Author Archives: Karen Goeller, CSCS

Karen Goeller, CSCS has been training athletes since 1978 and adults since 1986. She has produced State Champions, National TOPS Team Athletes, and National Champions. With her books, articles, and in person, Ms. Goeller has educated thousands in the fitness and gymnastics communities. She is the author of the Swing Set Fitness books, the Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning books, and several additional products. Ms Goeller began writing after she was in an accident and suffered permanent spinal damage. Ms. Goeller shared “the Swing Set Fitness project was therapeutic for me in many ways.” As the Swing Set Fitness books evolved, so did Ms. Goeller. She worked on her own rehabilitation and realized that she could perform many swing exercises as part of her own fitness regimen. Besides success with her books, Ms. Goeller has worked for world famous gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, owned a gymnastics club for ten years, and has been featured in newspapers and on television on numerous occasions, most recently in The Coast Star and Asbury Park Press. Besides an education that includes emergency medicine, physical therapy, nutrition, and advertising, Ms. Goeller has held fitness, CSCS, nutrition, EMT, and numerous gymnastics certifications.
Recently Karen Goeller started an acting career. She is already a Member of NY Women in Film & TV. Ms. Goeller has had speaking, featured, background roles on a variety of TV shows and in movies. She has hosted & directed countless events and has been interviewed on live TV and radio.
Karen is always looking for more acting roles and is available for interviews, to speak for your group, or for book signings. Call 908-278-3756.

Karen Goeller’s links…
http://www.KarenGoeller.com/
http://www.GymnasticsBooks.com/
http://www.BestSportsConditioning.com/
http://www.Amazon.com/author/KarenGoeller

Missys Voice, a Book about Bullying

Now available through Amazon, Missy’s Voice… Expected to become available through other book retailers too.  https://amzn.to/37OAepR

web-missys-voice-coverMissy’s Voice is a children’s book about a young singer who is tormented daily by bullies. The torment stems from jealousy. from kids at school. Missy reaches her breaking point, but eventually learns that everyone is likable and valuable. The bullies in this book learn that bad behavior is not rewarded.

Author: Karen Goeller
Illustrator: Andrew J Rodney
Pages: 56
ISBN: 9781708526627

An Interview with author, Karen Goeller

Where did you get the idea for this story?
Karen responded with, “Well, it was inspired by my own experience of being tormented by kids in my school and even some of their friends in the neighborhood that did not go my school. You see, we actually started out as friends. They did gymnastics and I did ballet and tumbling. During a gym class at school I thought they were better at tumbling than me and found out where they go for classes. My Dad brought me to the YMCA and signed me up. That was my passion from day one. I progressed so rapidly that the girls in my class became jealous.  They soon stopped gymnastics, but made fun of my love for the sport. They would call me “Miss balance Beam” all the time. A few times they rang my doorbell and my Dad answered. When he answered I heard them say is Miss Balance beam there. My Dad laughed and closed the door on them.  They tormented me whenever they saw me. It happened without adults nearby so no adults actually witnessed this constant tormenting other than my Dad the day he answered the door.

Did you tell your parents or any teachers?
“Yes, but nothing was done. At the time, any adult I told advised me to ignore them. That did not work and I had to deal with this until I graduated from that school. I could not wait for that to end.”

So, I guess your friends were on your gymnastics team?
“Actually, no. I was also teased by teammates at gymnastics, especially when we traveled to meets.  A few teased me because I still looked like a child at 12 years old while they looked like adults. Calling me flat as a board was one of the phrases they said all the time. One teammate even told me she hated me because she was jealous of me. She said she was anorexic and hated that I was so skinny and some of my skills were better than hers. I actually did not hate her and continued to be nice because she said it nicely to me and it was a one-time thing. Some time after that she said she could not believe that I was still nice to her after she told me that she hated me. So no, I really did not have close friends at gymnastics.”

Did you tell the coach?
“Adults said to ignore them whenever they witnessed or I told them about the constant teasing and tormenting. So whenever I was at school or gymnastics there were people teasing and tormenting.

That sounds like a pretty difficult time in your life.
“Yes, it was hard to be teased and tormented on a daily basis. There was no escape from this daily teasing.

So, how or when did it stop?
“It stopped when I left that school and left the gym. I do not know how long it would have continued if I had to continue seeing these kids as I got older. It kind of did not stop because I was bullied in high school too, but the teacher and principal put an end to it as soon as they found out. That also stemmed from me doing gymnastics and likely jealousy. They knew me from camp. It was pretty interesting how that ended. One day they would not let me in the locker room after gym class. I finally pushed the door really hard and one of them fell into the sink. They told a teacher about me pushing the door open. When I was approached by the teacher I told them the whole story. The next day I was told that if they even look at me wrong they will be suspended. I hated that high school, but do give them credit for putting a stop to it as soon as they found out. So the answer to when did it end is really my second year in high school. And they graduated at the end of that year.”

How did it feel?
“It hurt and there was no adult when it first started who thought it should be stopped. I don’t think the adults realized that I had no escape. It was everywhere. I was little and shy so I guess I may have been a good target.”

What do you want people to get out of this book?
“I really wish people were more kind. You do not know what else is happening in someone’s life. “What you think is a little stress or no big deal may actually be someone’s breaking point.”

So, did you draw the pictures in this book?
“No. I do not have that talent. I hired an artist I know through the film industry, Andrew Rodney. I’ve respected his talent for years and knew he would be creative with these illustrations. I was thrilled to see how he translated my words into these pictures. He was really easy to work with too.”

Any other books in the future?
“No other books planned, but I did write this story as a script for a short film and am currently working on the feature-length film version. I’d love to connect with a producer who would like to take this project on.”

So, you seem to have written so many books. Is writing your passion?
“Actually, no. I really enjoy sharing knowledge and my thoughts, but my passions are training my athletes and going to ballroom.  I competed in ballroom and had a blast. I’ll continue to write, but I really love being in the gym and in the ballroom.”

Karen has led an interesting life to this point. We look forward to seeing the popularity of this book grow and what the future holds.

To see all of Karen’s published books go to www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller. She has over 20 published books and countless articles and training programs in circulation. To read her full bio go to www.KarenGoeller.com.

Training for a 4 Year Old? Seriously?!?!?

Last night I got a call from a parent looking for private training for a four-year-old. Seriously? Private training for a FOUR-year-old?!?

It’s ridiculous & the EXACT reason for so many overuse injuries in kids. The consequences of overtraining can be devastating. Please look at my previous post, listen to the podcast, and watch the youtube video on the link I provide.

Evidently, she did not see my previous post or my posts on any social media before she called. No, I will NOT do a private training session with a four-year-old child. I train competitive athletes with serious goals.

More info at www.BestSportsConditioning.com  and www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com  

Overuse Injuries on the Rise

Overuse Injuries on the Rise
By Karen Goeller, CSCS

I was watching Real Sports with Bryant Gumbell, https://youtu.be/AGxxBER5xJU  and was not surprised by what I heard from doctors, parents, and child-athletes.

As a coach for over 40 years, I have seen many changes. The problem is fueled a few ways-Governing bodies, parents, coaches, and kids with passion for their sport.

Sometimes the child LOVES the sport and does not know when to modify training. They often hide aches and pains from coaches and parents due to fear or so they can keep training.  It is up to adults who know the consequences of overtraining to modify the training for the child who is injured.

A big part of the problem is also that governing bodies of sports such as USA Gymnastics. USAG encourages very young children, starting at age 5. (My opinion, it is a way too young and USAG has likely been motivated by money in membership fees.)  By the time some children are only 8, they are dealing with overuse injuries.

As an NSCA-CSCS, I have had to fix many injured gymnasts in the past decade. Some coaches and parents choose to treat these 5 years old children like pro athletes. They are children and many adults forget that with their eyes on that college scholarship. It takes many years to develop strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, an appreciation for safety, and maturity. It should be a gradual process. A child should not be training like a pro athlete at such a young age.

I have met many parents who are overboard, insisting their children train at home as well as the 25+ hours in the gym. I have had to remind a parent that an 8 year old that she should not be training at home on top of her 25+ hour schedule.  A few years ago I have several parents of five year olds ask for private training the week before their first competition. I said no to all of them. I’ve had parents discount children’s aches, pains, and fatigue and have seen those kids end up in surgery. There is only so much a coach can do when a parent insists their child train at home or pulls a child from a coach who refuses to have a child reduce training to heal from injury.

Not every coach is aware of injury prevention or rehab. They have spent years mastering the sport, how to teach skills and create routines. Some coaches do not do the math when it comes to training. For example, if a gymnast has 5 jumps in her beam routine and you ask her to do 10 routines a day, that is 50 jumps per day on the hardest surface in the gym. Compare that to a routine with 3 jumps times ten routines to equal 30 jumps per day. That is a difference of 20 jumps in one day. The difference becomes really significant over time. In one week that is 250 jumps vs 150. Over one month that is 1000 jumps compared to 600 jumps, a difference of 400 jumps. Coaches should really do the math and learn the breaking point (when gymnasts start to feel aches, pains, fatigue) so they can keep the number just under that breaking point. You can be demanding without overtraining and produce healthy, strong, and successful gymnasts.

Need help with reducing injuries? There are very few high-level gymnastics coaches who also have the CSCS. It is not an easy-fitness certification. It is based on sports science.  A college degree is required to sit for the exam, you are given 6 months to study, it covers exercise prescription for competitive athletes, exercise technique, injuries, injury prevention, nutrition, and more. Not everyone passes the first time.  And in order to keep the certification, we must continue education by attending events, webinars, self-study, doing presentations, and writing.   https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/gymnastics-consultant-and-strength-coach-cscs/

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to say enjoy I hope your holiday season…

Spend time with friends and family, enjoy the colorful lights and decorations, or just relax with your time off from work. No matter how you choose to spend this time, I hope you enjoy it.

Yes, I do have many products and services that would be nice gifts. Here are some links in case you are looking for gifts.

www.PortersGifts.com (Sports and Fitness gifts and apparel.)

www.GymnasticsTees.com (Gymnastics gifts and apparel)

www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller (Sports, fitness, and inspirational books, journals, and coloring book)

www.GymnasticsBooks.com (Gymnastics books, journal, coloring book)

www.GymnasticsJournals.com (The most useful gymnastics journal)

www.GymnasticsDrills.com (Gymnastics drills and conditioning exercises)

www.HandstandBook.com (Handstand drills and conditioning exercises)

www.LegsPlus.com (legs Plus workouts, exercise every major muscle group within a quick, effective workout.)

www.SwingSetFitness.com (Exercise outdoors with a playground swing. Quick and very effective.)

www.SwingWorkouts.com (Workouts using a playground swing. Have a blastr getting in shape!)

www.LymphedemaBook.com (You’ll be inspired when you see how I went from bed-ridden cancer patient to who I am now. A cancer diagnosis and life afterwards.)

Coaches Over-Stretching Gymnasts

Gymnastics meet season is almost here and some coaches are scrambling to get everything done that THEY did not do during the summer, including helping their athlete’s condition and stretch properly.

Some coaches are carelessly or recklessly stretching their gymnasts in an effort to make their leaps and jumps bigger to avoid deductions in scores at meets. Stretching an athlete to the point of upsetting and injuring them is not the answer. It is actually abusive, especially if it is painful to the athlete.

It is very possible to manually stretch an athlete without upsetting or injuring them, but most coaches do not know how to do this safely. Sorry, it’s the truth. I have had many athletes come to me for help with injuries as a result of overstretching and/or overtraining then stretching the injured area.

An athlete only needs flexibility slightly beyond what their skills require. Most gymnasts need more speed and strength to perform many skills rather than more flexibility. Many gymnasts are more than flexible enough to split to 180, but their hip flexor, glute, and low back muscles are too slow and/or weak to lift their legs to the 180 degree split required for a good leap. They need more active flexibility, conditioning, specific for leaps as well as drills for technique. These athletes must perform drills and condoning rather than to be forced into an over-split or stretched by a coach with no knowledge of sports science. Being overly flexible at the joint can lead to joint laxity/ligamentous laxity, that’s an unstable joint. An unstable joint can lead to bigger problems such as pain, numbness, tingling, arthritis, joint dislocation, and accidents which can lead to additional injuries.

I am a CSCS, it’s what we do. We base our training on science and experience and that is why we get results without harming athletes. Hire a CSCS or physical therapist to consult with and your athletes will thank you.

Conditioning for Jumps and Leaps, It’s Not just Squats May/June 2016 https://issuu.com/usagymnastics/docs/2016_03mayjune/10

Training with Karen Goeller, www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com.

Sugar Crashes after Halloween Can Lead to Real Crashes

Halloween. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable day. 

Please keep in mind that many gymnasts feel sick or extremely tired the following days. It can be that they eat much more candy and much less healthy food than usual. They could feel sluggish from the sugar overload, lack of nutrients such as B vitamins, or they have become dehydrated.

Be very careful because that sluggishness and fatigue that comes with the fast drop in sugar, lack of needed nutrients, or reduced fluids in the body can also cause lack of focus. Lack of focus causes accidents, including in the gym. It is the same as when an adult is extremely tired, drunk, or texting while driving. Would you take a chance?

Please remind your athletes not to eat so much candy at once, eat healthy foods, and drink enough water, especially if it is the day before training or a meet.

Eating candy does not work the same as eating pasta before a marathon. Believe it or not, some pasta and the sauce may have protein and other nutrients to slow the digestion and reduce the spike and drop effect.

Sugar in candy processes fast and then there is often a crash. Here’s more information on sugar crashes.  https://news.sanfordhealth.org/healthy-living/sugar-crash-effects/

Enjoy your Halloween, but please be smart about the celebration.

Gymnastics Article, Coaches being Investigated

USA Gymnastics interviews noted coach, author about Maggie Haney
https://www.ocregister.com/2019/10/02/usa-gymnastics-interviews-noted-coach-author-about-maggie-haney/

Not all coaches are like this. There are many that are very demanding yet also very positive. You may have to drive further than you want for your child to train with the best coach for them, but good coaches exist. Visit at least three gymnastics facilities before you make a decision on where your child will train. Talk to other parents, look at the body language of the kids walking into the gym and leaving. None should look stressed out on their way into a gym. Ask about injuries. It should be under ten percent of the team. Watch the coaches body language and expressions as they arrive. They also should not look stressed walking into the gym. Google and youtube coach, gym owner, and gymnastics facility names to see if anything negative comes up or to (hopefully) read nice reviews or news. Check the state and regional meet results. It’s a tough decision that will change your life for better or worse so be careful with the decision.

Let me know how I can help… Check out my consulting and training pages along with my testimonials.

Whole Team with Ankle or Foot Pain? Severs?

Athlete ankle/foot pain? A whole team with Sever’s? Something must change. My suggestion to the coaches with this issue… Don’t make them tumble or land on hard surfaces for a month. I bet half the issues will resolve themselves.

Athletes should dip their feet in a bucket of ice water for ten minutes then warm/hot water for ten minutes with epsom salt in the warm/hot every night for at least a week. With the ice-they may need to remove their foot often then put back in because it is intense.

Make sure they are properly stretching and conditioning their feet and lower legs. Shown here is an Achilles and calf stretch. And check out the Ankle Drills and Conditioning Poster here, https://www.cafepress.com/gymnasticsstuff/680849

And proper landing mechanics are a must. Look at the USAG Safety Manual for proper landing, they finally got it right. landing from a jump is different than landing from a tumbling pass or dismount.

And here’s a great landing mechanics article from the NSCA. http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/chalmers/PDFs/Landing%20mechanics.pdf

Goeller Hosts at Film Festival

Karen Goeller was one of many hosts at the Festival of Cinema in Queens, NY on August 10th.

She enjoyed asking film industry people questions. “They are a unique bunch, all working towards creating high quality films in different capacities.”

Goeller has been interviewed countless times on television, radio, podcast, web shows, and publications such as newspapers and magazines. She was finally able to turn the table and learn more about some people at the film festival.

“It was really interesting. I hope I asked the right questions. And it was a bit more nerve-racking than I expected!”

Still waiting for the footage of these interviews. When it pops up somewhere we’ll share. Contact Karen to help out on your film project as an actor, script supervisor or host. Her film and TV credits are on the “Filmography” section of this page, www.imdb.me/karengoeller.

Stay Focused in the Gym

Focus in gymnastics, It’s a Safety Issue  

Article, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/focus-in-gymnastics-its-a-safety-issue/

It’s that time of year… Gymnasts are returning to school and have much more difficult schedules. They may be getting less sleep and have much more on their minds. It’s now that we must remind them to stay focused in the gym. Accidents happen when focus is lost. Please be sure your child is getting plenty of sleep, fluids, and food. Please remind them to stay focused in the gym. It’s their safety and life that they are controlling each time they perform a skill or routine. Some are doing very difficult skills that involve great height, speed, and power. That adds to the risk. So again, please remind your child to stay focused, no matter what is going on around them and no matter what else is on their mind.It’s just that time of year when gymnasts adjust to new schedules and are very tired or overwhelmed. 

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

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