AP reporter Will Graves on GymCastic

Will Graves is a mainstream sports reporter who actually understands Gymnastics. He was nervous to be exposed as a fraud when talking to Spencer and Jessica, but I found his perspective legit.

(Says he’s been schooled by Nancy Armour and Scott Bregman. 😀)

All three attended Doha Worlds in person.

Will’s outsider’s perspective is interesting in every way. I particularly liked his view on interpreting Simone to the rest of the world. The general public might not know Gymnastics, but they certainly know the name Simone Biles.

Will agrees she’s the most dominant athlete in any sport right now.

In fact, he ponders whether her performance at Worlds prelims might turn out to be peak Simone.

Happily Will’s daughter just started Gymnastics. Hopefully she’ll get him hooked for many years to come. 🙂

Listen up:

341: The Call Is Coming from Inside the House

Tony Retrosi on “tribalism” in U.S. Gymnastics

It seems inevitable that the current USAG will be disbanded.

Some organization will (eventually) replace it.

No former USAG Board members will be returning. But personally I’d like to see Tom Forster — for example — stay on in his current role. Perhaps some others.

Many in the burn it all down camp assume that everyone currently involved is responsible. That things will be better if everyone is new.

Why? There’s no logic to that. A brand new group of volunteers and staff will stumble and bungle until they get experience.

Tony Retrosi:

We must look for ways to FIX the problem. Not the blame. Fixing the problem is good for all of us. Not one side or the other.

I truthfully believe the best days of gymnastics lay ahead of us. We have great things to accomplish in all disciplines and aspects of the program.

We can work to protect ALL participants while remaining dominant at international competitions. Look at the genuine smiles from the gymnasts at World Championships in Doha and Russia. …

End the Tribalism In Our Sport BEFORE It Ends Us.


Arthur Gander Memorial Results

1. Jade Barbosa Brazil 14.250 13.550 —— 13.600 41.400
2. Flavia Saraiva Brazil 14.350 —— 12.350 13.950 40.650
3. Eythora Thorsdottir NED 13.300 13.250 —— 13.400 39.950

full results

1. Marcel Nguyen Germany 57.250
2. Nikita Nagornyy Russia 56.600
3. Oliver Hegi Switzerland 55.950

full results

Ron Galimore resigns

The most senior remaining employee of USA Gymnastics resigned.

Galimore was elected a member of the FIG Executive Committee through to 2020. I haven’t heard if he’ll resign from that position as well.

Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance – a review

Expecting to enjoy this book, it was even better than anticipated.

This book is must read for any Beam / Floor coach.

Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance is a thankful celebration of Gymnastics, a refreshing respite in an era where conversations are often dominated by the crimes of an evil doctor.

Miss Val is one of the most successful College coaches all time. Yet, as a dancer, she doesn’t pretend to be a technical expert or biomechanist. Her specialities are artistry, musicality, dance and choreography. A non-gymnast, she became one of the greatest NCAA Beam coaches in history learning on the job.

Even more interesting to me is her skills set of all those MANY things that coaches need outside Gymnastics.

Miss Val is a case study on those MANY other things.

Surprisingly, I also recommend the book to non-Gymnastics readers. Life lessons for all. I learned a lot.

She discusses one issue I hadn’t seen addressed before: the awkward words ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’. She tells of Jordyn Wieber’s dislike of both words. I use victim as much as possible over survivor.

I loved the section on face tattoos. UCLA does NOT wear face tattoos. As an old dinosaur, I agree with Miss Val on this. Can we start phasing those out? Please.

For once an author openly admits her ghost writer is a contributor. That’s Steve Cooper, one of the GymCastic team.

Aly Raisman doesn’t do that, for example. Her co-author is journalist Blythe Lawrence.

I enjoyed hearing her team rules at UCLA. It’s a challenge to motivate young women away from home for the first time.

Miss Val didn’t talk enough about the high rate of injury in College Gymnastics, in my opinion. UCLA has had more than their share. I’ve always attributed that to her tendency to recruit Elite gymnasts over Level 10s. Elites tend to arrive with more injuries, I suspect.

Miss Val reads the audio book. It makes the content more personal. Get the audio version if you can.


Eythora Floor – Memorial Gander 2018

Coming back from injury, Eythora was not on the Dutch team for Worlds. But she did compete World Cup.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (Note the dance in to start.)

spotting Bars on blocks

Spotting blocks are even better than a channel pit for introducing new skills on Bars and Horizontal Bar. There are hundreds of different configurations.

For example, introducing forward Giant.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Al Fong went through 5 prototypes before deciding on length, width, channel gap, and adjustable heights.

Great for the kids. And great for the coaches who will suffer fewer spotting injuries.

Tumbl Trak – Al Fong Spotting Blocks System