on “Fear of Failure”

Coaches should review this article with their athletes.

Sport Psychologist Rebecca Smith posted an excellent, detailed breakdown of ways to overcome fear of failure.

Examples of Controllables:

Examples of Let-go-ables:
Playing time/competition order
Travel days
Academic demands

3 Steps to Overcome Fear of Failure

via Tony Smith

a successful conditioning program

by site editor Rick McCharles

The newly arrived Head Coach in a gym with over 100 competitive girls, I needed to organize a very adaptable conditioning program.

We had large numbers. We had kids with vastly different training hours. We had too few coaches to directly supervise every child.

Here’s what we did:

First half hour of training for every girl was warm-up stretching, games and “floor complex”. These were line drills adjusted to the specific needs of each ability level. Emphasis was on “form” and body position.


The second half hour was conditioning: either Partner or Individual program. Each gymnast had both programs back-to-back in a plastic sheet along with a small golf pencil to make revisions. Kids tried to finish all exercises within 30min.

specific conditioning program
specific conditioning program

Actually, both the Partner sheet and the Individual sheet had 2 programs: Medium intensity and Hard intensity. If the gymnast had training the following day, they did the Medium intensity. If no training the next day, then the Hard intensity.

Once gymnasts had their sheets, the onus was on them to do the work. The coaches stayed “free” to observe and step-in when necessary. (Coaches were steadily busy.)

At first we feared the girls would “cheat” or “slack off”. Not so. Within a couple of weeks everyone was “into it”.  The psychology of the gym was excellent. It developed intrinsic motivation.

The girls were asked to do each exercise “to exhaustion”. Until their muscles were shaking. We did not assign specific numbers of repetitions though the girls were encouraged to remember their personal records and try to beat them.


We changed both programs once a month. The individual training plan changed on the 1st of the month, the Partner plan on the 15th.

We kept about 50% of the exercises and changed the rest to something more challenging. By the end of the year girls were doing better ring strength than many of the boys!

sample – individual-conditioning (PDF)


FIG’s new offices

After stints in Geneva, Lyss and Moutier, it moved its offices to Lausanne, the Olympic capital in 2008, taking up residence in a 19th century villa at Avenue de la Gare 12, which it purchased from the city.

Over the years, the space has become too small and less adapted to modern professional needs, leading the FIG Executive Committee to invest 16.5 million Swiss francs in the construction of a new building on the neighboring lot, situated at Avenue de la Gare, number 12A.

After 26 months of construction, the 30 employees of the Federation were able to move into their new offices at the end of November. …

The FIG inaugurates its new headquarters in Lausanne


Renmore Gymnastics, Ireland

Head Coach Sally Batley:

Last week Renmore Gymnastics was honoured to receive two awards, the first ‘Competitive club of the year’, the second ‘Innovative club of the year’. These results in my opinion go hand in hand, we have achieved competitive results by our use of innovation. Our recent successes are a direct result of implementing new methodology in our training, of being open enough to say we are learning, we do not know everything.

Now as the gymnasts start to achieve foundation results within their High Performance pathway I am encountering for the first time a strange phenomenon… judges, coaches, sometimes strangers coming to shake my hand and congratulate us on doing a great job.

Coaches asking how we have achieved these results, judges thanking us for the pleasure of watching the girls compete. Those of you that know me would also know that I do not take compliments very naturally either… normally I would make some excuse for how it’s not as it seems and then change the subject. Well this weekend I fought these natural impulses and I just smiled and thanked those that approached me for their complimentary words …



I’ve been following the progress of Renmore Gymnastics in Galway, Ireland for years. As always success is never overnight. This club has been committed and focused on success for a long, long time. Sally and her team deserve these accolades.


10 Reasons I Love Aimee Boorman

Anne Josephson:

3. She understands that the number one reason kids quit sports is that it is no longer fun—so she makes it fun. “We knew early on that it had to be fun for Simone and if it wasn’t fun, she wasn’t going to want to do it. She would go pick another sport …”

9. She has cares more about the big picture for her athletes than the results. “I just want her to love life,” Aimee said. “That’s it. Whatever she wants to do, whatever she wants to become, I’m always going to be there for her.” …


Click through to read the rest.


Gymnastics in India is a mess

Journalist Arunabh Saskia tries to explain the disaster that has been the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Inside the murky world of Indian gymnastics

Dipa Karmakar’s stellar show at the Olympics owed nothing to the sport’s governing body, which has done everything in its power to nip any development in the bud

Obviously there is tremendous talent in the subcontinent. It’s a shame the sports administration has been so dreadful. 😦


related – Dipa feels it’s dedication that’s lacking more than facilities.

via GymCastic