Woodward East offers summer snowboarding

Camp staff hinted at this when I visited in April. Looks like it’s a go for 2007.


The Woodward Skate and BMX Camp in Pennsylvania is adding a synthetic snow surface for snowboarders. The site is set to open in the second weekend of June and will have a rail setup and a kicker that launches your body scarred with rug burns from previous falls onto an airbag.

They’re charging $650 for a week of instruction.


Woodward Skate and BMX Camp Adds Summer Snowboarding

More information on Snowboard-mag or contact Woodward East directly.

save NCAA gymnastics at JMU

Both Mens and Womens Gymnastics Teams are to be cut for 2008.

A law suit is in progress contesting that decision. It could be 2 or 3 years in court.

To deflect criticism, the athletic director claims JMU is cutting sports in compliance with Title IX. The gymnasts and coaches disagree. Jenn Chapmann, Student Athlete Advisory Committee President, disagrees in this video on YouTube.

John Roethlisberger wrote a great article for Inside Gymnastics magazine: title IX – where’s the logic?. It’s in the Jan / Feb 2007 edition.

By his math, the JMU action resulted in zero increase in athletic opportunities for women at the school.

Does it make sense to cut 24-girls on the Women’s gymnastics team if gender equity is the real issue? Or is this decision more about JMU Men’s Football than anything else?

More details: SaveJMUsports.org

Sign an online petition. Listen to gymnasts on-the-chopping-block interviewed.

You can even buy a t-shirt to support the cause.


Leave a response below if you have any other ideas on how to save the teams.

Good luck with the law suit.

College Scholarship videos

I talked to a number of coaches recently about the best way to apply for NCAA scholarships for their athletes.

Many athletes do not put together very good recruiting videos when applying to US schools. (Especially non-American gymnasts.)

College_Scholarship_Dan.Connelly.jpgIt would be a good US$30 investment to purchase this GymSmarts video:

Be Seen…Making your College Recruiting Tape by College coach Dan Connelly.

Dan explains simply, clearly and effectively what college coaches look for in a college recruiting video/DVD. It includes basic recruiting information, construction of video, and sample recruiting videos.

They have another older DVD — Planning Ahead for a College Scholarship — by Sam Sandmire which covers what to consider when looking at colleges: “academics, gymnastics, education, video/DVD resume, and recruiting.”

Find these DVDs and many, many more on GymSmarts.

A more expensive ($300) alternative is to have Springboard Video put together your recruiting tape.

best video – Yurchenko vault

Several people have asked of late, so I am reposting this recommendation.

YURCHENKO VAULTING ($30) is the best Yurchenko coaching video I have seen. (I’ve bought two, so far.)

This DVD covers drills, conditioning, idle time stations, and technique.

Coach John Geddert of TwiStars USA admits he was slow getting a handle on this vault. He has it completely mastered now!

The best way to order a copy is to phone the club and leave a message for John.

The Summit at Capital Centre
9410 Davis Hwy
Lansing, MI 48821 (I-96 and Lansing Rd.)
(517) 322-0360 phone
(517) 322-0436 fax


video – core body conditioning machine

At an advanced Level 4 coaches course hosted at his gym, QCK in Regina, Marcel Dubois explains a machine he uses to condition the entire body at one time.

It’s good.

A suspended athlete must show body flexion / extension. This movement pattern (sometimes called the “curvilinear action”) is used over and over again in gymnastics and tumbling.

Marcel designed his machine after those he saw in the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

At the end of the video, the same action is demonstrated without the machine, requiring a lot more spotting by the coach. The demonstrator had never used the machine before filming.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Level 4 Canadian coach education curriculum

In Canada we have a mandatory 4 stage coach education system imposed by the Coaching Association of Canada:

1050.gifLevel 1 = Recreational
Level 2 = Competitive Basics
Level 3 = National Competitive
Level 4 = International Competitive

The Level 4 in Artistic Gymnastics is a 4-week program running over 2-years. Coaches must qualify to be invited. It costs money and time out of the gym.

Despite minor flaws, I much prefer what we have in Canada as compared with the hodge-podge of coaching education options in the USA.

Here’s the basic curriculum:

Required Courses:

Diploma Practicum
NCI coaches work within the high performance stream with athletes on a regular basis.

Energy Systems

Physical Preparation


Recovery and Regeneration

Mental Preparation for Coaches

Mental Preparation for Athletes

Program Design
The systematic integration and sequencing of training and competition activities within a comprehensive sport program; planning and periodization models; major and minor peaks to produce optimal athletic performance; volume and intensity of training; recovery.

Athlete Long-Term Development

Leadership and Ethics

Course work is also required in the following areas:

* Coach Effectiveness
* Coaching Philosophy
* New Technologies

Optional Courses

Sport-Specific Performance Factors

Environmental Factors and Performance

Biomechanical Analysis of Advanced Skills

The Business of Coaching

Canadian Sport System
Develop an understanding of the Canadian sport system and the role of the coach within that system.

Coaching Association of Canada

adult gymnastics competitions

This is the 60-year-old champion of the age 40 and older division of the Australian Victoria State “Geriatric Gym” championships 2007.


Altadore Weightlifting and Fitness

This weekend Phoenix Gymnastics is hosting their annual Adult Meet in conjunction with their Superhero Showdown competition.

We would love to promote more Adult competition on this site.

Leave a “response” below if you know of others we might include.

horizontal bar judging – looming disaster

After Worlds 2006, I understand Men’s FIG technical committee received permission to make some “minor” Code of Points adjustments.

The adjustments turned out to be much more than minor. In fact, on horizontal bar, start value, construction, expectations for performance and deductions for routines were changed drastically. Horizontal bar has become such a mess that coaches no longer know what-is-what related to the catch angle of pirouette into el-grip elements.

After decades of assuring that el-grip regrasp need not meet an amplitude requirement, now the deduction for most such elements is 0.5 !!

Many gymnasts need completely change their routines.

For example, here’s Aljaz Pegan’s high bar routine at the 2006 Worlds finals. He finished second with a score of 15.900.

Pegan’s same routine today would score around 12.90 !! (6 deductions at 0.5 each)

Is that fair? Is that smart?

Click PLAY or watch Pegan on YouTube.

I believe the IOC has a rule that there can be no new regulations within 2 years of the next Olympic Games.

Logically and ethically, once the Olympic selection process has begun (as it did in Aarhus) no major changes to the rules are acceptable.

Who’s to blame?

I’d start with Technical Committee Chair Adrian Stoica, the man in charge during the “Paul Hamm Fiasco” in 2004. The black eye on gymnastics named one of the “Top 10 North American Olympic follies” by Sports Illustrated.

Next I’d ask FIG Executive to quiz the MTC on just what they are trying to do? Set-up another huge scandal for 2008 in Beijing?

And if FIG refuses to recognize the problem, perhaps it’s time coaches contact IOC directly.

Everyone wants to see fewer turns to el-grip and mixed el-grip. But this ruling is nuts. I cannot believe the technical “experts” of the MTC would want to be party to it.

Leave a comment if you know more about the issue.

looking for an NCAA scholarship?

It’s a fantastic opportunity. A number of Canadian gymnasts go each year. But, in general, foreign coaches are not up-to-date on how to apply.

Dan Kendig is a good friend to gymnastics in my country. He coached Canadian Richelle Simpson to an NCAA AA Title in 2003.

Dan Kendig is in Regina this week with options for some of the competitors at the Canadian gymnastics championships.

Kendig is the head coach of the women’s gymnastics program at the University of Nebraska. He’s scouting the female gymnasts taking part in the artistic portion of the Canadian championships, which are being held at the Credit Union EventPlex. Kendig’s also selling the concept that gymnastics doesn’t have to end after high school. The American universities and colleges offer full scholarships to male and female gymnasts.

Kendig looking for athletes who can make jump to U.S.

At Canadian Championships I met and was much impressed with Oregon Beavers coaches Tanya and Michael Chaplin.

SCOHVGHUQQUMCWE.20061017205028.jpgThey brought Canadian Laura-Ann Chong just off NCAA Championships.

(Yeesh. It’s not easy to finally finish an intensive season, an academic semester — then change your routines for a new code of points and get “up” for another meet. Congratulations to those athletes who can do it.)

The Chaplins recommended that coaches contact any of the 88 Women’s NCAA schools directly. Ask for advice. Some gymnasts, for example, may be eligible for academic scholarship. (I had a male gymnast get into the school of his choice that way myself.)

There is room for more foreign gymnasts in the NCAA.