a new dive – 513XD

Is a dive with 1.5 somersaults and 5 twists possible?

Some sport scientists believe it is but that a different arm action would be required. The body would tilt to the point of being near horizontal at one point before untilting for entry into the water.



related – Fred Yeaden – LEARNING HOW TO TWIST FAST (PDF)

(via Lukewiwa)

3D video to determine difficulty scores

The most exciting story out of the 2016 FIG Congress was Fujitsu’s video analysis software that can (finally) determine what skills were performed by a gymnast.

… the FIG Executive Committee is very interested by this idea that would allow the reduction of the number of judges needed for competition. …

Exclusive: Departing FIG President Grandi hails 3D judging technology as “great chance” for his sport


Click PLAY or watch the presentation at FIG Congress on YouTube. Gymnastics starts around the 10min mark.

The faster this technology can be introduced, the better.

elgrip NOT required next Men’s Code

DRAFT FIG Men’s Code of Points 2020 page 135 – Horizontal Bar:

Article 15.2.2 Information about the D score

1. The Element Groups are (EG):

I. Long hang swings with and without turns.
II. Flight elements.
III. In bar and Adler elements.
IV. Dismounts.

Adler is German for “eagle”. An eagle or elgrip swing has always been required in the past. But with the reduction in Special Requirements from 5 to 4, gymnasts will be required to do either an In Bar skill or Eagle skill. An Endo, for example, would suffice.

We will be seeing this skill far less in future.


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The classic Stoop Shoot MIGHT damage the shoulders of gymnasts. I’m very happy to see it no longer a requirement. The very few genetically gifted may continue to use it.

Most have been done badly in the past. Flexed feet, bent knees, wide arms, etc.

Congratulations to FIG MTC for this change
, something many have been calling for for decades. We’ll have fewer shoulder injuries in future.

Of course gymnasts will continue to use variations of that skill including Adler 1/2 and Adler 1/1, both much less for shoulder injury.


Bill Sands on specificity of training

Dr. Sands feels many coaches are filling training plans with exercises that do not contribute towards the final goal.

“You need to do those exercises that are important for transfer to your sport. And not much else.“

Unnecessary training is a waste of time and may even contribute to overuse injury.

The number of training hours should cycle over the season and even over the week. Recovery should be better planned.

Listen to Dr. William A. Sands on The Gymnast Care Podcast AUDIO (37 min).


male Baseball players can’t hit Jennie Finch

Time magazine described Jenny as the most famous softball player in history. She’s 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m).

Jenny Finch

No sooner did Finch arrive at the mound than the defensive players behind her sat down. Yankees infielder Aaron Boone took off his glove, lay down in the dirt and used second base for a pillow. Rangers All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock took the opportunity to get a drink of water. They had, after all, seen Finch pitch during batting practice.

As part of the pregame festivities, a raft of major league stars had tested their skill against Finch’s underhand rockets. Thrown from a mound 43 feet away and traveling at speeds above 65 mph, Finch’s pitches take about the same time to reach home plate as a 95-mph fastball does from the standard baseball mound, 60′ 6″ away. A 95-mph pitch is fast, certainly, but routine for pro baseball players. Plus, the softball is larger, which should make it easier to hit.

Nonetheless, with each windmill motion of her arm, Finch had blown all her pitches by the bemused men. When Albert Pujols, one of the greatest hitters of his generation, stepped forward to face Finch during that practice, the other major leaguers crowded around to gawk. …

Click PLAY or watch what happened on YouTube.

Softball hitters are able to hit Jenny. To find out why, click over to Sport’s Illustrated – Why MLB hitters can’t hit Jennie Finch and science behind reaction time

The Sports Gene (2013) – a review

MANY told me I MUST read this book. And I finally did get to it.

Very entertaining. And thought provoking.

The_Sports_Gene_Book_Cover_2013Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training?

In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success and the so-called 10,000-hour rule, David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving it. …


I wouldn’t count on every factoid being correct. He’s out of date on women’s Artistic Gymnastics, for example.

The 10,000-hour rule is quickly debunked, David Epstein repeatedly pointing out that researcher Anders Ericsson NEVER called it a “rule”. If you train Beam seriously for 10,000 hours, your chances of making it to the Olympic Beam final are still infinitesimal.

There’s no controversy. The best of the best have both very specific genetics and excellent training.

If you don’t have time to read this book, you can get a glimpse by watching David Epstein’s TED Talk from 2014 instead – Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger? (15min)

Read reviews on NY Times and The Guardian.

IOC doping tests are a mess

The IOC should test all athletes at the Olympic Games. Announce the results.

End of story.

This breaking news is absurd. You should not FOREVER keep going back to retest old samples. 😦

The IOC said that the 30 athletes from the Games came from four sports and eight National Olympic Committees (NOC). …

A third and fourth wave of re-tests will take place throughout and after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with the samples being re-analysed using the latest scientific methods.

The athletes, NOCs and International Federations concerned by the positive drug tests are being informed, the IOC said, with proceedings against the athletes able to commence after B-samples are tested. …

Twenty-three medallists among 45 positives announced by IOC after second wave of Beijing and London retests

Ukraine's Yulia Kalina was the first athlete to be stripped of a medal after testing positive in the first wave of re-tests ©Getty Images
Ukraine’s Yulia Kalina was the first athlete to be stripped of a medal after testing positive in the first wave of re-tests ©Getty Images


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