For much of her career, Bailey trained at Orlando Metro Gymnastics with her coaches Jeff Wood and Christi Mitchell; now she has decided to begin training at Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics, the gym that produced 2015 junior national team member Sydney Johnson-Scharpf.
“This [is one of the most] difficult decisions that I have ever made,” Bailey told us. “My family and I moved to Florida [in 2011], and within three months I had won Level 10 State Championships All-Around at 10 years old. My ultimate goal to move to Orlando Metro was to qualify as an international elite gymnast.”
It didn’t take long for Bailey to qualify elite. “With hard work and perseverance, Jeff and Christi got me qualified at age 12,” she remembered. “I have been blessed with so many opportunities to participate in both developmental and national team camps, as well as qualify to Secret Classics and P&G Championships. I just feel that the relationship between [me] and my coaches has come to a crossroads, and that I felt it was time for a change in my training.”
As noted, the change was not easy task for Bailey. “As hard as my decision was to leave my teammates/friends, I will always carry a special place in my heart for Metro and the hard work and dedication my coaches gave me during the time I was there,” she reflected. “The gym change has been positive for my future in efforts to build my career.”
Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics in Clermont, Florida, has become an increasingly well-known gym over the last few years. In addition to Johnson-Scharpf, their gym has trained current NCAA gymnasts Grace McLaughlin and Aja Monet-Sims. “Brandy and Kelly [Pitzen] are amazing, [as is] their style of coaching,” said Bailey. “I look forward to the new challenges they have planned out for me. The gym is great and everyone has been helpful and supportive. I am so excited to train with Sydney. She is a great friend. It’s nice to have someone training with me [who is] on the national team. She pushes me and I look up to her as I go into my last junior elite year, and she goes into her first senior year.”
Bailey, who will be fifteen years old in March, is ineligible for the Rio Olympic Games, but she’s excited for future prospects in her last year as a junior. “My goals are to compete again at the Classics and P&G Championships and to make the National Team,” she explained. Also, Bailey revealed that she is working on a double layout on floor exercise, and she’s training new leaps and jumps for beam and floor.
“I’m really excited for this 2016 elite season coming up,” Bailey enthused. “I will continue to work towards my future goals.”
Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com