training at another gymnastics club

My gym invited another — Gymtastics — over on a Sunday to train “together”.

We mixed the kids from the two gyms together as best we could.

It was a mini-training camp with all gymnasts getting 7 half hour rotations, each with a different coach.

NOON – WARM-UP = 15min

12:15 – BARS
12:45 – TUMBLING (rod floor)
1:15 – ARTISTIC PREP (dance studio)
1:45 – FLEXIBILITY for Beam (beam area)

BREAK – 15min

2:00 – BEAM
2:30 – VAULT and Yurchenko on Power Track
4:00 – MASSAGE



Students came in to gain practicum hours in Sports Massage.


At no extra cost to the families, with this training camp we had a “special event” on the calendar. Feedback was good from the gymnasts. (Coaches were challenged to do many rotations on the same apparatus, however.)

Our boys are training at two other clubs in December.

coach Jon Valdez charged

Video camera found in a locker room?


This is a real black eye on the otherwise excellent University of Illinois Men’s Gymnastics Program.

Valdez was slated to replace legendary coach Yoshi Hayasaki after this season.

p-valdez.jpgJohn Valdez, who coached Justin Spring at the Beijing Olympics, was charged Tuesday with one count of unauthorized videotaping, Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said. The charge is a Class 4 felony and carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison.

Valdez resigned from the university in October, citing personal issues.

A gymnast training on Sept. 25 with Valdez in the gym used by the men’s gymnastics team noticed a handheld video camera partially hidden under a T-shirt in an open locker, Rietz said.

The 22-year-old gymnast, who is a student, reported the camera to Valdez, but later called campus police and found the incident had never been reported to them, the prosecutor said.

Police who later searched the 40-year-old Valdez’s Urbana home found the camera.

“The images had been deleted, but the technicians were able to restore the deleted images,” Rietz said. She didn’t immediately comment on what was on the tape.

Former Illinois coach charged in videotaping – Daily Herald

gymnastics Floor music on an iPod

I am looking for a way to convert analog tapes to digital. I want all our girl’s Floor Exercise music on an iPod for convenience in training.

One device does this:


Ion Dual Cassette Tape Archiver – Amazon

You buy it in Canada at The Source by Circuit City (CAD $150).

Leave a comment if you know of other options.

another interesting bar transition

Hannah points us to this routine:

Melanie Marti from Switzerland at the 2005 World AA Championships.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Nice set!

Variations of that element (salto up) were common back when the bars were close together. They are almost unheard of now.

related post: most original bar routine of the year

extreme Heelys

Originally posted on Gymnast.

I thought Heelys would be fleeting fad. But they seem to be persisting. (Shaq bought 6 pairs, so they must be durable, as well.)


Heelys Youth Glitter Skate Shoe – Amazon

Heelys are a brand of sneakers (marketed by Heelys, Inc.) that have one or more wheels embedded in each sole, similar to inline skates. Thus, the wearer can walk, run, or, by shifting their weight to their heels, roll. Generally, “Heeling” is a form of skating, and as such may not be allowed in some places, including schools.

Over one million pairs of the shoes were sold in their first year alone. Roger Adams invented and patented Heelys in 1998 while vacationing with family in California …


Needless to say, kids are taking Heelys to the vert ramp. (video)

But I prefer this innovative clip: Lawnmower and Heelys.

Yes, there are many injuries in these shoes. Pediatrics published one study in 2007. I wasn’t surprised with what they found:

… 56 girls and 11 boys with a mean age of 9.6 years. Upper limbs were the most common location of injury. Distal radius fractures were the most prevalent, followed by supracondylar fractures, elbow dislocations, and hand fractures. The majority of children suffered the injury while heeling or street gliding outdoors. Interestingly, 20% of the injuries happened while trying Heelys or Street Gliders for the first time, and 36% of the injuries occurred while learning (using 1–5 times) how to use them. None of the children used any sort of protective gear at the time of the injury. The majority of the injured children expressed their intention to continue heeling or street gliding after complete recovery from their injury. …

We’d better train kids to use them as we do with roller-skates. They are not going away.

gymnasts and the internet

Most teen and young women where I live socialize online mainly on Facebook. Including the gymnasts.

Is that a problem?

Perhaps less than most coaches think. From the NY Times:

Good news for worried parents: All those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.

Gymnasts are BUSY. They don’t have much time for Mall crawling and hanging out with friends.

But they can keep in touch with what’s happening through MySpace or Facebook. Before or after work-out.

… “Those concerns about predators and stranger danger have been overblown,” she said. “There’s been some confusion about what kids are actually doing online. Mostly, they’re socializing with their friends, people they’ve met at school or camp or sports.” …

NY Times – Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Not a Bad Thing

Facebook is not going away. We need to make the best of it.


One big question is whether or not coaches should “friend” their gymnasts.

Many my age, do not. Preferring to keep a “professional distance”.

My policy is to “friend” gymnasts on their request only. That’s worked out well for me, so far.

The day may come when I decide to unfriend all current athletes, however. Though I hope it doesn’t.

Leave a comment if you’ve had problems with athletes using social networking sites.

UPDATE: The comments are excellent on this post. Especially the one from Just another opinion. Thanks. I will stay “friended” to my gymnasts that made the request, for now. It’s definitely been a PLUS. Also, they need to learn — hopefully not the hard way — what’s appropriate and inappropriate to share with the world. Knowing that adults can monitor, is part of that.

gymnast Samantha Shapiro – Bars

Andrew Thornton on Gymnast speculates that Shapiro may be essential to the American World Championships Team in 2009:

… stylish presentation, picture-perfect technique, and razor-sharp toe point …

Click PLAY or watch her 2008 Visa Championships Bars on YouTube.

… That bars routine actually scored a tremendous 15.9, which not only dominated the junior field on this event, but would have been welcomed with open arms onto our Olympic team this year! If you recall, the selection committee searched endlessly for a third gymnast who could score close to the 16-range on this event, but ended up having to fall back on Shawn Johnson’s 15.35 in the team finals in Beijing. Had Shapiro been just five months older, she may have been the ideal candidate to fill the 6th and final spot on this year’s U.S. team. …

Spotlight…Samantha Shapiro

Phoenix Adult Gymnastics Competition

My club has attended this excellent event in past years.

Saturday, April 4th 2009

Location: Vancouver, Canada – Phoenix Gymnastics Club

Registrants must be at least 18 years of age and have NOT been enrolled in competitive gymnastics for at least one year. Two categories: Under age-30. And age-30 and better.

“Athletes” Can Compete in the Following Events:

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
Women’s Floor Exercise (with music)
Uneven Bars
Balance Beam

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
Men’s Floor Exercise
Parallel Bars
High Bar
Pommel Horse

Trampoline Gymnastics
Fast Track


Questions? Contact Mary Morice at (604) 737- 7693 ext. 24 or email at mary AT

Or download the official documentation to your computer:

  • Phoenix Masters Meet.pdf
  • Adult Code – 2008-2009.pdf
  • Thanks Louise Demers.