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    For Coaches Perspective check: gymnastics vs "other sports"

    I think you hit it on the head here. As a multi-sport coach, I know there is tremendous value in staying involved in more than one activity throughout the year. That being said, I've been party to many of these decisions over the years. When talking with my kids, I always differentiate...
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    For Coaches Ethical Spotting?

    I agree on all of these!! I had zero background in gymnastics (had only watched Olympics on TV) before I got my arm twisted 19 years ago. I can thank a lot of patient and trusting kids, fellow coaches, and observation for my skills today. Just like the gymnasts, practice will make perfect...
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    Anon Featured Why switch to Yurchenko?

    I agree with all of the above: most kids can generate so much more power from the round-off entry. In addition, it seems like judges can (and will!) create countless deductions from the cleanest looking half-on going into a tsuk.
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    For Parents Featured Hardest Skill To Acquire

    Purely observational, but it seems like-purely in number of reps required-the kip generally takes the most time and effort for kids to master.
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    For Parents Featured Number of springs in springboard

    You hit a raw nerve with this one. I HATE when runways aren't properly taped down and you can see them slide and/or bunch up behind the board. We've got some powerful kids, and I've taken to bringing along mat tape and securing the runway during warm-ups (some probably see this as pretentious)...
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    For Parents Featured Number of springs in springboard

    The other thing to consider is the amount of distance the springboard has to recoil to launch the kid. More displacement distance means more time to fully rebound-which can influence their vault. Sort of like soft vs hard floor springs, or more springs on the tramp. On the other side, a...
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    For Parents Featured Number of springs in springboard

    The x is squared (I teach Physics as well as coach HS gymnastics) But I go with the almost bottom out the board theory. You can hear a distinctly different sound when a kid bottoms out the board. We will throw in the last spring for those, but it doesn't happen very often. Size of the...
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    For Coaches Injuries to Coaches from your gymnasts.

    Black eyes a few times, had the wind knocked out of me twice, lots of bruises, I get tendonitis in my shoulder every season, and there's something going on in my wrist that no longer goes away in the offseason. I've started devoting more time and energy to putting on spotting clinics these days...
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    For Coaches Getting back into coaching

    I always encourage kids to find a HS program or small club to work with first. You'll encounter a wide variety of skill levels, and will typically be entrusted with spotting bigger skills faster than you would in a bigger club (your skills will move up with the kids-whereas in a big club...
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    WAG Varisty vs. Club Gymnastics

    Agreed. In my experience, most club equipment I've been around is on par with the lower-level HS stuff. We have several clubs within about an hour radius that travel to our gym regularly in the summer to workout with us, and I've participated in a few conversations about the advantages of...
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    Teacher Shortages

    There are only a handful of districts across the country requiring vaccination-which is why nobody knows anybody affected by those policies... Its a tiny, tiny portion of the problem. And those teachers could travel a few miles and find another teaching job. Pay and respect are the larger...
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    WAG Varisty vs. Club Gymnastics

    Same in MN. There are equipment and matting requirements to host meets for the high school league. There is also a huge variety of talent, depending on the program. Some feature kids just learning a RO/BHS, and others are pushing level 10s. Because of this, the requirements are suited to the...
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    WAG Varisty vs. Club Gymnastics

    Why do you What is the difference in equipment that requires a change in form? What happens when you go to a competition at a different gym during club? Are other kids able to perform high-level skills on the equipment, or is it unsafe? We encounter this all the time-when kids have to...
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    Teacher Shortages

    Yup- I've been teaching for 19 years and don't know a single teacher fired for "the reason." I know many that have taken better paying jobs, or quit due to lack of administrative or parental support and poor student behavior...
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    For Parents Featured Unpopular Opinions

    Most of the drama occurs on social media these days. Despite best efforts, we usually don't know its happening until it reaches critical mass and spills over into the gym. Parents are typically the better grown-ups to monitor social media to catch that type of stuff and head it off early...
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    For Parents Featured Unpopular Opinions

    No coach wants drama on their team. That being said, it's actually more difficult than it seems to police this. A) We need to know its happening, which, in the era of social media, isn't always apparent to coaches. B) Parents magnify the problem-on both ends. Parents can notify coaches of...
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    For Parents Getting Past Your Gymnasts First Big Fall

    Don't say anything unless she does. Many (most?) times the parents are more concerned about these things than the kids are. Coach should have put her right back on the bars upon figuring out she was uninjured. Don't assume it will cause fears-doesn't matter the age, if you don't make a big...
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    For Parents buying folding balance beam for practice at home

    This is how we train mounts and how we start connecting dismounts. Athletic tape on spotting blocks.
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    For Parents buying folding balance beam for practice at home

    Soft beam is excellent for beginners. You can also make a beam using 2x lumber with 1/2" plywood sandwiched in between. Use carpet padding on top and wrap tightly with either suede or with a thin carpet. Make sure you firmly secure it to some type of solid base on each end. I have seen those...
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    For Coaches Featured Do we need pit for level 9 and level 10

    Spent more than a decade teaching and spotting big tricks without a pit, and thankfully none of my kids got hurt-helps that I'm 6'4" and 250... Not gonna lie, it has been much, much easier on the girls and on my aching body since we moved into a facility with a pit!