Win state, go to regionals. Win regionals, go to nationals. Win nationals and well, the sky is the limit for a future in gymnastics.
15-year-old gymnast Brooke McAffee is one step from the national team, having advanced through intensive state and regional competitions.
As the 2015 Southeast regional champion in uneven bars, next week she’ll travel to Kissimmee, Florida, to see if she can earn a spot on the national team. Coach Millie Godines of Chapin Christian Gymnastics began working with McAffee eight years ago.
“At first she was pretty much like any kid in there, just a recreational kid, but she had a lot of determination and she worked really, really hard,” Godines said. “That was really what springboarded her to where she is.”
Now, she competes at level 9 – one shy of the top category possible. She says staying calm during state and regional competitions wasn’t easy.
“Oh yeah, I was definitely nervous, but you have to trust your training and go out there and have faith in yourself and ask the Lord to help you,” McAffee said.”
She’ll need to maintain that focus t the national competition in Kissimmee. There McAffee will perform routines in the uneven bars, floor, pommel horse and balance beam against the best gymnasts in the country.
“Yeah, definitely I’m just going to try to go in there and focus on me and the equipment,” McAffee said. “I just want to make sure I can put all the anxiety and fear on the side.”
McAffee’s dreams beside making the national team are as practical as her efforts are impressive.
“I would really love to get a college scholarship and compete in gymnastics. That’s my all-time dream.”
For now, a shot at the USA National team will have to do.