Gymnastics: It’s Hard, It’s Supposed To Be Hard!

Of all sports and physical activities, Gymnastics is one of the most challenging. That’s why our athletes are amongst the fittest.

In addition, our athletes are younger than most other sports.

Read the newest post by coach Andrew Vetter:

… Gymnastics isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; the higher you climb, the more dangerous the skills become.

With risk, comes rules.

With safety, comes standards.

These things can be taken in the wrong context and come across as strict, demanding, or unfair to athletes and their parents.

We need to keep in mind that this isn’t golf, if you miss a shot you can lose a lot more than your favourite ball. …


USAG Xcel Program

The USA Gymnastics Xcel program was developed as an alternative competitive program offering a bit more freedom for gymnasts and coaches.

GymnasticsHQ compares Xcel with the traditional USAG Development Program (formerly Junior Olympic rules):

Canada also offers Xcel. And it’s used in some other nations, including Bermuda.

Sapphire is newest. It’s being piloted in USA Regions 3, 6, 7, and 8.

If interested, check the documentation on

If you know Xcel, click over to GymnasticsHQ which has a succinct summary of changes for 2022-2026.

new USAG branding 2022

athletes with superstitions

Rituals are good. Superstitions bad.

As a coach, I discourage illogical superstitions.

That said, many of the best athletes keep themselves busy with superstitions, especially in competition.

Here’s the argument that superstitions CAN help performance.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

coaching a GREAT athlete


Gregg Popovich is the type of coach that all coaches in every sport, at every level, can learn from. Most games won in NBA history.

Manu Ginóbili, from Argentina, was 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. At the time, he didn’t look like a future Hall of Fame legend.

Happily, he ended up with the right coach. A great relationship.

Gymnastics: A Change Is Gonna Come

Coach Andrew Vetter reflects on his personal evolution and the state of Gymnastics in 2022 making these recommendations:

  • Focus on the process  …
  • Utilize proven training methods for general athletics and fitness …
  • More education or certification required to teach high level gymnastics. …
  • Increase the age for national and international representation. … There is no rush.
  • Stay in your lane. Work with a team of professionals …

Read the entire thoughtful post on Medium:

Gymnastics: A Change Is Gonna Come

Andrew is the coach who posted the viral Uptown Abs video a few years ago.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Caitlin Rooskrantz interview


After reading this interview I feel I know Caitlin personally. AND I’m an even bigger fan.

Being in gymnastics has normalised crying,” Caitlin Rooskrantz says. And then she laughs. “My coach [Ilse Roets] has los trane (loose tears). I’m always crying, we all are. It’s contagious. We all have deep feelings and we cry for anything. We even cry when we’re really happy.”

A year ago Rooskrantz became the first South African female gymnast to compete in an Olympics since 2004. …

“Attending an Olympics was a lifelong dream for me. And the unspoken rule among athletes is that you have to get a tattoo. So, while I have the rings, I have another tattoo [on her right arm] which I got after I qualified for Tokyo in 2020.

“It says: ‘And Still I Rise’. It carries significant meaning for me. It’s a reinforcement that I’m resilient, that I will always bounce back. I will always be going forward in my career and I will always rise above everything thrown at me. In my own eyes, I’ll always be a winner.” …

SA gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz rises above the falls while striving to be the best

It was written before Caitlin won Bronze on Bars at Commonwealth Games.