Passing the baton is a sports analogy which can be applied to nearly every aspect of one’s life. Handing the responsibility for something treasured to the next generation is literal for Tigran Petrosyan and his thirteen-year-old son Davit Petrosyan. As a celebrated gymnast in his home country of Armenia, a certified FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) judge, and a gymnastics trainer, Tigran is contributing all of his knowledge and skill towards helping Davit hone his abilities with some impressive results. It’s not every aspiring gymnast who is given 24-7 access to an internationally recognized and lauded professional like Tigran; Davit’s increasing notoriety and awards in competition vet the benefit of such a situation.
In addition to being a fierce and successful competitor in his own right, Tigran has spent twenty-seven years coaching numerous male and female athletes who have competed in the 2016 Olympics, 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (held in Glasgow), and others. Noted competitors like Armenia’s Harutyn Merdinyan, Vahag Davtyan, and Armen Petrosyan are among these. While teaching at the famed Albert Azaryan gymnastics school, Tigran’s young son Davit began taking an interest in what these Olympic athletes were doing and exhibited a naturally ability, surely due in part to his genetics. Tigran began working with his son and recognized that Davit found gymnastics intuitive and was willing to push himself to see major gains. When the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics recognized Petrosyan’s increasing respect in the gymnastic world and asked him to join their coaching staff, it also afforded Davit the opportunity to train in LA amongst different competitors and in a different environment.
In the world of gymnastics, it’s not only important to perform well; one must also perform in adherence to what the judges see as the proper components of a performance. Tigran’s status as an FIG international judge (with more than two centuries of existence, FIG is the oldest international sports organization in existence) has allowed Davit’s training to have a deep insight in regards to this. Coupled with committed training on the young athletes’ part, the results have been impressive. In competitions such as the Azaryan Team Cup and California State Competition, Davit has continually placed high in a variety of exercised including: pommel horse, rings, floor exercises, and vault. Olympic champion Eduard Azaryan recently noted the excellence of Davit’s performances and the promising outlook for this young athlete.
One might expect the pressure and intensity demanded by the sport to be life consuming and thus difficult for Davit. Again, this is a situation in which his familial connection to his trainer produces great dividends. Tigran communicates, “This sport that we all love is incredibly demanding. Above all, an athlete...especially a young one must love what they are doing. Davit loves to train and I’m always assessing where he is at with this. I feel that there is so much to be learned from sports but if your heart isn’t in it then there is something else you should be doing.” He continues, “What I’m most proud of in Davit is not his ability but the character that he shows. When he fails, it does not defeat him. He stops, takes note of what he has to do to improve, and then begins working toward that goal. I have yet to see him not meet the end result that he works so hard to achieve. While I can tell students about thinking this way, I can’t make them believe it. For Davit, this is naturally part of him and THAT is something to truly be proud of!”