to compete, we made our routines tumbling heavy. We began to prepare and educate parents on allstar cheer while preparing any allstar families who came in that tumbling is a small portion of the scoresheet and would not be the determiner of the levels we compete. We decided to really focus on training and stunting from the bottom up and not compete above our stunting level with the hopes that one day it would catch up with our tumbling and in turn make a stronger program.”

What would you say is your biggest obstacle now:  “Living in tourist destination has its own set of problems.  One of the biggest problems is it is a very transient area.  The population of Myrtle Beach is less than 30,000 but it changes to 350,000 during the tourist season.  Many families move to the beach during the spring and summer only to find out it’s a virtual ghost town the rest of the year and are unhappy and move.  Furthermore, changes in population also hits our economy making it hard to make ends meet outside of tourist season.  As a result, you have a huge turnover between tryouts and competition season, and then again towards the middle of competition season with people wanting to get into your program before the season ends to make the move transition easier on their children.”

How does the gym plan to overcome that: “This is very frustrating for coaches to continually rework routines at a moment’s notice as well as making it hard for athletes to make new friends knowing you could use them at any minute.  As a result, we have chosen to embrace it and use it to better prepare them to be to able to handle change at any time with grace and dignity.  We also try to build a sense of community within our program by doing things like tailgating at competitions, traveling to more competitions (to get away from the beach when it’s a ghost down and develop deeper relationships with families on the road), and partner with other gyms both locally and on the road to make our community even larger.”

What is the gym’s philosophy: “Our primary focus is to prepare our athletes for life and build college athletes. We place more of focus on training and less on being the biggest, baddest allstar gym in town. This allows us to focus on our athletes and not be hung up on numbers. We shoot it real with our parents and give them realistic expectations and in turn we end up with committed families who are on board with our philosophy. The fact that our allstar program has been such a success is just a bonus!”

What do you hope all of your athletes remember at the end of the day: “We want them remember that they are loved unconditionally and we have tried to do everything in our power to prepare them for life.”

Any accomplishments you’d like to boast about: “I can say that we have been blessed beyond measure as a program and we honestly try to take our focus off of our accolades and instead challenge our athletes to be everything God created them to be as athletes. Everything else takes care of itself :)”

What does the future hold for Myrtle Beach All Stars: “A lifetime of memories and friendships that last a lifetime and a continued legacy of college athletes and coaches.”