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Be THAT Coach...

Posted on 11/10/2016
Teaching is a job that is  full of emotional high’s and low’s, that fills our hearts, (if not our bank accounts), and presents roadblocks that leave us stumped.  When a teacher is faced with a challenge, where does he/she turn for specific help?  

Luckily, there are many passionate, experienced gymnastics educators out there who are more than willing to help guide the flock.  

Beth Gardner, owner of Heart of Texas, is one of the greatest “brains” in the business.   Her impressive list of accomplishments and awards tell the tale of her experience as a movement educator, business owner, author, consultant, mentor and leader in the sport of gymnastics.  
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Road To Rio: Olympic Recap

Posted on 8/23/2016
By James Parent

This is the one time every 4 years that all of my friends, who know nothing about gymnastics, are actually interested in the sport. It is the time where, despite our differences and issues, nations come together and show what they can do in the name of friendly competition. A video of Usain Bolt comes to mind, as he stopped an interview he was giving to pay respect as our national anthem (not his) came on in the background.  That is what it is all about.

It is safe to say that the USA women dominated the podium. There were some incredible statistics going around social media about how great our ‘Final Five’ performed. However, when I look at those girls (and the alternates) I can only think of one word: PRIDE. I am proud of them, not because of their place, but because they represent a work ethic unlike any other. I am proud that they embody the true Olympic spirit as they all had beaming smiles during the whole competition. I am proud of their determination because they didn’t allow setbacks like injuries stop them from moving forward. I am proud that these are the girls who are the role models for tomorrow's athletes.  

When looking back on this amazing event, there were some moments of questionable sportsmanship which the media focused on, but that is only a small fraction of the great athletes who carried themselves with dignity.  I see a collective group of athletes who are willing to put themselves on the line and try to push themselves every day in a sport that they love.  

When I think of the Olympics, I think of inspiration.  Anyone who makes it to the Olympics is a winner, regardless of the position they placed.  I am sure that you, your family and your friends felt inspired to be active, or be the best version of you that you can be.  Don’t let the end of the Olympics be the end of your inspiration.  Take time to re-watch an event, or past Olympics to feel that spark again. 


Always learning, sharing, and having fun!

Posted on 7/14/2016
Contributed by Carrie Spender Lennox

As the summer sun starts to shine,  many of us on the Tumbl Trak Staff know it’s time to pack our bags and hit the road.  Tradeshows and conferences keep us busy as we share great deals and information on products.  We delight in having face to face time with  hard working professionals from gyms around the nation.

In addition to the tradeshow floor, you’ll find Tumbl Trak Staff and Ambassadors in the classroom as well!  This year you can catch several presentations at Regional and National Congresses that highlight some great teaching tips, creative ways to teach progressions and games out the wazoo!

One of our newest presentations is titled Fun AND Effective, with the goal of offering a few fun ways to teach great habits and get results.  The live version of the presentation packs more of a punch, but, here’s a downloadable link to the Powerpoint we’ve shared with folks who attend our presentations.  You’ll find lots of videos and some tid-bits of useful information.  Enjoy!

Click here to see the presentation!


Planning + Perseverance + Dedication = Olympic Dreams Come True

Posted on 6/16/2016



In all my years with Tumbl Trak I have had opportunities that have changed my life.  I have learned to be a better coach, a better person.  I have had moments of awe, been starstruck, and really come to love this sport from the inside out!  

My most recent experience, interviewing Houry Gebeshian, is one that I will cherish because it wrapped all these experiences into one. Here’s some of what I learned about this gracious,  talented, dedicated young woman that changed my outlook on our sport forever.   

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Road to Rio: Ones to Watch; Mens

Posted on 5/13/2016

As the Olympics are fast approaching, gymnastics enthusiasts are following the Road to Rio which includes many events that will decide what athletes will compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.  The process of qualification can be a bit overwhelming to understand.  Here’s a useful diagram that shows how the athletes make it to the Olympics:

The USA athletes have been incredibly successful at recent events and are Olympic medal contenders for sure!  But, take a look at this list of International athletes who should be on your watch list.

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Why Gymnasts Must Change How They Land by Dave Tilley

Posted on 4/18/2016
Across the country in gyms, online in training videos, and at congress presentations I continue to see gymnasts landing in a way that is very concerning and worse I continue to see coaches yelling at their athletes to “tuck your hips under, feet together, and use your knees” saying they are not landing right. Not to mention, I see hundreds of gymnasts doing strength and conditioning including loaded squats, box jumps, and single leg squats with extremely concerning form. The reality of the situation is that we need to change the way gymnasts land, starting from a very young age. The more ideal landing we should be teaching and forcing athletes to use is

  • Feet hip width apart
  • toes, knees, hips, and shoulders close to inline (generally)
  • core engaged in relative neutral (not excessively hollowed or arched)
  • proper angular displacement of the hip and knee joints
  • hip angle generally 30 degrees, and trunk / tibial lines close to parallel
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No Leo Required for Parent Fitness (Part 2)

Posted on 4/5/2016
I’m hoping that many of you checked out last month’s Parent Fitness article and now, after a month of working out on your daughter’s balance beam you are celebrating your stronger core and improved balance.  Now that we’re on a roll, let’s keep on truckin’ with PART 2 of our Parent Fitness Series: No Leotard Required!

This month’s fitness is designed around the home use bar - Tumbl Trak Junior Bar Pro, Junior Kip Bar or 5 in 1 Bar are great examples! While your daughter is practicing mill circles and back hip circles, sneak in a turn and do a few sets of core toning!  It’s a great time to get ready for summer fun in the sun and shape your arms for tank top season!

Click here to see the slideshow!


No Leotard Required - Parent Fitness Series (Part 1)!

Posted on 3/8/2016

There are no limits to what some parents will do for their children. When it comes to our kids’ good health and fitness, the choices come easy as we schedule practices, competitions, carpools and plan healthy meals.  We are committed parents of athletes cheering them on at the gym and at home.   We are constantly stepping over balance beams and inclines in our living room.

But, for busy moms and dads, finding time to take care of our own health and fitness is not as easy.

How about using that balance beam in the living room to help you meet some of YOUR fitness goals?  Tumbl Trak equipment is not just for kids!  I’m not suggesting you set your sights on a back handspring on that beam - but what about some increased flexibility, or toning in your core?  

Take a look at the workout suggestions in the attached slideshow and be prepared to show your athlete a bit of the athlete in you!!

Click here to see the slideshow! 


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5 Things you can do TODAY to improve your athletes by Nick Ruddock

Posted on 2/12/2016
In my various roles as a personal coach and national coach, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting many clubs, countries and continents. Throughout this time I’ve learnt that irrespective of where you are in the world, athletes and coaches face the same struggles day in, day out. 

Gymnastics is, well gymnastics. There may be different styles, different methods and different philosophies, but the key principles will never change, and with that in mind, I’m never too surprised to come across the same common barriers holding athletes and coaches back in their pursuit of high performance results. 

I’ve compiled these into a ‘top 5’ common barriers holding athletes and coaches back: 

1. Improve your Physical Preparation program.  No question, this is number one. I’ve written in previous articles about the importance of a ‘layered’ approach to coaching elements, and a solid foundation of physical preparation will always give a great return. You can’t build a house on sand, so how can we try teaching an unconditioned athlete to backward giant or kip cast to handstand?  If you could only focus on one part of your coaching education, this would be it. 
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From the Experts: Stamina from Strength by Dr. Bill Sands

Posted on 1/7/2016
By William A Sands, PhD, FACSM, CSCS, EMT, Sheffield Hallam University

Strength underpins stamina.  After all, if you’re not strong enough to do one repetition, then the question of stamina is simply out of reach.  I will use stamina and endurance interchangeably.  What is “routine endurance?”  There are really only two apparatuses for women gymnasts that have serious stamina requirements“ floor exercise and uneven bars. Balance beam requires more “mental endurance” (i.e. focus) than physiological endurance (although this may be changing).  One of the most common misunderstandings in the type of stamina needed for gymnastics is confusing short-duration endurance with long-duration endurance.  Short-duration endurance (intense efforts lasting less than two minutes) is profoundly different from long-duration endurance (efforts lasting from approximately four minutes to hours).  Unlike long-duration endurance, short-duration endurance is determined by maximal strength, not by aerobic capacity or aerobic power. 

Coaches like stories.  I hope that two stories will be helpful.  The first comes from a different activity that has some gymnastics qualities (particularly upper body strength), and the second from my own experience. 

"Improve Your Strength, Improve Your Endurance”
“Years ago a friend approached Scott with a dilemma: He'd been religiously training pull-ups for a year but had stagnated at a max of eighteen reps.  He had tried many combinations of sets and reps in a futile attempt to break through this limit.  When Scott suggested the routine outlined below, the friend was skeptical.  How could doing fewer pull-ups help him do more?  He seemed to be lacking endurance so in his mind he needed to increase the volume of pull-ups, not decrease it.
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