Hello Mancino MAT-ters Readers,
I’ll be on the road this weekend to attend a collegiate gymnastics competition. The Lady Rams (West Chester University of Pennsylvania) will host Rhode Island College this coming Saturday, February 20, 2010. The competition starts at 11:30a.m. and will be held on the WCU campus. Altough we support all collegiate gymnastics teams here at Mancino, I will be cheering for West Chester. I mean, c’mon…it’s my alma mater! Go Rams! Come join me and support the WCU Gymnastics Team.
The JumpStart Program is something that was put in place within the Trampoline & Tumbling division of USA Gymnastics to identify elite athletes at a young age. The objective is to discover athletes within the ages of 7-12 years old and put them on the right path to become successful in the elite category.
Once someone is chosen; the athlete, parents and coaches are notified. At this time, the training requirements to pursue the elite avenue are discussed, as well as the opportunities that follow the specific training regimen. The coaches will receive guidance and assistance from authorities within the program on how to train these talented athletes. With everyone involved, the JumpStart members will be put on a definite “fast track”. By driving down this track, international competition will soon follow. Because an elite/international level is the ultimate goal, skill preparation is one of the key ingredients. The development of skills will be focused on so that every athlete reaches their full potential. The program will also provide a full fitness program for each athlete.
Acceptance into the JumpStart Program is by invitation only. Testing begins at the State Level, then progresses to the National Level. Once at the National Level, being chosen to attend the National Training Camp is a possibility. From that, a National Team (picked annually) will be selected. In 2009, the Women’s National Team consisted of 21 athletes, chosen by the JumpStart Committee.
Well, Oklahoma is still undefeated, Alabama is still on top and Auburn beat Georgia for the first time in program history. We’re four weeks into Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics and it’s been very exciting thus far as predicted. Up to date rankings are below…
Are you ready for some more?! I’ve taken a few more of my favorite moments off the list to share with you. Enjoy! (Remember, if you have any favs, let me know and I”ll post them )
Lilia Podkopayeva, 1996 Olympics- All-Around, Floor Exercise
Kerri Strug, 1996 Olympics – Team Competition, Vault
Dominique Dawes, 1991 U.S. Nationals- Event Finals, Floor Exercise
Kristy Powell, 1997 U.S. Nationals- Finals, Uneven Bars
Are you having trouble with your gymnasts looking down during their floor routines? I have a fun activity that you can tryout with your teams that I have found to be extremely effective.
Have each girl run through their routine, whether it’s a full routine or a dance thru…doesn’t matter. All of the other members of the team should spread out around the perimeter of the FX. Have the girls around the perimeter all start with jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc. (something cardio that they can do in their own little spot.) The athlete that is doing her routine must make eye contact with each teammate around the perimeter throughout the performance. As soon as eye contact is made, that particular gymnast on the perimeter will switch to something strength related (i.e. crunches, v-ups, push-ups, etc.). The goal is to “hit” everyone before the routine is over.
I love this activity. It keeps everyone involved, the girls around the border are conditioning, everyone has to go through their routines and it gets those eyes up! Try it out and let me know how you like it.
Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics begun in full force this past weekend. Over 30 teams took the floor for their 2010 Season Openers.
The No.1 Georgia Gym Dogs just squeezed out a win in front of over 10,000 screaming fans against No.7 Stanford, 195.150-195.050.
Also, the Terps (Maryland) were bulldozed by the Tigers (LSU, No.6), 194.375-190.625.
It looks like UCLA (No.5) means business this season after putting up five scores over 9.9 and fifteen over 9.8. The Bruins’ outstanding performance resulted in a win over No.2 Utah, 196.600-195.125.
The biggest upset of the weekend was the outcome of the Oklahoma (No.9) v. Florida (No.4) competition. The Sooners fought for every tenth and it proved to be energy well spent when they topped the Gators 196.250-195.275.
An interesting and exciting season is ahead of us! Expect some teams to be in the top 5 that we don’t usually see…
There are only a few days left to take advantage of this week’s discount on a 4-Section Trapezoid. Call me (#800-338-6287) by this afternoon (1/8/10), or email me (email@example.com) by Sunday (1/10/10) and I’ll apply the deduction to your order! Every week I pass along fantastic savings onto our loyal customers via our Newsletter. If you don’t get this already, please visit our website and sign-up. Or you can just contact me and I’ll add you to the list. Don’t miss out on our great discounts and contests…join now!
BY LINDA THORBERG & BRANT LUTSKA
Do you ever get stale in your choice of activities with a certain type of mat? In 2009, we did a lecture called “Mat Magic” which gave many different ways to use all our basic mats. (This and other 2009 lectures are available at www.flippingeducation.com) Here are some ideas for using Octagons which are available at Mancino. Of course some of these will require a spot depending on the readiness of the child.
- Tummy on top, roll over
- Roll over on tummy, pick up a shape and come back.
- Wheelbarrow, walk over
- Push it with hands or feet across the floor.
- Roll it back and forth between partners.
- Reach over a small barrel to handstand, cartwheel or round-off.
- Add in obstacle course.
- Put it by a wall, bridge up on it
- Jump over a small one.
- Stand in a pattern, go around them.
- Toss hoops over them.
- Sit on it underneath a bar for a glide swing.
- Lie backwards and kick over.
- Front Handsprings over.
- Back Handsprings over.
- Leap over a small barrel.
- Support a beginner’s bridge position on a small one.
- Tie a rope between two standing barrels to cartwheel over.
Have a staff meeting and see how many other ideas you can come up with! Do you have any ideas? Post a comment and share your out-of-the-box uses for an Octagon.
Gymnastics is a fabulous sport! Because of all the benefits that go hand-in-hand with the sport, I would recommend enrolling a child into a program to any parent. I’ve taken a few moments to list various reasons why.
Overall Physical Fitness
One of the most important benefits associated with gymnastics is the physical fitness aspect. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported that 16% of children from the ages 6-19, are overweight or obese…that’s over 9 million kids! By introducing your child to a sport filled with various physical activities at such a young age will stress the importance of a healthy fitness program. Gymnastics will also increase one’s flexibility and strength. Having good flexibility is necessity for both young and old. “It increases blood supply and nutrients to joint structures, which in turn increases circulation, leading to greater elasticity of surrounding tissues.” (Salzmann, 2005) Strength development automatically occurs when participating in gymnastics. The nature of the skills, events and conditioning naturally builds up muscle mass. Due to this consistent strength enhancement, it’s proven to slow bone loss, decrease your risk for injury, burn calories, improve brain function and increase bone density. With the balanced workout that gymnastics provides, your child will be physically fit.
The Hard Road with Benefits
Another beneficial quality of the sport is the discipline it instills in its athletes. Every facility has a certain set of rules that they enforce and the gymnasts must follow those rules to ensure a safe, controlled environment. The combination of the structure and the lesson plans also results in determination, great work ethic and learning the importance of setting goals. Gymnastics is an incredibly tough sport and this is learned by all in the very beginning. Each new skill will not be attained without all of the above mentioned characteristics. Not only is this a fantastic lesson to learn in the gym, but it’s a great lesson for life in general. Set goals, work with undying discipline and determination and the end result will satisfy you.
Team Work and Social Skills
By entering your child into gymnastics classes, you are automatically assisting them in their social skills development. With younger children, it will teach them to listen to authority figures, follow directions, share with others, wait their turn and many other advantageous skills. For competitive athletes, working together and bonding with a team proves to be an invaluable experience.
Coordination and its Impact on Growth
Gymnastics also improves coordination. Body awareness comes naturally to some gymnasts; others have to work at it. However, even if the child leaves the sport of gymnastics, the coordination and body awareness skills will apply nicely to all sports. It has been reported that these two benefits have also been applied to areas outside of sports. “Studies show that children learn cognitive skills more effectively in an environment that includes the body as well as the mind. (Barrett, 1998) Gymnastics and early childhood movement education is directly attributed to developing neurological pathways in students and promoting reading readiness. While the preschool gymnastics teacher runs about and plays with the little kids in her class, she is preparing her students for successful experiences in school; children who have participated in movement education activities have longer attention spans, increased communication skills, general problem solving skills and improved self-esteem.” (Taylor, 2003)
Finally, this wonderful sport teaches the athlete to be self-confident and responsible. The fact that these children have to overcome big-time fears every day, makes them nothing but confident when it is finally overcome. The accomplishment of a new skill, a new routine, a high score, all because they worked their hardest makes an athlete confident in themselves and they know they were responsible for the outcome.
I know there are many additional benefits to the sport of gymnastics, but in my opinion, these are the basics. Doesn’t it make you want to sign your child up today?
Over the past week, a new state-of-the-art video system was installed at the U.S. Women’s National Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch. All that were involved (Steve Rybacki, Kathy Kelly and the U.S. Olympic Committee) in making this idea a reality are hoping that this will be an invaluable training aid for the coaches and gymnasts. There are two cameras stationed at each event for a total of eight. Once captured, the coaches/gymnasts will be able to view the footage on one of six-42″ plasma screen TVs. Each routine can be viewed in one of three ways; real time, slow motion or frame by frame. All of the footage can also be saved to view at a later date.
This new system will be put to the test at the next National Team Camp scheduled for late January, 2010.
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