1The effectiveness of the “takeoff” sets the stage for
all that is to follow. Once airborne, the performer’s center
of mass follows a predetermined parabolic trajectory, and
the quantity of available rotary
motion is irrevocably established.
(Staircase Effect), i.e., adding
an impulse to an already-rising
7Stand as tall as mechani- cally possible, particularly
during the impact phase of any
2Ensuring a sufficient meas- ure of lift is always the first order of
business in every airborne skill.
3The lead-up trajectories employed to establish proper impact conditions for
the final airborne phase of virtually every
vaulting or tumbling sequence should be
short, flat and very fast.
8For multiple-somersault skills, it is wise to trade off
a small portion of “lift” in
order to reap the tremendous dividends in
“rotation” by adjusting the angle of input
4Ensuring a maximum amount of hori- zontal motion while maintaining a relatively small angle of input at touch-down
is a key ingredient for maximizing rotation
in the airborne phase of the skill.
9To facilitate “sticking the landing,” strive to establish a fixed frame of
reference for landing, maintain early and
continuous visual contact with the
ground, reach/extend for the ground with
one’s feet prior to landing, and give in
sufficiently (eccentric contraction) with the
legs upon impact.
5The impact phase for every vaulting or tumbling sequence should be
“short” in terms of duration and “great” in
terms of force.
10Achieving a fully extended body shape upon takeoff, as well as
immediately prior to landing, is a fundamental litmus test for championship execution.
6Strive to make leg impact with the board and arm impact with the vault
table on the ascent phase of the trajectory
Adapted from “Championship Gymnastics” by
Gerald S. George, Ph.D. For more information,
1. Eddie Penev/BUL: Jump backward with 1/2 turn to double salto forward stretched with 1/2
2. Max Whitlock/GBR: Salto forward piked or stretched with 5/2 twists (D)
3. Yang Hak Seon/KOR: Handspring-layout front with triple twist ( 7. 4)
4. Mahmood Alsadi/QAT: Bhavsar to bent arm support (C)
5. Mahmood Alsadi/QAT: Moy piked or straddled with 1/2 turn to upper arm support (B)
6. Alen Dimic/SLO: Swing forward with 3/4 turn and hop to handstand on one rail (D)
7. Epke Zonderland/NED: Swing forward with 5/4 turn on 1 arm through Healy to support (F)
8. David Belyavsky/RUS: Double salto forward piked (F)
9. Jacob Dalton/USA: From upper arms, backward salto with 1/2 turn (D)
10. Sergio Sasaki/BRA: 5/4 straddled front salto to hang (E)
11. Mahmood Alsadi/QAT: Endo in elgrip and 1/1 turn to double undergrip (D)
12. Jossimar Calvo Moreno/COL: Stoop circle rearways with hop to handstand undergrip on 1
arm to 1/1 turn to double elgrip (D + C)
13. Sergio Munoz/ESP, Enrique Pozzo/ITA: Yamawaki 1/2 to mixed grip into back uprise to
14. Vlasios Maras/GRE: Gaylord from elgrip (D)
Edited by Dwight Normile
What is something you
should never say to
KJ Kindler/Oklahoma: We never tell an athlete or a team that they cannot make a mistake, that they must be perfect.
Greg Marsden/Georgia: You should never
make your critique of them personal.
Sarah Patterson/Alabama: Our goal is to be
as positive as we can in helping our ladies
achieve everything they possibly can. To do
this, we strive, through word and deed, to put
them in a tremendously positive environment.
Anything less is counterproductive to our goals.
Justin Spring/Illinois: That you don’t believe
in them. You should never lose that trust
between an athlete and a coach.
Beverly Plocki/Michigan: That they will never
be able to do something or that they are not
good at something.
Rhonda Faehn/Florida: There are so many
things! We try to critique the actual gymnastics
in a positive manner.
Mark Cook/Arkansas: You will never be able
to do that. Never say never.
Randy Jepson/Penn State: Never tell an athlete that you don’t believe in him. My job is to
inspire my athletes to go farther than [they]
thought possible … of making the impossible
not just possible, but a reality.
Jay Clark/Georgia: [Never] make comparisons, and coach each student-athlete based on
her own ability and individual circumstances.
Brice Biggin/Kent State: In our situation,
especially, “That’s OK, we’ll never make
nationals.” (Kent State qualified to the NCAAs
in 2011 for the first time in its history.)
Thom Glielmi/Stanford: Any comments that
attack them personally.
Valorie Kondos Field/UCLA: Anything that
comes from the ego and not from a compassionate, healthy, constructive place. Coaching
doesn’t need to be all warm and fuzzy, but it’s
often too easy to coach from the ego or to say
something as a reaction without stopping and
thinking before speaking.
Kurt Golder/Michigan: Never say anything
that is degrading.
Dan Kendig/Nebraska: I think coaches should
be very supportive of their athletes. They
should be there for them. At Nebraska, we provide a lot of resources for our student-athletes,
and I’d like to turn it around and say the things
that we do for them instead of what we shouldn’t say. I think you treat them with respect.
Tim McNeill/Cal-Berkeley: Avoid putting
them in boxes that limit their potential. It’s easy
to just say a gymnast should just be doing rings,
and you end up finding out he can help the
team in other places.