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The sport of gymnastics is very much like the game of life: there are many paths that come “full circle” but it takes many years to get anywhere- and often it comes with many unexpected twists, turns, and falls. And when we fall, we hope to land on our feet.
Coach Dirk Ooijkaas from Rotterdam, Netherlands is very familiar with both the game of life and the sport of gymnastics. As a 4x National Champion, World Championship competitor, and Olympic Team qualifier, Dirk was drawn to the state of California by the warm sun and laid back lifestyle. He moved to the United States in 1988.
Riddle: What piece of equipment stretches from floor to ceiling, can be used by preschoolers and Olympians alike, and is strong enough to hold up the roof? (Hint: Some kids like to drive teachers UP IT, also.)
Answer: A wall.
Life is full of choices. Some folks deliberate decisions, others are impulsive. In recent days, the nation has watched as devastating disasters struck many communities with an impact that was unfathomable. The Emerald City Gymnastics Team did not hesitate in their choice to jump into action and help. In just 48 hours, their gym community came together and raised $26,000 for Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.
Contributed by Carrie Spender, Tumbl Trak Education Coordinator
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. Or can you?
Many parents of young athletes understand this proverb as we encourage our active kids to drink enough water to stay hydrated. Summer heat and long sweaty workouts are a dangerous combination for kids who are not taking in enough fluids to replenish what they lose. Water is essential for all major body functions, and key to peak athletic performance.
Contributed by Bethany Friedrich, Tumbl Trak Special Needs Coordinator
Tammy Fitzpatrick, on the coaching staff at Grand Rapid Gymnastics, recently contacted Tumbl Trak in search of advice on ways to adapt bar drills and activities to accommodate one of her athletes with special needs. Tammy’s ambition to ensure the success of her young athlete thrilled and inspired us. Needless to say, we were eager to help! Adapting gymnastics skills and movements to accommodate children with various needs is an imperative part of offering a successful special needs gymnastics program. Although activity adaptation is important, developing this skill can seem daunting when just starting out. DO NOT FEAR! We are here to share with you advice we gathered from several experts in the field. Read on to hear tips from gymnastics coaches whose backgrounds vary between adapted physical education, applied behavior analysis, and physical therapy.
When you strive for excellence, how do you know when you have achieved it?
Augga Hawkins spent her own youth pursuing excellence as an accomplished performer in Beijing, China, graduating in the top of her class from the Central University of Nationalities and earning the lead dancer position at the prestigious National Chinese Ballet Company. After moving to the United States, Augga has dedicated her adult life to sharing her passion for dance and teaching in her studio, Northwest Dance & Acro in Arlington, Washington.
Summer is here which means Tumbl Trak is on the road! We’ve got a list of conferences and expos we’ll be attending so stop on in and say hi! Be sure to plan ahead for conferences near you - and shop early! If you’ve got an item you’ve been wanting, we can bring it to the conference and save you shipping costs. Call a Tumbl Trak sales associate for details.
The Tumbl Trak Education Team will be presenting at many Regional USA Gymnastics conferences and as well, in Anaheim, CA for Nationals.
Competition season is over, and your kiddo has shared last hugs with classmates and teachers. Summer is here and if you’ve got gymnastics summer camp on your schedule, I’m willing to bet there is a countdown happening in your house!
Honestly, I don’t know what could be more thrilling for a young, thriving, hard-working gymnast then FLIP FEST GYMNASTICS CAMP. (I suppose the Olympics would be up there.) But, comparing FLIP FEST to the Olympics is a bit like comparing strawberries to oranges in the way that an orange takes some work before you get to the sweet goodness, but a strawberry….just dive right in to delish!!
Every kindergarten teacher prepares for the first day of school knowing they will need to deal with the emotional stability of those in their care….the parents. This milestone for parents swells the heart and requires a great deal of deep breathing to keep the tears from spilling over.
The dropping off your athlete for the first time at sleepover summer camp is another emotional overload for parents. Thankfully there are seasoned parents, coaches and educators who have been there, and can offer a great deal of help in preparing.