I love gymnastics and feel that it is the best developmental tool a child can experience. Gymnasts are not only stronger, but smarter, and justifiably feel better about themselves. These are all skills that they can carry with them through life ensuring success and happiness along the way. 41 years ago, when I started teaching gymnastics, I did it because it was fun. As time went on I was shown time and again the benefits that I wrote about above. I saw the kids I coach become doctors, lawyers, mothers, politicians, engineers, counselors, teachers and more. Every one happy, Every one a success. And every day since my decision to teach gymnastics back in 1980, my mission has been validated.Read More
Not only do you instruct, but you are also there to support and develop the gymnast as a person. Understand that instead of just coaching, you will need to make positive comments about things outside of gymnastics. Remember the sandwich method: Positive comment -correction- positive summary can apply to more than just skill development.Read More
I look at those formative years and recall some of my role models. Most of them would not even recognize me if I walked up and shook their hand. If they did, it would be as Harry’s little brother, the quiet nerdy kid who was either reading or standing on his hands.
I was thinking the other day, how so many of the people who influence us in life rarely ever realize the impact they had. I wouldn’t even know if they were aware of me let alone know that after 40+ years, I am still in the sport.
Yet the critics still cast shade. The same critics that demanded change are the ones who now criticize such vital in-meet decisions as cowardly or not worthy of American pride. Let me point out that our team left Japan with All Around and Floor Exercise Gold, a Vault Silver, Bars and Beam Bronzes and a Team Silver medal. They also left happy and uninjured. Isn’t that a victory in itself? This is exactly what we should be cheering for, and to miss that opportunity to elevate the game in that regard is a shame.Read More
Einstein is (mistakenly?) credited with saying “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I think that he is really on to something. Not everyone is the same and so it makes no sense to use a standardized measure for intelligence.Read More
Having just survived the holidays, some are making NY resolutions. I ask that maybe this year we could let go of the minutia, cast away the petty disagreements and squabbles; and resolve to matter. What if for one year we tried to honor yesterday and shape tomorrow?Read More
In gymnastics we develop skills over long periods of time. We sometimes lay the groundwork for skills by doing drills years before they may utilize what they learned for a particular skill. Complicate that with normal ups and downs of training, goals being realigned, and even sickness/injury/vacation costing training time and it can seem like learning a skill takes forever.Read More
With gymnastics we have the benefit of motivating through fun for learning such lessons. “Getting it right” is fun and kids are taught to try again and again and progress higher and better. Gymnastics has no top-end. There is always more to learn and better to be done and just like life in general, learning and growing is fun. Why would anyone not want to have that?Read More
We struggle every day. We stay open because, in our minds and the minds of our families, we feel that we are an essential business. Providing kids a physical outlet helps them stay healthy both physically and emotionally. It allows them a small bit of social interaction in a controlled environment, and that is essential. We are as clean as any doctor’s office, safer than any “essential” store, and even more than that; we care about our kids. Your kids.Read More
When our kids train hard, they sometimes fall. They sometimes get extra work to enforce a new technique, or they may have repercussions for failed attempts. This is not abuse, it’s coaching. They learn This is the technique I need to use for that particular skill. They learn I will push myself to get this skill to satisfy the coach but more importantly satisfy myself. They know that they are strong and resilient once they have met pain/fear and become unafraid to face it again. That lesson through life provides a young person who is willing to work to receive and is willing to stand up for themselves when others may cower. They become strong of body, spirit, and mind because they know that nothing will stand between them and their goal. Isn’t that a worthy outcome?Read More