Those are great points RBW, But I'd find it hard to accept that at least the head coaches aren't keeping abreast in modern training techniques. I mean, this is thier job. I have to believe they do it because they love it more then a paycheck. But I do find it surprizing how many aren't (at the very least), USAG saftey certified. I would think that would be a prerequisite to becoming a 'head coach'. I can't imagine what gym's pay for insurance. It's got to be a substantial amount.
Now, while I'm certainly not qualified to make any distinctions between coaches or what methods they use, there is an area that I do know - stretching! And from what I can tell, stretching 'scientifically' isnt being practiced. Not our gym, not the YMCA, Not is HS athletics, etc. It's pretty much 'what they always did', so they continue doing it the same ol way.
For example, our gym only practices static stretching (such as splits, straddle, back and hamsting stretches) before skills training, and only after a quick warm up.
It's been found that limiting static stretches before a workout will only warm and exersize the muscle, but it does little to increase range of motion (i.e Stretch them!). Dynamic stretching, such as twists and leg lifts, etc, are better pre-workout, with static, and isometric stretches being the MOST beneficial AFTER the workout when the muscles are tired. The goal is to stretch muscle - and NOT connective tissue. If one puts too much pressure on muscles, the muscle will 'fight back' (and often win), diverting the stretch to the connective tissues instead. But when the muscles are tired, They are more elastic, stretch more, and increase range of motion.
When I asked one of the coaches why they don't do much "cool down" stretching, they simply said, they just never do. So tradition, as RBW points out, does play a key role in training.
In the mean time, I've been encouraging Nastia to do her static stretches after class while she's still warm in addition to the pre-workout warm up. Even she now understands that they are MUCH easier to do when your tired and her range of motion is dramtically increased during the stretch.
Believe it or not - when I was in my mid 20's and very involved with Tae Kwon do, I used to be able to do a full elevated straddle.