The Roots Girls Dev Program is in its fifth season since it was started in 2019. The program is an ever-evolving program that is geared toward developing gymnasts to compete at the highest levels of the sport. We are always striving to help each athlete involved in the program reach their own personal goals in the sport while instilling a strong work ethic while learning to hold themselves accountable for making progress toward these goals. The Dev Program at Roots is athlete driven. This means that the coaches take the lead from the athletes and let them take charge of their own success in the sport. The final goal of the coaches involved in this program is to help produce athletes that can take on any challenges that are presented to them as they move into adulthood. Their success in the sport of gymnastics is just a byproduct of this coaching philosophy. We believe that any athlete can achieve the highest of goals if they are determined to meet them. We are here to provide an environment to help facilitate this. The program at Roots has shown to have the ability to produce athletes who can compete at the Collegiate and USA National Team Levels.
2023 Season Accomplishments:
-Level 8-10 state championship team
-Level 10 region 2 All-around champion
-Level 9 western nation championship qualifier
-Level 10 national championship qualifier
-3 level 8 Montana State Team Members
-Home of Junior National Team Member, Reese Esponda
-Qualified Junior International Elite
-Qualified to USA Gymnastics Championships, Junior Elite
-National Champion on Floor
-6th Place Bar
-6th Place All-around
-Qualified to be a member of the US Jr National Team
Christopher J. Bushard, Ph.D., is a seasoned gymnastics coach with a remarkable 27-year tenure in the field. His contributions have marked significant milestones, notably becoming one of the first National Team gymnastics coaches from Montana in over three decades, alongside his brother.
Currently serving as the USA Gymnastics TOPs State Manager, Chris's dedication and expertise in gymnastics earned him the prestigious 2023 Region 2 Contributor of the Year Award. His coaching prowess has led numerous gymnasts from across Montana to achieve national qualifications in both men's and women's gymnastics programs.
An esteemed figure in the gymnastics community, Chris has presented at the Region 2 Gymnastics Congress and been an invited coach for various Regional and National gymnastics camps. His academic journey includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with High Honors from Montana State University in 2007, followed by a Master of Art in School Psychology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Montana in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
Chris augmented his academic pursuits with a comprehensive Pre-doctoral Internship at Boy Town Center for Behavioral Health in Omaha, NE, in 2013, consolidating his practical experience in the field. His multifaceted background in both psychology and gymnastics enriches his coaching approach, allowing him to bring a holistic understanding to his role as the Girls Developmental Team director.