coach-parent-athlete relationship

book coverIf a child is going to be a successful gymnast, they need parental and family support.

But what kind of support?

How best can coaches and parents work together to best help a developing child grow and an athlete and person?

Anne Josephson:

The coach-parent-athlete triad is a complicated yet important part of the development of a happy, healthy athlete. Establishing a positive partnership, rooted in trust and mutual respect, doesn’t happen by accident.

In fact, if there is not a deliberate effort to develop and maintain a healthy relationship between each of the parties, most certainly there will be problems ranging from misunderstandings to full blown distrust. We all can tell horror stories …

10 Habits of Coaches, Parents and Athletes in Strong and Healthy Relationships

Tumbl Trak floor bar

Mary – of Traveling Handstandsloves the Tumbl Trak Floor Bar.

Mary velcro Bar

Me too.

The best feature is the Velcro base. It sticks. And the two pads are great security for advanced pirouetting.

Tumbl Trak floor bar

48 inches long, it costs $169.

backward handspring balking

This is very dangerous.

balking

I’ve found balking to affect far more WAG than MAG. That it’s almost always on a backwards skill. And that it tends to be more common around the competitive season. Stress may be one factor.

Gymnastics Mental Coach offers some good advice – How To Remedy Balking In Your Gymnastics Routines…

I love tumbling up on to a table of mats. Good technique. Safer. And it provides no incentive to balk.

balking on tumbling

More advice here – how to deal with balking

Santa Monica flying rings 1970s

Video courtesy of Jeff Reid. Acrobatics/Gymnastics has been part of Muscle Beach since 1934. Glenn Sundby started coming here in the early 1930, and in 1963 he promoted Gymfest at the original Muscle Beach …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I made it there myself once in the late 1970s. Swinging Rings landing in sand was definitely the most impressive highlight. :-)

via Steve Arkell

Sever’s Disease (Heel Pain) in Gymnasts

Dr. Josh Eldridge put together an overview article.

heel-pain-in-gymnasts-2

on mental blocks

Steve Arkell linked to the most detailed article on the topic I’ve yet seen. It was published by USAG Technique magazine in 2009.

16 WAYS TO OVERCOME PSYCHOLOGICAL (MENTAL) BLOCK IN GYMNASTICS

… Occasionally, a clear-cut starting point identifies the origin of the psychological blocking problem – a serious fall, a near catastrophe or a painful collision may precipitate the blocking. Perhaps, observing such events happening to another was the precipitating condition. More often, however, the cause is difficult to pinpoint. Our research shows that blocking has a number of predictable characteristics (Feigley, Robbins & Berger, 1989):

it generalizes backwards within a sequence of skills. For example, blocking on the back somersault phase of the roundoff, back handspring, back somersault sequence quickly spreads to the back handspring and frequently to the round-off itself.

it generalizes across skills. For example, a problem on the back salto on the beam quickly spreads to a back salto on the floor and/or to a back walkover on the beam or the floor.

Athletes susceptible to blocking have similar characteristics. They are … very bright fast learners, at least initially. …

Frankly, we do not know what causes psychological blocking. The cause remains a mystery despite some educated guesses. …

4. MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF EMOTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE BLOCKING …

8. NEVER MISLEAD THE ATHLETE ABOUT WHETHER YOU WILL OR WILL NOT SPOT. …

9. LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE …

Have gymnasts with the problem talk to one another. Let them realize that they are not alone; they are not the only one. This is especially effective if they have contact with an older, more experienced gymnast who has successfully overcome similar problems with blocking. …

16. DESIGN THE GYMNAST’S OPTIONAL ROUTINES TO ELIMINATE THE BLOCKED SKILL

Download a PDF version of that article from USAG.

psychology of Beam

Grishina – ACL and dislocated patella

Translator: Lauren Cammenga

Article Author: Natalia Plekhanovaya, All Sport:

“I injured my knee at the end of February during the verification training before the Russian championship,” said Anastasia Grishina. “I was executing my vault, a double-twisting Yurchenko, underrotated, and landed badly. My kneecap was dislocated …

At the Central Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics (CITO) I was told that I had a an anterior cruciate ligament tear and would require surgery. My operation was on April 6th at CITO. I was in the hospital for two weeks. …

Today, July 13th, I will already be able to jump and slowly begin working on the apparatus. I’ll be able to load my knee, but not fanatically …

Anastasia Grishina: Despite everything, I’m going to try to make a second Olympics!

Grishina
Grishina

It sounds very much like what happened to Peng Peng Lee just before the 2012 Olympics. Same apparatus. Same skill. Competition landing mats.