Nick Ruddock on planning

… experience is like a long drive without the need for GPS. It’s driving a route that I have driven 100’s of times before. I would be totally familiar with the surroundings, my schedule, my route etc. I can hit traffic, or even face a diversion and I will still reach my destination. Better yet, previous experience of the journey even allows me to anticipate problems, and avoid them by taking alternative roads. All the signs are in place and easy for me to read.

My inexperienced drive would have me totally reliant on the GPS. Traffic and diversions would completely throw me. I would be driving down unfamiliar territory, where I couldn’t interpret the signs or directions clearly. …

Can you see the similarities between these journeys and coaching?

Have you ever copied a baking recipe from a cook book word-for-word, yet the end product looks nothing like the photo in the book? Not even similar? Not even edible?!


TechniqueTalk is Nick’s new website.

USA World Championships selection

Marta and her committee will name the team as late as possible.

It may come down to who is strong enough, tough enough to maintain a very high level of routine readiness through both Camps. Who can stay healthy.

Alyssa Baumann, Plano, Texas/WOGA
Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio/Legacy Elite
Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express
Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Buckeye Gymnastics
Brenna Dowell, Odessa, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express
Rachel Gowey, Urbandale, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Amelia Hundley, Hamilton, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics
Bailie Key, Montgomery, Texas/Texas Dreams
Madison Kocian, Dallas/WOGA
Ashton Locklear, Hamlet, N.C./Everest Gymnastics, senior
Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters
Aly Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics
Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max
MyKayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics

The World Championships training squad will attend the training camp Sept. 12-16 and the World Selection Camp, Oct. 6-9, at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site, in Huntsville, Texas.

USAG – USA Gymnastics announces 2015 World Championships training squad


U.S. selection for Worlds

Sam Mikulak:

“I think everyone wants to have the meet of their life, but in the long scheme of things it’s not this competition that really matters. This is a test event, you could say, for world championships. We’ve got 10 weeks until worlds and whoever is going to be named on their specified events, it’s going to be very competitive.”

USA Today

Nancy Armour:

If the U.S. men want to do more than talk about winning an Olympic or world title, they should take a page out of Martha Karolyi’s playbook.

The world championships, just the competition that determines which teams go to next summer’s Rio Olympics, are still 10 weeks away. Yet the Americans went ahead and named their men’s team following Sunday’s splatfest at the U.S. gymnastics championships, with Sam Mikulak and Donnell Whittenburg earning automatic spots based on their results and Danell Leyva, Alex Naddour, Paul Ruggeri and Brandon Wynn chosen by a selection committee. …

“I feel every confident about the way we’re doing it,” men’s national team coordinator Kevin Mazeika said. “Having 10 weeks is a good thing to allow us to really solidify our lineups and function as a team. Then, when we get to Glasgow, we can hit the ground running.” …

Men’s gymnastics team could learn Olympic lesson from Martha Karolyi

I certainly don’t like the Karolyi system. Leaving selection to the very last minute puts too much pressure, too long on the girls. It will again be criticized the next time the American team has a last minute injury at one of the selection camps.

The USA is the top nation in the world for many reasons. Karolyi camps are only one.

I trust Kevin Mazeika and his coaching staff to do the right things over the next 10 weeks. Recall the 2008 Olympics when it was the men who had all the last minute injuries. Alternates were ready to step in.


Like the women, the American men have a lot of depth. Chris Brooks was 3rd AA yet is only an alternate. I’m sure many team lineups projected by the computer software they use resulted in similar final team scores.

I was surprised @jake_dalton wasn’t named some kind of alternate. I’d certainly want him at the final preparation camp(s).

Rhonda Faehn interview

Rhonda Faehn joined USA Gymnastics as the new senior vice president of the women’s program in May, following 14 years as the women’s gymnastics coach at the University of Florida. …

can you tell us a little bit about your new role with USA Gymnastics, what exactly you’re doing?

I am overseeing the entire women’s program with a main emphasis on the elite program. (I’ll be) attending every single national team camp and working side by side with Martha (Karolyi, the national team coordinator) and the national team, but also aiding and organizing many of the events and then overseeing the rest of gymnastics in the country. …

… having been to part of the last developmental camp, I think that is very exciting to see. Valeri Liukin is the developmental program director, and he seems to be doing an absolutely fantastic job. … Talks With New VP Of Women’s Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn


via @GymCastic

on the road to success …

… there are no shortcuts. :-)

road to success truck

“Our most valuable resource sits 63 feet ahead” … That would be the insurance adjuster, sitting on the roadway in front of the truck, head slowly shaking side to side.

are you a coach or a teacher?

Years ago, legendary basketball coach John Wooden told people that he didn’t see himself as a coach as much as a teacher. He referred to himself as an educator, and the game of basketball was merely a platform to instruct his athletes about winning in life. He succeeded profoundly. …

Traditional Coach Teacher
One-way communication. Two-way interaction.
Yells orders. Facilitates learning.
Confronts mistakes by shouting. Confronts mistakes with listening.
Focuses on what needs to be done. Explains how and why it must be done.
It’s about telling. It’s about teaching.

Are You a Coach or a Teacher?

Great article. :-)

Wooden book

Marsden on finishing 2nd

… While it seemed heartbreaking watching the Utes finish .05 behind the Florida Gators, Marsden has no regrets.

You know, never been an outcome kind of guy. I know outcome is important, but that has never been my focus. My focus has been on the process. It hurt because we got that close…” Marsden shared, “So it hurt for about a minute, but then you think, no one really expected us to do that, no one expected us to be there, and we did everything we could. The girls really left it out on the floor, did everything they could, and I believe in what I preach, and that’s all you can expect.” …

Double Double – Talking with Greg Marsden

Utah 2nd

Utah gymnastics: Red Rocks finish second to Florida at Super Six