volunteering at the Gymnastics Competition



Thanks Debbie.

Kristle Lowell on Mental Blocks

One of the better articles I can recall on the topic was written by the 2013 Women’s World Double Mini-tramp Champion, Kristle Lowell.

… For me true mental blocks are all about confidence. When I have confidence my mental blocks are not an issue. When something shakes my confidence I lose all my skills again. …

The best advice I can give for anyone who is going through mental blocks is to surround yourself with people who build your confidence. If you are an athlete, sit down and have serious talk with your coach. For me I needed a lot of positive. I was really hard on myself and was fortunate enough to train with George Drew. …

I have found that screaming and yelling does not fix mental blocks. It shakes an athletes confidence because it makes them feel publicly humiliated. For athletes with mental blocks reprimand or criticism is best done quietly and in private. …

Athletes do not choose to have mental blocks. Treating them like they do have a choice only causes more frustration. …

Reducing stress outside the gym can really help. …

Another trick I picked up from my artistic gymnastics coach Jessica Holtz is to say what I think about out loud. For every double mini pass, I try to have the same mental preparation of what I say to myself. … I have to remind myself to talk to myself while doing skills. Eventually, I do not have to say these verbal queues out loud. When it becomes habit, I can just say them to myself in my mind.

Something unusual I do when really stuck on a skill is to think about an emotion that gets me to run. I think of memories that make me angry or things that make me happy and calm depending on what the pass needs. When I need to do my record 8.0 pass, I think about something hurtful someone once said to me and how I need to run hard to prove them wrong. …

coach George Drew
coach George Drew

Trampoline Pundit – Mental Blocks

Very practical advice.

I find that serious mental blocks occur mostly to females, not males. They start the same with boys and girls, but boys more often find a way past.

Serious mental blocks are most common during competitive season. The stress of the upcoming competition can trigger one. If you drop the skill from the routine, I find it often comes back the week following the meet. This is a good coaching strategy IF you can drop the blocked skill. It’s good to have a couple of different dismounts ready, for example, so if something goes wrong with your more difficult dismount (mental block, injury, etc.) you have a back-up.

I find that coaches who rely on a lot of spotting have more athletes with mental blocks. Withdrawing the spot can trigger one. The coach not being available for workout one day can trigger one.

Confidence means self-confidence, not confidence in the coach.

when should a gymnast switch clubs?


… Here’s the thing: Marriages break up. Siblings stop speaking. Life long friendships end. So we should hardly be surprised that family-gym relationships go south.

And while I do think that chronic gym hopping is a bad thing for an athlete’s development (and probably indicates something going on within the family), there are times when a family needs to think seriously about moving to a new club. …

So, how do you know if it’s time to move on? Here are eight things to consider:

1. Logistical Reasons
2. Financial Reasons
3. Safety Reasons
4. Inappropriate Behavior of Coaches
5. Major Disagreement with a Core Philosophy of Program
6. Need for a Different Type of Gym Program
7. Loss of Faith in Club or Coaches
8. Need for a Fresh Start


I most often advise parents and gymnasts against switching clubs. It doesn’t work, more often than not. Kids most often club hop right out of the sport.

There are a few exceptions including:

• If a child’s coach moves, the gymnast should consider moving with them.

• On graduating High School, consider moving to a College coach.

• If attempting to make National Team, consider moving to a program with other National Team members.

Gaby Douglas was a success story. She left her gym of 6 1/2 years for not all the right reasons. But Chow’s progress with her was extraordinary.

Chow Gabby

Let’s wait and see if her most recent club hop works.

UCLA 196.800 – Mikaela Gerber interview


Final score: UCLA 196.800, Cal 195.425. Peng-Peng Lee wins UB and BB with 9.95s and Sadiqua Bynum wins FX with a 9.925!


Watch Peng’s Beam and Sadiqua’s FX here.

As usual, Bruin fans experience a lot of downs. And ups. With everyone healthy, everyone hitting, UCLA could be competitive with the best of the best. Sam competed only 1 apparatus this meet due to muscle stiffness.

related – Best of Sam Peszek’s interviews, so far – Bruin Banter 2015 – Episode 3: Mikaela Gerber.

This includes interviews with some of the UCLA parents. :-)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ban tobogganing – it’s too DANGEROUS

My home town Calgary is not quite as stupid as, for example, Hamilton. :-)

But we’re pretty stupid. Socialist nations like Canada have governments with enough spare time to invent city bylaws like: “those who slide outside the city’s 18 approved hills could face a $100 fine”.

Calgary’s media has made much ado about the city’s tobogganing rules in recent weeks — to the point where Mayor Naheed Nenshi blamed “bored journalists” trying to stir up controversy.

Now Rick Mercer has taken it upon himself to poke a bit of fun at (the) bylaw ..

(For the record, the city does not recall ever giving out a tobogganing fine. Ever.)


Click PLAY or watch comedian Rick Mercer on YouTube.

Certainly no Calgarian I know pays any attention to tobogganing restrictions. We slide wherever we want. But with one eye out in case a Toboggan Cop shows up. :-)

related – Tobogganing Bans Or Restrictions Growing Across North America

Over protective restrictions on youth activity contribute to child obesity. We want kids tobogganing more, not less.

be a HAPPIER GYMNAST in 2015

1. Stop comparing yourself to others

5. Say thank you more often …

6. List three good things that happened at each and every workout.

9. Let go of limiting beliefs.


Click through for the rest. This is part of a HAPPIER series by Anne Josephson.


Sugar = The White Death

Fed Up is a 2014 American documentary film directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the US, presenting evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem, and points to the monied lobbying power of “Big Sugar” in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.