World Eskimo Indian Olympics – blanket toss

Just attended the wedding of coach Kelly Mock in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Up North there are acrobats training traditional Inuit games including the Two-foot high kick (video), One-foot high kick and One-hand touch. And more.

These are all activities that can be done with very little apparatus.

A blanket toss team at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics held in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

World Eskimo Indian Olympics – official website

too much SNACK TIME at your gym?

There is an interesting discussion on the Chalk Bucket forum regarding the pros and cons of snack breaks for gymnasts training.

This is a sore point for me as a coach. I weighed in:

It makes “sense” to allow young growing children healthy snack breaks during long sport training sessions.

Yet in the real world I find snack breaks to be problematic.

Group dynamics are strained. Girls, especially, tend to form cliques during break which can be discouraging for the kids not in the clique.

Kids sometimes have trouble getting back “into” training after break.

And, ultimately, many gymnasts train 4hrs+ with only water. Most kids do not need a snack break no matter how much the parent insists they do.

My philosophy is to minimize or do away with snack breaks altogether unless there is some individual medical reason why a child MUST eat.

Chalk Bucket

You can join Chalk Bucket (free) to add to the conversation. Or leave a comment on this post.

source – flickr

As I’m oft to say, “The best thing about exercise is that it’s time spent not eating.”

Kids have too many opportunities for food day-to-day. It’s not surprising they make bad choices.

end of summer gymnastics camps – back to school

In North America my favourite training time of year has ended. Gymnasts are headed back to school.

Randy McMullen, Head Coach of Prince Albert Aerials Gymnastics in Saskatchewan sent me photos of Emma Lake, a camp I did for many, many years. I was sorry to miss it this summer. Heard it was a BLAST.


Hear are a couple of photos from camp given the Photoshop treatment by Rick McCharles. This is the Artistic Dry Brush filter.



More information on Emma Lake camp.

over 1000 Gymnastics Coaching articles

We’ve passed the 1000 post milestone on this blog.

Check the right hand navigation to see the number of articles that mention bars, pommel horse, trampoline and coaching contracts, as examples.

In geek speak they call this the long tail of the internet.

The cumulative information of everything posted on the world wide web increases every day.


USA Championships to Houston and Boston in 2008

Don’t plan on attending the USA Championships in August of 2008. The competitions have been moved much earlier in the year.

And the women’s meet will be hosted separately from the other disciplines.

USA Gymnastics has awarded the 2008 Visa Championships to two cities that have strong gymnastics communities and a history of proven success in hosting premier events: Houston will host the men’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling competition for the Visa Championships at Reliant Park, May 22-24; and Boston will stage the women’s competition at Agganis Arena at Boston University, June 5-7.

The 2008 Visa Championships will play an important role in qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials …

Both events will be covered by NBC Sports. The men’s and women’s artistic competitions are being held separately because their final preparation plans for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials are different. The two have been held separately a number of times in the event’s long history.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials are June 19-22 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

News: USA Gymnastics announces sites for 2008 Visa Championships

NBC to air 3600hrs of Olympics 2008

Why go?

You can watch most everything on your computer.

NBC will broadcast more than 3,600 hours of coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics on multiple television networks and the Internet.

The bulk of that will come online, the first time live streaming broadband video of the Olympics will be available in the U.S., NBC Universal Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol said Tuesday.

The 3,600 hours of coverage are more than the combined total of every previous Summer Games televised in the U.S.

NBC’s prime-time coverage will feature swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball shown live despite the 12-hour time difference between the United States’ Eastern time zone and Beijing.

Olympic coverage also will air on USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo. About 2,200 hours of live streaming broadband video will be available on …

The Beijing Games take place Aug. 8-24, 2008.

ESPN – NBC set to air more than 3,600 hours of coverage from Beijing – Olympics

via Chalk Bucket


Australia’s Worlds team called best ever

Good news quoted in the Gym Chat Forum:

LEGENDARY Olympic coach Sergei Chinkar has rated the Australian women’s gymnastics team the best ever after the seven-strong outfit was named yesterday.

Joura-Daria.jpgChinkar (born in Belarus) coached Vitaly Scherbo to record win of six gold medals for the Soviet Union at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He says Daria Joura is an exceptionally strong leader.

“She is the most skilful Australian woman I have seen and you need a strong leader for the team to be successful,” Chinkar said.

The team:

Shona Morgan and Georgia Bonora (capable all-arounders)
Ashleigh Brennan (floor and beam specialist)
Daria Joura, Lauren Mitchell, Chloe Sims, and Hollie Dykes

“For the first time we have a strong vaulting team, we are moving forward,” Chetkovich said. “We’ve never had this level of depth over four apparatus. We’ve got a crash-hot team under one of the best coaches in the world in knowing how to prepare athletes.

“We are good enough to medal as a team. If we hit, we are as good as anyone.”

“Hollie and Lauren are good enough to be in the beam finals.”

Gymnastics Message Boards – Gym Chat :: View topic – Australia’s Worlds team named

Daria – Gymnastics Australia profile

how to keep cool in a hot gym

A good discussion on the Gym Chat forum:

The temperature was nearly 92 degrees outside and there was no chance of any air conditioning units being turned on in the Gymnastics Revolution gymnasium on Francis J. Clarke Circle.

Gymnastics Message Boards – Gym Chat :: View topic – how to keep cool in the hot gym!

How hot is too hot?

At what point is a hot gym dangerous?

A hot, humid environment seems to be good for the musculature, I feel.

So long as the athletes have good hydration the temperature could be very high before I would start worrying about any health or injury risk.

On the other hand, you could always do as they do in Santa Monica, California. Set up a water slide IN the gym.

more photos – flickr – Wordsmith from Nantucket

Amaro and Spray champions USA ACROBATIC GYMNASTICS

At Championships 2007 we spent plenty of time close to the Acrobatic Gymnastics venue and were able to watch this much misunderstood sport often.

The first confusion is the name — now Acrobatic Gymnastics — not “Sport Acrobatics”, not “Acrosport”.

Whatever it’s called, this is currently my favourite acrobatic sport of them all. Check the video highlights of Worlds to see why.

Acrobatic Gymnastics is fantastic. Why is it not more developed in the USA and Canada?


SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 18, 2007—Julian Amaro of Pleasanton, Calif., and Tyler Spray of Livermore, Calif., earned their third consecutive U.S. all-around title in senior elite men’s pair, and the trio of Mariah Henninger of Walnut Creek, Calif., Ally Kidd of Livermore, Calif., and Tisa Penny of San Leandro, Calif., defended its senior elite women’s group title in acrobatic gymnastics competition at the 2007 Visa Championships in San Jose, Calif.

Amaro and Spray earned a total score of 84.440 in men’s pair. Henninger, Kidd and Penny posted a total score of 84.040 in women’s group, while Savannah Shields and Mallory Henthorn, both of Blue Springs, Mo., won women’s pair with a score of 75.810.

In mixed pair, the duo of Andre Solodar of San Jose, Calif., and Xiau-Ling Wee of Monte Sereno, Calif., earned the all-around gold medal with a score of 83.860.

… The acrobatic gymnastics all-around is a sum of three routines: balance, dynamic and combined.

Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. The combined routine unites elements of balance and dynamic.

An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner. Bases generally are older athletes who display strength and balance and top partners generally are younger athletes who display flexibility and agility. Middle partners often are required to show a combination of all attributes.

News: Amaro, Spray win third straight U.S. acrobatic gymnastics men’s pair title