I have asked myself a couple of times recently ‘why do you coach’? and the simple answer is to create, mould and train the best possible gymnasts that i can. Obviously i, the same as many, have an Olympic dream and one day it would be an honour to be at an Olympic Games with a team of gymnasts who has one of my gymnasts as a member. I have to realistic and say that this is very much a dream, not that i do not think i can coach a gymnast to be part of that team but personal coaches cannot expect to be a part of a team when we have National coaches who do an excellent job at competitions. (For now) i am more than happy in putting in the time and effort for the pure satisfaction in knowing my gymnasts are pushing for team places, medals and ‘Champion’ titles.
The reason i started asking myself this question is because not so long ago a collegue of mine happened to be talking with a group of my peers and the conversation turned toward my motives for coaching. I happen to have several gymnasts who are exceptional on 1 certain piece of apparatus, 1 gymnast in particular i have high hopes for in the future. My main aim for the past 2 years has been to consolidate a routine that is world class, at junior level i must add, that he can perform on an International level and win convinsingly. Surely the road to a medal in 2020 and beyond starts with a junior reputation as being world class at every age level. However during the conversation it was suggested that the only reason i am pushing this gymnast is to fuel my own ego………really? Are we not in the sport to create gymnasts of a world class level and if a gymnast shows promise on a particular event would i not be doing my job if i were not to push it? As it stands he may be able to compete 0.5 – 1.0 ahead on SV than any other boy who competes against him but if he does it well then why should he not use every advantage he has. Especially as ultimately every gymnast who enters a competition is in it for medals. They don’t compete for last place! My ego should not and does not come in to play when i am creating training programs and routines for my gymnasts. I cannot deny that my ego is boosted when my boys come home from competitions with medals but more for the fact that it confirms in my own mind that my program, programming and ideas are still on point and do not need rethinking for the moment.
Does any body else think that a coaches ego plays a leading role in the coaching and preparation of gymnasts, your own or anybody else’s? Id love to hear your thoughts!
Id like to say a quick sorry for the lack of posts lately but it has been very busy in the gymnastics (and personal) world. My wife had our second child in November and finding the time at home to sit and blog was pretty much impossible.Losing your writing partner to other projects also plays a part. Early mornigs and sleepless nights have certainly taken it out of me this time. The gym has not been much quieter either. It seems that every day brings new challenges and it doesnt seem to be easing at the moment………
As a club the City of Birmingham have been excelling over the last 12 months with Olymians, British Champions, English Champions and 15+ GB squad members training upto 6 days per week and keeping all of the coaches on their toes.
GBR continue to show huge leaps of improvement and every month sees us one step closer to Rio. Coaches and gymnasts are already looking for that extra edge in order to repeat, and maybe even improve, on the London success. The Junior men see podium places as being achievable and are driven to be part of the next successful team, whether this be at European, World or Olympic level. The senior members are constantly improving their skill repertoire and consistency, if nothing else but to show the juniors who are the boss!
Watch this space.
For the years that I have been involved in gymnastics, China have been this ‘super power’ that every coach, gymnast and Spectator watched in amazement as they performed skills and routines that are verging on impossible. In my younger years as a coach I thought they could never be beaten. Fast forward several years to 2012, more specifically the Olympic games, it is clear that they are being caught up by other Nations. The lack of AA gymnast at the games says to me that they are not as rich in depth as they were in past cycles and it makes me wonder why?… I predict that in 8 years time they will be in a dog fight for medals with countries such as Japan (depth, style, work ethic), Great Britain ( a never ending talent pool of juniors, want and desire to win, the steepest improvement curve of any nation)!, Russia ( the rebuild is clearly on the right path!), Ukraine ( great young gymnasts performing BIG routines in 2012) and the USA ( full of power, belief, big skills and big scores). How long will it be before we see the Chinese as ‘just another team in the hunt’ for a medal, not even GOLD.
Im one of the lucky few to be Officiating in the games. I will try and post my pictures, observations and travels throughout the games for you all to read.
My journey starts on Monday 23rd. My first official appointment is on Tuesday 24th where i pick my judges uniform up and the rest of the kit and then I’m on the ACTUAL PODIUM with one of my gymnasts for a mock competition to test the working of the audio, video, lights and announcing. Exciting.
For now, heres a little teaser:
DAY 1: Part 1
Well i cannot say the day hasn’t started off well. The ticket office couldn’t find my booking reference for my train ticket. Once i had my tickets i realised it was for tomorrow and the lady at the desk tried to charge me an admin fee to change them..AAARRRGGGGHHHH
Im on the train now at least and on my way to London. Can’t wait.
Got to the UDAC (uniform distribution and Accreditation centre) and was fast tracked past a 4 hour queue. BRILLIANT. Only to be told that my Surname was incorrectly spelled on the information database ( that’s not uncommon) and I had to wait 40 minutes to get it sorted. I had to sweet talk the member of staff to jump that queue too. phew. The Uniform collection was a great experience with my very own personal shoppers. This is really happening, seeing the judging uniform and casual kit for the first time makes me feel really part of the Games . I LOVE IT!
Roll on tomorrow. My first set of duties and meetings start from 11.30 at the Arena………..can’t wait to see it in all it’s glory!
SORRY TO EVERYBODY WHO HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS BLOG. LOCOG HAVE PUT A STOP TO ANY OFFICIAL SHARING DETAILS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET UNTIL AFTER THE GAMES…………………
How many times have you seen a coach setting up at drill or prep only to remind yourself that you too used it once upon a time but have totally forgotten about it!
I do it all of the time and have no explanation as to why i simply ‘forgot’ it. Maybe it is because we as coaches are constantly evolving, trying to find more efficient ways to teach gymnasts or maybe it is because we simply get into a routine of what preps we like and use and we stick with them (or thats what we think). Until we look back and realise we have unknowingly changed our prep repertoire several times over in that time.
If you don’t believe me, next time you are at a camp or somebody else’s gym take a look around and I’m sure you will spot a long lost friend that you maybe need to re equaint yourself with.