great coach – Howie Liang, Gym-Max

Coached by Howie & Jenny Liang, three girls from Gym-Max Gymnastics, Costa Mesa, California, finished 1-2-3 on vault in a very tough competition. JO Level 10 Nationals.

The judges rewarded the HEIGHT of their vaults, conspicuously better than most of the other excellent competitors in their division.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Everyone appreciates Howie’s enthusiasm. I appreciate how closely he SPOTS vault, even though his athletes almost certainly do not need him there. (Other kids in the same rotation landed badly with no spotter in place.)

results – Level 10 – Junior A

Ivana Hong trained at GymMax for 4 years, by the way. It’s Shantessa Pama’s club.

16 comments ↓

#1 Tracy on 05.21.08 at 9:25 am

I LOVE the way he stands so close to the vault as they run down the runway. What a huge confidence boost that must be for the gymnasts. One of my daughter’s coaches won’t even spot at a meet. Says they should be able to do it all without spot before a meet so why need spot at a meet? This REALLY bothers me!!

#2 shergymrag on 05.21.08 at 3:42 pm

They actually should be able to do it without a spot before the meet. If he’s letting them compete skills they can’t do well and then not spotting them after having spotted them all the way up until the meet, that’s another story.

#3 TCO on 05.21.08 at 5:38 pm

I’m not sure that I agree with the spotting during meets. I think it is too much team work and encourages throwing skills that gymnasts don’t have confidence in. Are we going to have the coach spotting floor passes next.

#4 Tracy on 05.21.08 at 9:53 pm

The spot is really just a confidence spot. A quick tap or alignment. Our girls tend to feel “alone” at a meet because our coach won’t do a thing. These are little girls I’m talking about. If one throws a bad backhandspring on beam in warm-up and obviously needs some help, the coach will just throw them a look that says, “fix it yourself….” It really does nothing for the girls’ confidence.

#5 Katrina on 05.21.08 at 10:03 pm

I think if the gymnast has a bad warm up they should be able to correct it without spot and just verbal cues. If they are unable to get back up and do a better turn then they haven’t been mentally or physically prepared enough at home. When the child qualifies for a team and her coach cnnot travel another coach would not and SHOULD NOT spot the athlete. All the years when they are young are stepping stones to their success later on in their gymnastics career and in life.

#6 Tracy on 05.21.08 at 10:25 pm

So, then who is at fault for the child not being mentally or physically prepared enough to be able to get back up and do a better turn? Would that be the coach? If a gymnast goes to a meet and can’t fix their own situation then maybe the coach hasn’t done their job preparing these gymnasts.

#7 TCO on 05.22.08 at 4:21 am

Gymanstics performances are by individuals. Team-mates or coaches should not assist. And I think a spot is an assist. It changes the nature of the apparatus.

#8 Katrina on 05.22.08 at 9:03 am

That’s what I’m trying to say Tracy. If they are not able to get back up then the skills the coach is expecting them to do are too difficult. Just because a kid can do the skill in the gym a couple of times doesn’t mean they are fully ready to compete it.
If they are needing physical or mental spot at the competition, then they are not ready to be doing the skills. But it seems like everyone in this sport is just trying to have kids do really hard skills and win all the time. And it’s gotten to the point where the kid doesn’t feel accepted by the coaches, parents, and teammates unless that is the case.

Rick, could you post that article about parenting the average athlete? I’m sure you’ve read it…

#9 coach Rick on 05.22.08 at 9:27 am

Here it is Katrina. Great article:

http://gymnasticscoaching.com/?p=3584

#10 Tuesday on 05.22.08 at 4:07 pm

Katrina is right on. I would not have gymnasts compete a skill if they needed spotting on it in the gym – period. They child should be competing skills they are 100% mentally prepared to compete. That’s not to say a bad warm-up won’t happen here or there, but it’s up to the coach to prepare them for that, as well.
For example, if the kid is not able to perform that skill within a 2-minute period for warm-up, why have them compete it? If they can’t warm up a skill in addition to all their other beam/floor/bars skills within that 1.5-2 minute time frame WITHOUT A SPOT then I would never have them compete it. It is always best to have the child compete a routine that she is totally comfortable with. COnsistency over failure in a meet is paramount to a child’s confidence.

#11 GYMANST:) on 05.22.08 at 11:56 pm

Howies not spotting him.He’s just standing there just in case something were to go worng.Spotting them is physically touching them and he’s not. Howie just likes to be ther JUST IN CASE like if you’ve seen him at a meet before, if is girl goes down, he goes diving to catch them. Really he’s just there to motivate them.

#12 tuttifruitti on 05.29.08 at 11:46 pm

clearly the gym max girls were ready so the “they aren’t ready for the skill if they get spotted at a meet” argument does not fly. With a 1,2,3 finish on vault…looks like spotting works…doi

#13 Expirenced. on 01.12.09 at 3:01 am

In the end it doesn’t even matter. The judges don’t care about the coach they care about the athlete. Stop worrying about whta the coach is doing because obviously whatever he is doing is working. It’s not like he’s cheating by spotting them physically. He has his own style, leave it alone and worry about your selves.

#14 Lisa Patterson on 05.04.09 at 6:34 am

does gym max gymnastics have a website? That gym is great…

#15 Girl on 06.11.12 at 5:19 pm

They are great coaches! And it’s better safe than sorry. And what a surprise that the last two in the video are Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney.. Current senior national team members and possible 2012 Olympic team members!

#16 PERSON on 11.01.13 at 10:05 pm

I don’t see what’s wrong with a coach standing there if it makes the girls feel better. I mean, they’re kids, and if they want to perform a death-defying move with a someone they trust standing ready to help, go for it. If only Al Fong had felt the same way in 1988…

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