Category Archives: gymnastics skills

How to Increase Athlete Confidence…

How to Improve Athlete Confidence…

Someone asked how to build a gymnast’s confidence… The most common thing parents tell me after I work with their daughter is that their confidence has greatly increased.

Here’s my advice…
web-alexisbeamConfidence takes time to build. It happens after a series of successes and good days in the gym, school, or work. Confidence in an athlete/child is greatly affected by a coach, parent, or teacher. It is the adults along with those small successes often that help a child become more confident.

In sports lack of confidence can actually be a safety risk. lack of confidence can lead to worry, lack of focus, and even an accident. We should help our athletes build skills progressively and remind them of each success along the way. For the safest training possible, teach drills, build strength, teach skill progressions with perfect technique, then introduce the skill and build on that. Eventually the skill may be used in competition. Remind your athlete that they went through a long process to learnt hat skill and that is a great success. With each small feeling of success comes more confidence.

Remind your athlete often, possibly even daily, of all the progress she has made, the adjustments/corrections to skill technique she made, and how far she has come since she started the sport. We all started at the beginning, even coaches.

Give her a physical challenge (not extreme) daily and ask her if it was difficult. If she says yes, tell that she should feel good about getting through a difficult challenge and completing all the work. Remind her that many people cannot do all the work she has done that day and she should feel a real sense of accomplishment. Send her home with positive thoughts on her accomplishments and successes.

Increasing confidence is a process, but daily reminders of how hard she has worked, small successes often, and a reminders of her success work to improve an athlete’s confidence. As a coach it is important to help an athlete see how great they are. be the coach that boosts your athletes confidence. They will go through life happier, healthier, and remember your training forever.

Click here to read testimonials from my athletes parents.

Click here for info on Private Gymnastics Lessons.

Click here for info on Sports Conditioning.

#gymnastics #gymnast #sports #cscs #training #lessons #athletes #nj #privatetraining #privategymnasticslessons


Some Gymnastics and Fitness Books by Karen Goeller

Just some of the books Karen Goeller has written and published. View a complete list on Amazon,

Most of her books are about sports and fitness. She also has one on her life story.

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Karen Goeller TV Interview

Karen Goeller on Late Night with Johnny P…

Have you seen this interview yet? It’s always fun to visit Johnny P!!! This was her second interview on this show. She talked about her books,  training,  acting career, and battle with cancer.


Split Leap Drill for Gymnastics and Dance

This is from my Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Book. First ed was published in 2000.
If you are a gymnastics coach in/near NJ you can bring your gymnast to me for some drills/conditioning. When the coach brings the gymnast the rate is much lower. And you can video anything you want. Gymnast’s parent must sign the waiver. Read the testimonials…
#gymnastics #gymnasticsdrills #gymnasticsstrength #gymnasticstraining

Gymnastics Consultant and Strength Coach in NJ

Gymnastics Consultant and Strength Coach in NJ… 

karen-spotting-hsHow many of your clubs/teams have a CSCS to consult with? How many teams have 30% of athletes (3 of every 10) dealing with chronic pain or injuries? (Too many!)

Let me help you reduce the injuries, improve your athletes health, speed progress, and improve technique. I have over 30 years competitive coaching experience and I’m a CSCS. Many of you already know me.

I had a CSCS on my staff in the 1990’s and he helped tremendously. I had less than a 10% injury/chronic pain rate on my team. If I did that, you can too. Injury is not necessarily “part of the sport” if you take a pro-active role. I’d like to be part of your team whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly…

I have helped gymnasts and coaches from many gyms in NJ, PA, NY, CT, WV, and other places in recent years. I have given presentations for the NSCA and USAG. My articles have been published in Technique Magazine and Cheer Coach & Advisor.

Please don’t wait for the injuries, frustration, or parental complaints to get worse!!! I am here for the gym owners, coaches, and athletes… Contact me at 908-278-375

You can’t cram last-minute for gymnastics competition!

web-trainingad-beam-2011Competition season is around the corner. Strength, speed, power, flexibility can’t be developed overnight. And learning new gymnastics skills takes time.

It’s not like school where you can cram for a test last minute. With sports there is a SAFETY factor. It takes time to become prepared for gymnastics competition each  season.

There is a learning and training process that must be completed for safe and enjoyable competition. Many drills, conditioning exercises, and skill repetitions must be performed long before the new gymnastics skill is used in a routine. And once in the gymnastics routine, the new skill or combination will still need to be refined. It will take time for the gymnast to comfortably perform the new gymnastics skill within the routine.

Do not wait until the last minute to call for help! Your gymnast’s safety will be at risk if you expect them to skip steps in the training process. If a gymnast is uncomfortable with a new skill they may lack focus. That lack of focus can easily lead to injuries, small and catastrophic.

Going from a new gymnastics skill to a competition-ready routine should be an enjoyable journey, not a season filled with fear, stress, and risk of injury.

Let me know how I can help your gymnast.

#gymnastics #sports #training #gymnast #strength #usag #usaigc #ncaa #joga #highschool #newjersey

Book Profits lead to Donations for Houston, Texas

If we all do something small, the impact will be big.” Karen Goeller

I figured the best way for me to help those in the path of the awful Texas hurricane is to offer part of my profits to a no kill animal shelter and other groups. It’s all done through ebay, so the charities get the percentage of profits promised on the product descriptions.

25% of profits going to Houston SPCA
Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Book

25% of profits going to Greyhound Friends of NJ
Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed Book

25% going to Greyhound Pets of America in Houston, Texas.
Legs Plus Workouts Book

25% of profits going to Friends for Life, no-kill animal shelter in
Sports Lessons Learned Book

30% of Profits going to Red Cross to help with Texas.
Gymnastics Lessons Learned Book



Many gymnastics and cheerleading coaches do not know the science behind flexibility… It’s sad.

My reaction to this situation…

So sad… Many gymnastics and cheerleading coaches need more education on flexibility and conditioning…

web-flexibilityI’ve seen a horrible gymnastics coach do this too. She was fired from one gym, but she is coaching gymnastics again in another gym. It IS ABUSE. If your child’s coach is manually stretching them to the point of tears remove them from that team immediately. There are plenty of good coaches to train with in this country. Your child does not need this physical damage or emotional trauma in their lives!

There IS a way to increase flexibility drastically without all of that pain and trauma. It is not always the muscle group that is tight. It is often the neurological system that will not allow more range of motion. It is literally locking up.

There are safe, effective ways to manually stretch to increase flexibility. I have done it countless times while keeping my athletes happy and healthy. If your daughter or her teammates need more flexibility I am happy to help them become more flexible without torturing them.

The gymnastics and cheer worlds need more people with the CSCS certification involved for conditioning. (Search online for NSCA CSCS to see what it is.)  I am the ONLY CSCS in NJ with 30+ years of high level/competitive gymnastics experience. Yes, there are MANY wonderful coaches in NJ that I greatly admire and respect, but none with the sports science background. Let me know how I can help your daughter and her teammates,

#gymnastics #cheerleading #flexibility #stretching #sports #nj #training 

Gifts! Gymnastics Books for gymnasts and coaches!


Gifts! Gymnastics Books for gymnasts and coaches!

Nice gifts for gymnasts and gymnastics coaches… Gymnastics Books.

Gymnastics Journal: My Goals, My Scores, My Dreams
The gymnast will write all about their gymnastics events, competitions, and goals in this amazing journal and save the memories forever. This is the only gymnastics journal your gymnast will need the entire gymnastic season. There are spaces for gymnastics competition scores, event goals, future goals, and much more. The gymnast will be encouraged to set goals for the near and distant future. Many gymnasts do not set goals until a coach or parent asks about goals. Gymnasts often need a simplified way of setting goals with a clear pattern of goal setting, goal achieving, exceeding the goals, and setting new ones. The gymnast using this gymnastics journal will see that many goals can be set and achieved in each gymnastics season. Every gymnast is capable of reaching success and every gymnast defines success differently. In this gymnastics journal the gymnast will be able to track their progress and goals from month to month and year to year. Keeping a gymnastics journal is a great way to set goals and preserve memories.

Gymnastics Lessons Learned: Life Lessons through Gymnastics…
Gymnastics Lessons Learned: This is a collection of stories about gymnasts who learned valuable lessons through gymnastics. Most gymnasts here were the author’s own gymnasts. By reading these short gymnastics stories your child will learn new lessons, change their attitude, or possibly redirect their gymnastics career. The stories show the value of gymnastics lessons beyond the fun, gymnastics skills, and competitions. Gymnasts will enjoy reading this book and sharing the stories with their friends. Nice gift for any gymnast, gymnastics parent, or gymnastics coach.

Gymnastics Coloring Book
This Gymnastics Coloring Book is a beautiful gift for any girl who loves gymnastics and coloring. The designs and quotes are unique and inspiring for the gymnast. The face and leotard have been left blank so that each person coloring can create their own gymnastics art.

Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning
Gymnastics Training Book: Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Exercises… The gymnastics drills and conditioning exercises in this book will help speed the learning process. Every gymnast must master the gymnastics skills addressed in this drills and conditioning book. The topics include running, vaulting, dance, uneven bars, and press handstand. In the uneven bars section there are drills for the glide kip, cast handstand, and clear hip among other skills. In the dance section there are drills and conditioning exercises for the split leap, straddle jump, and other dance skills. First ed published in 2000. Simple format with stick figure illustrations. There are over 100 drills and conditioning exercises in this book.


  • “WONDERFUL book-packed with information. Super tool for visual learners. THANKS!” M. Maxwell, RI
  • “Great book! My daughter loves it. A #1 seller. Would recommend it to all!!!” D. Conine, OH
  • “FANTASTIC! A goldmine for new team and pre-team coaches! This one is high quality, useful, and reasonably priced…” Sarah Jane Clifford, Owner GTC Rochester, NY

Are you in NJ? Here’s some info on training with Karen,

Don’t Rush New Gymnastics Skills…

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

Web-CassGiantsArticlePicIt 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


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