Category Archives: gymnasts

Split Leap Drill for Gymnastics and Dance

This is from my Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Book. First ed was published in 2000.
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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
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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

www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

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.

www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

www.bestsportsconditioning.com

#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
http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/322699559814?roken=cUgayN&soutkn=auoDpn

25% of profits going to Greyhound Friends of NJ
Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed Book
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lymphedema-Sentenced-to-Life-in-Bed-Book-/322699519660?roken=cUgayN&soutkn=HqWZ4b

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
 Texas
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… http://www.ketv.com/article/local-cheer-gyms-react-to-colorado-cheerleading-video/12092617

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,  www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

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

Gifts! Gymnastics Books for gymnasts and coaches!

 

Nice gifts for gymnasts and gymnastics coaches… Gymnastics Books.

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

Gymnastics Journal: My Goals, My Scores, My Dreams
https://www.createspace.com/4300482

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

Gymnastics Coloring Book
https://www.createspace.com/6561545

Training with Karen, www.BestSportsConditoining.com.

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

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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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

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.

 

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

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