BHG Athletes and Coaches Blossom at SpringFest!

Black Hills Gymnastics Springfest 2019


As the calendar jumps forward into a new season, so did dozens of gymnasts at our SpringFest Competition!


We always look forward to hosting this annual event as it gives us an opportunity to see how athletes are blossoming this time of year.


Two of our Level 2 Coaches let us know how they felt about SpringFest.


Question: Coach Catherine and Coach Katie, what do you look for in the athletes while they’re competing at SpringFest?


Catherine: Going into this competition, we’re really focused on presentation. This is a skill an athlete gets better and better at as we go through the year, and SpringFest is a good indicator of how far they’ve come. We’re looking to make sure the routines are clear all the way through and they’re delivering small, precise improvements we’ve been coaching them on all season.


Katie: Definitely, it’s all about progress, not perfection for this meet!


Question: How have your athletes improved since the last meet?


Katie: One of our girls got the Judges Award for Presentation! They’ve improved leaps and bounds over the season, and it’s reflected in this meet.


Question: Is there anything you’d like to say to your athletes and/or their parents?


Both: We’re very proud, you’ve been working so hard and are turning into amazing young ladies. We can’t wait to see your progress years from now.


Coach and BHG Owner Alisa Muller was very excited when looking at the big picture.


It’s as though the hard, daily work that’s been put in over the last couple of years has compounded and is starting to pay off. All our athletes and teams are on the right track. There’s a vast improvement from where athletes AND coaches in how they prepare and perform!  We’ve all been making small adjustments as the skills are being perfected and it’s showing up in the routines.


Another truly inspiring thing she noticed was the overall feel of the BHG Squad. “It’s awesome to see our staff being on the move from the fundamentals of educating to truly learning and developing as a staff to best serve the needs of any athlete at any level. It’s apparent we’ve spent many hours getting our own training, practice, and situational awareness perfected so we can coach better. After a couple of years of laying that groundwork we know how to plan, commit, and follow through to developå the next generation of amazing gymnasts here in the South Sound.


With our 24th Annual SpringFest in the books, we’re looking ahead to some big things! Stay up to date with everything by checking the announcements on our Facebook Page!


BHG Has Changed a LOT!

Boy, do you see and do a lot in 23 years!


We know that for a fact here at Black Hills Gymnastics.


It all starts a few years before BHG ever opened its doors.


Alisa Muller competed in Gymnastics starting at age 12 in the South Sound. At age 17, she began coaching at the Olympia Gymnastics Academy, 2nd location, which was owned by John and Sandy Strathdee. It became apparent Alisa had a natural talent for coaching and was even made head coach of the Gymnastics Program!


After graduating high school, Alisa went to college at Western Washington University in Bellingham. While attending school she coached at the Academy of Northwest Gymnastics (currently named North Coast Gymnastics).


When she was done at WWU, she moved back to the Olympia area and started coaching the regions finest gymnasts once again. By this point, The Olympia Gymnastics Academy had sold the 2nd location and was now known as Evergreen Gymnastics Academy.  About six months after coming back to coach, she was offered the opportunity to buy the gym from that current owner. That was back in 1992!


In 1996 an additional gym was purchased,  which is now the communities most successful gym,  known as Black Hills Gymnastics! For those of you who remember, BHG began on the West Side of Olympia.


“We started small, but with a healthy and talented group of girls and boys for our teams. We had about 30 girls on Team and 15 boys on Team that first year. Overall, we had an enrollment of right around 100! Shortly after, we moved to Lacey by Fred Meyer. Within a few years of being there, we had over 365 kids participating in gymnastics. It was an awesome moment to see such growth and a love for gymnastics in this area! Our teams had about 40 girls and about 20 boys along with about 300 kids enrolled in classes. It was simply incredible.”


Following an Entrepreneurial Hunch, the gym was moved to a new location. Around the year 2000, there was an area near Lacey that was just starting to take root. Hawks Prairie is where the gym is currently located and we couldn’t be happier! This location has given us the greatest opportunity to serve the large groups of students and families we do.  In spring of 2016, Black Hills Gymnastics had met its long term goal of tripling enrollment and tripling their production size as well.


And this service includes more than just gymnastics classes!


We’re able to provide many other fun activities and amazing resources for those who come to Black Hills Gymnastics.


  • Tumbling Tots Preschool – Our classroom often leads students to test higher than a Kindergarten level when screening for school! We focus on classroom basics, honorable human traits, and other life skills.


  • Special Needs Programs – We have programs available for those with special needs, making sure they get the opportunity for the fun and healthy benefits of gymnastics.


  • Birthday Parties – We’ve always been big fans of coming together for a good celebration! That’s why we create spaces in the gym for families and friends to come together for some awesome birthday fun!


  • Agoge – This is such an awesome program! Think of an obstacle course turned up a notch! Agoge takes us and students outside to run, jump, climb, and pull their way to greatness!


  • Parents Night Out – It’s nice to have a time and place to drop off the kids where you know they’ll be safe and have a blast! This allows you to do just that. Our coaches will watch as the kids run around, jump on trampolines, and play with friends while you get to do whatever it is you need to do. Sweet Freedom and Fun!


  • Military Appreciation – We’re extremely proud of our military heroes. That’s why almost every Sunday we open our doors to military families for free! Any Active Duty or Retired Military Personnel can bring their children in for a free day of play!


  • Open Gym – Come one, come all! Our open gym gives everyone the chance to come in and play on most of our equipment and roam our gigantic building!


Leading the way for the next generation is vitally important to us at Black Hills Gymnastics. All of our coaches go through extensive leadership training. This guarantees that strong community leaders for Thurston County and beyond are created here!


We have so much to be thankful for! We’re thankful for all of you who’ve made the past 23 years so amazing! We’re thankful for blessings, trophies, and more! We’re thankful that no matter what challenges we’ve faced: we’ve always focused on teaching life skills through the sport of gymnastics which in turn has blessed. If an opportunity or thought comes up that doesn’t align with those core values, we won’t do it.


That’s the biggest contributor to these first wildly successful 23 years and what will bring even more!


Black Friday Kids Day In

Evaluation Meet Recap: How We Prepare to DOMINATE

At Black Hills Gymnastics, we know what it takes to have high-performing teams that are cool under pressure.


We give our athletes MULTIPLE opportunities to learn, strive, and shine.


So, how have we recently prepared to dominate?


With our very own Evaluation Meet


Think of the NFL preseason.


We still had our athletes fully dress in their competition gear.


We still had judges critiquing kids and giving them the areas they need to work on and get better at.


We even had another team join us in our facility!


This gives us a chance to shake out the competition cobwebs, see how far we’ve come, and what needs improvement now and throughout the season.


What Our Coaches Saw:


We got a few minutes during a few coaches day between all the excitement. Here’s what they had to say about their athlete’s performance and the day.


Girls Team Bar Coach James Piretto noted, “Practice on the night before the meet was amazing, so if they do that, I’ll be happy. Seeing them performing new routines after moving up a level since the last competitive season is always exciting!”


Girls Excel Team Coach Megan Fugitt said the day was, “Going really well. The girls are happy to be getting back in the groove and are doing a great job at getting all the jitters out.


Level 2-3 Coach Rachelle English explained, “It’s been good to get a lot of good feedback from judges. A lot of it reaffirmed what we’ve been noticing in practice, so this meet is exactly what we need to continue on the right track!


Coach Bob Young was eager to see the progress compared to expectations. After coaching at BHG for 22 years, he wanted to share this advice. “To parents: Encourage kids to try hard, have fun, and do their best. You’re in control of being a positive influence. To our athletes: Kids- stay calm, try hard, and learn from all mistakes and wins.”


Girls Team Coach Melissa Flores is excited for the girls to have a season of confidence and personal empowerment. “My advice to the girls is ‘take every moment as a learning one and grow from everything. Parents- remain your child’s support system, leave the worrying and stress up to us coaches.’”

Our Girls Team Coach Li Lu also chimed in on how the Evaluation Meet went. “It was nice to see the girls completing the new skills we’ve worked on in a competitive environment. They met or exceeded all my expectations. I’m just really excited to see the hard work paying off for the remainder of the season. I want to stress the importance of setting your goals high and striving for them! I’m very excited about this season at BHG!”

From One Parent to Everyone


We were even lucky enough to get advice from one of our parents! She said to keep in mind the events go in alphabetical order. It’s good to know your athlete’s next event in the rotation.


It goes:







For example, if your gymnast starts with her floor routine, she’ll then move to vault, then the bars, and finish on the beam.


Another stellar piece of advice is to remember that EVERYTHING is subject to the judges. What you think may be an excellent move or landing might be slightly off according to the judges. Do NOT take this personally and always encourage your child to learn from both wins and failures!


The Return of the Swarm???


Back in the day, Black Hills Gymnastics teams were so dominating, it was said to be like the “Swarm of the South!” We have a sneaky suspicion the nickname is about to come back in a BIG way!


Events like this help solidify it in our minds.


So get ready, this season is going to blow away expectations! We’re so proud of this group and are pumped to see what happens this year!


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