La Nouba, Cirque du Soleil – Orlando

La Nouba is an independent production built right into downtown Walt Disney World, Orlando.

It has been a big hit. In fact, Disney is considering building more specially-made Cirque venues at their other giant amusement parks around the world.

I loved the show. Their trampoline act is the best I have ever seen.

The current poster girl for La Nouba is one of the most popular Cirque performers, Natasha Hallet, member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic Team.


Yoga is better than nothing

I have friends whose dream vacation is spiritual, doing yoga for hours every day on the beach.

yoga on the beach

Historically we in the gymnastics community have been suspicious of Yoga. If you asked me to locate a fraud, I would look first in ashrams.

I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge mastery of the musculoskeletal system. (I have no memory syndrome.) Still, my understanding is better than 90% of Yoga teachers. Their explanations are not as science-based as I would like. Where are the chakras? Exactly?

But my Tulum beach yoga teacher Sarah swayed me. I really enjoyed her sessions.

Joe Laughlin convinced me too. Joe is a professional dancer and a former National tumbling champion. A serious athlete.

Joe retired at age 37. Then made a comeback a couple of years later. He said that by doing only Pilates (something of a Germanic evolution from Yoga) he was restored to the best shape of his life. Many serious athletes I know have embraced pilates. It works.

I now, finally concede that yoga can improve fitness and is not simply trendy posturing. Not just an excuse for sipping latte with your yoga-mat-toting friends.

gymnastics – conditioning for bars

22bars150.jpgJohn Geddert, Twistars Gymnastics Club, is one of the best coaches in the USA.

He posted some good conditioning drills for bars in an article in Technique magazine:

Beginning Uneven Bars

A shortcoming of most inexperienced coaches is that they become impatient in the development of the necessary strength. The end product is usually poor technique, lack of success and, in turn, frustration on the part of the athlete and the coach.

dispute management

listenerAs a poor-listener this is something I need learn.

When I disagree with someone in future, I plan to:

1. Listen carefully – “I hear you.”

2. Acknowledge – “I appreciate / recognize how you feel.”

3. Offer proof – “I know how you feel. I felt the same way when…”

4. Share your discovery – “What I found that worked for me was…”

Disagree — without undermining.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Thanks to Garth Rowan for explaining this to me. He calls it the Feel, Felt, Found formula.

gymnastics – innovative equipment

Marvin Sharp is the Head Coach of Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy in Indianapolis.

The club has posted photos of their gym.


Bar height can be adjusted, in seconds, from 3 ft. to 8 ft. and anywhere in between. This is the same bar used at the USAG National Team Training Center (The Ranch).
That is where we got the idea.


Giant custom made spotting blocks! Here we are using the blocks to make a canyon bar for pirouettes, uprises, etc.

See more of the Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy facility.

what happened at the clinic?

For decades I have been the guy with the video at the clinic. The one taking notes on a laptop computer. The one responsible for sending the report out to clubs. …

Last clinic for 3 coaches from our gym, we had 2 camcorders running.

For the first time I see this for an upcoming coaching workshop:

Personal video/still shot cameras are NOT permitted at any Congress session. Gymnastics Queensland may video all Congress Sessions and DVDs will be available for purchase shortly after the completion of Congress.

Hmm. They clearly want to generate some revenue from the proceedings in addition to the course entry fee.

My fear is that the extra revenue will not cover the cost of production. I hope I’m wrong.

I’ll be reporting on that Congress in the next couple of weeks. Will let you know what happens.

video – “free running” (Parkour or PK)

Only the French could have come up with a sport this insane. You may have seen videos clips of youth in street clothes running, overcoming natural obstacles on the route with a variety of gymnastic and acrobatic moves including jumps & wall runs. It is an urban thing.

As usual, the recently maligned Wikipedia is the best reference on the web for anything interesting:

Parkour – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Belle, free runner

The wildest clip I have yet seen should be on this page, if you have high speed internet.

Doug Taylor pointed me to this building jumper video page.

video – Bars by John Geddert

UNEVEN BARS A to Z ($50) are the best Bars coaching videos I have seen.

These DVDs are comprehensive: idle time stations, conditioning and technique. Included are American compulsories, basic optional skills — even advanced bar releases and dismounts.

Coach John Geddert may run the top Bar club in the USA.

You can get them through the TwiStars USA website. Click the Contact Us link.