Coaching Kids in Difficult Times

Coaching at Gymfinity

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.

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How did I ever get here?

J Orkowski's High School Gymnastics Team

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.

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Defending Gymnastics

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?

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The Mountain Top

Gymfinity Mountain Goals

No one said the road would be easy, but if the dream is worth attaining, then a difficult journey will only raise the value of the dream. We encourage them to work through setbacks and keep their focus on what is in front of them. The feeling of return after a setback is one of the most fulfilling feelings a person can experience if we allow it to be. We, as leaders, must stay in front of them as they tread the difficult parts. Reminding them that they will be stronger for fighting through.

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How you do anything is how you do everything

Gymfinity Covid Gymnastics

At Gymfinity we cleaned and cleaned again. We developed stringent requirements that our staff would operate by, we closed when we were told to close and didn’t open until we were told we could. We stayed below the required percentages of people allowed on site and we enacted so many protocols that rather than a gymnastics program that has safety procedures, we are feeling like a safety procedure company that has gymnastics as a side gig. But we did it, because, as we often tell the children, we’d rather suffer doing right, than prosper doing wrong.

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How Does Gymfinity define Success

Gymfinity yard sign gymnastics

Success can be measured in many ways. Winning in competition, bringing home a trophy, or qualifying for a championship can all be rewarding. However, they are not the most important way to measure success.

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“Selling” what we do as gymnastics coaches

Gymnastics Gymfinity Coach J Orkowski

I believe that everything I have in my life is because my big brother Harold introduced me to gymnastics. I went to college, started coaching, started a business, grew a nationally competitive team, built a top-notch staff, met a great woman and had great children: all because of gymnastics.

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How to live without fear: make the new year less scary

overcome fear

Sometimes it’s good to be afraid. Fear is an instinct that rears up when we perceive danger. There are some instances when being afraid can keep us alive. “Hey, go wrestle that alligator.” “No thank you, that scares me.”  When we perceive danger, Adrenalin is released, our heart rate increase, or senses are on edge,…

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Thoughts on the de-certifying of USA Gymnastics

Recently the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) has filed to remove USA Gymnastics as the governing body for gymnastics in the US. Though it sounds like doom and gloom for American gymnastics, it is, in my opinion, an important step in the organization getting it’s house in order.  Gymnastics meets and clubs will continue operation…

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