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


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!

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.

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…

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.

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

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

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

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