John Roethlisberger on the Olympic test meet

If you have not already heard enough about the test competition from Beijing, read John’s honest and insightful review on Inside Gymnastics:

So the dust has settled on the Olympic Test Event in Beijing, China and anyone who thought the test event was supposed to be a preview of the gymnastics we are going to see next summer at the Olympics, well, you were sorely disappointed. …

Inside Gymnastics » Blog Home

John Roethlisberger is one of the best American gymnasts of all time, much respected by one and all.

John concurs that Cheng Fei was the biggest star of the meet. She’s the greatest female gymnast in Chinese history. Here’s a good montage including some major mistakes she’s made over her long, illustrious career:

Click PLAY or watch Cheng Fei on YouTube.

learning facilitator training – Canada

by Rick McCharles from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Tomorrow begins a pilot training course for “learning facilitators” in the latest revision of Canada’s NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) Level 1 Gymnastics Foundations course.

So far, it looks great.


Formerly “learning facilitators” were called “course conductors”.

I’ll be posting updates over the weekend.

Kiara Nowlin – world champion tumbler

I first heard about Kiara Nowlin from Don Eckert at Woodward West Gymnastics Camp. He called her the best tumbler her age in the USA.

Kiara came out of Cheer into competitive acrobatic tumbling.

To me, Kiara is symbolic of the rapid improvement of Cheer tumblers. Every day they are catching up to Artistic.

KIARA GOT THE GOLD MEDAL FOR THE USA AT THE 2007 World Age Group Championships in TUMBLING- Age 11-12, Nov 4 – 11 in Quebec City, Canada.

KIARA finished 1st

Russian Ekaterina Timofiychuk (2nd)

fellow USA teammate Mackenzie Kulka (3rd)

kiara’s world – official website

To see Kiara at Age Group Worlds click PLAY or watch her on YouTube.

One other thing you should know about Kiara Nowlin. Despite her tremendous celebrity at a very young age, she’s one of the most polite, respectful kids I’ve ever met.

Related post: Kiara Nowlin – cheer tumbling prodigy

free 3hr class at circus school in Australia

At the fabulous new National Institute of Circus Arts facility in Melbourne, Australia you can “try before you buy”:

If you are interested in trying out circus before committing to a term of classes then our Come & Try classes are for you. Running on Saturday 19th January our Summer Come & Try classes have something exciting for everyone. Have a go on Aerial Apparatus, Manipulation Equipment or try Tumbling and Acrobatics. Each Come & Try Class runs for 3 hours with participants trying various activities with trainers who teach in our term programs. Come & Try Participants may enrol in a term class after the enrolment deadlines following their class. …


about Short Courses at NICA

NICA offers classes for young and old.

National Institute of Circus Arts – Wikipedia

Zero G – The Weightless Experience for $3500

Every acrobat dreams of getting a chance to flip in zero or low gravity.

Las Vegas based ZERO-G is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true “weightlessness” without going to space.

The co-founder’s son, Danner Cronise, is the youngest ever to “fly” at age-8.

His sister Erin, an aspiring gymnast, said her favorite part was “being able to do a back flip without needing someone to spot me like in class; I felt like the best gymnast in the world! During one of the first weightless moments, I did a back handspring — I was so excited!” …

Martha Stewart, Professor Stephen Hawking, Princess Beatrice of York, Amy Grant, Billy Bush, Burt Rutan, Miles O’Brien, and cast members of “The Apprentice,” and “The Biggest Loser” are just a few notable passengers who’ve flown with ZERO-G.

The typical flight portion of the ZERO-G Experience lasts approximately 90 to 100 minutes. During the flight every customer experiences 15 parabolic arcs, each providing about 30 seconds of reduced gravity or weightlessness. By the end of the flight you will log about 7 to 8 minutes of reduced gravity – that’s about as much zero-gravity time as Alan Shepard experienced on America’s first human spaceflight.


Zero G – The Weightless Experience – official website

Zero Gravity Corporation – Wikipedia

Utah – best NCAA gymnastics recruits 2008

The 4th annual Ranking of Recruiting Classes as posted by College Gym Fans.

NCAA-recuiting.jpgLike last year, they rank Utah #1.

… In comparing athletes, we considered health, injury history, and the athlete’s status during the season before she entered college. History has shown time and again than a top L10 or “elite drop-down” can have as much impact in the NCAA as an elite National Team member. It has also been demonstrated that many elites who take time off during their senior years or are recovering from repetitive use injuries have a harder time making the adjustment to college. Trend is also important, for both elites and L10s. A fast rising L10, making rapid progress throughout her junior and senior year, shows an intangible attributes that bear some consideration. Therefore, US and international elites were not always favored over top L10s in this analysis. …

Ranking of Recruiting Classes for 2006-2007

Utah ended up having a very difficult season last year, lucky in scrambling to a 2nd place finish at home in Championships. Recruiting is not everything in the NCAA.

I saw on Gym Chat that the Utah girls did well in class:

Utah Gymnasts Score High In Classroom :: Utah gymnastics team compiles a 3.52 GPA.

Kristina Baskett is not only one of my favourite College gymnasts, but she has a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Wow.

Soulja Boy – How to Crank That – dance video

Chances are your young gymnasts have seen this video.

It’s teenage internet sensation DeAndre Ramone Way AKA Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, or simply Soulja Boy, an American rapper.

… his song “Crank That (Soulja Boy)“, which he initially self-published on the Internet, … became a number-one hit in the United States for seven non-consecutive weeks starting in September 2007. …

Soulja Boy – Wikipedia

Though the song does not do much for me, this, the official instructional video, may interest coaches who want to teach it to kids at the gym. It’s a dance craze.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube:

gymnastics coaching course Calgary 2007

by Rick McCharles

nccp.gifThis post is directed towards the excellent group of coaches who attended a course I organized between Christmas and New Years Eve.

Here are links to many of the things we talked about over the 5-days at Altadore.

VIDEOS that co$t money:

  • Yurchenko Vault – John Geddert (USA)
  • Advanced Gymnastics with Paul Hall (England)
  • White Palms
  • The best source of gymnastics coaching DVDs is GymSmarts.

    The best on-line series of video clips (by far) is American Gymnast: Gymnastics on Demand. (demo)

    Free videos are scattered across the internet. We link to the best of those from in our video category. (400+ clips)

    A few free videos shown at the course:

  • most dangerous skill in gymnastics (squat on, jump to high bar)
  • FUN competition at Mountain Shadows gymnastics
  • introducing backward giant on bars – David Kenwright
  • Gymnastics Revolution – Gymnastics Interactive
  • RICK’S POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS (minus premium video clips):

  • L2 Physical Preparation
  • L2 Gymnastics Safety
  • L2 Understand – Teach model (eg. handstand)
  • L2 Biomechanics
  • L2 Spotting
  • L2 Vaulting
  • L2 Tumbling
  • L2 Bar (horizontal bar and bars)
  • These links may well lead to more. Be sure to search this site, too, for topics of interest.


    Check the list of recommended websites on this post from a L4 course.

    Good luck to all who completed the Level 2 Technical course. I trust you will be more balanced coaches after all our talk of a healthy psychology of gymnastics training.


    Update: the sample successful conditioning program I showed. (principles are applicable for boys, as well)