Entries Tagged 'ethics' ↓

27 things parents of gymnasts should avoid

Tony Retrosi:

I cannot remember the first time I read this but I remember being a VERY rookie coach handing this out to all the parents of my current team. It was written by J. Howard, Professional gymnastics coach since 1980, Tumbling, Double mini and Trampoline coach since 1986, gymnastics author of 26 books …

Here are 27 things parents of gymnasts should avoid doing so they don’t interfere with the positive benefits:

1 Don’t compare your gymnast’s progress with that of other gymnasts.

2 Don’t become overly ego-involved with your gymnast’s success or lack of it.

3 Don’t take judge’s scores too seriously, especially at the lower levels.

4 Don’t forget the need for fun in gymnastics.

5 Don’t stand for unacceptable behavior from your gymnast during practice or competitions.

read the rest

male gymnasts better than female at landing

Male gymnasts are, as a group, far more skilled at landing.

That’s partly strength. Partly technique.

Uchimura STICK

Compare Uchimura’s soft-as-a-cat landing to this surprisingly typical WAG landing.

Aliya landing

What Aliya did on that Beam dismount was to “punch’ on landing, instead of bringing impact forces to zero. She had no controlled landing. WAG judges are far too lenient on landing deductions (aside from the stupid ‘chest low’ rule). WAG gives very little reward to excellent landings.

Dr. George advises the gymnast see the landing as soon as possible. Reduce forces to zero by absorbing over time and distance.

open on landing
Leg Impact and Landing

USA WAG has added a 0.1 “stick” bonus for 2014. Let’s see if that helps. Gummi points out that the stick bonus may also result in more injuries in competition, especially on twisting landings like Amanar.

related – Coaching Youth Gymnastics by USA Gymnastics: SAFE landings

(via wogymnastika)

___ Update:

Here is Aliya landing that dismount in the Olympics. Quite a bit better.

Aliya Beam dismount

(via wogymnastika)

2017-2020 MAG Code of Points

At Worlds FIG MTC Chair Steve BUTCHER facilitated a committee round table to brainstorm ideas to improve the Men’s Code.

I include here a few samples of the discussion.


Are there a set of “first” or fundamental principles that underlay the Codes and by which the TCs frame discussions regarding specific issues or decisions, and if so, what are they?

Safety, Fair Play, Universality


Can we move from 5 to 4 element groups per exercise?

Idea for P Bars:

Combine the Long Swing and Underswing element groups (the Long Swing group is very difficult for taller gymnasts)

Idea for H Bar:

Add a requirement for flight elements with salto over the bar

Download a copy of the Powerpoint Presentation to see the rest.

I’m happy to see the committee so open minded. Let’s wait and see what changes end up being made. The rules for Horizontal Bar and Floor Exercise are dreadful now. Almost any change would be for the better.


… The WTC and MTC both met in sunny and warm Cancun (MEX) for their final meetings of the year from 5-10 November. Each committee met individually, as well as jointly …

Let’s hope they jointly came up with ways to IMPROVE the Codes.


via Nico

IOC “Agenda 2020″

The International Olympic Committee proposed changes to the bidding process and sports program for the Olympics among 40 recommendations to be voted on in December.

The 40 recommendations “lay out a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic movement,” the IOC said. The proposals will be discussed at an IOC session in Monaco on Dec. 8-9. If approved in December, the IOC will then decide on how to implement the recommendations. …

IOC proposes adding Olympic events, bid reforms

2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

Looks good to me. The downside for Artistic Gymnastics is that we hog a large percentage of the events and medals.

London 2012 had 10,568 athletes in 302 events; Rio 2016 will have 306 events.

If IOC wants to add sports, athletes or more events, they’ll have to take away from somewhere else.

WAG and MAG are at risk.

it’s on us to stop sexual assault

A number of professional athletes have donated their time to support the message that sexual assault is never okay. Join them in taking the pledge to stop sexual assault at ItsOnUs.org.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Julius Thomas
Aly Raisman
Caroline Wozniacki
Jason Hammel
Khris Davis
Rudy Gay


11yr-old golfer commits to NCAA

Brad Dalke was 12 years old in the summer of 2010, and entering the seventh grade, when he announced a verbal commitment to play college golf at Oklahoma.

Dalke has been trumped by a full year. Last month, 11-year-old Ben James of Milford, Conn., told Connecticut head coach Dave Pezzino he plans to carry a UConn bag beginning in the fall of 2021. …

James Golf

Golf Week – 11-year-old commits to Connecticut

How much stupider can this get?

Can I verbally commit my unborn daughter to compete for OSU?


Jag Gym:

angry-cop-mall-300x198Think about it: The man is a police officer. He has the power of the law behind him, not to mention a fully loaded gun at his hip. Did he really need to shout to be heard when I was sitting in my car, pulled over, ready to cooperate?

Yet, how often are we guilty of being harsh with our students, athletes, subordinates or children?

I know I am guilty of it.

Too often I will continue to hammer long after the point has been made, despite the fact that the person in front of me is clearly remorseful. Too frequently I will forget that my words and actions can shake someone to the core …


Coaches need to stay calm. Be dispassionate. Learn to overcome anger.

judging artistry – neither reliable nor valid

Research study out of University of Ljubljana, Slovenia:

Due to its nature and relatively poor definitions in the Code of points, judging of artistry may suffer from serious flaws in reliability and validity.

We have used the balance beam artistry evaluation forms given by 5 execution judges at World Championship in Tokyo 2011 to analyze reliability and validity.

Data on 194 competitors was gathered. Deductions were received by a highly variable number of competitors from separate judges in the same components of artistry.

The variability of average total artistry deduction was relatively large, ranging from 0.18 to 0.39 points.

The average correlation coefficient in total artistry deductions between all judge pairs was 0.6±0.06 and average correlation coefficient in total deductions from execution score was 0.73±0.04, p < 0.001.

Vika on beamKendall’s coefficient W revealed significant systematic over- or under-rating of judges in the components of artistry of presentation, sureness of performance and variation in rhythm, but also in total artistry deductions (W values ranged from 0.05 to 0.53, p < 0.001 for all W coefficients).

We conclude that neither reliability nor validity of artistry judging was satisfactory in this analysis. Further thorough evaluations of judging performance in artistry are needed to guide accommodations and hopefully improvements in this field. …

Authors are grateful to Nelli Kim, FIG Women’s Technical Committee President who supported this study during and after the World Championship in Tokyo 2011.

Open the study as a PDF.

That was using the rules of the last quadrennial. Still, it’s my belief that different people cannot judge artistry consistently.

Instead, FIG judges should simply apply the Code as written now, deducting for errors in form, body position and rhythm. The most artistic will be rewarded. Consistently.

(via Science of Gymnastics Journal)

Muslim women in sport

hey coach – put the phone away

Tony Retrosi:

When you are in the gym, DON’T BRING YOUR CELL PHONE IN WITH YOU.

I know you “just want to video that skill”.

Don’t just put down your smartphone, put it away. Once it is out of sight, it’s less likely to distract you and shows your gymnasts that they are priority. …

Kids Learn from our examples

I’m with Tony on this one.

Certainly some coaches manage their smart phones well in the gym. But most don’t. Especially the addicts.

That goes for the gymnasts, too, of course.

Jordan Jovtchev phone

Dipa Karmakar | Gymnastics in India

India Express – Shrivani Nayak:

‘Dipa is great, but for India to succeed it must look beyond the specifics.”

Jim Holt has coached 7 nations at a fourteen World Championships over the last quarter century, developing gymnastics in far-flung corners. Currently, employed by the Sports Authority of India, the former University of Washington coach has been overseeing the Indian programme. Based out of New Delhi, and frequenting the NIS in Patiala for conducting coaches courses, the American from Seattle puts into perspective Dipa Karmakar’s performances this season, but urges that much more needs to be done if gymnastics has to become a mass-sport that consistently fetches medals for India.

I can state with certainty, given that I’m well connected internationally, and that Dipa Karmakar is currently one of the best-known female vaulters in the world. It is a testimony to her achievement and to coach Nandi’s ambition that she has accomplished a bronze medal at Commonwealth Games and finished 10th (by far highest placing of all gymnasts in India’s history — men or women) at the 2014 World Championships on this event. …

Indian gymnastics is not and should not be Dipa Karmakar and Ashish Kumar. There are a couple thousand kids (in at least 24 or 25 of the states) right now that are India’s future pipeline. …

Personally when I think of Dipa attempting the difficult Produnova, I do not think skills should be competed without achieving mastery of the same.

That said, I only have the highest personal regard, respect, admiration and affection for Dipa. I’ll repeat — I wish she could compete for the men and I’m totally serious about that. Heck, I’d put her on the men’s floor and vault team tomorrow if the rules would allow …

Nandi and Karmakar
Coach Nandi

read more – Vaulting ambition, soaring dreams

Click through to see how and why gymnasts from developing nations like India are the ones, so far, risking the dangerous handspring double front vault.

Click PLAY or watch her Commonwealths double front on YouTube. (15.1)

Click PLAY or watch her Asian Games qualifier on YouTube. (15.2)

Click PLAY or watch her Asian Games Final on YouTube.

So that’s a vault that either scores 0.0. Or 15+. :-(

Nonsensical, in my opinion. That kind of deep, dangerous landing must be deducted more.

Simplest solution is to ban the skill. Next best would be to devalue significantly.

Beam – Teramoto v Mustafina

One of the more controversial decisions at Worlds 2014.

Who should have won the Bronze medal in the Beam final?

Aliya Mustafina missing a 0.5 EGR or Asuka Teramoto?

Click PLAY or watch Aliya on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Asuka on YouTube.

3 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS 5.500 + 8.666 = 14.166
4 TERAMOTO Asuka JPN 5.600 + 8.500 = 14.100


“I knew my beam routine was not the most difficult one and I had no expectations to make it to the podium today. It was sheer luck.”

things your athlete needs to know about you

Anne Josephson:

Here are my top ten quick tips.

1. Be happy to see them, greet them and say goodbye to them no matter how practice went.

4. Set high, but realistic expectation and goals for them.

5. Discipline them with consistency, compassion and fairness.

10. Put their physical, emotional and psychological well being ahead of gymnastics. The development of the child must always take priority over the development of the gymnast.

In short, as the great coach John Wooden said, “seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”


Click through to read the rest.

High School in Leavenworth, WA