cheerleaders’ bare midriffs banned

Cheerleaders have been banned from baring their midriffs, with their governing body fearing it might be encouraging anorexia. Gymnastics Australia has given cheerleader troupes until the end of the year to find new uniforms, saying current revealing costumes make other teenagers feel uncomfortable about their weight.

… The ban is already in place (for some teams) in the United States and will effect about 105 teams registered with Gymnastics Australia.

Anorexia fear: cheerleaders’ bare midriffs banned – National –

This is going too far, I feel.

Competition costumes should be regulated. But ultimately this kind of a decision should be left to coach, choreographer and the athletes.

Having coached in Australia, I’ve seen many girls train acrobatic sports in two piece suits. It’s a hot country.

Many find it more comfortable.

It is the norm in many gymnastics gyms.

private coaching –

Jeremy Mosier, head coach of Altadore Gymnastics in Canada, just posted a new website for his consulting business FlexSport.


FlexSport offers training for dancers, swimmers, divers, skiers, cheerleaders, and anyone seeking personal training in flexibility, strength, trampoline, tumbling and gymnastics.

Jeremy works one-on-one or with small groups.

Gymnastics and trampoline coaches have a lot to offer non-gymnasts. More of us should set up personal consulting companies like FlexSport.

Artistic coaches should look to Rhythmic

Rhythmic Gymnastics coaches do not have a lot to learn from Artistic and Trampoline.

But Artistic coaches should look to Rhythmic for inspiration. Their active flexibility training is excellent.

Avril Enslow (Christchurch School of Gymnastics) brought in a Rhythmics coach to work with optional competitive girls. The Artistic gymnasts tried dozens of different leaps, jumps, turns and transition movements from Rhythmic. (Unusual “Illusions”, for example.) Avril was looking to add some variety to the floor and beam routines.

Kids enjoyed it. Each was asked to try to add one or two new elements to their already established Floor and Beam routines.

If you asked me to find you a choreographer for Floor, I would look first for a Rhythmic choreographer who knows gymnastics. Rhythmic music is far more interesting than what we get in Artistic.

It’s true that historically I have not been a huge fan of Rhythmic due to (an assumed) high rate of eating disorders.

But the competitors in USA Championships looked healthy to me. They have some striking body types, some of whom I find very artistic.

source articles for coaches

I have promoted the DVDs from since I first heard about them from Tom Beach.

But I was a little fuzzy on their MembersPlus Program until Tom gave me a sample at USA Championships.

Here is a screenshot sample of what is available to those who pay an annual membership fee. Coaching articles called “E-reports”:


You get all the new articles for $60 per year. Or buy them one at a time for $5 each.

Details on the E-reports page.

Gym Smarts contributors include Steve Butcher, Dan Connelly, Barbara Davis, George Hery, Cheryl Jarrett, Dave Juszczyk, Jeff Lulla, Jeff Robinson, Debbie Rodriguez, Sam Sandmire, Jason Selk, Michael Taylor, Yoishi Tomita, Glen Vaughan, and Mas Watanabe. A great line-up!

new “spring” beam

smallcrossection.jpgCoaches are raving about the new spring beam the same way they raved about spring floors when they were introduced.

It’s been approved for Jr. Olympic age group competition in the USA.

Gym Trix
A Completely Revolutionary Balance Beam!

Gym-Trix Inc. has recently received patent approval for our NEW spring loaded balance beam. The combination of internal steel springs and a completely movable top create a “Spring Floor” action for the entire working surface of the beam.

self-spotting beam belt

Much debated at the USA Gymnastics Congress trade show was a spotting belt over a beam which required no spotter.

It worked as advertised.

The Zero Gravity Chamber is a patented spotting system that enables gymnasts to safely learn and practice advanced beam skills and series without physical assistance from a coach.

But I’ve never like belts, this one in particular. Kids can land skills while doing very much the wrong thing.

It might be FUN to try once or twice. But a training aid?

No way.

Details: Zero Gravity Sports

video – Alicia Sacramone – vault

Like everyone else, I flipped out when I saw Sacramone vault at the 2006 USA Championships.

I wish there was a “height bonus” in the new code of point regulations!

Alica could vault in the Men’s competition with her kind of power.

Incidentally, the FIG vault horse is fixed at 125cm. But in the States, Jr. Olympic women’s rules state the horse can be raised to the men’s height of 135cm. This is a great move for the USA women’s program.

Many girls will vault better at the higher horse height.

Click PLAY on the video below or watch the clip on

USA Gymnastics Congress 2006

Gymnastics Excellence Through Education?

That is the question.

The major convention of coaches in the USA was good, I thought, but not great. They need to bring in more new presenters — perhaps international experts who have never led sessions in the States.

The quality of presentations is mixed. Many speakers are there mainly to sell a product or promote their own service. There are too few sessions I would categorize as “education”.

Cost for me as a non-member of USA Gymnastics was US$400, a bit steep for a 2-day course. A better bang for the buck, I feel, is the equally expensive US$200 1-day Annual Business Conference which precedes the Congress.


USA Gymnastics Congress “Gymnastics Through Education”.

USA Gymnastics plans to take over (in future) the Regional Congress events. This is controversial. Many believe that quality will suffer. Many believe that the takeover is financially motivated.

On the other hand, if a master plan could coordinate presentations at Congress and around the States, some efficiencies may be gained. Lets keep an open mind and see how USAG handles it.