40% Off Gymnastics Books this Weekend!

This weekend!!! 40% off discount codes for Gymnastics Books.
Order directly from the webpages with these codes and you get 40% off. Does not include shipping. Each book has it’s own page and code. Only one code can be used at a time.

Code SXTNU2VW for Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Bookhttps://www.createspace.com/3736294

Code 46CBH2KG for Gymnastics Journal: My Goals, My Scores, My Dreams… 
https://www.createspace.com/4300482

Code YB34HTBE for Gymnastics Lessons Learned: Life Lessons through Gymnasticshttps://www.createspace.com/4229569

Code 9HJSP6UQ for Gymnastics Coloring Book
https://www.createspace.com/6561545

Bio at About Karen Goeller, www.KarenGoeller.com

Don’t Rush New Gymnastics Skills…

Learning a new gymnastics skill takes time, sometimes ALOT of time.
by Karen Goeller, CSCS

SuitisaTwistingBlkBackIt normally takes at least 6-12 months to get a skill. Unfortunately, some coaches and gymnasts think it should happen in a week. That is often impossible, depending upon the difficulty of the skill. Think about how long it took to learn a cartwheel. Gymnastics skills take coordination, strength, flexibility, speed, power, and the mental ability to think before and during the movement in order to complete it safely.

The science behind learning a new skill is more complicated than many realize. First the neurological system is involved. Literally the nervous system in the body is learning what it must do, learning the movement. That is why gymnastics drills for skills are necessary.  And that is why coaches often spot skills and literally shape the gymnasts during movement. The mind and nerves must learn the sequence of movements to perform the skill.

After the neurological system is on board, with practice, the muscular system eventually starts to become conditioned for the movement. More spotting may be needed from the coaches until the gymnast has the strength, speed, power, or flexibility to perform the skill efficiently.  Specific conditioning for the sport and drills for the skills are necessary.

Even after the neurological and muscular systems can perform their duties for the skill, the mind must be convinced that it is OK to try it. This psychological stage can be the longest. It is often when coaches and gymnasts become impatient with progress. Mental comfort with the skill is a big part of why repetition is necessary.  The mind must be convinced that the gymnast can perform the skill safely. And it is the phase where confidence is built. Without the confidence, there can be lack of focus and injury.

I had a rule in my gym that a skill must be performed one thousand times before it is competed. That was usually enough time to go through all three stages of learning the skill. In my gym it took an average of 6-7 months to perform 1000 repetitions of the skill, 6 days a week, minimum of ten repetitions each day.

And then after the skill is learned, it still must be performed in a routine. That again, changes the mindset and ability to perform the skill efficiently.  During routines the gymnast’s muscles and mind become tired and the skill once again becomes difficult. A gymnast must go through the three stages again for the routine. This time, muscle endurance becomes a factor in addition to the individual skill technique.

Sadly, some coaches and gymnasts do not realize the three steps it really takes to be able to perform a skill successfully and they rush to “get” the skill. This can cause unnecessary stress, fears, and often injuries. So be sure to condition specifically for the sport and skills, spend time doing drills, and take the small steps necessary (extra mats, spotting, low beams, etc). Go through the phases, plan for several months of training the skill, and successfully gain that skill. Take your time now, so it is not wasted later.

Let me know how I can help your gymnasts… I can come to your gym and help your gymnasts or you can send them to me for private training.

Karen Goeller, CSCS
tn-jersey-sports-500wide

 

Fitness, Sports, Gymnastics, Children’s Books

Fitness, Sports, Gymnastics, Children’s, Coloring, Health Books by Karen Goeller…
Nice gifts! Print and Kindle versions on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller

Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning, Gymnastics Journals, Gymnastics Lessons Learned, Gymnastics Coloring, Handstand, Back Handspring, Fitness journals, Legs Plus, Swing Set Fitness, Lymphedema-Sentenced to Life in bed, and More.
books-fall2016

Recommendations for Karen Goeller, CSCS

These Recommendations have been posted on LinkedIn. Please add your recommendation there too.

Be sure to view the testimonials on this website too!

Gymnastics Training in NJ

I have a few openings this weekend… www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

Is your daughter trying to learn a new skill? Does she need more strength or speed? Bring her in and I’ll help her reach her goals.

I train USAG, USAIGC, JOGA, YMCA and other competitive gymnasts. I also offer sports conditioning for cheerleading, swimming, boxing, tennis, golf, track, diving, skating, ballet, and more.

 

Updated LinkedIn

I updated my LinkedIn profile.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/karengoeller/

Let me know how I can help you…

Sports Lessons Learned: Life Lessons through Sports

Have you seen this yet?

Sports Lessons Learned: Life Lessons through Sports by Karen Goeller
http://a.co/bEzykqN

web-sports-lessons-front-coThis children’s book is a collection of stories about young female athletes who have learned valuable lessons through sports. Sports include gymnastics, cheerleading, tennis, golf, skiing, boxing, martial arts, swimming, diving, track, soccer, and dance. By reading these short stories your child will learn new lessons, change their attitude, or possibly redirect her sports career. The stories show the value of sports lessons beyond the fun, skills, and competitions. Your child will enjoy reading this book and sharing the stories with her friends. Nice gift for any female athlete, sports parent, or sports coach.

This is very similar to Gymnastics Lessons Learned. You do not need both books.

See all books by Karen Goeller at www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller.

#sports #children #kids #books #gifts #lessons

Gymnastics is a Dynamic Sport

Gymnastics is a Dynamic Sport… So why all the hold exercises?

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

Our sport is dynamic, filled with movements that require precision, speed, strength, flexibility, and power. So, why am I seeing so many coaches instruct their gymnasts to hold stretches and strength exercises? In recent months I have heard and/seen coaches instructing their gymnasts to hold splits/over-splits for over 5 minutes, I have seen wall sits for over 5 minutes, and I have seen gymnasts holding medicine balls in a variety of positions that do not mimic the sport at all. Other than the handstand and arabesque on beam, there really are no hold skills in our female gymnast’s routines. (Men do have a few hold skills.) Imagine what you can do with the extra 4 minutes five days a week if you are not spending time holding positions that will not really help with performance. That’s an extra 20 minutes for stretching or conditioning each week, over an hour a month. It all adds up.

It is very important to only include exercises, drills, or skills that will be directly useful to your gymnasts for performance and injury prevention. Make sure you have a good reason for each item in their training program and you will see steady progress. You should be able to tell your gymnasts what each exercise is for in a simple 2-3 word answer. If you cannot tell them what the exercises, drills, or stretches are helping please rethink whether or not they should be in the training program. Make room for something more specific.

For example, rather than a 5 minute split you can use other flexibility exercises (active and passive) that more closely simulate the sport. Supine (lying) kicks will nicely complement your split work. Or if your gymnasts are serious enough about safety you can instruct them on a few partner stretches.

Supine Kicks: Instruct your gymnast to lie on their back. Once on the floor, instruct them to make sure they are straight then place their arms in a side-middle position, even with the shoulders. Once they look like the letter “t” on the floor, instruct your gymnasts to kick one leg toward the ceiling. Have them perform a series of kicks, each one getting a bit closer to their shoulder. Repeat the kicks with the other leg. After front kicks, simulate the side kick. Ask your gymnasts to keep their arms in the side middle position. Instruct them to kick towards their hand for a straddle/side kick. This will help with any straddle or side leaps in addition to any skill that requires that leg motion.

supine-kicks

Another idea for increasing split flexibility without holding that position is the walking-in/out wall split. Wall Split: Instruct your gymnast to stand in front of a wall, back facing the wall. Next have them place their hands on the floor in front and then place one leg on the wall as high as possible. Your gymnast’s head will be near her supporting leg with her hands on the floor. Once your gymnast is almost in a split on the wall, instruct her to walk her hands in towards the wall and press into a split on the wall. She can walk in and out a few times, each time pressing closer into the wall.

wall-split

In the 5 minutes that you were holding one exercise (split or over-split), you can now perform 3 exercises for even greater flexibility and better sport performance.

Let’s address the landing, conditioning. It is more specific than holding a Wall Sit. How do you substitute the never-ending wall sit? You can use general squats and sticking drills. Remember, gymnasts are not required to hold a squat position other than controlling a landing. They must be able to stop the force of landing for dismounts, jump for dance skills, and rebound during tumbling passes, three unique skills or techniques. That would actually require three different types of conditioning.

The Squat: Teach this exercise without weights first for proper technique. Instruct your gymnast to stand in front of a bench or very sturdy mat stack. Their back should be facing the bench or stack.  Once in place, instruct your gymnast to safely hold light dumbbells. Next have her place her feet shoulder width apart. Instruct your gymnast to bend at her hips and knees until her thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Make sure her ankles, knees, and hips remain aligned as she lowers and rises from the squat. Do not encourage your gymnast to go lower than the parallel (thighs-floor) because she must be able to stop the force of a dismount between the ¼ and ½ squat positions in order to perform a controlled landing. There is a deduction for squatting too low on a landing among other deductions.

squat

 

As most of you know, for a landing the force can be 10-13 times your gymnast’s body weight. Your gymnast MUST be able to safely stop that force. Your gymnast can simulate the landing and correct landing technique with simple sticking drills from a spotting block. In the 1970’s-1980’s it was very popular to teach sticking drills to beginner gymnasts on vault. (We should go back to that.)

sticking-drill

Once the landing technique is correct, ankles, knees, hips in line, bending at hip and knees to evenly distribute the force (front / back of body) you can add weight. You can have your gymnasts perform a sticking drill (drop from a block) with light ankles weights secured on their waist. You may see a big difference in their landing technique with just 2-5lbs added to their body weight. Again, correct the technique.

And be sure you tell them the difference between landing a jump/leap on beam compared to landing from a tumbling pass on floor or from a vault. With jumps on beam and floor the buttocks can be tucked under to land, but when the force is greater, as in a vault or a dismount, the technique must simulate the squat exercise for safety. Tucking the buttocks under on a landing to reduce hip flexion actually adds to the force/stress on the quads, front of the legs which can cause knee pain and damage if done repeatedly. The safest landing is with the hip, knee, and ankle flexed enough to evenly distribute the force between the front and back of the body.

Remember, the sport is not filled with hold positions for female gymnasts. It is a dynamic sport. Be sure to include exercises and drills that will be most useful in sports performance. That will likely also lead to safer training and faster progress. And of course, variety helps reduce overuse injuries.

Let me know how I can help your program, 908-278-3756.

Karen Goeller, CSCS
Gymnastics coach 30+ years, former gymnastics club owner, currently a CSCS.

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

Gymnastics Skills, Drills, Conditioning in NJ

Gymnastics Training: Skills, Drills, Conditioning…
It’s that time of year… Gymnasts must learn new skills for next season. Are they strong enough? Flexible enough? Fast enough? And is your gymnast learning the correct technique through drills and proper conditioning?
Before your gymnast gets frustrated, develops fears and bad habits, bring them to me… USAG Level 5-Elite, USAIGC, JOGA, High School, College…
Is your gymnast injured? I can help with that. She will NEED specific training to return to competition shape. Besides being a highly experienced gymnastics coach, I am a CSCS, sports performance coach. You can google that to see what it means. There are very few high level gymnastics coaches who also have the CSCS certification.
Read the testimonials!
#gymnastics #sports #training

FOCUS in Gymnastics… It’s a SAFETY Issue!

What’s Behind the Ability to Focus?

Focus is the key to success… But there’s more to it than just thinking about the skill or routine to be performed. What’s behind the ability to focus? Believe it or not, what an athlete does outside the gym is just as important as what they do inside the gym. An athlete’s hydration level, eating habits, sleep quality, and medications greatly effect a gymnast’s training as well as their performance at competitions.

Dehydration… Did you know that by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated? Gymnasts may suffer a loss of performance of up to 30% when dehydrated. As little as a 2% loss in fluid will negatively impact your athlete’s body, mind, training, and performance. Mild dehydration can cause confusion, irritability, constipation, drowsiness, fever, thirst. Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms include dry, sticky mouth, muscle weakness, stiff joints, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, cramping, decreased urine, cool extremities, slow capillary refill, and sunken eyes. With moderate dehydration your gymnast may experience flushing, low endurance, rapid heart rates, elevated body temperatures, and rapid onset of fatigue. Severe dehydration is the loss of 10-15% of body fluids and is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care. The signs and symptoms of severe dehydration include extreme thirst, irritability and confusion, very dry mouth, dry skin and mucous membranes, lack of sweating, little or no urination, any urine that is produced will be dark yellow, sunken eyes, shriveled and dry skin, rapid heartbeat, fever, coma, and even death.

Dehydration of any kind will not correct itself. It is imperative that your gymnasts drink enough fluid before, during, and after their workout. The good news is that mild to moderate dehydration can usually be reversed by drinking fluids. The bad news is that by the time your gymnast is moderately dehydrated they can lose focus. With a loss of focus your gymnast will be at risk of injury from an accident. The results can be severe to catastrophic. Some accidents and injuries could be avoided simply by drinking plenty of fluids.

Drinking during training is one thing, but if your gymnast has not had enough fluids throughout the day they will walk into the gym dehydrated and already be at risk of severe injury. As coaches, we must encourage our gymnasts to drink enough fluids before, during, and after training. How much fluid should they drink? It is recommended that your gymnast drink the number of ounces in fluid that is equal to half their body weight for each day of normal activities. For example, if your gymnast weighs 100 pounds, their hydration goal would be approximately 50 ounces per day. That is not the same as serious training time. Your gymnast would drink more during intense training. What should your gymnast drink? It is recommended that a sports drink be used for those exercising more than one hour. Athletes NEED the carbohydrates and electrolytes in these drinks to get through training safely. Pro athletes are on Gatorade for a reason, because it works and it is safe. Go to http://www.GSSIWeb.com for more information on hydration research. Don’t want to do Gatorade? Use coconut water!

Nutrition in relation performance. Without enough carbohydrates, your gymnast will not have the energy necessary to safely get through their workout or a competition. When there are not enough carbohydrates in the diet, the energy comes from protein. When your body is forced to use protein for energy, it gets that protein from the muscle. When the body is forced to use energy from muscle on a regular basis it is difficult to gain or maintain strength and muscle mass. The long distance runner is an example of someone whose body uses protein for energy. They have very little muscle mass.  It is counterproductive for a gymnast to allow the body to use protein (muscle) for energy on a regular basis. Gymnasts need energy for training and strength to perform skills and routines. Lack of energy and strength will greatly effect the gymnast’s ability to focus. Lack of focus can result in catastrophic injury. There is not enough space here to completely discuss nutrition, but you can go to Dr Fred Bisci or Dr Joe Kasper’s websites to learn about nutrition.

And finally sleep… We all know how difficult it is to function when we are tired, especially if we did not sleep well for more than one night in a row. How can we expect our gymnasts to perform safely when they do not sleep well? We can’t. Imagine a gymnast learning a new skill or performing a full routine when they have not had enough sleep. Would you be comfortable performing a double back when you are chronically tired? It’s difficult for your gymnast to focus when they are tired and it is extremely dangerous. Your gymnast’s ability to focus and react is diminished when they are sleep deprived. Again, lack of focus can lead to an accident, a catastrophic one. It has been proven with driving tests that people who are tired drive as poorly as those who are under the influence of alcohol. They cannot react as well as those who are well rested. Did you know that it was National Driving While Drowsy Prevention Week in November 2010? That’s how much fatigue effects the ability to focus and react. About one in every six fatal auto accidents in the U.S. is due to driving while drowsy, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  I wonder how many gymnastics accidents are caused because the gymnast was tired due to poor sleeping habits. It is imperative that your gymnast is well rested and able to focus.

Keep in mind that when focus is lost, accidents can and will occur. As coaches we have the responsibility to discuss hydration, nutrition, sleep, and even medication side effects with the parents. It seems that many parents do not realize the direct relation between everyday life and performance during training and/or competition.

So I still say that FOCUS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS, but more importantly, FOCUS IS THE KEY TO SAFETY. Without proper hydration, nutrition, and sleep our gymnasts will not be able to focus well, putting them at risk. I think we should call these risk factors – hydration, nutrition, and sleep – the SAFETY TRIO. It’s a quick and easy to remember phrase that I just named. The SAFETY TRIO is just as important as all of the drills and conditioning used to prepare our gymnasts for new skills, routines, and competition. Without all of these factors our athletes may be at risk of injury. Best of luck with your training and always keep safety in mind while training.

By Karen Goeller, CSCS
Gymnastics and Fitness Author
http://www.KarenGoeller.com

Click here for info on training with Karen in NJ.

Originally published in 2011 on http://www.GymnasticsStuff.com.

 

 

 

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