Ellie Black’s strength coach

I can’t keep up with all Dave Tilley’s output.

But don’t miss one of his best podcasts yet — an interview with Scott Willgress, who’s worked with Ellie since 2011.

Ellie Black has a great plan with goals of longevity and consistency. #smart

Every coach can learn something from Scott who’s actually just one of a team of specialists working with the double Olympian.

Journal To Inspire Young Gymnasts

Bulgarian Olympians Dima Raynova and Silvia Topalova have teamed up again, this time to create and publish The POWER in the Hour, a journal and tracker designed to motivate, guide and inspire female and male gymnasts ages 8 to18. …

The journal has quotes, inspirations and stories from all over the world. … There’s also room for writing down reflections, goals and dreams. …

There are several sections that the kids can fill out: healthy habits such as sleeping patterns, food, and other things, goals they want to achieve and how they’ll achieve them, academic activities, books they’re reading, outdoor activities, family and friends time, how they help at home, reflection of their week and improvements. …

Bulgarian Olympians Team Up On Journal To Inspire Young Gymnasts


10,000 hour rule STILL debunked

Anders Ericsson studied musicians, finding most of the best had spent 10 years and at least 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to reach their peak.

Subsequently, authors found support for this theory by collecting data about highly professional mathematicians and from chess and tennis.

The rule was eventually debunked.

If I had practiced basketball for 10,000 hours, for example, I wouldn’t have made the NBA.  😀

Correlation is not causation.

Vladimir B. Issurin in 2017 published a summary finding that athletes from endurance, power, and combat sports attained world-class status following 4–7 years of specialized preparation with 3000–7000 cumulative hours of purposeful training.

Those athletes had genetic potential, of course.

Read the full article:

Evidence-Based Prerequisites and Precursors of Athletic Talent: A Review

Ellie Black – general conditioning

Ellie has a super detailed training plan. It’s worth watching everything she does.


Click PLAY or watch it on Instagram.

Gymnastics – optimal number of training hours

All coaches agree there’s never enough time to include everything they want in any training plan.

We need to set priorities.

And not waste time.

GAGE is one club I’d highlight as having very efficient training.

I’m hopeful that COVID-19 reset results in many Gyms reducing training hours.  Setting more modest, achievable goals.  Goals less performance / ranking based, more personal development.

Injuries reduce the number of effective training hours.  Fewer injuries over the career = more effective hours.

… but to answer the question, I’ve always admired Shawn Johnson’s plan.  She trained maximum 24 hours / week during High School with one training / day.  And became the best gymnast in the world.

If your goal is not to become one of the best gymnasts in the world, training hours should be fewer than 24 / week.

Aimee posted Simone’s hours on Twitter.

Keith Russell often talks about finding the best coach / hour

With less training time, less equipment, who’s the best coach?

Click over to Facebook to see Dave Tilley’s opinion.

new book – Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

 Socio-cultural Perspectives

Published April 22, 2020

Edited by Roslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, and Gretchen Kerr.

This book lifts the lid on the high pressured, complex world of women’s artistic gymnastics. By adopting a socio-cultural lens incorporating historical, sociological and psychological perspectives, it takes the reader through the story and workings of women’s artistic gymnastics.

Beginning with its early history as a ‘feminine appropriate’ sport, the book follows the sport through its transition to a modern sports form. Including global cases and innovative narrative methods, it explores the way gymnasts have experienced its intense challenges, the complexities of the coach-athlete relationship, and how others involved in the sport, such as parents and medical personnel, have contributed to the reproduction of a highly demanding and potentially abusive sporting culture.

With the focus on a unique women’s sport, the book is an important read for researchers and students studying sport sociology, sport coaching, and physical education, but it is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of sporting talent.



It’s available through Amazon.com.

Professor Barker-Ruchti contends that coaches should plan for Gymnastics peak performance as adults, rather than trying to teach as much difficulty as possible when girls are small:

Gym is not child’s play: study

Kin Gymnastics, Calgary

On invitation of Judy Howard-Holmes, I dropped by to see the Kin Gymnastics facility, Calgary’s newest club.

Judy coached 1992 Canadian Olympian Jennifer Wood.

Training re-started at Kin June 15th.  The top girls had worked back up to 4 hours / day summer training by the end of July.

The Gym itself is being redesigned post the COVID-19 break for more advanced kids, fewer Recreation.   That’s likely to be membership reality in the near term.

(noun)    clan. tribe. family.

Click PLAY or watch a 2018 promotion video on YouTube.