Drew Donnellan

Every coach worries about a “fluke” accident resulting in a serious injury.

I was moved by Andrew Donnellan’s story and his admirable response to a quadriplegic spinal injury suffered May 12th, 2006.

The Arizona Daily Star is posting a series on “Drew’s Journey” and I respect the reporting. It is not at all sensationalized.

I have taken a team to Drew’s club in Tuscon in the past. Indeed, many gymnasts on that trip called it our best ever gymnastics tour. The facility and coaching are first class.

Drew was a nationally ranked Level 10 gymnast doing a basic single somersault he had done perfectly hundreds of times.

How to help Drew:

The Andrew Donnellan Recovery Fund has set up an account, numbered 2552379782, at Wells Fargo Bank. Donations are also accepted at:
P.O. Box 89173, Tucson, AZ, 85752-0173

On Oct. 14, Drew’s friends and family will hold a fundraiser featuring a dinner and a silent auction. For information, call Kate Muniz at 520-631-4026.

gymnast in outer space

maclean-thumbnail.jpgFormer Canadian National Team member Steve MacLean finally blasted off (the flight was delayed), his second trip to space.

Steve is looking forward to 2 spacewalks and working the robotic Canadarm2 during his 10 days in the space shuttle.

My favourite images of Steve, however, are seeing him doing flips and twists in weightless conditions in space.

We all dream of doing acrobatics in low gravity conditions!

More information on Gymnastics Canada.

pommel mushroom – Gym Trix

I’d like to try the wide single pommel as a progression for single pommel circles.

Gym-Trix, the creator of the Ultra Dome, has added a Pommel Top to the best circle trainer in the world! Safe and stable, the Pommel Top is the latest innovation in the pommel horse training. This new top adds yet another dimension to progressive horse training. Best of all, the Ultra Dome base interchanges with the Pommel Top trainer. Current Ultra Dome owners can order just the Pommel Top and accessory parts to make your Dome a complete pommel trainer!

pommels.jpg

The Pommel Top is easily detached for advanced training right on the floor, creating that extension which separates the best from the rest. The trainer comes with a pair of pommels and one extra long single pommel.

details on Gym Trix

TumblTrak tumbling “Air Floor”

Doug Davis of TumblTrak showed me his latest edition air floor. It’s 3 inches thick.

Looks fantastic though it is not inexpensive.

air-floor-gymnast-holding.jpgCheck details on their Air Floor page. It includes an endorsement video by Kurt Thomas.

The air mat is designed to sit atop a spring floor, tumbling strip, carpet foam or panel mats. Hard wood floor or grass not recommended.

“More Reps, Less Stress” is the tag line. It should reduce overuse injuries and prevent some traumatic ones.

Using an earlier model I found it added about half a somersault and a full twist to the potential power of almost every competitive gymnast.

The Air Floor is perfect, I feel, for a club that does not own a tumbling trampoline. It’s even better for programs specializing in tumbling, including cheerleading. And if you must move or store your tumbling mats, there is nothing better.

Cost is between US$800 – 1500 for mats between 3-6m (10-20ft) long. Add shipping, tax and brokerage fees (if shipping outside the USA).

Want a price on the air floor? Email TumblTrak at Tumb800@AOL.com.

Next — I also need a thinner (perhaps 1 inch thick) air mat just for take-offs into the pit. Would the (much more affordable) TumblTrak “Sweet Spot” do the trick? It is normally used attached to either the vault horse or the beat board?

video – twisting double somersaults

Fun at Legacy Trampoline & Tumbling training at Flips USA, Sparks, Nevada.

See if you can correctly “call” each trick as you watch.

Click PLAY on the video below or watch the clip on YouTube.

Double back tuck
Half-in half-out tuck
Half-in half-out straight x2
Double back straight
Ooops – crazy double back
Half-in half-out tuck
Full-out tuck
The end… psyche!
Double back straight x4
Full-in full-out puck
*Miraculous flipping/twisting flight out of the pit back onto the tramp
Full-in full-out puck x2
Another miraculous re-emergence from the pit
Slo-mo full-in full-out puck
Half-in Rudi-out straight
Rudi-out Pike
(ugly) Half-in Rudi-out straight
Double front layout
Double back layout
Full-out tuck
Half-in half-out tuck
Double front layout
Another (ugly) Half-in Rudi-out straight
Ultra slo-mo full-in full-out

sprint conditioning

Kids like this drill.

horse-and-cart.jpg

It is fairly good conditioning for sprinting. (running against resistance)

But as a coach I particularly like the cooperation needed for athletes to apply the correct amount of resistance. This builds teamwork.

This image is a video still from my favourite coaching DVD of recent years: YURCHENKO VAULTING ($30) by John Geddert.

human pyramids

Of a number of similar resources in print and on the internet, I like best a pyramid book published in French called Pyramides Humaines by Micheline Nadeau.

Coach Jim Rand bought a copy in Quebec. To get your own copy you could try contacting the publisher Les Editions Quebecor — or click on the book below for details in French.

You do not need to be able to read French to make good use of hundreds of pyramid diagrams.

Pyramides humaines

Nadeau’s book starts with solo positions. Advances to duos, trios and on up to large group formations. It does not include this one:

4_de_9_amb_folre.jpg
Castellers de Barcelona – Wikipedia on Human Pyramids

more images of pyramids on Google