should male gymnasts train shirtless?

There’s a good thread on this topic on  Gymnastics Coaches Skills & Drills. (Closed Facebook Group. You’d need to apply to join.)

Plenty of pros and cons. Some Gyms discourage training shirtless. Some do not allow it. Most do.

At the end of the day, however, it’s not going to be easy to change the culture. I expect most older male gymnasts will be training shirtless for decades to come.

Enjoyment is key🙌🏼Great weekend in Germany with these fellas💪🏼🇩🇪 #gymnastics

A post shared by James Hall (@_jamesrhall) on

CEO of British Gymnastics responds

The Guardian posted an article stating British Gymnastics was in crisis.

BBC – Dan Keatings: ‘The climate of fear is real in British Gymnastics’

CEO of British Gymnastics Jane Allen:

NGBs are under increased public scrutiny and we welcome this. We are held accountable by our membership, the public and the government, and our actions must always demonstrate we are worthy of their support and investment. We must operate in a transparent way …

Athlete agreements

We are currently in consultation with elite athletes regarding their athlete agreements …

To date, over fifty-percent of the athletes have already signed the agreement. No athlete has refused to sign and the consultation process is still on-going. We do not believe that there is any serious conflict with our athletes, who are valued members of British Gymnastics.


Our safeguarding processes are robust and I can assure people that complaints and appeals, regardless of their nature, are dealt with fairly and effectively where we have the authority to act.  …

British Gymnastics 

Let’s see if media attention helps the gymnasts and coaches. I do appreciate the personal and forthright response, especially compared with the tepid statements of USA Gymnastics.

That statement is on the homepage of right now not buried as was the USAG response to the Aly Raisman 60 Minutes interview.

Aly Raisman: I am a victim of sexual abuse

We all need thank Aly and her parents for having the courage to speak out on 60 Minutes. Gymnasts look up to Aly for leadership. More gymnasts will be empowered to speak out when they feel uncomfortable in the presence of a groomer. Coaches and parents will be more cautious in future.

I’m disappointed that USA Gymnastics did not have a spokesperson interviewed in this feature.

… We were told he is the best doctor. He’s the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him. …

About 165,000 athletes and 3,400 gyms are members of USA Gymnastics. Raisman is calling for major changes in personnel, training, and education to keep athletes safe. …

USA Gymnastics has a long-standing policy that adults should “avoid being alone with a minor.” Despite that policy, Raisman says she was alone with Dr. Nassar. He treated her and other athletes in their hotel rooms during competitions abroad. …

It got even harder in the summer of 2015 — a year before the Rio Games — when an investigator hired by USA Gymnastics paid Raisman a visit. A coach had raised concerns about Dr. Nassar’s treatment of athletes. Raisman says she was caught off guard when the investigator asked her about it. …

After she returned from Rio, she says she spoke with FBI agents who had opened an investigation of Larry Nassar. …

Watch it on 60 Minutes – full interview (14 min)

There are two additional Overtime features via that link.

are American gymnasts any safer in 2017?

In the fall-out of the Dr. Larry Nassar scandal, I’m not sure they are.

Robert Andrews posted some recommendations:

• We must educate our athletes

• We must educate the (silent) parents

• We must educate coaches

• We must demand a leadership body that is accountable to creating safe, positive, and empowering environments for our gymnasts. …

USAG Sexual Abuse Scandal Is A Symptom Of Deeper Issues (Sept 2017)

At great expense USAG replaced Steve Penny with Kerry J. Perry.

Are gymnasts safer with a new CEO? If so, how?

Is leadership any more accountable than in the past? If so, how?

Are competitive athletes, parents and coaches actually getting more education? Or are they simply offered more education?

The high priced Daniel’s report recommended  ‘cultural change‘ top-to-bottom. Has that actually happened?

What does the new director of SafeSport do day-to-day?

It seems to me USAG is still doing the minimum. Their press releases written by liability lawyers. The goal to protect themselves legally.

Here’s the official response to Aly’s accusations of last week:

USA Gymnastics supports Raisman’s focus on athlete safety, empowerment (Nov 10, 2017)

That statement wasn’t on the home page Nov 11th. You needed to click over to NEWS first to find it. Not exactly up front and transparent.

Many will be checking the USAG home page to see the official response to Aly Raisman’s accusations against Nassar … and not immediately finding any response. 🙁

I didn’t see it on the USA Gymnastics Facebook feed either.

related – Robert Andrews is a sport psychologist who worked with the U.S. men as well as Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles.

related – Tony Retrosi – New USA Gymnastics president needs to clean house

BIG problems for British Gymnastics

British Gymnastics is facing a crisis with its biggest stars, including the double Olympic champion Max Whitlock, refusing to sign World Class Performance Programme contracts and being threatened with having their funding withdrawn.

An internal power struggle between the performance, commercial and management teams about the content of the contract has led to a rebellion among the athletes. The Guardian understands almost all of the team which won a record seven medals at the Rio Olympics last summer have refused to sign the contract. …


There are many more concerns listed in that article. Click through for sure.

via Gymternet Clan

Aly Raisman accuses Nassar

A second member of the Fierce Five squad that won gold at the London Olympics has said she, too, was sexually abused by USA Gymnastics’ longtime team physician.

Aly Raisman confirmed the abuse in an interview with 60 Minutes, which is to air Sunday night. The three-time gold medalist and captain of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams also describes it in her book, Fierce, being released next week. …

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in July, and he faces 22 to 27 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Dec. 7 …

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

Click PLAY or watch her on Twitter.


An article on parenting is being widely shared by coaches.

The subtitle:

Bad policy and paranoid parenting are making kids too safe to succeed.

Kids are over-protected. Only 13% walk to school. Their childhood os over-scheduled (with things like Gymnastics).

I agree with some of the article and have summarized it in the past like this.

This could have been 40yrs ago.

Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville

I waxed nostalgic. … Memories of digging up clams, splashing the girls, trying to drown the boys in the shallows. Family holidays at wonderful Rathtrevor Beach on Vancouver Island.

But that photo was taken recently.

sand castle - Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville

Kids are the same. But one thing has changed.

Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville

A swimming pool with that many children would have only one lifeguard.

What year was it that parents became so much more protective than my own?

___ Read the article for yourself

The Fragile Generation

related – If You Want Your Kids to Succeed, Let Them Fail

Dangers of Trampoline Parks

Trampoline and pits are dangerous unless taught by a certified, qualified, experienced coach. Find the best club and coach in your area.

how much TRAINING / EXPERIENCE has this referee had?

Ty Thomasson died at 30 years old in February 2012 after somersaulting into a shallow foam pit at Skypark, a facility in Phoenix.

Trampoline parks host up to 50 million visitors annually but both adults and children are suffering severe and even fatal injuries after visiting these popular attractions. The families of injured victims speak out.

Watch the 3 minute feature on Doctor Oz.