Nemov dislikes new code of points

“I don’t like the fact that a 10 score is no longer possible as that was the system under which I competed,” said Nemov, who compiled an impressive tally of 12 Olympic medals before bowing out in 2004.

Nemov laments demise of perfect 10

Public criticism of Nemov’s horizontal bar score in Athens was as much as anything else the impetus for the new code of points where the scoring is virtually open-ended.

But I agree with him. Disposing of the 10.0 brand brought to us by Nadia is a colossal mistake.

device for training balance – Indo board

Often as a rehabilitation tool, most gyms have some kind of “wobble” board, home made or of commercial design. Before getting to Woodward I had never seen the Indo board — it’s much more challenging than any other I’ve seen.

It offers a difficult balance task ideal for gymnasts, skateboarders and anyone wanting to improve. This clip was filmed at Woodward West Action Sports camp where skaters, skateboarders and cyclist of every description train in the gymnastics gym — enjoying trampolines, foam pits and training aids like the Indo Board.

Click PLAY or watch the video on YouTube.

job – Rec Director Required

Wages based on experience. First Aid & CPR, Police check required.

Clarington Gymnastics Academy is a privately owned and operated gymnastics club. We are conveniently located close to the 401 in Bowmanville ON, Canada (20 mins east of Toronto). Clarington Gymnastics prides itself on having the best Recreational Programs around. With over 1,500 kids passing through our doors on a yearly bases and programs always full!

For more information:

where’s the best playground?

The best I know is the huge new Lions Adventureland children’s playground/waterpark, in Parksville on Vancouver Island in Canada.

The town wanted to live up to their name.


Most kids must be introduced to gymnastics-like activities on the playground. Those who excel on the playground (like Nadia) are often recommend to a gym club.

There must be many fantastic free outdoor gymnastics playgrounds around the world. Where are the best ones?

If you have a favourite — leave a comment below.

UPDATE: Here’s my shout out for the VitaCourse fitness playgrounds.

teaching and learning

Rick McCharles

It’s a truism that the best way to learn anything, is to teach it.

I recall as a young coach identifying biomechanics as my weakest area of understanding. My mentor Keith Russell subsequently made me teach it. (This is always the most controversial section of any coaching course.)

Just editing this blog (hardly teaching) has schooled me in many specialized acrobatic activities in which I was unaware when merely coaching gymnastics.


“Stick It” will be a cult classic

The successful gymnastics movie Stick It will live long.

It is not a perfect film, but I find I can easily watch it repeatedly.


The great visuals. It was a master stroke using the red GymNova mats. And some of the cinematography reminds me of the ultimate cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

To see what I mean click PLAY or watch a short clip on YouTube.

This site is easily confused with — but happily they are both great sites.

The other,, is a UK based site edited by Val Sellars, a senior University lecturer.

Val posts animated drills and video clips geared mostly for beginners — check a sample “practice of the month” video clip.

You can sign up for a free Teaching Gymnastics e – Newsletter which I recommend.

There are many other features for members. Take a browse of


the “flexibility torture book”

Another great book by Roland Carrasco is no longer in print.

Back in the day we referred to it as the flexibility torture book. That was black humour — in fact this is an excellent resource and we added many of his exercises. Though in French, the photographs told the tale.

There were a number of stretches we crossed out with a large X — in particular those showing knee hyper-extension drills.

cover image from – The Souplesse Lover : Gym Training

circus – DIAVOLO

Cirque du Soleil friends mentioned the Diavolo troupe.

They look pretty cool!

diavolo.jpgDiavolo was founded in 1992 in Los Angeles by Jacques Heim to create large-scale interdisciplinary performances which examine the funny and frightening ways individuals act with their environment. The craftiness and wit of Diavolo is captured by the stylized fox logo. Constantly changing the image presented to the audience, Diavolo has developed a movement vocabulary that creates an almost cinematic experience of powerful images that develop abstract narratives of the human condition.

The company is comprised of dancers, gymnasts and actors who create performances collaboratively under the guidance of Heim. The sets created are outrageous and surrealistic and form an intrinsic part of each piece of work. Everyday items such as doors, chairs and stairways provide the back-drop for dramatic movement – leaping, flying, twirling – that creates metaphors for the challenge of relationships, the absurdities of life and the struggle to maintain our humanity in an increasingly technological world.

The 10 member company currently has over a dozen works in repertoire (ranging from 10 to 75 minutes in length), most of which travel easily and can be adapted to large and small scale venues.

I will try to catch their touring show.


more photos from m @ r i t e s s on Flickrdiavolo-pic.jpg