The Spark! April 2018

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,
It feels wonderful to be back from all of the various school Spring Breaks, including our own. For a few weeks, it almost seemed like a different program around here. A break is always good for the mind and spirit but now it’s time to get ready for the Spring Recital, State Championships, karate promotion day, and final parent viewing days. The end of the year is always a special time of culmination. 

This month, we’re highlighting Coach Mary, our Gym Director. This spring will be her 3rd year with us and I can’t say enough good things about her – the approach she takes in the gym, her work ethic, her energy, and the progress the gym and team has made. Coach Mary’s positive presence is contagious and uplifting. In a time where so much has happened in the world of gymnastics, I feel so comforted by the fact that we have such a strong, positive role model here leading our gymnastics program. 

We look forward to sharing all of the upcoming special days with you and you families. See you soon. 

Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
An Interview with
Coach Mary Cain
TC: What was your background in gymnastics before you started coaching?
MC: My first gymnastics class ever taken was taught by my mom. She had her own tumbling program that she ran in our small Northern Michigan community. We learned basic tumbling skills and some dance. From there, I fell in love with the sport. My mom decided to look for a gym to enroll my siblings and me, and the closest one was an hour away. We commuted every day for Competitive Gymnastics and Cecchetti Ballet. I competed through the USAG program and even was a cheerleader! I enjoyed other sports as well, such as softball, and had a one season appearance as a High School State Champion Marching Band Member. 
TC: What brought you to Discovery?
MC: I found Discovery shortly after moving to the Bronx in 2015 and from the first interview I knew this was the place for me. I loved the family feel of the program and the positive energy that everyone had. I honestly appreciated the respect I was given as a coach and the ability to develop and run my classes how I felt was best.

TC: How do your students inspire you, and what keeps you motivated?

MC: The students inspire me everyday. I work with all age groups, 9 months through 14 yr olds and each group amazes me every class. When you work with children, you can’t have an off day. They are relying on you to be not only their coach but someone who will help them and inspire them, so when I’m having a rough day or I feel my energy is low, I get to work and they immediately remind me, coach let’s go, you got this…..we got this! Honestly, I have the best job; I am inspired everyday by our future generations. The grit, heart, and drive I see in these young athletes is beyond amazing. When they fall, they get up, and they never give up. When they accomplish a goal the whole team is behind them with a smile and hug and that’s what inspires me. Our team motto is “POSITIVE MIND = POSITIVE OUTCOMES”. Keeping our minds positive even through failures, that’s how we we grow and get better, in gymnastics and in life. 

TC: How has the recent upheaval in the gymnastics world changed or shaped your perspective on what you do?

MC: The recent events that have transpired in USA Gymnastics has really hit me hard. To see something like this in a sport that I LOVE and an organization that I have dedicated a large portion of my life to was devastating. I’ve reflected a lot on the events and through all of it I’ve come to realize that a large portion of this culture that has been ignored is perception; how children are perceiving and processing not only words but also actions. I began to ask myself: how can I make this sport better? How can I be a positive change in gymnastics? The answer is by creating a force of positive language and action in our gym. During our gym staff meetings I have begun speaking about language and how, as adults, we perceive language and actions differently than children. At Discovery we are striving to support athletes by building them up and believing in their potential. We are focusing on not being overly critical, avoiding all negative language, and treating the athletes not in terms of their performance but as children. Charlie Maher of the Cleveland Indians has a great motto, “Mind in the Moment,” which is what the athlete needs in order to excel in that moment. As a coach I try to remind myself of this motto throughout all of our practices. One thing I know for sure is that the athlete does not need negativity, as negativity distracts from the mindset and fills the athlete with the thought of whether the coach will yell at them or if they are disappointing the coach. When an athlete feels connected to their coach and classmates, they will commit to giving their best effort. As coaches we have to strive to fill the emotional tanks of all of our children every class and remind ourselves that, POSITIVE MINDS = POSITIVE OUTCOMES. 

TC: What is coming up that you are most looking forward to with the team?

MC: Our Competitive Team season has really been a whirlwind. I feel like we just competed at our first meet in December but here we are pushing towards New York State Championships, Northeast Regionals, and World Championships. Our current focus is State Championships, and we are focusing on preparing the gymnasts both physically and mentally! Our theme for State’s is STRONG! 

Photo Feature:
Pancake Day in On My Own and Preschool!
Discovery Announcements!
Upcoming Closings
– Discovery will be closed on May 5th, 17th, 21st, 26th, 28th, and 29th.
Make-Up Deadline
– The last day for make-up classes is Saturday, May 19th. Please schedule all make-ups prior to or on this date.
Summer Camp Launch!
– Register ASAP for Summer Camp at Discovery! We have morning programs for 3-5 year olds and both half and full day gymnastics programs for ages 5-13. 
Spring Ballet Recital
-This year’s spring recital will take place on Sunday, June 3rd. The theme is Enchanted! Performances will occur at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Information on ticketing TBA. 

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