Shannon Miller’s new book – a review

#ItsNotAboutPerfect

St. Martin’s Press sent me a review copy of It’s Not About Perfect: Competing For My Country and Fighting For My Life by Shannon Miller with Danny Peary.

It’s available today – April 21, 2015 – in hard cover, Kindle, audio and MP3 CD.

not about perfect

It’s Shannon’s life story, so far. An autobiography. Inspirational. Ideal for teenage gymnasts and fans of women’s Gymnastics.

Shannon Miller … the winner of a combined total of 16 World Championships and Olympic medals between 1991 and 1996, Miller ranks as the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history. …

Rather than dwell on the many successes, one of the greatest in the history of the sport spends more time detailing when things went wrong. And how she reacted to those setbacks.

“Don’t judge me by my successes but rather how many times I fell and got back up again.”

NELSON MANDELA

I enjoyed reading of her childhood. The used $100 backyard trampoline. Her first coach, Jerry Clavier. How Gary Goodson failed Shannon on her first USAIGC testing. Her first USAIGC and Karolyi camps. The first time Shannon ever flew on a plane. It was to Russia. At age-9.

Steve Nunno was on that trip, as well. Later Shannon moved from her non-competitive gym to Dynamo. Steve later hired Peggy Liddick.

Steve Nunno was a very controversial coach. Loud, arrogant and egotistical. But I’ve never heard Shannon Miller say a bad word about him. For her he was the ideal coach. This book is filled with stories of her many wonderful experiences with him and Peggy.

As an young gymnast, Shannon had very few injuries. But she did dislocate her elbow after hitting her feet on a flyaway full twist.

Astonishingly, Shannon once had a balking problem on flyaway. And later a balking problem on Tkachev. If it can happen to Shannon Miller, it can happen to anyone.

She competed the 1992 Olympics on a broken foot. Yet hit 16/16. Her goal.

After returning to Oklahoma from the Barcelona Games she enjoyed 3 days off. She’d only expected 1 day rest.

“I never considered myself the most talented or exciting gymnast but I could outwork anybody.”

By the 1996 Atlanta Olympics she had grown six inches, gained thirty pounds. Though still a tiny person, the sport was more difficult.

She looks back on her career as having two peaks: 5 medals at the 1992 Olympics and her success at the next two World Championships.

“The other peak was at the 1996 Olympics, when I won gold medals as part of the team and on balance beam. The two peaks corresponded to the two separate parts of my competitive career, based on my having two distinct body types and there being two different Codes of Points.”

Click PLAY or watch her Beam from the 1994 Worlds AA on YouTube.

One day a long retired Shannon Miller walked into Steve’s office at the Dynamo Gym and asked: “Do you want to train me for the 2000 Olympics?

That third failed Olympic run was perhaps the most interesting of the three for me. She’s proud of the effort. Shannon’s philosophy:

• Set goals.
• Put in the work if you want results.
• Utilize mistakes as a way to learn and grow.
• Eliminate negative thoughts (and, when possible, negative people).
• Search for the positive in the negative.
• Don’t place limits on yourself.
• Accept help from others.
• Never give up and, most of all, believe in yourself.

She only very briefly mentions her failed first marriage in 1999 to Christopher B. Phillips. He was the second man she dated, a medical student at the University of Oklahoma.

Her second husband is John Falconetti. They married August 25, 2008. They have two children.

The Shannon Miller Foundation, dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, launched in 2007.

Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women launched July 4, 2010.

Someone so healthy getting cancer was a shocker for me and everyone who knew Shannon Miller. It was a rare kind of ovarian cyst.

She had surgery in January 2011. In March 2011 began a 9-week regimen of chemotherapy.

In July 2011, her doctor gave a clean bill of health. She was cancer-free.

Like many celebrities over the past few years, Shannon documented her progress fighting cancer online. Her hope is that more people will schedule all their recommended medical treatments.

Bottom line. I recommend this book.

related:

Shannon’s other books

Anna Rose Johnson interview with Shannon on the book: “I hope it’s something that will inspire others”

new Shannon Miller book

On instagram.

R.I.P. Jeff Hennessy

Trampoline was invented and first popularized in the U.S.A. This man was one of the main builders of the Olympic Sport.

Jeff Hennessy of Broussard, La., a noted trampoline coach whose athletes won a total of 26 World medals and former chairman of the International Trampoline Federation’s Technical Committee, passed March 24.

“Jeff was a genuine man and a pioneer for the sport of trampoline,” said Steve Penny, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. “His legacy is evident in the program’s leadership today and how far the sport has come.” …

Jeff
USAG

His last book is available for $11.95.

A Successful Guidebook of Twisting Single and Multiple Somersaults

Science of Gymnastics Journal

“With this issue (17th) we cross the threshold of 100 published articles which is quite a significant number for a highly specialized journal,” editor Ivan Cuk writes …

Cuk, who sits on the Faculty of Sport at the University of Ljubljana (SLO), has been the editor-in-chief of the journal since its first publication in 2009 …

The February 2015 edition of the journal includes six articles on varying topics, including “Low Back Pain and the Possible Role of Pilates in Artistic Gymnastics” and an analysis of “Landing Characteristics In Men’s Floor Exercise at the 2004 European Championship” as well as historical notes on Larissa Latynina (USSR), Vera Caslavska (CZE) and Viktor Cukarin (USSR). …

Download the entire Journal on the publication’s website here.

FIG

click for larger version
click for larger version

from THE SIMULATION OF COACHES’ MANUAL GUIDANCE TECHNIQUES DURING THE PERFORMANCE OF A GYMNASTIC SKILL
Damian Jeraj and Thomas Heinen

(via FIG)

Conquering Fear (1996) by Scott Moore

Scott Moore, who was one of the first African-Americans to compete in gymnastics at University of Michigan in the 1980s, wrote a book about conquering fear.

… the boys program director and girls option vault coach at GTC Gymnastics in Rochester Hills, Mich. …

“When I won my two Big Ten titles I was the only African American in the Big Ten competing [in] gymnastics at that time,” said Moore.

When Moore represented Team USA at the 1987 World Cup in sports acrobatics, he was the only African-American tumbler competing. …

Moore inspires others to conquer fear

The only way to buy the book is directly from Scott – stmoore357 (a) yahoo.com

Shannon Miller – It’s Not About Perfect

New autobiography available April 21st, 2015.

Not About Perfect

Amazon

Mary Lou Retton:

“Shannon Miller is a champion both on and off the mat. She is not only one of the greatest gymnasts in the history of the sport, she is a great person. Her courage to win as a gymnast shines through just as it did in her battle against cancer. Through and through Shannon is not only a winner but a friend as well.”

Don Tonry Invitational today

… The Yale gymnastics team will host the first Don Tonry Invitational at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 …

Tonry-portrait

The invitational is named in honor of the former U.S. Olympian (1960) and Yale gymnastics coach, who served as an instructor and inspirational mentor to generations of student-athletes. …

Awards bearing Tonry’s likeness will be presented by his long-time friend and U.S. Olympic teammate Abie Grossfeld

Yale News – Don Tonry Invitational honors late gymnastics coach

related – Don TONRY (1935-2013) in the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame – inducted 1980