Renmore, Ireland

by site editor Rick McCharles


Here are a few links from my 2nd visit to Renmore. I could scarcely believe how FAST the club had progressed in only 6 months!

• safety PIT information
• Recreation Report Card information
photos from my Jan. 2012 visit


This page is for Renmore Gymnastics, Galway, Ireland. I visited for a week in June 2011, trying to assist all programs at this fast growing club.

If your computer will not play these videos (.mov), you need to download some FREE software:

… either VLC or Quicktime. VLC is worth having anyway. It will play almost any movie in any format.

Rick’s PHOTOS & VIDEOS from the week:

short video of GymFest
long video of GymFest
Gym photos
Galway photos

COACHING VIDEOS recommended by Rick:

• American Gymnast Gymnastics on Demand videos (now FREE)
• the same American Gymnast videos on the JoeLangley YouTube channel FREE
• Rick’s YouTube channel FREE videos $ some FREE
MostepanovaFan YouTube FREE
GymSmarts videos ($30/DVD)
Gymnastics Minute YouTube channel (FREE)
Geddert DVDs ($30/DVD)

Canadian videos:

• Oakville – Sabrina Gill’s YouTube channel
• Oakville – Physical Preparation
• Oakville – Release Moves on Bars



• industry standard single-point-of-failure gymnastics chains are inherently a flawed design. Consider using the system from Phoenix, Edmonton, Alberta (PHOTOS) if Bar attachments ever need to be moved.

That design was suggested by American equipment design guru Jim Walker, by the way. Jim makes the best pits in the world, as well.

• currently the matting for the boys Parallel Bars makes those the least safe apparatus at Renmore. There is exposed metal exactly where kids tend to fall. Easiest fix would be custom padding around the metal, cutting (free) dense foam padding from computer shipping boxes, tying together the resulting base mat together with duct tape.


• sadly I don’t have video of the series of handstand drills I do against the wall, 3-4min at the end of every warm-up

• watching the many so-so backward walkovers at GymFest, it’s obvious Renmore’s system is not working well

• my #1 advice for the club is to ban bridge kick-over. Wait until the girls can do it from foot up on the wall with catch from their partner gymnast, instead. You won’t need to fix those walkover errors later.

• by end of October you will have the best walkovers in Ireland, without coaching or catching. Later that will pay off on forward and backward handsprings on Beam, for one example.


• every gym has kids who “balk”

• those “mental blocks” happen inevitably to girls not boys, on backwards skills not forward. They happen mostly during the competitive season. And mostly to older kids, not younger. To help prevent them, teach forward skills first and go back to those forward skills often. (i.e. front somersault before backward somersault, flyspring before flick, etc.)

• every gym has girls who balk on Beam flick, especially the second one in series. Those girls should have alternative series as a back-up, ideally forward handspring (taught as a fast forward walkover). The back-up series of last resort in Canada is Cartwheel immediate Round-off. (We had 2 girls who ended up competing that cheap series all season in 2009. At least they get credit for connection.)


• prevent future accidental injury by training kids from a young age to fall off Bars, the highest apparatus they use.

• Leaf Drop VIDEO

• ideally lead those games to Forward Flyaway and have kids do that somersault for a long time prior to ever letting them think they are doing a back somersault.

• Blind change is going really, really well with the 2 girls working it. You are in the top 10% of clubs in the world starting LATE rather than spending 3yrs working swing 1/2 turns. Continue in the “Renmore Trench Pit” tunnel until the girls can do Late Blind to immediate Reverse Flyaway without catch. Your problems are over after that point. Forward giant will come quickly, safely and easily. The kids will have a ‘back-up’ dismount (front flyaway pike 1/2).

No worries about turning earlier (in handstand). In fact, they’ll likely start turning too early … and you’ll need to go back to the LATE drills, once again.


Rick recommended we NOT emphasize ‘grip change’ nor ‘straight elbows’ too much with beginners. Instead let them get comfortable with swings around the bar by doing sole circles at a young age.

Click PLAY or watch the IDEAL on YouTube.


• it was great to see coaches agree with the Pak to “angry cat” approach to introducing backward flyaway. It went perfectly that day at the gym, too.

• keep that those drills all the way until they are connecting it from giant
… and you’ll have high, floaty “Texas” flyways

• ideally you’d have the youngest kids do flyaway to angry cat without catch, but with one of their teammates sliding in a mat EVERY dismount. This is somewhat common in MAG, but I’ve not once seen a WAG club do it, even though it’s female gymnasts that will end up balking on flyaway, not male.


• since you don’t have a pit, the easiest way to teach kids to ROTATE is off the trampoline vault horse. That went great in the gym. Switch sides catching so as to avoid shoulder surgery!

• that same spot works better for Yurchenko, but we ran out of time before any of the girls “blocked” enough to be caught. The catch is more difficult. But the rotation is much easier for beginners than Tsuk.

 • the Geddert drills are great, but keep the horse as LOW as possible to teach really low on-flight. And emphasize DISTANCE at every stage. Otherwise your first kids flipping will be kicking the horse on the somersault.


• superb progress, I thought

• work more forward tumbling. Shewfelt feels all kids should do handspring step-out, handspring two-foot, flyspring every day.

Keep in touch. Email with questions as they come up.

RICK’S PHILOSOPHY – Voluntary Simplicity


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