CONFIRMED – Gymnastics – Battle in Seattle

by Rick McCharles, site editor


After talking to John Carney from Gym East, I changed my travel schedule to include his brand new competition March 1-2 at the Seattle Convention Center.


The competition is full and closed. They’ve posted a list of participating teams (900+ athletes).

One highlight will be ladies white Harley Davidson leather jackets given as awards.

Battle in Seattle – home page

I am a big fan of Gym East gymnastics and John’s coaching style. Some examples:

“Wall of Death” – flyaway video

free hip circle drills on bars

video – most frequent SPOT in gymnastics

Seems the most often spotted skill in competition in 2008 is this one — sometimes called “shoot half” on Bars.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

This is not really a “safety” spot.

Most often, I think, the gymnast is more confident IF the coach stands in. She has a better chance of catching closer to handstand with the spotter there.

(I did not get the name of this coach at the Chicago Style competition 2008, unfortunately.)

gymnastics – the less spotting, the better

The advantages of spotting are highly over-rated.

From Dr. Bill Sands, research on emergency rescue spotting:

… the act of rescue spotting is at the very least extraordinarily difficult. The fact that coaches can perform a rescue spot at all is astonishing (and I have seen some spectacular saves, even been the recipient of a few from my coach a million years ago).

However, I believe that the coach, athlete, parent, and legal communities must come to understand the inherent limitations that constrain rescue spotting. Not only is not spotting a fail-safe, sometimes hand spotting of an unplanned fall effectively is IMPOSSIBLE. The impossibility of some hand spotting should be communicated to coaches, athletes, and parents so that all understand the physical and biological constraints on hand spotting and no one expects more from the spotter than the spotter can deliver.

USA Technique Magazine

My philosophy is: The Less Spotting, The Better.

Very few spotters are as good as Don Eckert, technical director of Woodward West Gymnastics Camp, here coaching at Stars Gymnastics in Colorado Springs:

Click PLAY or watch an emergency rescue spot on YouTube.

more Salto Cafe videos

Interesting trivia in North American English terminology:

Hartley Price: Coined the Term “Spotting.” In 1930 Price, recently graduated from Springfield College, was hired to coach at the University of Illinois. He was an excellent recruiter and gathered together some of best gymnasts in the country. He founded the University of Illinois Gymkana which put on shows to raise money and found ways for his gymnasts to earn money to pay their tuition.

“Doc” wasn’t much of a coach. His theory was, “Put the best gymnasts in the country together in the same gymnasium and they’ll coach each other.” That they did, winning five NCAA team titles in eighteen years.

He tried to emphasized safety by painting a large white circles (4′ in diameter) on the gymnasium’s walls. He called these “spots.” When his gymnasts saw the spot, they were supposed to think safety and look for those who could assist them through one element or another. Such assistance became known as “spotting.”

Gymn Forum: Gymnastics Centurions

Related posts:

  • video – spotting “giant” swing
  • worst gymnastics parallel bar spot EVER
  • Great West Gym Fest press

    Anna Marie Niemeir, 14, of Missoula, performs her floor routine before judges at the 2008 Great West Gym Fest at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center on Saturday.


    … Dani Crane, 15, said she also enjoys meeting other gymnasts, as well as meeting some of the Olympic athletes who attended the event.

    “They share their stories with us about training and stuff. It’s really cool,” Crane said.

    Among those attending were gold winning Olympians like Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast – male or female – in the U.S.; Stoyan Deltchev, for whom the impossibly difficult Deltchev maneuver on the uneven bars was named; and Carly Patterson, the all-around gold-winner in the 2004 summer Olympics.

    deltchev.jpg“The kids really love it,” Deltchev said waiting in a Coeur d’Alene penthouse suite for the next event.

    Deltchev said the young athletes don’t remember his 1980 Olympic win or recognize his face, but when they hear his name “they say ‘oh that’s the guy the move is named after.'”

    This is Deltchev’s third year attending the event. He said he continues to return because of the quality of the meet.

    “Everything here is at a super high level,” he said.

    Shannon-360.jpgMiller, a gymnastics ambassador who hosts her own extended cable network television show, “Gymnastics 360 with Shannon Miller,” agreed with Deltchev.

    “It’s exciting and fun for the athletes, and it’s one of the most well organized invitationals in the U.S.,” she said.

    Gym Fest gets rolling –

    Note – The photo of Deltchev shows him doing “Spagat” (splits) on rings, not the Deltchev release.

    Great West Gym Fest – official website

    USA vs Canada friendly competition

    CALGARY, Alberta., Feb. 22, 2008 – The USA won the team competition in the USA vs Canada meet, 361.350 to 352.600.

    Along with Alvarez and Leyva, the members of the U.S. Team were: Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M./Team Chevron; Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron; Sean Townsend of Dickinson, Texas/Team Chevron; and Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio/Team Chevron.


    1. USA, 361.350
    2. Canada, 352.600

    1. Guillermo Alvarez, Denver/Team Chevron, 89.100
    2. David Kikuchi, Canada, 88.750
    3. Danell Leyva, Miami/Universal Gymnastics, 86.600

    USA Gymnastics


    more photos

    Other members of the Canadian team were Grant Golding and Nathan Gafuik, both of Calgary, Brandon O’Neill of Edmonton and Ken Ikeda of Abbotsford, B.C.

    Gymnastics Canada National Coach steps down

    Gymnastics Canada announced that Claude Pelletier has resigned as Gymnastics Canada National Coach in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.

    A great coach, none the less, Claude did not enjoy anything like the success of his predecessor Andrei Rodionenko, now Head Coach in Russia.

    Specifically, the Canadians did not qualify as a team for the 2008 Olympics.

    sneak preview –

    This site is going to be HUGE.

    But, so far, only some video content from the last Men’s National competition is posted. The website is stll in development. They have some top talent involved already and I expect it to soon be one of the best sites on the net for gymnastics coaches.

    Coverage of the Winter Cup is on, giving a sneak peak at a new site that USA Gymnastics and the Wasserman Media Group will introduce in the near future for folks who live gymnastics every day. The Winter Cup Web cast is just one example of the exclusive content you’ll see only at Enjoy the top athletes’ spectacular performances – and return often as the site grows robust with the best content, especially with the Olympic Games on the horizon. …

    USA Gymnastics


    See for yourself –