Danielle Outlaw has been involved in the world of gymnastics since she was just six years old, now she’s teaching 200 children of the same age, and older, in Rochester, Illinois. We spoke to the busy mom of one and VP of Sales at Neuhoff Media about Outlaw Athletics and the children she so fondly teaches.
What is your background/experience in relation to Outlaw Athletics?
My parents relocated to Springfield when I was six years old and in an attempt to smooth over the move they enrolled me in gymnastics at L&M Gym before they even found our new home. L&M became my second home and family and I remained there throughout my high school years as a competitive gymnast and tumbler competing Nationally and Internationally, in addition to be a four-year member of my High School Cheer team. I started coaching gymnastics at 15. After High School, I went Eastern Illinois University where I was a cheerleading for a year and a member of the Pink Panther Dance Team for two years. During my time in Charleston, IL I worked part-time for the Charleston Recreation Department as a gymnastics instructor, but I never forgot my ties to my home gym and came home often to visit and work too. After having my daughter, the cycle continued and I rejoined the coaching staff on a regular basis at L&M as a team coach until 2014 when I opened Outlaw Athletics.
Why did you establish Outlaw Athletics?
Gymnastics and cheer have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember and I acknowledge the role the sport has played in shaping me – creating self-esteem, fueling my competitive spirit, teaching life lessons about hard work, defeat, tenacity and so much more. I looked at my coach and mentor as child; I always wanted to be that person for other kids when I grew up. When I saw the opportunity to turn that passion into a business, I couldn’t pass it up. Some people have a golf game or hobby that offers them joy – I have my gym and all the families and kids that come with it that bring me happiness.
When did you launch Outlaw Athletics?
We opened the door of Outlaw Athletics in November of 2014
What classes/training do you offer at Outlaw Athletics?
Outlaw Athletics serves the Rochester and surrounding communities and focuses on providing quality tumbling, trampoline, and cheer training. We are a private gym, offering recreational as well as competitive instruction in a safe environment.
Each athlete's training begins with total body conditioning and a focus on a strong understanding and competency of the basic skills required proceeding to more difficult tricks and elements. At Outlaw Athletics we concentrate on the individual instructional needs of each athlete customizing their training to maximize their personal athletic growth.
What is the age range of your students at Outlaw Athletics?
We start classes for children as young as 18 months with a class called Tiny Tumblers. The class is designed for an introduction to tumbling and trampoline with a focus on gross motor skills and organized instruction. The class is a parent/child class so it Instructor lead and parent guided. We currently have athletes up to age 18 taking classes; however, it’s not unusual to see a few “retired” gymnasts – aka parents and coaches tumbling across the floor. Once gymnastics is in your blood it’s hard to shake and everyone wants to see if they’ve still got “it”.
Where do you train?
Our facility is in Rochester, IL on Sattley just off Rt 29. It’s a 3000-plus square foot facility with an 80-foot rod floor, competition double mini trampoline, in ground competition trampoline & a 24 x 42 spring floor. We are also adjacent to Rocket Fitness and fortunate to be able to use their full size gym with basketball court to put down our 42x42 cheerleading floor for practice. We would love to expand our facility or build new. Ultimately, I’d love to have an 8,000-to-10,000 square foot complex.
How often do you train?
Outlaw Athletics is open six days a week to accommodate recreational and team classes. Our team members generally practice two-to-three days per week while our recreational classes are schedule one day per week however, many athletes sign up for two classes per week.
Tell us about the competitions that Outlaw Athletics enters?
Our competitive season for Tumbling and Trampoline runs September thru June and we generally do seven-to-eight meets a season including State and Nationals. The Cheerleading Season ends starts in September as well. We’ll do sic-to-seven competitions concluding in May with Nationals.
Do you have other coaches at Outlaw Athletics?
We have a Tumbling and Trampoline Team coaching staff of five coaches and two junior coaches each of who are United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association Certified along with an additional two recreational class coaches. We also have three more Amateur Athletic Union Credentialed Cheer Coaches. Christine Cornett is my right hand and one of us is in the gym if the doors are open.
My Credential Include:
- Member of the United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association Executive Board
- Member of the Amateur Athletic Union and the Cheer Advisory Panel
- CPR and Safety Certified
- ASEP certified
- AAU certified Cheerleading Judge
- AAU triple gold coach certified
- USTA gold level trampoline, double mini and tumbling coach
- USTA safety certified
How many students do you have?
We currently have approximately 200 kids signed up in our recreational classes and another 87 on teams. Our recreational classes are done in terms, but we’re always doing enrollment were there our vacancies. We cap our class sizes however, to maintain a low coach/athlete ratio.