Tag Archives: gymnastics safety

Handstand Drills and Conditioning

It’s the time of year when gymnastics coaches start to focus on Handstands
 
The Handstand is the most important skill in our sport and remaining tight is essential!
 
Gymnasts of all levels perform the handstand several times throughout their workout. While performing many skills in gymnastics, the gymnast must actually pass through the handstand or vertical phase safely and efficiently. Without a good handstand, a gymnast may have trouble building skills and therefore progressing through the sports many levels safely and efficiently.
 
Read or download the rest of the article, published in Technique Magazine:

And for an entire book of Handstand Drills and Conditioning go to www.HandstandBook.com

#gymnastics #handstand #gymnasts #training #cscs #usagymnastics #usag #techniquemagazine #coachinggymnastics

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It IS Urgent… Train NOW for next gymnastics season…

Plan NOW for next gymnastics competition season.

 

web-trainingad-beam-2011You can avoid frustration and high risk of injury by planning ahead and allowing your gymnast enough time to prepare.

Work on the new skills, strength, speed, and endurance now so next competition season is really fun! That’s why we all love the sport isn’t it? Gymnastics should be fun, not extremely stressful.

A skill should be performed 1000 times before it is competed. (That was my rule when I coached teams and in my gym.) That’s about 4-6 months of 10-12 repetitions per day 5 days a week. Most gymnasts do not perform 200 repetitions of a new skill each week. And then they are not really prepared for their meet. That leads to worry, lack of focus, then high risk of injury.

Call me today to set up a workout for your gymnast! Give them the tools they need to compete safely.

Private Gymnastics Training / Lessons here,  www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

Private Sports performance training here,  www.bestsportsconditioning.com

And FYI… I do not recruit gymnasts or tell them to leave their team coaches unless there is an abusive situation. I help them understand skills by offering drills, help with rehab from an injury, or offer sport-specific conditioning when there is a weakness.

One more note… Coaches who bring their gymnast to me so we can work together to help your gymnast get a generous discount. Coach is on the floor so we can discuss and coach together and one parent in the parent’s area for the workout.

#sports #gymnastics #gymnasts #privatelessons #privatetraining #training #nj #gymnasticsdrills #coachinggymnastics #gymnasticsparent #gymnasticsstrength #strength #gymnasticsconditioning #gymnasticstraining 

Dear USAG and USOC…

Open Letter to USAG and USOC…

I’d love to be part of the team to help USAG regain public trust and respect as we take care of the athletes. I’m more than happy to relocate to IN or anywhere necessary and am not on any gymnastics club payroll. I have nothing to tie me down and I do not play favorites. I would hate to see USAG lose their position with the USOC.

I am still active in our sport, offering private training and writing articles and books. My background is very unique. I have over 40 years of experience in the sport as a gymnast, coach, club owner, writer, congress presenter, and industry member.

I was in the NYPD (resigned when I bought my gymnastics club.), have the NSCA-CSCS certification, spent 30 years as a business owner, and ten years as a gymnastics club owner.  I also have extensive management, advertising, marketing, and computer experience.

I did the SafeSport and Heads Up Concussion certifications as soon as I saw the email for them because I knew the importance of those topics. I have spoken up and acted when I have seen and heard unsafe situations. I fired a coach from my club in the 1990’s because he was doing inappropriate things with the gymnasts such as allowing them to sit on his lap and tickling them. He was never alone with them and I did not allow it to escalate to that. He had two warnings to stop “playing” with the girls and then he was terminated. I also got a restraining order to keep him away from my gym. I have always taken athlete safety very seriously.

I went to law school (after my gym flooded and I lost everything) because I wanted to be a prosecutor. Back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s I was doing background checks on coaches who applied to work for me and I called EVERY previous job on their resumes. I have always looked out for the safety of athletes under my care. I want to help USAG do that too. Our athletes deserve that.

Please contact me to discuss how I can help USAG and USOC. I have references, client testimonials/letters, and a list of completed CEU’s on my resume. I’ll gladly send it via email or postal mail.

Here are some testimonials… https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/testmonials-for-karen-goellers-products-and-services/

Again, let me know how I can help…

Karen Goeller, CSCS 908-278-3756

http://www.KarenGoeller.com (Bio, Blog)

http://www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com (Private Gymnastics Training and Sports Conditioning)

http://www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller (My Fitness, Gymnastics, Sports, Health Books)

#usagymnastics #usoc #gymnastics #gymnast #athletes #usag #nassar #cscs #olympics

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 athlete’s 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

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

And if your team needs help, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/gymnastics-consultant-and-strength-coach-in-nj

#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 Dreamshttp://a.co/bw2jaWm
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… http://a.co/5HBX9q9
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 Bookhttp://a.co/hE007Vp
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 Bookwww.GymnasticsDrills.com
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.

BOOK REVIEWS…

  • “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, www.BestGymnasticsTraining.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
tn-jersey-sports-500wide

 

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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