Gymnastics resumes in Italy

Some Italian gymnasts trained in quarantine during COVID-19.

But most clubs were allowed to open starting May 4th. 

Italy deems sports including Artistic Gymnastics, Golf and Tennis in the safest category allowing physical distancing most easily.

Team sports, including volleyball, have more physical contact.



TIPS for opening Gyms during COVID-19

A round table hosted by John Min, USECA Video Chairman.

A NEW challenge for each Club. This is a brainstorming session.

The BIG recommendation is not to rush. Come back slowly and safely. We have a new, unexpected meso-cycle in our training year which precedes another Preparation Phase. Slow return to the Gym after weeks of lockout.

Steve Arkell:

  • Inviting back Competitive first, staggering training times
  • Check for temperature of athletes on arrival (this is not foolproof)
  • About 4 people / 1000 sq feet
  • Kids in each rotation group will stay as far apart as possible. Apparatus groups will switch at the same time, in order to keep distance.
  • Take this COVID-19 opportunity for super keen gymnasts to find a better life / gymnastics balance.
  • When skills are eventually introduced, use tumbling trampolines, pits, soft surfaces. Don’t rush.
  • Coaches will wear masks.
  • Coaches will be tested just before coming back to the Gym.
  • Coaches and gymnasts should be challenged to progress with LESS spotting, even on Bars. Slide mats rather than hand spot. (Spotting belts might make a return to popularity.)
  • Adding new RECORDS bulletin board for fitness tests. This will be the focus at first, not skills.

Craig Zappa:

  • Anything you did not like about your old program, should be banished now. This is a great opportunity to reinvent your program. A fresh start.
  • High priority is to STOP the keenest athletes from overdoing it on getting back to the Gym. Injury is a worry after weeks out.
  • Advise athletes that anticipated J.O. move ups are on hold, for now
  • This ‘forced rest’ is an opportunity to fully heal old injuries
  • Watch themselves on video (Mental Training)
  • Reassuring the parents will be a high priority.
  • His club uses a ‘fogging machine’ to disinfect. It takes 10 minutes. He’ll do it 2-3 times / day.
  • Might delay the calendar of competitions for the 2021 season. Don’t rush.
  • Assign one gymnast / Beam for all of each rotation
  • Craig would like to have clear masks for coaches.
  • Craig will allow very few parents into the Gym. Other clubs will simply ask parents not to enter the Gym.

Mary Wright:

  • Time to focus on cooperation. Coaches and athletes working together to get back to peak training form.
  • Be smart. Rebuild confidence progressively
  • Conditioning first after a few weeks away
  • General strength before specific
  • Flexibility improvement phase
  • Aerobic base
  • Work ‘shapes‘ before movements
  • Time at home is a chance for gymnasts to make Dream Boards and set goals / objectives
  • Training would progressively advance to BASICS without rush. Up to 2 hours / day to start.
  • If this limited training goes on for months, planned goals for 2021 will have to be modified.

Olivia Estes:

  • Has been working on personal development of athletes while at home. Generosity. Team supporting one another.
  • Has been using a combination of big group Zoom meetings. Smaller meetings in private Facebook groups.
  • To start … will likely only allow top 12 athletes to use the pit
  • Equipment will be cleaned ongoing during workout
  • Coaches only work with ONE group of kids. If anyone tests positive, those coaches and kids will be out of the Gym.
  • Plans on minimum spotting. Only the very top gymnasts will be spotted. And not for the first 8 weeks or so after return.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The #usgcoa is working together to ensure their member clubs are able to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.

Some clubs are planning and budgeting for 50% of past membership numbers when finally allowed to reopen.  It’s not going to be easy.

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

problems remain at USAG

Nancy Armour:

Leung said Friday that the releases were a mandate by insurers, which are funding the $215 million settlement offer, rather than a choice by the federation. She said she’s open to talking with survivors about their requests for more information, and pointed out that USA Gymnastics has cooperated with six independent investigations.

She also acknowledged that USA Gymnastics had erred – badly – in not having detailed processes in place for the men’s World Cup selections, and not communicating enough in advance with gymnasts and their coaches. …

Opinion: Year after Li Li Leung took over USA Gymnastics, progress made but problems remain

solar powered Gymnastics Clubs

Buckeye Gymnastics and Cheer in Ohio generates over 50% of their electricity from solar.

During the months of July and August when the AC runs most of the time, over 85% of the electricity required is generated from the roof. They even sell power back to the grid.

I’ve heard GymCats in Vegas and Kid’s First in Cincinnati generate solar power, as well. Leave a comment if you know of more Gymnastics clubs that do so.

Thanks Dave Holcombe.

National Team Selection policy

Seems USAG MPC bungled the selection process for upcoming World Cups.

Yul’s coach Mark Williams responds.

Click through to read the 5 tweets in that thread.

Here’s what they recommend in Canada.

Responsible NSOs (National Sports Organizations) recognize the importance of a sound team selection policy to ensure that the best athletes are indeed selected for optimal performance of the team, and also to avoid disputes leading up to a major competition.

The criteria must also be communicated to the athletes long before the start of the qualification period.

The entire training program of athletes will be based on meeting these criteria to secure their selection to the team, so it would be unreasonable to communicate these criteria only a few weeks or a few days before.

Of course, once a team selection policy approved and published, the NSO must ensure that it is implemented as intended.

read more … Team Selection

some GOOD news from Winter Cup

Though the gymternet mainly heard about the screw-ups at the annual U.S. Men’s selection meet during the Olympic year, Kensley was there — as usual — and found the competition much improved in many ways.

Click through to this Twitter thread to read her positive comments.

USAG blunders this weekend

Where to start? 

For an organization that already has little trust with membership, communication could not have been much worse at the (otherwise excellent) Men’s Winter Cup in Las Vegas.

Now Tuesday morning and I’m still not 100% sure what happened.

It seems the USA MPC had not documented their World Cup selection system in advance of Winter Cup.

Why, you might ask.

Yet USAG had to earlier put forward nominative entrees for the 4 AA World Cups either Sam or Yul were assigned to all four.

Not many — including Yul’s Mom — knew they were only nominative.

Now — after the Winter Cup — MPC is considering replacing Yul for some of his nominative assignments.

It’s a mess. More self-inflicted wounds for USA Gymnastics.

Click over to Gymnastics-Now for an update through Tuesday, February 25th.

whither Gymnastics in Brazil

Renata Cappeliano translated an article by Demetrio Vecchioli looking at the BIG picture.

At the start of the quad, Brazil looked like they could potentially challenge for a team medal. They competed in the team final at the Rio Olympics. They lost Aleksandr Aleksandrov but gained Valeri Liukin. …

… despite offering first world infrastructure to its best generation ever, it’s not hard to guess what it lacks nowadays: high performance coaches. With only a few working in the country, Brazil suffers to produce enough athletes to feed its national team. …

Only two coaches, out of the six that shaped Brazil’s elite girls, are still in the country: Ukrainian Irina Ilyashenko, who’s been living in Curitiba for 20 years, and Francisco Porath

“Everyone knew Brazil only had six gymnasts. If two of them got hurt, we’d have nowhere to run. And that’s exactly what happened …”


Flavia Saraiva, Jan 16th, 2015

Flávia finished 10th AA at Worlds 2019 and has already qualified to Tokyo as an individual.