Future Michigan Wolverine Sierra Brooks of Aspire Gymnastics has had a pretty successful JO career thus far and she still has two years left to continue to make her mark on Region 5 Gymnastics. Sierra, who is one of the most powerful gymnasts in Region 5, has had great success at the National level placing in the top 3 in the All-Around in the last 2 years and securing a spot not only on the Region 5 All-Star Teams, but also the JO National Team. Sierra, has a smile that could brighten a room, which shines bright on the competition floor. You can definitely see it in her face and her gymnastics that she truly loves what she is doing. Let’s get to know Sierra a little bit better as she gets ready to head out on the 2017 Region 5 All-Star Trip to Montreal, Canada in October with the rest of her Region 5 teammates.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I got into gymnastics when my aunt recommended to my parents to put me into it because I would climb all over the furniture. I had been in swimming and dance, but once I got into gymnastics I stuck with it and was extremely excited to go to practice (something that was a rare occurrence). I started rec classes around age four, but started team at seven, going on eight.
What is your favorite event? My favorite switches, according to when I get a new skill or am doing a fun combination. Although it changes often, the one event that I never have had a problem with, and is my favorite event most of the time is vault.
Favorite Skill to train/compete My favorite skill to compete and train is probably my full out on bars. I love dismounting on bars, so I enjoy showing that skill at any meet. I also love competing any vault.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part of gymnastics is that it teachers you so many aspects about life in a short amount of time. It helps one understand that things will not always come easy and you will have to work through challenges, that most of the time, will not be easy.
What college do you plan on attending? I plan on attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The academics there are amazing, which helped to influence my decision and their gymnastics program is something that I cannot wait to be a part of.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? My favorite meet to compete at is JO Nationals. The whole team atmosphere that region 5 provides is so fun and helps eliminate stresses that come at any meet, but impressively and successfully they do this at nationals. You get to see the best of the best at nationals and see how well you do under nerves.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far is getting a full ride to the University of Michigan for gymnastics and also doing well at nationals placing in the top three, the past two years.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? What I admire most about the sport of gymnastics is how challenging of a sport it is and how respectful gymnasts come out of the sport. It teaches so many lessons, that help us become better individuals overall, rather than only great gymnasts.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite Region 5 Insider series is the coaches wired series. It is interesting to see how different coaches get their messages across and their different approaches.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? I don’t have a go to playlist or song before meets, but on the way to meets I do the just about the same thing each time. Once I get in the car, I check for my grips and wrist guards once or twice, then put on my headphones and play any music, then fall asleep…I sleep anytime I am in the car.
If you were trapped on a deserted island what 3 things would you take and why? If I were trapped on a deserted island, I would bring a lot of water, some big fireworks, and a lighter. This way, I can hopefully be rescued as soon as possible.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal, I would probably be a dog. I don’t really know why, but I just really like dogs.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? I don’t have any pre-meet superstitions, but before each meet I try to relax and focus on the meet, without stressing myself out.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? Outside of gymnastics, I like challenging myself in school, relaxing, and doing photography.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? The most embarrassing meet moment I have had was at the Lucky Invite my first or second year of level 10, when I was competing on bars. I started off the routine by missing a blind change and then swung again and made the blind over. Unfortunately, after making the blind I hit my heels on the jaeger, but still somehow caught it. I swung again and did a bail, peeling and landing on my butt, on the floor. I got up and looked at my coach and said, “I don’t even know what to do!” while the judges laughed. Let’s just say I haven’t liked blinds that much since then, but it is still funny to think about how quickly that routine went downhill.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? If I were not a gymnast, I would most likely do track. I can run pretty fast and it is a competitive sport that pretty much runs year round.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I respect any athlete who gives 100% every day and pushes him or herself to reach oals more than anyone else. In my opinion, I can’t pick or choose a sport that I respect most because I haven’t done them all and making any commitment to any sport is impressive.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? I don’t have a quote, but my coach Nick always tells me to give myself a break and let myself have bad days. I tend to put too much pressure on myself, so when I hear that it allows me to calm down and get my confidence back up.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself….My favorite subject in school math and I have a really good imitation of a baby cryin