handstand drills – Hazel Colton

This article by Hazel Colton includes my favourite drill for introducing handstand to beginners:


Included is an interesting variation:


Whilst supporting the weight on the wobble board the gymnast should tip the board and try rotating the board so that its edges go round in clockwise and anti clockwise circles. …

see the entire article – Handstand

perfect 10 » gymnasts on bars

Nance at the Perfect 10 blog requests additions to her list of the best bar workers EVER:

Tatiana Lisenko, UKR – Great rhythm
Nadia Comaneci, ROM – Beautiful form
Jamie Danztscher, USA – Incredible swing
Ma Yanhong, CHN – Lines & fluid swing
Kristy Powell, USA – Big air
Ling Jie, CHN – Unbelievable pirouetting
Olga Korbut, BLR – Wow factor
Nastia Liukin, USA – Swing, lines, amplitude
Svetlana Khorkina, RUS – Innovation & swing
Elise Ray, USA – Graceful

perfect 10 » All-time Favorite Bar Worker

Surprisingly, I don’t have my own list in mind. But that’s never stopped me before. A few of my personal favourites of all-time:

  • Nastia Liukin, USA
  • Svetlana Khorkina, RUS
  • Natalia Shaposhnikova, RUS
  • Julianne McNamara, USA
  • Yvonne Tousek, CAN
  • I can’t put my hands on any of Tousek’s “perfect” bar routines right now. (I want the one where she was spotted by Arkayev.) So, instead, I’ll link to an Aleksas montage which includes bars. She’s one of the most startling, original and fascinating gymnasts of all-time.

    Click PLAY or watch Yvonne on YouTube:

    bed jumping – Hotel Arts in Calgary

    From the Bed Jump blog:

    Captured at Calgary Alberta’s Hotel Arts—these sweet jump stylings are about as true to the Hotel’s name as any we’ve seen. Style mashed up with design, and a vibrant ‘craziness’ quotient helps this nutty set deliver some true entertainment. …


    see more photos like this – Flying High at the Hotel Arts in Calgary

    the Skirter – retro climbing

    Alan Armitage sent us a link to this nostalgic peg climbing wall rack, The Skirter.

    We had many similar racks in Canadian schools when I was a kid. Great challenging fun for strong athletes: hopping two pegs at the same time, etc. Haven’t seen one in years.


    Gymnastics UK and Gymnova are the only places where you can purchase the Skirter. The price is £325.00 plus pp.

    The skirter

    Inside Gymnastics – Reader Survey

    Best of 2007

    As another year comes to a close, Inside Gymnastics is once again capturing a snapshot of what you – the fans – think about the sport. In our Best of 2007 annual survey, we want to know everything from who your favorite gymnast is to what you think was the most inspiring moment of the past year. Complete the survey below, and we will announce the winners in the January/February issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine.

    1) Female Gymnast of the Year (American)

    2) Female Gymnast of the Year (International)

    3) Male Gymnast of the Year (American)

    4) Male Gymnast of the Year (International)

    5) Female breakout star (American)

    6) Male breakout star (American)

    7) Most stylish female gymnast currently competing

    8) Most stylish male gymnast currently competing

    9) Most inspiring performance of the year

    10) Most disheartening moment of the year

    11) Favorite U.S. female gymnast of all time (not currently competing)

    12) Favorite U.S. male gymnast of all time (not currently competing)

    13) Favorite international male gymnast of all time (not currently competing)

    14) Favorite international female gymnast of all time (not currently competing)

    15) Favorite American female gymnast (currently competing)

    16) Favorite American male gymnast (currently competing)

    17) Favorite U.S. gymnastics club

    18) Favorite NCAA women’s gymnastics team

    19) Favorite NCAA men’s gymnastics team

    20) Favorite female NCAA athlete

    21) Favorite male NCAA athlete

    The poll is badly flawed. You MUST answer EVERY question. And in only two questions are you allowed to write in your own answer. The rest are multiple guess.

    Still, I was able to choose the athlete I wanted on most of the questions. It’s fun: Inside Gymnastics Magazine – VOTE

    Inside Gymnastics Magazine is only $19.95 a year / 6 issues. That’s a good deal.

    ski BASE jump off a hotel

    This reminds me of the BASE jump off the cliff from Horizontal Bar.

    … a video of some skiers, including Shane McConkey, flying off a jump on the 39th floor of the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno and parachuting back to earth in a combination ski/BASE jump. The jumps kicked off Bobofest, and event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    Get Outdoors – I Got An Idea: Let’s BASE Jump Off This Hotel. On Skis. – Getoutdoors.com Outdoor Blog

    UPDATE: One of the jumpers, Jesse Hall, was injured somewhat on a hard landing.

    gymnastics – mental choreography

    Alison Arnold Ph.D. is a sport psychology consultant for USA Gymnastics. A former gymnast, she views training the mind as important as training the body.

    “Mental choreography” is a phrase I’ve never heard before.

    There are three types of statements used in creating mental choreography. These statements are technical statements, energy statements and self-esteem statements.

    The typical coaching mistake is to make too many technical coaching corrections, too few energy and self-esteem comments.

    Technical statements include corrections, and mechanical reminders the gymnast focuses on before or during routines. Examples of technical statements include, “lift and twist”, “block”, and “tight legs”. Energy statements either help give the gymnast an energy boost or decrease anxiety. Energy statements that bring the gymnast’s energy up can be used at the end of a floor routine, “Push!”, or right before a bar mount, “Go!”. Statements like “relax” and “breathe” help bring fear and anxiety levels down to a more manageable level. Finally, self-esteem statements help the gymnast feel more confident. Statements like “I can do this”, “I’ve done it before”, and “I’m ready”, give the gymnast the power and confidence she needs to go for a skill or hit in competition.

    Good advice.




    book – Scream And Run Naked

    Pan Am Jr – USA, CAN, Brazil

    The U.S. dominated the team and all-around competition at the Junior Pan American Championships, held Friday in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

    The U.S. won both team titles and swept the all-around medals for both men and women.

    Los Angeles’ Mattie Larsen won the women’s title over Michigan’s Jordyn Wieber, third all-around at the 2007 U.S. Junior National Championships. Chelsea Davis of Austin, Texas, won the bronze. …


    Women’s Team
    1. USA 177.501
    2. Canada 168.634
    3. Brazil 161.434

    International GYMNAST Magazine Online

    Many were impressed with the strong performance of the Canadians. They have a good group of athletes coming up:


    Canadian women win team silver at Pan American junior gymnastics championships

    Inside Gymnastics Magazine is improving

    Another cool interactive feature on their website:

    The January/February 2008 issue features a “Kicking Off the Olympic Year” theme. To celebrate the countdown to Beijing 2008, we’re including a poster of national and world champion Nastia Liukin that will be poly-bagged with the January/February issue for subscribers only. And your vote will determine which picture of the gymnastics superstar will become the poster.

    I voted for this one:


    See which one you like best:

    Inside Gymnastics Magazine – VOTE for NASTIA’S POSTER