professional NCAA recruiting videos

Many gymnasts interested in applying for a College scholarship make a mess of their video. This is especially true of non-American gymnasts who often do not know what recruiters want.

Consider hiring Springboard Video to put together your tape.

At about US$300 it could be a great investment.

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IDEA – I wonder if Springboard would put together audition tapes for athletes wanting to be invited to Cirque du Soleil auditions?

TumblTrak vaulting “Porta Table”

At the USA Congress I spoke longer to Doug Davis of TumblTrak than any other vendor. He is as farsighted about equipment innovation as anyone I know.

I was disappointed to hear that my absolute favourite piece of new gymnastics gear was not selling well.

What a shame. This device is fantastic for all gymnasts, especially those training Yurchenkos.

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It is a miniature Tumbl Trak, shaped like a vault table. It offers a quick and responsive rebound off the vaulter’s hands. The surface is so forgiving that vaulters can do multiple repetitions without the threat of overuse injuries. It is a safer design that gives the vaulter more confidence to try new skills. The Porta Table also gives the vaulter more air time to perfect technique and can be set up in several stations around the gym.

There are several ways to use the Porta Table.
1. Velcro to the floor going into a pit.
2. Attach to a Porta Base (base sold separately)
3. Velcro to the Tumbl Trak using the Cross Supports (sold separately).
4. Velcro to base blocks and/or spotting blocks.
5. Attach to your existing vault horse base (conversion bracket needed for this set-up which is sold separately).

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This is the first piece of equipment I would buy if setting up a new gym.

TumblTrak – Gymnastics Equipment Vaulting Porta Table

DVD – Trampoline – The Flip Charts

Trampoline_FlipCharts_GH.jpgTom Beach directed this excellent video which clearly explains the famous George Hery “Flip Charts” to those of us who were not there when they were being invented.

You get a “Flip Charts” booklet as well as the video allowing you to try it out right away.

The program assumes you know a fair bit about trampoline. Beginner coaches would be better to start with Hery’s Trampoline Flipping and Twisting DVD.

More videos and coaching resources on GymSmarts.com.

It is interesting to compare the traditional DVD sales approach of GymSmarts with that of American-Gymnast.com which plans to roll out a membership subscription approach to short gymnastics instructional video clips. I expect there will be a market for both companies.

DVD – Balance Beam – It’s About Stability

Balance_Beam_Stability_DR.jpgCongratulations to Debbie Rodriguez on her new beam DVD published by GymSmarts.

And congratulations to Debbie who is expecting baby #2.

This DVD is clearly geared for all levels of competitive gymnastic coachess. The focus on stability is a good approach.

I coached Debbie back in the good old days at Altadore Gymnastics in Canada. It’s wonderful to see what she has done as a coach / owner at Byers Gymnastics in California.

USA Gymnastics Jr. Championships 2006

The American Juniors are fantastic.

Much of the media coverage went to champion Shawn Johnson from West Des Moines, Iowa. She has a Chinese coach, Liang Chow.

“Shawn Johnson?” Bela Karolyi said, his voice rising and his eyes growing wide. “Wow. Wow. Wow!”

Coach has single syllable for junior champion: Wow

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‘Peanut’ Looks to Beijing – AP

For me the highlight was the Bars rotation which included the WOGA and Great American Gymnastic Express Juniors. It was a coaching clinic where you could contrast and compare two fantastic coaching styles. I give Great American the slight edge. Those kids have unbelievably good form and position. They reminded me of my favourite gymnast of the 2004 Olympics Courtney McCool also coached by Al and Armine Fong of Great American.

But there are dozens of fantastic gymnasts coming up in the USA, many from lesser known clubs.

The future looks bright.

Many credit Marta Karoli for fine tuning the National Team program.

She has done a good job. But the huge American base of clubs and the competitive free enterprise system is the more important secret of success.

Liukin is USA Gymnastics Champion 2006

Just like Artemev in the Men’s competition, the winner of the Women’s meet was a very artistic, foreign-born, fan favourite.

Like most everyone, I love that a girl with a Rhythmic Gymnastics body can be so successful in Artistic gymnastics. Congratulations Nastia Liukin!

Competition Results – Senior Women.

There was some controversy over the high score awarded Nastia on beam after she took as big a wobble as I have ever seen without falling off. But I and most other pundits are too confused by the new scoring system to be able to comment. We need an analysis by up-to-date beam judges.

Personally I am thrilled that Nastia repeated as National Champion. Her form has improved since Worlds and she could peak for World Championships in the Fall. I will be cheering. Her Bars and Beam are thrilling.

The best highlight of the Senior meet, however, was Alicia Sacramone on vault. Her lift off the vault horse must be the highest ever seen.

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more photos on Alicia’s official website

The USA is the team to beat at Worlds 2006. And the future looks bright as the Juniors coming up are even better.

Men’s USA Gymnastics Championships 2006

UPDATE: USA Gymnastics names U.S. Men’s Team for 2006 World Championships

I was happy to see the All-around won by artistic, stylish Sasha Artemev. He does remind you of his father, 1984 USSR Champion Vladimir Artemov.

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more photos of Artemev from Inside Gymnastics

Artemev was not the favourite. Everyone was talking about David Durante coming into the meet. Unfortunately Durante had a lot of surprising errors.

ARTEMEV EARNS FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE – Inside Gymnastics

I had not seen the US Men in a couple of years. Clearly they are much improved on Vault and Rings.

David Sender is world class on vault launching Shewfelt (Yurchenko 2 1/2) like Kyle Shewfelt.

I spoke with the judges on P Bars and they were happy with the routines they saw. The new code rewards C-parts so we are seeing, once again, beautiful swings in sequence.

The Junior competition was disappointing. The athletes have potential — but competing FIG rules is working to the disadvantage of progress. The Men’s program needs to rework their age group regulations in light of the new code.

Jeff Metzger’s Small Business Boot Camp

Here at the USA Congress past customers of Jeff’s workshop for Club Owners are still raving. It’s simply the best bang for your buck for those who want to improve the management of their clubs.

jeff.jpgJeff Metzger, President and Founder

Who should attend?

Is BOOT CAMP for everyone? No, it is not. BOOT CAMP is an investment and, like any investment, one size does not fit all. BOOT CAMP is only for those GymClub Owners or managers who intend to make a career in this industry: short-timers will not reap value, as BOOT CAMP is not a quick-fix. …

What about small GymClubs? Can a small operation benefit? Absolutely: the size of your club has no bearing on the value of BOOT CAMP, as it focuses on and teaches a strategy to help you establish and reach your goals. …