FIG’s coach education webinars

The first series ends today, Thursday, 9 July, with ‘Training for a Growing Child: Understanding growth and maturation for optimal training in children’.

Due to COVID-19, almost 40 Academies and Age Group Programmes were cancelled so far.  These online presentations are an attempt to partly replace those.

They are freely available to everyone via the FIG Education Channel YouTube channel.

Bookmark that URL. It’s not always easy to find.

A second series is now planned tentatively for October and November, which will go more deeply into each discipline.

physical preparation for injury prevention

Dr. Keith Russell is one of the smartest Gymnastics people I know

A former Canadian Men’s National Coach, personal coach of Olympians Warren Long and James Rozon, Keith is expert in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and sports injury.

This is the first of a series of FIG Education online seminars organized because all regular FIG camps and clinics have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

One of Keith’s recommendations is to do fewer reps in our yearly training plans by working more strength / power and less muscular endurance. Especially for advanced gymnasts.

I recall Dr. Bill Sands stating a high level gymnasts should be able to complete all their strength / power training in about 30 minutes / day.

I like Keith’s simple graphics that help explain complex issues – knee ligament injuries, for example.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.  (53min)

Here are some upcoming webinars.

click for larger version of this screen grab

NEW – National Gymnastics Curriculum

Here’s a recently announced coach education program. Prices are not yet available.

… Positive Approach Philosophy and consists of curriculum ranging from recreational gymnastics to elite gymnastics. …

This program was designed to be used as auxiliary education to standard USAG education material. The National Gymnastics Curriculum was created in collaboration with some of the country’s most renowned gymnasts and coaches including Liang Chow, Kim Zmeskal, Yin Alvarez, Jake Dalton, and others.

Details –

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Coaching TIPS from Rick McCharles

Gymnastics British Colombia asked me to put together an online coach education presentation to help fill the gap until our normal Canadian National Coaching Certification Program courses resume.

I decided to add voice over to a presentation I’ve done at various Congress events since 2014.  I’ve called it …

Gymnastics Basics:

SAFest, FUNest, FASTest, EASiest, LeastSpottingest 😀

In fact it’s a random collection of some of my favourite WAG & MAG drills that work well in a wide number of different kinds of competitive clubs.  It includes some progressions that I find infrequently used in the 30+ Gyms I visit each year.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (44min)

Nick Ruddock – Yurchenko Vaulting

Nick donated his time putting this presentation together for Dave Tilley’s fundraiserFeeding America’s Hunger Relief.

Some highlights from Nick’s presentation:

  • when you see a problem in the air, the CAUSE was something earlier:
    • physical ability
    • prerequisites (e.g. handstand shapes)
    • acrobatic prerequisites (e.g. Whip, Round-off, etc.)
  • use as much of the 25m vault run as possible
  • create > conserve > convert. Convert as much energy as possible to the vault itself.
  • actually, each athlete has an optimal speed of run. Not all are fast enough to handle their maximum run speed.
  • visual – what do they see? 
  • rigid body
  • shapes at each phase
  • tempo, rhythm
  • arms as straight / tight as possible on Round-off
  • knees as straight / tight as possible on the Springboard
  • hips up quickly on the preflight
  • head watches the board before preflight, but eyes watching hands on contact
  • watch the horse on post-flight. (Lifting the head too soon can later cause early twist problems.)

Extending the hips while on the Springboard generates rotation through an indirect reaction force of the feet on the board. Nick has gymnasts train backward layouts on Tramp without using the arms — requiring them to use hip extension to generate rotation.

Gainer backward layouts would be an alternative to this, requiring hip extension on takeoff.

Note that Nick doesn’t actually show the full Yurchenko vault. As Edouard Iarov first made clear to me, once the hands leave the horse it’s too late to change height, distance or total rotation.  The flight phase is more related to trampoline basics than vault.

Click PLAY or watch it for yourself on YouTube.

My Gym is Online – Gymnastics conference

Lorraine Currie of Futures Gymnastics in Canada has organized an interesting event — an online Gymnastics Congress.

The theme …

Resilience 2020

Five days – May 11-15, 2020.

Cost is low:

$15 for any one stream: Business, Competitive, Recreational

$25 all access.

Proceeds going towards COVID-19 vaccine research at University of Pittsburgh and Sunnybrook Hospital.

Many big name presenters whom I’d love to hear.  This is a COVID-19 alternative for coaches who normally book themselves for one of the annual Congress events.




Coaching clinic for COVID19 Food Banks

Free online. LIVE this Saturday, May 2nd streaming from SHIFT’s YouTube and Facebook Page.

Fund-raising by donation.

  • 10:30am – 12:00pm ET – Dave Tilley – Intro, Fundraising Details, and Strength and Conditioning
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Dr. Josh Eldridge – Fueling For Performance: What Coaches and Gymnasts Need To Know About Nutrition
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Nick Ruddock – Essential Techniques for Yurchenko Vaulting
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Tom Meadows – Essential Techniques for Men’s High Bar Dismounts
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Dr. Ali Arnold – Come Back Stronger: Mental Toughness Techniques for Coaches and Gymnasts
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm – Jordyn Wieber, Chris Brooks – Developing Healthy and High Performing Cultures
  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Jessica O’Beirne, Spencer Barnes, Kensley Behel – GymCastic Podcast Episode
  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Colin Van Wicklen – Live Q&A Session
  • 7:00pm – 8:00pm – Madison Kocian, Kyla Ross, Val Kondos Field – Live Q&A Session

After the event, you’ll be able to watch any of the presenters on the SHIFT Movement Science YouTube channel.