new pit at Matsport RSA

The South African Gymnastics Federation’s National Training Centre at Matsport Centre in Eldoraigne Centurion, has undergone a makeover

The pit, which is 26 meters long and 2m deep, has been under construction during the month of December. The unique pit has a trampoline base 0.7 meters above the pit floor, with the remaining 1.3 meters to be filled with foam. This trampoline at the base of the pit allows for less dust and more elasticity for when the gymnast lands on the foam. …

pit construction

South African Gymnastics Federation

FIG Age Group Training Camp and competition this weekend.

Comment from Dr. Bill Sands:

Just a short comment on trampoline pits. I have seen, more than once, that the weight of the foam on the trampoline bed presses the bed down such that the foam rests on the bottom floor of the pit. I have built a camera, light, and telescoping pole to look under the trampoline so that one can see if the trampoline remains off the floor. I know of one very serious injury where the victim hit the concrete of a trampoline-type pit. Moreover, when I stood in the foam of this pit, I could jump and my feet struck the floor.

I would just like to caution people to take considerable care in using this type of pit design. Although pit foam seems incredibly light, by accumulation the foam can weigh enough to push the trampoline bed down to the floor surface that the bed was designed to avoid.

Chellsie Memmel – Overcoming Fear

If Chellsie Memmel had to overcome fear problems, everyone did. She’s a warrior.


… you are not alone in having fears. Everyone goes through it at some point or another.

The first major fear I had was learning my blind change on bars when i was eight or nine. I could do them really well on the pit bar with a spot, but fear was stopping me from going any further. …

My dad was finally sick of hearing about it so after a practice at Salto (my old gym) we were at M&M (my parent’s gym) and he said “let’s see one and see how scary it really is.” He built the blocks up so he could be there to spot and was expecting a not-so-great blind since he knew that I was scared. I got up and did …

read more – Tumlb Talk – Overcoming Fear


Gymnastike’s premium web series, Beyond the Routine, will be featuring Chellsie Memmel next.

Knee Injuries In Gymnastics

Dave Tilley and Joe Myhren posted a detailed article on how professionals can assess risk of serious knee injury. The post opens with some alarming statistics:

Traumatic knee injuries such as ACL tears are 4-6 times higher in female athletes compared to males for jumping and landing sports, with some study models suggesting even a 10 times greater risk at baseline

This risk may be increased 10 fold for the young female athlete of high school age, meaning some models would place certain high school aged gymnasts to be 14 – 20x more likely to suffer an injury at baseline

The estimated cost of medical management following traumatic knee injuries is between $17,000 – $25,000 per injury.These numbers can further increase with more complex injuries that require extensive medical interventions and rehabilitation.

Some traumatic knee injuries have been associated with potential long term loss of sports participation, lowered academic performance, long term disability, major functional deficits, and a significant risk of future meniscal injuries/ knee osteoarthritis.


Best practice is to avoid serious knee injury. Teach great technique from a young age to lower risk later in life.

The article includes many graphics. A couple of examples:



If interested, click through.

Prevention of Traumatic and Progressive Knee Injuries In Gymnastics: Assessing Risk Using Jumping, Landing, and Squatting Technique

Mykayla Skinner – Cheng

2014 Fiesta Bowl Invitational
February 8th, 2014

Note that one hand barely touches the horse. She should lower the preflight.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

via GymFever

Wayne Wright on racial discrimination

WayneTo San Jose State University women’s gymnastics head coach Wayne Wright, recent issues of racial discrimination on San Jose State’s campus hit close to home.

One of only two African American women’s gymnastics head coaches in the NCAA, Wright’s teams over his 13-year tenure have featured gymnasts of all races and from all walks of life. So when University administration called for volunteers to form the Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination, Wright answered the call. …

Personally, what are you hoping to learn from participating with this committee?

I’ve been here for quite some time and I think San Jose is very diverse. I’ve never seen any type of “ism”, whether it’s racism or sexism

read more – Gymnastics Coach Wright Serves On Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination

anti-bullying TV spot


“A day at work doesn’t look like this. What about a day at school?”

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Lais Souza – Stay Strong

Reports are that Lais is improving, little-by-little.

Lais Souza, Brazilian gymnast turned freestyle skier, was injured after a training accident in Salt Lake City. She has suffered severe damage to her spine leaving her without movement in her arms or legs. The 25 year old previously helped her team qualify and compete in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. …

Souza was skiing with her Canadian coach Ryan Snow at Park City and it is known she was wearing a helmet at the time of injury. …


Click PLAY or watch a montage on YouTube.

Like most everyone, I assumed Lais was injured training Aerial Skiing for the Olympics. The video hints at that.

Actually she ran into a tree on a warm-up run.

One of the biggest names in Winter Olympic sport, Shaun White, was injured training in Sochi. But says he should still be able to compete.

SAFETY should be the #1 priority at the Winter Olympics.

related – Winter Olympics 2010: luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili killed in training accident