video – “Complete Recreational Gymnastics”

I am happy to recommend (almost certainly) the best video resource for recreational coaches available.

It is called Complete Recreational Gymnastics, a huge collection (2hrs 43min!) of over 550 skills and drills for coaching girls gymnastics.

Quality is excellent, produced by coach Charles Minster, an expert video editor.

His co-author for this video is Tasmanian coach Mark Moncur from Kingborough Gymnastics.

Games and activities are easy to understand, even for young children.

The resource looks expensive at AUS$120 until you consider that other companies would have sold it as six 30min videos. (I find it far more convenient to have everything on one disk.)

View details and see video samples on-line: Complete Recreational Gymnastics. (PAL format)

This DVD is also available in the NTSC format from 10.0 for US$99.


Charles Minster has another video highlighting the coaching philosophy of world expert Colin Still from the UK. (This video is 4hrs 33min! featuring 395 skills and drills!)

And I will soon be reporting more DVDs. Charles is currently in the UK shooting more footage. Minster Productions will be permanently linked under VIDEOS in the right hand navigation column.

Will we see this fantastic content available on-line, as well?

Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2007

Congratulations to the British Artistic teams who both finished third ahead of host Australia.

I was not surprised to hear that Louis Smith was a star of AYOF Gymnastics 2007.

China topped the gymnastics medal tally with 11 gold. The women’s artistic team cleaned up the gold in all four apparatus finals.

Emma Dennis and Mary-Anne Monckton were the most impressive gymnasts from Australia, taking out the silver on vault and floor respectively.

Australia was unfortunate to miss out on medaling in the team events of the artistic gymnastics, placing fourth in both men’s and women’s.

In the men’s artistic competition Great Britain proved they have the potential to compete at the same level as China and Japan. Louis Smith claimed Great Britain’s first gold on the pommel horse.

He also won silver in the artistic all-around and an unexpected bronze on the high bar.

The British team scooped up bronze in both men’s and women’s artistic team events. Britain’s team manager, Vince Walduck said “It’s been a wonderful experience. Thanks for the invitation. The competition has had a great intense international feel but with a human touch that is so important to these young elite athletes.”

Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2007 – AOC


competitive gymnastics costs too much

I subscribe to Tom Burgdorf’s Parenting An Athlete Newsletter. Good advice, delivered by email.

You can sign up to get Tom’s Parenting Newsletter from the Gymnastics Business Newsletter page. It’s free.

dollar1.jpegTom feels the price levied to compete is getting too high. I agree.

How does cost in your region compare with Tom’s hypothetical USA gym club?

The $5650 Commitment

12 months of team gymnastics, Level 5 gymnast – $180 a month = $2160.

Leotard and warm ups = $100.

4 Local meets a year = $250 in total family expenses.

2 travel meets within the state with overnight accommodations needed = $600 for a family.

1 big meet trip with air fare = $1000 with 1 parent going.

Gas to the gym for a year = $500.

Team goes to a summer camp together = $800

6 private lessons during the year = $240

Total commitment = $5650

… My question is, can we have team and cut back anywhere above and still offer a terrific team program? Sometimes I feel like we add and add and add to the team commitment with hours and costs without keeping an eye on our community and the expenses for a family. We will lose some very nice kids because of the costs if we are not careful.

swinging rings

Originally uploaded by FliynHuwyn.

Swinging Rings on Santa Monica Beach, California was the highlight of my pilgrimage there in the late 1970s. Twice I saw quad back somersault dismount where the only landing mat was a large group of people with upstretched arms.

Swinging rings was very popular for girls in that era. Men did “still rings” and women did “swinging rings”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to nearby Venice, California to train as a body builder. This was also the birthplace of vertical skateboard.

Southern California has an amazing acrobatic history.

Australia 2007 – twisting on Floor

Rick McCharles feels that athletes can easily get confused about twisting on Floor. It can be frustrating for the coach.

He shared some tips and drills for teaching twisting in a fun, safe environment using trampoline devices. Much later putting the twist on the hard floor mats.

To see Rick’s presentation notes click PLAY or watch them on YouTube.

More information on twisting.

Australia 2007 – gymnastics conditioning

Rick McCharles presented a session called “Building a Gymnastics Body”.

Gymnasts are the “fittest” athlete. Gymnastics coaches can use our same programs to train athletes from other disciplines.

To see Rick’s PowerPoint presentation click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

More information on physical preparation.

trampoline bounce board

In my never ending quest to buy — or build — a trampoline board that does not break after the first couple of weeks, here’s the latest candidate:

The TRAMPOLINE BOUNCE BOARD is safe to use on the trampoline mat. This is a fun new game for training skateboarders (great for grab tricks), kite surfers, snowboarding, water surfing and skiing. Practice “new moves” on your backyard trampoline before hitting the water or slopes.

Snowboard instructors, wakeboard competitors, gymnastic coaches are all impressed ….

Flexes with the trampoline mat, but returns to its orginal shape. Try this also on our inflatable
water trampolines and have a blast! …


(Designed for 8 – 18 years, but older kids will love it too!)

Waterproof (Durable, Soft, Closed cell foam construction) Strong and Flexible with Great Shock Absorption

Adjustable Foot Straps with Heavy Duty Hook & Loop Closure

Slip Resistant Fabric Bottom.

more information on

Leave a comment if you have tried this model.

Australia 2007 – avoiding overuse injuries

Coach Rick McCharles is passionate about making gymnastics safer for athletes and coaches. Many “traumatic” and “overuse” injuries can be prevented.

Our main strategy is to modify training equipment to allow “more reps with less stress”.

To see Rick’s presentation notes click PLAY or watch them on YouTube.

heard of the “World Games”?

Though the Olympics are wonderful, I don’t think much of the IOC. One of the least democratic organizations in the world, it badly needs reform.

I disagree with those like Brian Martin who want to abolish the Olympics altogether. But everyone needs to pressure the IOC to improve.

Alternatives to the Olympics should be encouraged too. The X Games have potential and problems.

I was unhappy when the Goodwill Games were cancelled after 2001.

IWGA.gifAnd what about the biggest alternative of all — The World Games?

The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. …

Some of the sports that were on the program of the World Games eventually made it as Olympic sports (such as triathlon) or have been Olympic sports in the past (like tug of war). Participation in past World Games is included in the evaluation criteria used to select new Olympic sports adopted by the IOC on August 12, 2004. However, with the current position of the IOC to limit the Olympic Games to 10,500 participants, it is unlikely than many of the World Games sports will be elevated to the Olympic sports.

World Games – Wikipedia

Sports (sometimes) included are: Synchronized trampoline, Tumbling, Sport aerobics, Sports acrobatics, Individual rhythmic gymnastics, Artistic roller skating, Wakeboarding and some martial arts.

Organizers of the next World Games, Taiwan 2009 have posted a somewhat goofy promotional video.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

World Games – official website