GYMN-L Digest - 17 Mar 1995 to 18 Mar 1995
There are 7 messages totalling 383 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. When to start children
2. Coaching position offered.
3. PR: Stormy Eaton
4. Bican: Mixed Pairs
5. Just to Add...
6. Nadia special
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 23:26:25 -0500
Subject: Re: When to start children
Great questions! I'll do my best to answer and will try to attach documents
I've written about the subject.
The most important time to provide movement/gymnastics training to a child is
as soon as she begins to walk - 12 months. However whenever you do begin,
the sooner the better.
The ages from birth to about 6 years the brain and nervous system is growing
through "developmental stages" that require input and stimulation. How she
experiences her world, even before she can talk, is through movement.
Therefore, her self-concept is being formed now, and you can enhance her
positive "beliefs" in her abilities by creating success experiences in a
I am being very brief in this responce, but maybe the attached articles will
help. Feel free to ask me more questions if you have any. I'll do my best
to help as best as I can.
WHY TEACH GYMNASTICS TO PRESCHOOLERS?
As early as a toddler begins to move around, the process of discovery begins.
often ask, "What is the best age to start gymnastics training?" Research
tells us that from
birth to about age six, young children are discovering themselves and their
predominantly through movement. Child development specialists have
developmental stages that a child grows through. Each of these stages are
critical to the
healthy development of the person, and they each must be experienced, in
order, as a part
of the natural maturation process.
During these formative years the brain and nervous system are literally
connecting to the
muscle groups, creating neurological pathways, allowing movement to be
refined. It is during these developmental stages that a skilled gymnastics
make a significant, and often life long, contribution to the child's total
Who they are and how they perceive themselves will be determined by early
experiences. If they are led to experience success in a safe and nurturing
without the fear of judgment or injury, they can develop an "I CAN" self
concept. If, on
the other hand, they are exposed to ridicule, failure and/or injury, they can
sense of self filled with doubt and a reluctance to try new and unfamiliar
Is there any special training an instructor needs specifically for the
Ask any gymnastics instructor experienced in teaching high level competitive
athletes, school age recreational students, and preschool age students and
probably tell you how much more challenging it is teaching preschoolers.
constant direction. They have a very short attention span and can not be
left on their own
to complete an assignment or follow directions. Left undirected, even for
only a moment,
the preschooler will be at risk of doing something that may endanger him/her
another student in the class. Constant vigilance is required of instructors
control of a preschool class. The students must never be outside your field
The preschool instructor must also be an entertainer if he is to capture and
the attention of the students. Playing games, making funny faces, and
talking funny are
examples of effective methods of holding a preschoolers attention. Being
willing to be
silly at times is a must.
Safety concerns unique to the preschool student.
The body proportions are different for a toddler then for an older child.
Specifically, the head size is much larger in proportion to the rest of the
body. This can
cause concerns when teaching rolling skills. No matter how hard the student
tries to tuck
his/her head, it may be impossible to get it completely under and out of the
Therefor, a backward roll down hill may cause a lot of stress on the child's
requiring the instructor to help by lifting the hips as the child rolls over
This larger head size may also be of concern while jumping on the
the child's body is out of control, and the head is flopping around, the
child can get
whiplash quite easily. Small bounces should be encouraged, and there should
more than one child bouncing at a time.
The preschooler's small hands may not grasp a regulation diameter bar rail
completely enough to prevent the grip from slipping. Inverted skills then
risk for those with tiny hands.
A preschool age child has much softer bones then an older child. Of special
concern are the shoulders. Never lift or pull a child using only one arm.
This could cause
a shoulder dislocation.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-ESTEEM IN CHILDREN.
Gymnastics instructors have a tremendous influence on the young children in
While some preschoolers feel comfortable from the start, many others often
first gymnastics class questioning their abilities to succeed, or to even
survive this in this
strange place called "gym". How we teach these children is at least as
important as what
we teach. We are more then educators. We are more then role models. We
artists working with clay - molding something beautiful and fragile. Great
care must be
taken to assure that fears, difficulties and failures are dealt with
Dr. Nathaniel Branden, a leader in the study of self-esteem, in his latest
book The Six
Pillars Of Self-Esteem writes about the importance of building a positive
children. Dr. Branden asks, "What is the desirable path of childhood
What practices should caring parents and teachers seek to evoke, stimulate,
in children?" As teachers we should address these questions when developing
programs and curriculum.
"Self-esteem is the reputation that we get with ourselves."
Dr. Nathaniel Branden
Dr. Branden explains, "A child's life begins in a condition of total
dependency, but an
adult's life and well-being, from the attainment of the simplest necessities
to the most
complex values depend on the ability to think. Consequently, we recognize
childhood experiences that encourage and nurture thinking, self-trust, and
to be valued." Professor Branden goes on to say, "If a child is exposed to
the right kind
of teachers, the likelihood is increased that self-esteem-supporting
behaviors will be
Dr. Branden also warns that "No good purpose is ever served by assaulting a
esteem. No one was ever made 'good' by being informed he or she was 'bad'.
self-esteem tend to increase the likelihood that the unwanted behavior will
- "Since I am bad, I will behave badly." Dr. Branden adds, "To encourage
the schools, is to create a climate that supports and reinforces the
As teachers we can help to foster success by challenging children within
their ability to
succeed. Breaking skills down into achievable steps, is the basis of a
program. These steps, or lead-ups, can also be considered skills in
themselves. And it is
the accomplishment of these lead-ups that help children to experience success
often. "Self-esteem is an achievement," says Dr. Branden.
As children learn and achieve the challenges we set for them, they will begin
to feel pride
in those accomplishments. True pride is not about bragging, boasting or
arrogance. It is
about enjoying the experience of accomplishment. Dr. Branden writes,
contemplates what needs to be done and says 'I can'. Pride contemplates what
accomplished and says 'I did'." "Pride is the emotional reward of
achievement. It is
not a vice to be overcome but a value to be attained."
I hope this was helpful. I have taught gymnastics over 25 years and now own
two gymnastics businesses specializing in recreational gymnastics for
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 11:09:38 +22310826
Subject: Coaching position offered.
Immediate opening for Full-time Girl's Competition Coach. Will be
expected to coach levels 5-10 and be Co-Coach of Acro team. 16,000 square
foot facility in midwestern community. Salary and benefits commensurate
Please send resume to:
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 11:28:34 -0700
Subject: PR: Stormy Eaton
A Press Release from USA Gymnastics on the death of Stormy Eaton:
DATE: March 16, 1995
Luan Peszek, Public Relations Director
Ramonna Robinson, Public Relations Coordinator
Top Gymnastics Coach Stormy Eaton Dies in Plane Crash
Mark "Stormy" Eaton, 45, who owned and operated Desert Devils
Gymnastics School in Scottsdale, Ariz., was killed Wednesday, March
15, in a plane crash west of Winslow, Arizona. Pilot David Ellis, 55,
also died. A third passenger, Eaton's girlfriend, Pamela Murphy, 35,
was taken to Winslow Hospital where she was listed Wednesday night in
stable condition with multiple fractures and lacerations. Murphy was
moved to Flagstaff Medical Center where she is listed in the same
The three were returning from Lake Powell after working to repair a
boat. Eaton had taught Ellis' and Murphy's daughters gymnastics.
Ellis was flying low over a friend's home when the plane became caught
in electrical wires and crashed, Sheriff's Sgt. Kathy Paleski said.
Roe Kreutzer, a past Olympic assistant coach and longtime member of
the USA Gymnastics National Team Coaching Staff, said Eaton's
credentials were among the best: "It's a tragedy. I still can't
believe it. He's well-known and loved not just nationally bu t
internationally. It's a very big loss. He's such a charismatic
person. He touched gymnastics in every way -- as a coach, athlete,
performer and owner. He always sold happiness. The gym should be fun."
Some of Eaton's top National Team gymnasts include Sandy Woolsey, who
is now competing at the University of Utah, Elisabeth Crandall and
Juliet Bangerter, who are now competing at Brigham Young University.
Murphy's daughter, Coreen, 12, is one of the current elite gymnasts at
Eaton was the 1971 NCAA floor exercise champion, silver medalist at
the 1974 World Championships in trampoline, and participated in
marathons, ironman triathlons, scuba diving and sky diving. His
coaching brought him many distinctions including being nam ed Elite
Coach of the Year in 1989 by USA Gymnastics and served as the
assistant coach to the World Championships Team in Stuttgart,
Germany. In 1991, he was chosen as one of the coaches for the USA
Junior National Team. He accompanied the team to meets in Holland and
Japan. Eaton most recently served as the announcer at many USA
He is survived by a son, Geoff, and daughter Jessica.
# # #
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 16:11:29 -0500
Subject: Bican: Mixed Pairs
What on earth was that? What routine were the Tim and Elfy watching?
9.75?!?!?!?!?!? Do they not deduct for knee bends on jams? Or being out of
direction on turning giants? I won't even begin to get picky about body
position on the double layout. yuck! And her being 15 is NO excuse.
Mina Kim looked very confident, her save on beam not withstanding. Where did
she train before Steve's gym? I only wish I had a chance to see her FX, she
looked like she had good dance skills.
The gymnast from France--BEAUTIFUL vault. (Yeah, still a little cheated, but
vault.) Perfectly layed out. (Arched?) Did they show her on any other event?
(I'm sorry I don't have everyone's names--) American woman who came in 3rd
with Rob Keiffer. She desperately needs a choreographer. I remember Brown's
having better FX routines than that. High full-in--she looks like she has nice
technique. Her dance, though--cat-double will be nice, but a different
connection after might look better. And who thought up her mixed pass?
What was up with the Belorussian? (Is this right?) Can we say tucked-front
h-spring vault? We have collegians who perform a higher quality front-pike.
You'd think you could at least stick when you cheat!
Please excuse my negativity. I enjoy high quality gymnastics, and mixed-pairs
is an extrememly long meet. I seriously agree with IG that the format needs to
be changed. Gymnasts are tired during the American Cup and even more so for
mixed pairs. [Are men just not allowed to vault?] Is the format geared
especially for TV? Ug.
BTW--my favorite coverage of gymnastics was the '88 Olympics when NBC showed
multiple routines on the screen. (Screen with-in screen) Yes, it was
confusing, but at least we got two routines for the price of one. Why does TV
coverage always include the grip shot and the down the beam shot? They
(almost) never show skates shots for figure skating.
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 13:59:00 PST
Subject: Just to Add...
In 1983 (although Im sure it was done before this) Lavinia
Agache qualified to all four event finals, winning silver
on vault and bars, bronze on beam, and 4th on floor.
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 17:37:37 -0500
Subject: Nadia special
I'm so annoyed I can't even wait for this to be over. I can't believe
ABC said the last time before Dortmund that ROM won Worlds was '79. I
guess '87 never happened.
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 21:43:53 -0500
The only Pozar routine that I have enjoyed is Michelle Campi's and I think that
was a fluke. [Or it could be the fact tha Michelle could probably dance to
anything and look elegant.]
Bhardwaj had a nice beam set, though I thought see looked kinda close on her
double tuck dismount. As for her floor. The cat double looked good, but I
personally don't think her leg was high enough on the jump 1/1 turn with
extended leg. If she can get enough lift to do that after a cat 2/1, she
should be able to find another C to connect. Her mixed series of bent leg
hitch-kick round-off to jump was weak. Granted, many gymnasts ue a similar
mixed series but I was always under the impression that a choreographer should
acceentuate the strengths of the gymnast.
As for endurance, I felt sympathy for all of the gymnasts. The format was NOT
condusive to good gymnastics. Rarely will gymnasts be forced to perform
back-to-back routines. Even in event finals where it has happened, there is a
little more time to rest. (Thank you TV coverage!)
BTW--the best coverage I have seen is from Japan at the '89 worlds where they
aired routine after routine after routine. They aired almost every Japanese
gymnats tduring their rotattion and had a very good mix from the final
End of GYMN-L Digest - 17 Mar 1995 to 18 Mar 1995